Marine Invertebrates

Aquarium Prawns For Beginners

A shrimp , tank with aquarium prawns, can be as attractive and addictive as a fish tank.

The great advantage of shrimp is that they
need little space and are as visually attractive as any traditional aquarium can be.

They are a perfect alternative to have in a children’s bedroom, in the office or in the classroom of a class.
Any place where space is limited, but we want to feel the magic of an aquarium.

When you start with a shrimp, many doubts arise, including
what type of aquarium shrimp are the most resistant and suitable for a beginner.

The first thing to say is that aquarium prawns
should not be included in aaquarium with fish , because we run the risk that they end up being their food.

Aquarium prawns are optimal for a freestanding aquarium, planted aquarium, or invertebrate aquarium.

Just as the variety of freshwater fish available for aquariums is huge, the variety of aquarium prawns is also huge.

Some varieties of shrimp are very difficult to care for, however, others are quite easy to care for and more resistant to possible mistakes that we make as beginners.

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Types of shrimp for aquarium

In short, there are three main types of prawns, Neocaridinas, Caridinas and Sulawesi.

Each of the different groups has its own characteristics, which make them more or less suitable for beginners.

Neocaridine prawns

They are the most suitable group for beginners. Characteristics:

  • They withstand fluctuations in water parameters well.
  • They resist temperature variations well.
  • They do not require osmosis.
  • The most common varieties are very cheap.
  • They are easy to breed in the aquarium, with very high survival rates.
  • Against it, it should be noted that they hybridize easily with each other. It is not convenient to mix species of different colors, because after two or three generations, we will have lost all their appeal.

Prawns Caridinas

They require more care than Neocaridine prawns, although some varieties stand out for their simplicity of care. Characteristics:

  • Hybridization is not a problem, on the contrary, we can obtain very interesting specimens.
  • They are more demanding with the parameters of the water.
  • The water temperature should not exceed 26ºC.
  • They are somewhat more expensive than Neocardinas.
  • Some varieties have very low survival rates.


They are the most difficult shrimp for a beginner to keep, which is why they are not among the most popular with newbies.

  • They require demanding water quality parameters.
  • They need a high temperature, above 27ºC.
  • Specific salts must be added to manage the pH of the water.
  • It is necessary to treat the aquarium water with osmosis.

Aquarium prawn selection for beginners

The variety of aquarium prawns is immense , also with different colors by species, which generates a huge amount of information.

I have reduced the number of
prawns for beginners to three, which I think may be the most suitable when you’re starting out:

Neocaridina davidi

The aquarium prawn Neocaridina davidi is one of the most popular dwarf prawns among beginners in aquariums.

One of the compelling reasons that make it the top 1, among the prawns for beginners, is that
it is not very demanding with the water quality, it is possible to breed in the aquarium and it is very decorative.

It comes from Taiwan and although its natural color is green to brown, the most common in aquarium stores is the variety
red cherry shrimp or cherry shrimp, from pink to deep red.

They need a shrimp of about 19 liters, fully cycled, in which we must provide hiding places to take refuge, especially if they share space with other varieties.

Caridina Multidentata (Amano Shrimp)

The Caridina Multidentata prawn is named after the aquarist Takashi Amano , who gave them great popularity.

The most striking thing about these prawns is that they
lack coloration , which may seem to take away some of their excitement and appeal.

They have earned their popularity to hand as they
are very resistant and also have a great appetite for algae, keeping the shrimp clean at all times from its undesirable presence.

They are very peaceful and somewhat larger than cherry prawns, but they have the disadvantage that it is almost impossible to raise them in a normal aquarium.

The ideal size for these prawns is about 38 liters.
As with all aquarium prawns,
hiding places must be provided to protect their privacy : aquarium plants , wood, rocks …

If the aquarium has enough algae, it is not necessary or feed them, but it is always advisable to supplement their diet with specific food for prawns.

Palaemonetes (Ghost Shrimp)

Interestingly, ghost shrimp are usually sold as cheap fish food, however, they are very resistant and can live with very deteriorated water qualities, where other aquarium prawns could not survive, which makes them an excellent choice for a beginner.
The only drawback that shrimp of the genus Palaemonetes have is that
some varieties can be somewhat aggressive and if we introduce them into a community shrimp, they can annoy other species.
A variety that usually works very well is
Palaemonetes palodusus , which does not grow too large and is quite calm.

If you know any other shrimp that you think should be on this list due to its ease of care, I would love to be able to contrast the information and include it.

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