If you’re wondering how long shrimp live, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’m going to answer the same question.
Most of the freshwater shrimp species live for one to two years. And most of the saltwater species live for two to three years. However, there are some freshwater and saltwater shrimp species that can live as long as seven years.
Table of Contents
Here’s a table showing different freshwater and saltwater shrimp species and their average lifespan.
|Shrimp species||Shrimp type||Average lifespan|
|Ghost shrimp or Glass shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1 year|
|Cherry shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Bee shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1.5 -2 years|
|Amano shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||2-3 years|
|Blue velvet shrimp or Blue dream shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Fan shrimp or Vampire shrimp or Viper shrimp or African giant shrimp or Armoured shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||5 years|
|Bamboo shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Peacock mantis shrimp||Saltwater shrimp||Male: up to 6 years, Females: 2-4 years|
|Red cherry shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Blue diamond shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Blood shrimp or Red fire shrimp or Blood red fire shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Coral banded shrimp||Saltwater shrimp||2-3 years|
|Crystal red shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1.5-2 years|
|Cardinal shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Grass shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1 year|
|Fairy shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1 year|
|Flower shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Green jade shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1.5-2.5 years|
|Harlequin shrimp||Saltwater shrimp||7 years|
|Bloody mary shrimp or Neocardina shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Sunkist orange shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Peppermint shrimp||Saltwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Pistol shrimp||Saltwater shrimp||3-4 years|
|Tiger pistol shrimp||Saltwater shrimp||3-4 years|
|Rainbow shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1 year|
|Rili shrimp||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
|Scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp||Saltwater shrimp||2-3 years|
|Yellow shrimp or Neocaridina davidi var. “Yellow||Freshwater shrimp||1-2 years|
How long do freshwater shrimp live?
Freshwater shrimp originate from China. Because they are so easy to take care of and breed, they quickly became popular in the aquarium hobby. And now they are kept in aquariums by fishkeepers all around the world.
Most of the freshwater shrimp species live one to two years. This includes popular freshwater shrimp species like ghost shrimp and bamboo shrimp.
However, bigger freshwater shrimp species live longer. Amano shrimp, one of the most popular aquarium shrimp, grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) and can live up to three years. The Fan shrimp, which originates from Africa, can grow as large as 5.5 inches (14 cm) and live for up to 5 years!
As I mentioned, most of the freshwater shrimp species have a shorter lifespan of up to two years.
A female shrimp can lay 20-30 eggs at a time. The eggs hatch after 2 to 3 weeks. Freshwater shrimp do not have a planktonic larval stage.
Once the eggs are hatched, the shrimp babies spend their early days hiding behind plants or stones and eating biofilm from plants.
Freshwater shrimp reach sexual maturity when they are around 4-6 months old.
How long do saltwater shrimp live?
Saltwater shrimp are a great addition to a reef aquarium because of not only their vibrant colors but also because they help to keep the tank clean.
Saltwater shrimp grow larger and live longer than most of the freshwater shrimp species.
Almost all saltwater shrimp can live more than 2 years. This includes popular saltwater shrimp species like Coral banded shrimp, Pistol shrimp, and Scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp.
However, some species of saltwater shrimp can live for one to two years. For example, popular Peppermint shrimp live for one to two years.
On the other hand, some saltwater shrimp species can live much longer. For example, Harlequin shrimp can live as long as 7 years.
Is there any difference in the lifespan of the shrimp you keep in an aquarium and the shrimp that live in nature?
Generally speaking, there’s not a difference in the lifespan of the shrimp that live in the wild and the shrimp that you keep in your aquarium.
The lifespan of shrimp depends on the environment they live in and the quality and availability of food.
Shrimps are adapted to a particular environment. If the shrimp get the ideal environment, they will grow and thrive. On the other hand, if the shrimp did not get the ideal environment, then it could affect their lifespan.
What factors affect the lifespan of shrimp?
There are several factors that affect the lifespan of shrimp.
Shrimp need clean, well oxygenated water to grow and thrive in an aquarium.
Now, what do I mean by clean water?
The water should not contain any ammonia or nitrite. And the nitrate level should not exceed 20 ppm.
The reason being, ammonia and nitrite are deadly for shrimp or any aquatic creature for that matter.
Though nitrate is not as harmful as ammonia and nitrite, high levels of nitrate can be deadly for your shrimp. That’s why you should try to keep nitrate below 20 ppm.
To keep the nitrate levels below 20 ppm, you’ll need to do water changes on a weekly basis.
Another way to keep nitrates below 20 ppm is to plant a lot of live plants. However, this
method is a bit tricky and not practical for most of the fishkeepers.
