Shrimp Breeding Tank 101 (Setup, Size, Mates & Requirements)

Are you serious about breeding Shrimp? If so, you must set up a special shrimp breeding tank. This definitive blog post will teach you everything you need to know about setting up, sizing, and stocking a shrimp breeding aquarium.

Welcome to the ultimate guide for aspiring shrimp breeders! Breeding Shrimp in a home aquarium is a rewarding and fascinating endeavor that allows you to witness the intricate lifecycle of these aquatic creatures up close.

We’ll also discuss the water parameters and other shrimp tank requirements for successful breeding.

So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this guide has something for you.

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This ultimate article guide will walk you through every aspect of setting up a shrimp breeding tank, selecting the right tank size, choosing compatible tank mates, and meeting the requirements for successful shrimp breeding.

How Many Shrimp do you need to begin a Breeding Colony?

When starting a breeding colony of Shrimp in an aquarium, the number of Shrimp needed can vary depending on the species and aquarium shrimp breeding size.

For most species, such as neocaridina Shrimp, starting with at least 10 to 12 shrimp is recommended to ensure genetic diversity and increase the chances of successful breeding.

It is essential to remember that shrimp colonies can quickly reproduce, so a more significant number of Shrimp may lead to overpopulation in the tank. When introducing the Shrimp, it is advisable to have a mix of male and female Shrimp to promote breeding.

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Female Shrimp will carry eggs and release them into the water, where they will hatch into tiny shrimp larvae. These larvae will require specific conditions and care to survive and grow.

Monitoring water parameters and providing adequate food and hiding places for the Shrimp is crucial for the success of a breeding colony. With the right conditions and sufficient Shrimp, a vibrant and thriving breeding colony can be established in the tank.

In recent years, there has been a lot of fascination with maintaining tiny Shrimp, such as dwarf Shrimp and amano Shrimp, in home aquariums that are often filled with plants.

Shrimp Breeding Tank Setup: Creating the Perfect Environment

To ensure successful shrimp breeding, setting up an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat is crucial. Here’s how to create an ideal shrimp breeding tank setup:

– Selecting the Right Tank

Choosing the appropriate tank size is the first step in creating a thriving breeding environment for Shrimp. A tank with ten gallons or more capacity is recommended, providing ample space for a flourishing colony. 

– Tank Substrate and Décor

Use a soft substrate like sand or fine gravel to mimic the Shrimp’s natural environment. Adding live plants, moss, and driftwood enhances the aesthetics and provides hiding spots and surface areas for biofilm to grow, a crucial food source for shrimplets.

– Water Parameters

Maintaining stable water parameters is essential. Shrimp thrive in freshwater conditions with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5, a temperature of 72-78°F (22-25°C), and low ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Invest in an effective water test kit to monitor these parameters.

– Cycling the Tank

Before introducing Shrimp, cycle the tank to establish beneficial bacteria that help break down waste. Cycling typically takes 3-6 weeks. Introduce ammonia and monitor levels until they stabilize.

– Introducing Shrimp

Once the tank is cycled, gradually introduce a small group of Shrimp. Neocaridina and Caridina shrimp species, such as Cherry Shrimp and Crystal Red Shrimp, are famous for beginners due to their adaptability and vibrant colors.

Selecting the Right Tank Mates

While shrimp breeding is your primary focus, creating a harmonious community tank is possible. Here are some compatible tank mates to consider:

Rasboras and Nano Fish

Small, peaceful fish like Rasboras and Nano fish are excellent companions for Shrimp. They won’t threaten adult shrimp and can add movement and diversity to your tank.


Certain snail species, like Nerite Snails, can coexist with Shrimp and help clean up algae and leftover food. Avoid larger snail species that might predate Shrimp.

Creating Hiding Spaces

Having ample hiding spaces is crucial, especially when shrimp molt or carry eggs. Provide dense plant cover and small crevices for shrimp to retreat when they feel vulnerable.

Meeting Shrimp’s Dietary Needs

Shrimp have specific dietary needs, and providing the right food is vital for their health and breeding success:

– Natural Food Sources

Shrimp love to graze on biofilm, algae, and organic matter. Live plants, moss, and driftwood foster the growth of these natural food sources.

– Supplemental Feeding

While Shrimp can find some food naturally, they supplement their diet with high-quality powdered food. Blanched vegetables like zucchini and spinach are also excellent additions.

– Avoid Overfeeding

Remember, Too much food might lead to water quality issues. Offer a small amount of food that Shrimp can consume within a few hours, removing any uneaten portions.

