Dwarf freshwater shrimp are largely algae eaters, however, they will eagerly accept virtually any food offered. Withholding food one day a week helps them cleanse their digestive systems and encourages them to do more aquarium cleaning. Bamboo shrimp are filter feeders that like to sit in a current and trap micro-organisms and fine particles such as ground flake or pellet food on their fans. Dwarf freshwater shrimp can be fed Aqueon Tropical Flakes, Spirulina Flakes, Algae Rounds, Shrimp Pellets, Bottom Feeder Tablets, Tropical Color Flakes and Tropical Granules. For best results, rotate their diet daily and feed only what they can consume in 2 to 3 minutes, once or twice a day.
Water requirements for dwarf freshwater shrimp vary depending on species, although ammonia and nitrites should always be undetectable, and nitrates should be below 10 ppm. Ghost shrimp, along with Amano and bamboo shrimp are not particular about pH or alkalinity as long as extremes are avoided and can be kept in dechlorinated tap water. The same can be said for red cherry shrimp. Most crystal and bee shrimp require soft, low pH water, while Caridina shrimp from Sulawesi need a higher pH and alkalinity, along with higher temperatures. It is best to research the water requirements of the species you intend to keep before purchasing them. When using plant supplements or medications, avoid products containing copper, as it is toxic to freshwater shrimp. Maintain good filtration and do a 10% to 20% water exchange every week using an Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer or Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner. For soft water species, use reverse osmosis or deionized water supplemented with Aqueon Water Renewal. Don’t forget to treat tap water with Aqueon Water Conditioner before refilling your aquarium!
Many dwarf freshwater shrimp breed readily in captivity, however, success varies from species to species. Red cherry shrimp and certain other Neocaridina, for example, can quickly develop into large colonies with no assistance from the aquarist. Crystal and bee shrimp are a bit more difficult, while others, such as Amano shrimp are nearly impossible, as they require brackish water to breed successfully. Research should be done before any breeding is attempted.
Dwarf freshwater shrimp are active and almost always engaged in harvesting algae or some other food source. Most species stay relatively small, so they are vulnerable to predation by larger fish. Many shrimp enthusiasts set up dedicated shrimp aquariums with no fish at all, however, some species of freshwater shrimp can be kept with small, non-aggressive, non-predatory fish such as:
- Emerald dwarf rasboras
- Boraras rasboras
- Celestial danios
- Ember tetras
- Endlers livebearers
- Pygmy corydoras catfish