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How to Aquascape a Shrimp Tank: Expert Tips and Tricks

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Have you always wanted to have your own  aquarium that features something other than goldfish? We recommend you consider keeping shrimp in a stunning aquascaped aquarium setting. The good news is that you can keep shrimp right here in Australia!

Read on to unlock the secrets of aquascaping and create a stunning underwater world for these interesting crustaceans. In this article, we'll share expert tips and tricks that will help you transform your shrimp tank into a captivating masterpiece. From choosing the right plants and rocks to creating a beautiful layout and ensuring optimal water conditions, we'll guide you every step of the way.

Aquascaping is not just about aesthetics. It's also about creating a healthy and natural habitat for your shrimp, promoting their well-being and enhancing their coloration. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned hobbyist, our tips will help you achieve the perfect balance of beauty and functionality.

Join us as we dive into the world of aquascaping shrimp tanks and unleash your creativity. Get ready to create an underwater paradise that will not only make your shrimp thrive, but also become a focal  piece in your home or office. Let's dive in and unlock the secrets of aquascaping shrimp tanks together!

Benefits of aquascaping shrimp tanks

Aquascaping shrimp tanks offers a wide range of benefits for both the shrimp and the aquarist. By carefully designing and arranging the elements within the tank, you can create a visually stunning environment that mimics the natural habitats of these fascinating creatures. But beyond the beauty, aquascaping also provides several practical advantages.

First and foremost, a well-equipped and well-maintained aquascape provides an ideal living space for shrimp. The carefully selected plants, rocks, and other decorations offer hiding places and surfaces for them to graze on. This helps reduce stress and promotes natural behaviour, leading to healthier and more active shrimp.

Additionally, a properly aquascaped shrimp tank can help maintain stable water conditions. The plants act as natural filters, absorbing excess nutrients and providing oxygen for the shrimp. By establishing a balanced ecosystem, aquascaping can help prevent common issues such as algae overgrowth and water quality fluctuations.

Furthermore, aquascaping adds a visual dimension to your tank that is truly captivating. It allows you to create a unique and personalised underwater landscape that not only enhances the beauty of your shrimp but also provides a striking focal point in any room. So not only will you be providing a better home for your shrimp, but you'll also be able to enjoy the stunning aesthetics of your aquascape.

Types of shrimp for aquascaping tanks

Before diving into the world of aquascaping, it's essential to understand the different types of shrimp that are suitable for these tanks. While there are various species available in the aquarium trade, some are better suited for aquascaping due to their size, behaviour, and compatibility with plants.

One of the most popular choices for aquascaping is the Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi). These small and colourful shrimp are incredibly hardy and adaptable, making them ideal for beginners. They come in a range of vibrant colors, including red, yellow, orange, and blue, which can add a beautiful contrast to your aquascape.

These shrimp are known for their algae-eating abilities, making them excellent additions to aquascaped tanks. They have a peaceful temperament and are compatible with a wide range of tankmates, making them a popular choice for community aquascapes.

Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) make a fascinating addition to aquariums. To ensure their thriving, it is crucial to provide them ample cover, such as plants, to evade predatory fish. These shrimp are resilient and beneficial, efficiently consuming leftover food and grazing on algae.

The name "Cherry Shrimp" is derived from their distinctive red hue, ranging from a pale pink to a vibrant red, with the intensity often influenced by the background they are set against. Females typically exhibit more vibrant colours compared to males.

In aquariums with a darker background, the Cherry Shrimp will assume a deeper red hue, emphasising the visual impact of their colouration.

Setting up a shrimp tank

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To create a successful aquascape for your shrimp, it's crucial to start with a well-planned tank setup. This involves selecting the right tank size, substrate, filtration system, lighting, and other essential equipment.

When it comes to tank size, a larger tank is generally more stable and provides more space for the shrimp to roam. A well lit aquarium tank such as the Aqua One Dynamic 58 Aquarium is recommended for most shrimp species. Buy Aqua Natural Midnight Pearl Gravel 4.53Kg

Next, choose a suitable substrate for your shrimp tank. Fine-grained substrates like sand or specialised shrimp substrates are preferred as they provide a natural environment for the shrimp to forage and dig. Avoid using sharp gravel or substrates that may harm the delicate shrimp.