How Big Should a Shrimp Breeding Tank Be?

When determining the appropriate size for a shrimp breeding tank, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the tank should provide enough space for the Shrimp to move and breed comfortably.

A general rule of thumb is to have at least 5 gallons of water per 10 shrimp. This allows for sufficient oxygen exchange and prevents overcrowding.

Additionally, a larger tank provides more stable water parameters, crucial for successful shrimp breeding. Shrimp breeders also need to consider the filtration system. A larger tank generally requires a more robust filter to maintain optimal water quality.

Overcrowding can lead to ammonia build-up, which is detrimental to the health of the Shrimp. It is also important not to overfeed the Shrimp, as excess food can contribute to ammonia spikes.

For breeding specific shrimp varieties, such as red cherry shrimp or cherry shrimp, a smaller tank can accommodate a smaller population and still be suitable for breeding purposes. Ultimately, the size of the shrimp breeding aquarium should ensure the well-being of the Shrimp and provide the right conditions for successful breeding.

Can You Breed Shrimp in a 5-Gallon Tank?

Breeding Shrimp in a 5-gallon tank is possible, although it requires careful attention and proper conditions. One of the popular choices for shrimp breeding in smaller tanks is the cherry shrimp. These shrimp are small, colorful, and relatively easy to care for.

To successfully breed Shrimp in a 5-gallon tank, providing them with a suitable environment is essential. The tank should be well-maintained, with stable water parameters and a 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range. It should also contain plenty of hiding places, such as moss or other plants, to ensure the Shrimp feel secure and comfortable.

Additionally, introducing a sponge filter can help maintain water quality without harming the Shrimp or their offspring.

Proper feeding is another crucial aspect of shrimp breeding, as they require a balanced diet that includes algae and protein-based foods. With the right conditions and care, a 5-gallon tank can serve as a small but successful shrimp breeding setup.

Do Cherry Shrimps Breed Easily?

Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) are among the easiest freshwater shrimp to breed. They are hardy and adaptable and can breed in various water conditions. They are also relatively small and can be kept in a small tank.

To breed red cherry shrimp, you will need a tank of at least 10 gallons, with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.4 and a water temperature of 73 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The shrimp breeding tank should have plenty of hiding spots for the Shrimp, such as plants, rocks, and driftwood.

You will also need to feed the Shrimp a high-quality diet, such as algae wafers, pellets, and live food. Once the shrimp are established in the tank, they will breed. The female shrimp will carry the eggs under her tail for about 2 to 3 weeks until they hatch.

The baby shrimp will initially be tiny but will overgrow. They can be fed the same food as the adults.

With proper care, cherry shrimp can breed rapidly, and you can quickly have a thriving colony of Shrimp in your tank.

Here are some additional tips for breeding cherry shrimp that shrimp keepers need:

  • Add a source of calcium to the tank, such as crushed coral or cuttlebone. This will help the Shrimp to molt properly and produce healthy eggs.
  • Keep the water quality high. Cherry shrimp are sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, so it is essential to do regular water changes.
  • Avoid holding any other fish to the tank that could eat the Shrimp. Cherry shrimp are small and slow-moving, and they make easy prey for larger fish.

You can quickly breed freshwater shrimp in your home aquarium with care and attention.

Note: The breeding process starts when a female shrimp, who has shed her old shell, begins to emit pheromones. These chemical signals trigger a furious response in the male crabs as they eagerly swim around the tank, searching for the female(s) carrying eggs.

Why Do You Need To Stop the Cherry Shrimp Breeding Process?

I should stop my tank’s cherry shrimp breeding process for several reasons. Firstly, if the tank is becoming overcrowded with Shrimp, it can lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem. Too many shrimp can cause the water quality to worsen, leading to potential health issues for the Shrimp.

Additionally, shrimp breeding requires specific water parameters that may be difficult to maintain in a small aquarium. Without the proper water conditions, the Shrimp may not be able to reproduce successfully, or the offspring may not survive.

Another reason to halt breeding is the availability of food. If the source of food in the tank is limited, the shrimp population can outgrow its food source, eventually leading to malnutrition and potential starvation. Therefore, monitoring the shrimp breeding process and taking necessary steps to control the people when required is essential.

How Do You Stop Cherry Shrimp From Breeding?

To stop cherry shrimp from breeding, there are a few steps you can take. First, make sure you have a single-sex tank. By having either male or female Shrimp in the aquarium, you eliminate the possibility of breeding.