Talking about keeping your shrimp tank well-oxygenated, you can put an air stone or bubbler in your tank to keep it well-oxygenated.
Keep water parameters within the ideal range
Every shrimp needs water parameters (i.e., water temperature, pH, KH, GH) within a specific range.
If the water parameters are not within the ideal range, then this stresses the shrimp and may reduce their life expectancy.
As I mentioned, every shrimp has different water parameter requirements, so you should do research about the ideal water parameters that your shrimp need. And keep the water parameters within the ideal range.
Food or diet
Feeding a varied, high quality diet to your shrimp can help to increase the lifespan of your shrimp.
Biofilm and algae
Shrimps love algae and biofilm. You can easily create a lot of algae in your aquarium by keeping the lights on in your aquarium for 8 to 12 hours every day.
Biofilm is basically a slimy coat that eventually forms on any object that you keep in water for a long time.
To create and feed biofilm to your shrimp in the aquarium, you can put Catappa leaves or Indian almond leaves in your fish tank.
How many leaves should you add to your tank? A general rule of thumb to follow is to add a big Indian almond leaf for a 20 gallon tank.
It generally takes about a week for biofilm to form on the leaf.
You can feed commercially produced foods to your shrimp in your tank.
There are foods that are specially made for shrimp that you can feed your shrimp:
- GlasGarten Bacter AE
- Shrimp King Mineral Food Sticks
- MK-BREED “Cheeseburger Caridina Neocaridina Shrimp Food
Besides, you can also feed other fish foods to your shrimp. Just make sure to crush the fish food and make it into a powder.
You can also feed the following veggies to your shrimp.
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
How to increase the lifespan of your shrimp? (6 Tips)
Creating and maintaining an ideal environment in your tank will increase the lifespan of your shrimp.
There are a few things that you can look after to create and maintain an ideal environment for the shrimp in your tank.
1. Keep aquarium water clean
You will need to keep your aquarium water clean to increase the life expectancy of your shrimp.
When I say clean aquarium water, I don’t mean you need to keep aquarium water visibly clean, (however, you should keep your aquarium water visibly clean). But what I mean is your aquarium should not contain any ammonia.
The ammonia that gets produced in an aquarium is the cause of the low life expectancy and even death of the shrimp in the aquarium.
This is because ammonia is deadly for shrimp.
Ammonia is produced in your aquarium water due to shrimp poop, uneaten food, and if you have plants, then from the decaying plant leaves.
If, after doing an ammonia test using an aquarium test kit, you see ammonia levels in your aquarium, then, first of all, you should immediately do a water change of about 30-50% of your aquarium water.
If you repeatedly see ammonia levels in your aquarium, then this is a sign that your aquarium is not cycled.
So, in this case, you’ll need to cycle your tank.
2. Maintain the water parameters within the ideal range
Every shrimp needs specific water conditions to live and thrive. That’s why you should do research and find out the ideal water parameters that the shrimp you’re keeping need.
And then get the water parameters within the ideal range in your shrimp tank and maintain it.
The water parameters that you need to maintain in your shrimp tank are as follows:
If you’re keeping freshwater shrimp in your aquarium, then there are basically two main genuses, or in simple terms, two main categories in which all the freshwater shrimp fall under.
Neocaridina shrimp are more popular in the aquarium hobby because they are cheaper than Caridina shrimp and they can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.
Some of the more popular Neocaridina shrimp species includes-
- Red cherry shrimp
- Blue dream shrimp
- Yellow/gold shrimp
- Sunkist orange shrimp
The ideal water parameters for Neocaridina shrimp are as follows:
|Temperature||65°F – 84°F (18°C – 28°C)|
|pH||6.5 – 8.0|
|GH||4 – 8dGH|
|KH||3 – 15dKH|
|TDS||200 – 300ppm|
Cadidina shrimp need water parameters within the ideal range to live and thrive in an aquarium. That’s why they are not recommended for beginners. They are also more expensive than Neocaridina shrimp.
Some popular shrimp in the Caridina genus includes-
- Crystal red shrimp
- Crystal black
- Blue bolt
- Black pinto
- Black king kong
The ideal water parameters for Caridina shrimp are as follows-
|Temperature||64°F – 76°F (17°C – 24°C)|
|pH||6 – 7.5|
|GH||4 – 6 dGH|
|KH||0 – 2 dKH|
|TDS||100 – 200 ppm|
3. Feed a varied and high quality food to your shrimp
Feeding high quality and varied food to your shrimp will significantly improve the life expectancy of your shrimp.
Algae and biofilm
As a staple, freshwater shrimp feed on algae and biofilm. Both of these are very easy to grow in your aquarium.
If your shrimp tank doesn’t have algae in it, you can just keep your aquarium lights on for a longer time and algae will start to appear in your tank.