Filtration is another crucial aspect of a shrimp tank setup. A gentle and adjustable filter is recommended to prevent the shrimp from being sucked into the system. Sponge filters or hang-on-back filters with a sponge pre-filter are popular choices among shrimp keepers. Ensure that the filter provides adequate biological and mechanical filtration to maintain optimal water quality.

Lighting plays a vital role in supporting plant growth and showcasing the beauty of your aquascape. LED lights are energy-efficient and provide a wide spectrum of light that promotes healthy plant growth. Aim for a lighting duration of 8-10 hours per day to simulate natural daylight cycles.


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Lastly, consider adding additional equipment such as a heater to maintain stable water temperatures, a CO2 system for enhanced plant growth, and a thermometer to monitor water temperature. These additions will ensure a stable and comfortable environment for your shrimp.


Setting up a shrimp tank requires careful consideration of these factors to create an optimal environment for both the shrimp and the plants. With the right equipment and setup, you'll be well on your way to creating a successful aquascape.

Essential equipment for aquascaping shrimp tanks

To achieve a successful aquascape for your shrimp tank, it's essential to have the right equipment on hand. Here are some essential items you'll need to create and maintain your aquascape:

1. Aquarium Tank: Choose a tank size that suits your needs, with a minimum of 30L for most shrimp species. 

2. Substrate: Select a fine-grained substrate such as sand or specialized shrimp substrates. Avoid sharp gravel that may harm the shrimp.

3. Filtration System: Use a gentle and adjustable filter to prevent the shrimp from being sucked in. Sponge filters or hang-on-back filters with a sponge pre-filter are popular choices.

4. Lighting: Opt for LED lights that provide a wide spectrum of light for healthy plant growth. Aim for a lighting duration of 8-10 hours per day.

5. Heater: Maintain stable water temperatures with a heater. Choose one that is suitable for the size of your tank and the temperature requirements of your shrimp species.

6. CO2 System: Consider adding a CO2 system to enhance plant growth. This is particularly beneficial if you plan to keep demanding plant species in your aquascape.

7. Thermometer: Monitor water temperature with a reliable thermometer to ensure the well-being of your shrimp.

Having these essential equipment items will set you up for success in creating and maintaining your aquascape. With the right tools in hand, you'll be able to create a thriving and visually stunning environment for your shrimp.

Aquascaping techniques for shrimp tanks

Aquascaping shrimp tanks involves the careful arrangement of plants, rocks, driftwood, and other decorations to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional layout. Here are some popular techniques to consider when designing your shrimp tank aquascape:

1. Nature Aquarium Style: This style aims to replicate the natural environment found in rivers and streams. It utilises a variety of plants, rocks, and driftwood to create a lush and visually appealing aquascape. The focus is on creating a balanced and harmonious layout.

2. Iwagumi Style: This style emphasises simplicity and minimalism. It typically features a single focal point, such as a prominent rock or group of rocks, surrounded by a carpet of low-growing plants. The goal is to create a serene and Zen-like atmosphere.

3. Dutch Style: This style is known for its vibrant and colorful appearance. It involves using a diverse range of plant species arranged in a layered fashion, creating a lush and densely planted aquascape. The focus is on plant variety and color contrast.

4. Biotope Style: This style aims to recreate a specific natural habitat, such as a river or a lake. It involves selecting plants, rocks, and decorations that are native to the chosen biotope, creating a realistic and authentic aquascape.

When applying these techniques to your shrimp tank, consider the specific needs and preferences of your shrimp species. Ensure that the layout provides ample hiding places and grazing surfaces for the shrimp while maintaining a visually appealing design. Experiment with different combinations of plants, rocks, and decorations to find the perfect aquascape for your shrimp.

Maintaining water conditions for shrimp tanks

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Maintaining stable and optimal water conditions is crucial for the health and well-being of your shrimp. Here are some key factors to consider when it comes to water parameters:

1. Temperature: Most shrimp species thrive in temperatures between 22°C and 26°C. Use a reliable heater and thermometer to maintain a stable temperature within this range.

2. pH Level: Shrimp prefer slightly acidic to neutral water conditions. Aim for a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. Regularly test the pH level and make adjustments if necessary.

3. Water Hardness: This refers to  the number of dissolved minerals found in water. In the realm of aquariums, the key parameters we aim to assess include GH and KH:

  1. GH (General Hardness) Water's GH level signifies the quantity of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, within the water.