If you have a mixed tank, separating the males and females is crucial to prevent reproduction. Another way to stop breeding is to control the temperature in the tank. Lowering the temperature to around 72 degrees Fahrenheit can slow the breeding process.

Additionally, keeping the tank well-fed can also make a difference. A well-fed shrimp is less likely to mate or breed. Removing any berried female shrimp is essential, as these are the ones carrying eggs.

Lastly, if you have abundant shrimp eggs in the tank, consider introducing natural predators such as fish or snails, as they will feed on the young Shrimp and help control the population. Overall, with the proper precautions and management, it is possible to stop cherry shrimp from breeding in an aquarium.

FAQs about Freshwater Shrimp Tank Water Parameters & Aquarium Requirements

Can I breed different shrimp species in the same tank?

Sticking to one species per tank is advisable to avoid potential hybridization and maintain optimal water conditions.

How many shrimp should I start with?

Starting with ten shrimp is a good idea, allowing for genetic diversity and a higher chance of successful breeding.

How do I know if a shrimp is male or female?

Males are typically smaller and slimmer, while females are more prominent and exhibit a curved underbelly that provides a space for carrying eggs.

Can I use tap water for my shrimp tank?

Tap water can be used but must be treated to remove chlorine and chloramines. Using a water conditioner is essential to make tap water shrimp-safe.

How often should I do water changes?

Perform small, regular water changes of around 10-15% every week to maintain water quality without causing stress to the Shrimp.

What is a shrimp breeding tank?

A shrimp breeding tank is a specialized tank designed for breeding and maintaining Shrimp. It provides optimal conditions for shrimp reproduction and shrimp growth.

How do I breed red cherry shrimp in a breeding tank?

To breed red cherry shrimp, you will need a breeding tank with proper water parameters, plenty of hiding places, and enough food for Shrimp to thrive. Maintaining stable water conditions and monitoring the tank regularly is also essential.

Can I keep red cherry shrimp with other types of Shrimp?

It is generally recommended to keep red cherry shrimp separate from other shrimp species, such as neocaridina davidi, to avoid interbreeding and maintain the purity of the shrimp lineage.

What do red cherry shrimp eat?

Red cherry shrimp are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods. They mainly eat algae and biofilm that grow naturally in the tank, but they can also be supplemented with commercial shrimp food or blanched vegetables.

How many shrimp should I keep in a breeding tank?

It is recommended to keep a population of 5 to 10 shrimp per gallon in a breeding tank. This allows for natural breeding and a healthy shrimp colony.

How often should I do water changes in a shrimp breeding tank?

Regular water changes are important for maintaining optimal water conditions in a shrimp breeding tank. Daily water changes of about 10-20% are generally recommended to remove any accumulated waste and replenish essential minerals.

How can I create optimal conditions for shrimp breeding?

To create optimal conditions for shrimp breeding, you should provide a well planted tank with ample hiding places and surfaces for biofilm to grow. Maintain stable water parameters, monitor water quality with a test kit, and ensure proper filtration.

Can I keep Shrimp and fish together in a breeding tank?

Keeping fish and Shrimp together in a breeding tank is generally not recommended, as fish may prey on the Shrimp or compete for resources. However, compatible tankmates like Rasboras may be suitable if adequately managed.

How long does it take for shrimp babies to grow into adult shrimp?

The time it takes for shrimp babies (shrimplets) to grow into adult shrimp varies depending on the species and environmental conditions. Typically, it can take several months for shrimplets to reach maturity.

How can I prevent baby shrimp from getting sucked into the filter?

To prevent baby shrimp from getting sucked into the tank filter, you can use a pre-filter sponge or mesh cover on the filter intake. This will provide a barrier and prevent the shrimplets from being sucked in.


Setting up a shrimp breeding tank can be a rewarding experience, but it’s essential to do your research first. This blog post covers everything you need to know about shrimp breeding tanks, from the ideal size and setup to the suitable mates and shrimp tank requirements. The first step is to choose the right tank. A shrimp breeding tank should be at least 10 gallons in size, with a gentle filter and a heater. You’ll also need to add live plants and rocks to provide hiding places for the Shrimp. When choosing mates for your Shrimp, selecting compatible species is essential. Some shrimp are more aggressive than others, so it’s important to do your research.

Finally, you’ll need to maintain the water quality in your shrimp breeding aquarium. This means regular water changes and testing the water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. You can easily set up a successful shrimp breeding tank with a bit of care and attention. So what are you waiting for? Get started today if you want to breed freshwater shrimps!

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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