To grow biofilm in your tank, you can add Indian almond leaves or Catappa leaves in your shrimp aquarium. Eventually, biofilm will grow on them and your shrimp will enjoy it.
Besides algae and biofilm, you can also feed commercial foods like-
- GlasGarten Bacter AE
- Shrimp King Mineral Food Sticks
- MK-BREED “Cheeseburger Caridina Neocaridina Shrimp Food
These foods are specially made for shrimp, so they provide all the nutrients that shrimp need. And they are easy to consume.
You can also feed vegetables to your shrimp.
There are a lot of different vegetables that shrimp can eat.
Here are some you can try-
- Canned green beans
- Canned carrots
4. Put live aquarium plants in your shrimp tank
Live plants and aquarium shrimp go hand in hand. Colorful shrimp not only look great on green live aquarium plants but also promote their natural behavior.
Shrimps are scavengers, so they like to wander around live plants and eat the food particles that are trapped in the plants.
When it comes to live plants for shrimp, you should put in moss plants and floating plants that have bushy roots.
These plants will provide hiding places for baby shrimp and they will trap a lot of small food particles for shrimp to munch on.
5. Add natural decorations in your shrimp tank
To increase the lifespan of your shrimp, you’ll need to emulate the natural habitat of shrimp so they can feel at home in your aquarium.
Adding some natural decorations to your shrimp tank will help you to create a natural environment for your shrimp in your aquarium.
Besides creating the natural habitat, there are other benefits to keeping natural decorations like natural Malaysian driftwood or cholla wood in your shrimp aquarium.
When you put Malaysian driftwood or cholla wood in your aquarium, eventually biofilm will grow on them. And you now already know that shrimp love to eat the biofilm.
You can also add Indian almound leaves or Catappa leaves to your aquarium to give it a natural look and grow a lot of biofilm in your shrimp aquarium.
How long do cherry shrimp live in aquarium?
Cherry shrimp can live anywhere between one to two years. The lifespan of the cherry shrimp depends on the specimen. And the care you take of it in your aquarium. Specifically, the water quality of the aquarium and the quality of the food you feed your cherry shrimp are directly related.
How long do amano shrimp live?
Amano shrimp can live anywhere between two to three years. The life expectancy of amano shrimp depends on the quality of the water in the aquarium you keep the amano shrimp in. And the quality of food you feed to your amano shrimp.
Generally speaking, the lifespan of amano shrimp is longer than most freshwater shrimp. Where most freshwater shrimp live for one to two years, amano shrimp live for two to three years.
What is the longest living shrimp?
The Harlequin shrimp is one of the longest living shrimps. It can live for up to seven years.
Generally, saltwater shrimp have a longer lifespan than freshwater shrimp. Most freshwater shrimp can live anywhere between one to three years. On the other hand, most saltwater shrimp live longer than three years.
How long can shrimp live out of water?
Shrimp can live anywhere from a few minutes to several hours out of water, depending on the conditions. Shrimps need moisture to survive out of water so if there’s a lot of humidity in the room, they can survive for longer. On the other hand, if the conditions in the room are dry, the shrimp will soon dry out and die.
How long do dwarf shrimp live?
Dwarf shrimp can live anywhere between one to two years. The lifespan of the dwarf shrimp depends on the water quality they’re kept in and the availability and quality of food they get.
How long do fancy shrimp live?
Fancy shrimp can live anywhere between one to two years. Fancy shrimp are harder to take care of because they cannot tolerate a wide range of water parameters. To keep fancy shrimp alive for a long time, you’ll need to maintain the ideal water parameters and feed them high quality food.
Why do my shrimp keep dying?
There could be several reasons your shrimp keep dying. But the more common reasons are as follows:
- Not cycling your shrimp tank
- Not acclimating the shrimp
- Buying shrimp from a bad source
- Not maintaining the ideal water parameters
- Sudden changes in the water chemistry
- Overfeeding shrimp
- Overstocking shrimp in the aquarium
Overall, generally speaking, most freshwater shrimp can live anywhere between one to two years.
Most saltwater shrimp live longer than three years.
The life expectancy of the shrimp in your aquarium depends on the quality of the water in the aquarium. Specifically, your aquarium water should not contain any ammonia and the nitrates should be lower than 20 ppm.
Also, you should maintain the water parameters like temperature, pH, GH, and KH within the ideal range.
Feeding high quality and varied food to your shrimp also helps to improve the life expectancy of your shrimp.
Besides, creating a natural habitat in your aquarium may also help to improve the lifespan of your shrimp.
I hope you found the article helpful.
As creating a natural habitat in your shrimp aquarium helps to improve the life expectancy of your shrimp, putting some live plants in your tank will definitely help to create a natural habitat in your tank.