  2. KH (Carbonate Hardness) KH denotes the alkalinity of the water sample, indicating its buffering capacity or the ability to resist fluctuations in pH. Carbonates and bicarbonates play a role in neutralizing acids in the water, making a higher carbonate content in water less prone to pH shifts. A high KH suggests a more basic pH, while a low KH implies a potentially acidic pH, making the water susceptible to abrupt pH changes.

Note: Carbonate hardness can be gauged in either dKH (degrees of KH) or ppm (parts per million).

Different shrimp species have specific water hardness preferences. Generally, a water hardness of  100—200 ppm is suitable for most shrimp species. Use the  API Gh/Kh Test Kit to monitor the hardness and make adjustments as needed.

4. Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate Levels: Regularly test the water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Ammonia and nitrite should be at 0 ppm, while nitrate levels should be kept below 20 ppm. Perform regular water changes to maintain optimal water quality.

In addition to these parameters, it's essential to ensure proper filtration and aeration in your shrimp tank. The filter should provide adequate biological and mechanical filtration to remove waste and maintain water clarity. Gentle water movement created by the filter or an air stone will also ensure sufficient oxygen levels for the shrimp.

Regular monitoring of water parameters and performing necessary adjustments and maintenance will help create a stable and healthy environment for your shrimp. Maintaining optimal water conditions is key to their overall well-being and successful aquascaping.

Feeding and caring for shrimp in aquascaped tanks

Proper feeding and care are essential for the health and vitality of your shrimp in an aquascaped tank. Here are some tips to ensure your shrimp receive the nutrition they need:

1. Balanced Diet: Provide a balanced diet for your shrimp by offering a variety of foods. High-quality commercial shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables such as spinach or zucchini are excellent options. Supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like daphnia or brine shrimp for additional protein.

2. Feeding Frequency: Feed your shrimp small amounts of food once or twice a day. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues, so it's important to avoid excess food.

3. Remove Excess Food: Shrimp are efficient scavengers, but uneaten food can pollute the water. Remove any uneaten food after a few hours to maintain water quality.

Beyond feeding, regular maintenance is essential for the overall care of your shrimp. Perform regular water changes to maintain optimal water quality and remove any debris or waste. Keep an eye out for any signs of illness or stress, such as unusual behavior or discolouration, and take appropriate action if needed.

By providing a well-rounded diet and attentive care, you'll ensure the health and longevity of your shrimp in your aquascaped tank.

Troubleshooting common issues in shrimp tanks

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While aquascaped shrimp tanks can be visually stunning and rewarding, they can also come with their fair share of challenges. Here are some common issues you may encounter and tips for troubleshooting:

1. Algae Overgrowth: Algae can be a common problem in shrimp tanks,

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especially if there is an imbalance of light, nutrients, or CO2. To combat algae, ensure proper lighting duration and intensity, maintain balanced nutrient levels through regular water changes, and consider adding live plants that outcompete algae for nutrients.


2. Water Quality Fluctuations: Fluctuations in water quality can stress shrimp and lead to health issues. Maintain stable water parameters by regularly testing and adjusting pH, hardness, and nutrient levels. Perform regular water changes to remove accumulated waste and maintain water clarity.

3. Molting Issues: Shrimp molt to grow, and molting issues can occur due to poor water quality, inadequate nutrition, or stress. Ensure optimal water conditions and provide a varied and balanced diet. Supplemental calcium may be necessary for shrimp species with specific molting requirements.

4. Aggression or Incompatibility: Some shrimp species may exhibit aggression or may not be compatible with certain tankmates. Observe the behaviour of your shrimp and make necessary adjustments to tankmates if aggression or stress is observed.

5. Disease and Parasites: Shrimp can be susceptible to various diseases and parasites. Quarantine new additions and closely monitor the health of your shrimp. If you suspect illness, promptly isolate affected shrimp and seek appropriate treatment.

Regular observation, proactive maintenance, and prompt action are key to preventing and addressing common issues in shrimp tanks. By staying vigilant and taking necessary measures, you'll ensure a healthy and thriving environment for your shrimp.

Enjoying the beauty of aquascaped shrimp tanks

Aquascaping shrimp tanks offers a unique opportunity to combine artistry and biology, creating a visually stunning and functionally optimal environment for your shrimp. By following expert tips and tricks, you can unlock the secrets of aquascaping and transform your shrimp tank into a captivating masterpiece.

From selecting the right plants and rocks to creating a well-designed layout and maintaining optimal water conditions, every aspect of aquascaping contributes to the overall success of your shrimp tank.


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