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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shrimp Farm - How To

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.

After your tank is well established with plants and water parameters are stable, you can start to buy your shrimp.  Keep in mind only a handful of shrimp and they will quickly breed and multiply.  Once a shrimp develops eggs it becomes what is known as 'berried' because the eggs under its tail look like tiny berries.  Don't be discouraged if your first berried shrimp loses its eggs!  These things happen and they will be ready for round too soon enough.  When you do get shrimp fry, make sure you have a sponge filter so that they do not get sucked into the intake.

As the shrimp grow they will undergo many molts.  Do not remove these clear ghostly remnants of the shrimp as they will eat it to regain valuable minerals lost during the molting process.  A dead shrimp can be distinguished from a molt by the pinkish color that a dead shrimp will have while a molt will be completely milky white.

Once you have an established colony of Red Cherries you can now officially start to take over the world.

38 comments:

  1. Can I have shrimp in a Iwagumi Style Tank?

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  2. Haha great guide I am going to have to try and take advantage of this!

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  3. I have never even considered having a shrimp farm before, but after reading this...it seems like it could be nice.

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  4. @Joe Somebody Yes! Shrimp will thrive in an Iwagumi style tank and also help with the maintenance. One of the biggest problem with an Iwagumi setup is the risk of algae and shrimp do a great job keeping alage in check.

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  5. Fascinating. I never knew my tetras could live with shrimp. I'll have to look into this.

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  6. this post made remember when in our fish tank that thing with black spines started eating our red shrimp..

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  7. i used to love fish keeping until we moved and lierally didnt have enough room for even a nano tank in the new apartment. I found the cherry reds were fantastic because of how peaceful they were and how well they cleaned my tank. Is it true that loud music with a heavy bass line disturbs the fish? even with all the vibrations coming from the filter etc?

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  8. I love shrimp, but I have never thought of farming my own though.

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  9. That's cool, i had never thought of the use of the moulted exoskeleton as a way of recycling minerals. You got a very good blog going here, keep it up!

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  10. I absolutely love eating shrimp, had never thought of farming them though! thanks for info

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  11. Awesome dude, thank you so much for this, I was thinking of getting into shrimp farming.

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  12. Very detailed and useful guide. Good job and thanks!

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  13. Those shrimps are beautiful. I'd like to have some of these in my fishtank.

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  14. hey just wanted to stop by and say I like the blog, I'll follow you so I can check up on your posts. I am interested in setting up a tank soon so perhaps I will get some inspiration and advice from you!

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  15. Thanks for the tut man, following.

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  16. Red Cherry Shrimp hmmmm? do you get to eat it after its full grown? jk. i always wanted a pet jelly fish with a black light shining in the tank ever since i saw that move 7 pounds. nice input though, followed!

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  17. How about shrimp with ADFs? I heard that they might not get along. It would be in a heavily planted 10 gallon.

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  18. I am not familiar with sea food so much .
    But I can take care off a shrimp as a pet heh .

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  19. @RTesch Shrimps with ADFs are fine in a heavily planted 10 gallon. A few shrimps might get caught and eaten, but with enough cover, you'll have more than enough to breed faster than the ADFs can eat.

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  20. good read, fish are my favourite pets

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  21. Very interesting read, I know a few people who have kept shrimp as "pets" (if you can really call them that) in the past, I never really got the fascination personally, Id much prefer a crab or something if I were to go this route.

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  22. Cool. I'm want to buy some fish

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  23. I didn't even know that this was a thing. Could cultivate them for some dishes aye?

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  24. dude thats awesome, i always wanted to make a colony of live creatures

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  25. I didn't realize that shrimps came in such a large variety of shapes and colours. There's more to those creatures than just dinner!

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  26. Weird, but it has literally NEVER occurred to me that shrimp farms were a thing. Makes sense I guess -- they're really quite pretty, when you get to see them up close (and alive).

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  27. I have tried to breed those, but they died :(

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  28. They don't sell shrimps like this where I live :/

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  29. Could I realistically keep fast breeding fish/shrimp (was thinking just a few guppies) in a nanotank?

    I really enjoy your underwatery writings by the way.

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  30. shrimp farm huh this is interesting read.. i have a like a 20 gallon tank sitting in my garage maybe i should start something similar to this

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  31. @Admin Yes they do very well in a nano tank. One of the reasons I love keeping shrimp is that I can have much more per gallon than fish. On my desk is a 8 gallon nano cube. Now with fish I can only keep at most maybe 10 really small fish such as tetras more guppies before they get too crowded, but I can easily get 80 shrimp living comfortably in there.

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  32. A shrimp farm eh? That sounds like it could be really fun I might use this guide in the future, thanks.

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