While fish are still the primary subject of most people's aquariums, the popularity of freshwater shrimp keeping has soared in recent years. For most people (myself included) the hobby becomes an obsession with breeding better colors and raising a colony to take over the tank.
There are many species of shrimp that are popular in the aquatic community, but I'll be focusing on the easiest and most beginner friendly shrimp - the Red Cherry Shrimp (pictured right). This shrimp is much easier to raise than others because it is more tolerant of wider range of temperature and water parameters. They are also prolific breeders and your starting handful of ten will quickly become a colony of over a hundred individuals. While that many shrimp seems intimidating to those of you that don't want to invest in huge tanks, the good news is that shrimp leave such a small footprint that one hundred will easily fit into a ten gallon tank.
The first thing that you need to do before you get your shrimp is to make sure that the water parameters are alright. They can tolerate anywhere between 65 - 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but do best in mid to high 70's. It is way more important for the water pH, hardness and temperature to stay stable than to highlight a specific number to follow.
The tank itself should be planted and ideally without any fish so that young shrimp babies aren't snatched up for a quick snack. While it is possible for shrimp to survive with small fish such as neon tetras and endler's livebearers, they will be much more stressed and spend most of the time hiding, which they are excellent at. Lots of plants are recommended as well as nooks and crannies provided by rocks or artificial caves to give the shrimp cover as well algae for them to eat. Good low light plants that grow easily and without much maintenance include java moss, anubias and crypts. Shrimp love to cling onto giant balls of java moss, but it does grow rampantly and rather unattractively so be warned.
Once you have an established colony of Red Cherries you can now officially start to take over the world.