How Many Shrimp Should I Put in My Aquarium? (Helpful Table Included)

Wondering, how many shrimp should I put in my aquarium? 

In this article, I’m going to answer the same question. 

I have collected data for several popular aquarium shrimp about their tank size requirements. 


You can keep 3 to 10 dwarf shrimp per gallon of water in the aquarium. And you’ll need a larger aquarium to keep bigger shrimp like Vampire shrimp or Fan shrimp. The number of shrimp you can put in your aquarium depends on the size of the shrimp and your aquarium. 

How Many Shrimp Should I Put in My Aquarium? (Helpful Table Included) image

Table of Contents

Amano shrimp

Amano shrimp
Number of Amano shrimpTank size
2-3 5 gallon (19 liter)
10 gallon (38 liter)
10 20 gallon (76 liter)
20 40 gallon (151 liter)

When it comes to the tank size for Amano shrimp, a good general rule of thumb to follow is to put 1 Amano shrimp per 2 gallons of water. 

Cherry shrimp

Cherry shrimp
Number of Cherry shrimpTank size
5-10 2 gallon (7 liter)
10-15 3 gallon (11 liter)
15-25 5 gallon (19 liter)
30-50 10 gallon (38 liter) 
70-100 20 gallon (76 liter)

Palaemonetes paludosus (ghost shrimp, glass shrimp)

Palaemonetes paludosus (ghost shrimp, glass shrimp)
Number of Ghost shrimpTank size
3-62 gallon (7 liter)
6-82.5 gallon (9 liter)
6-93 gallon (11 liter)
10-155 gallon (19 liter)
20-3010 gallon (38 liter)
40-6020 gallon (76 liter)
60-9030 gallon (114 liter)
100-12040 gallon (151 liter)
140-16555 gallon (208 liter)

Atya gabonensis (Vampire Shrimp or Fan Shrimp)

Atya gabonensis (Vampire Shrimp or Fan Shrimp)
Number of Vampire ShrimpTank size
4-515 gallon (57 liter)
5-720 gallon (76 liter)
7-1030 gallon (114 liter)
13-1740 gallon (151 liter)
17-2055 gallon (208 liter)

The minimum tank size for Vampire Shrimp is 15 gallons (about 70 liters). Despite their small size, they require some space to accommodate their fan feeding. The 15-gallon tank can house four to five fan shrimp.

Bee shrimp

Bee shrimp
Number of Bee shrimpTank size
6-153 gallon (11 liter)
15-255 gallon (19 liter)
30-5010 gallon (38 liter)
60-10020 gallon (76 liter)

A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to tank size for Bee shrimp is 2-5 Bee shrimp per gallon of water. 

Blue Dream shrimp

Blue Dream shrimp
Number of Blue dream shrimpTank size
30-505 gallon (19 liter)
70-10010 gallon (38 liter)
150-20020 gallon (76 liter)
250-30030 gallon (114 liter)

A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to tank size for Blue Dream Shrimp is 5-10 shrimp per gallon of water. 

How to know how many shrimp you should put in your aquarium?

There are a few factors that you need to consider while deciding the number of shrimp to put in your aquarium.

The size of the shrimp and the size of your aquarium

The size of the shrimp you want to put in your aquarium and the size of the aquarium come into play when deciding how many shrimp you should put in your aquarium. 

Generally, the larger the shrimp, the more space they need in an aquarium. On the other hand, you can keep a lot of dwarf shrimp in a relatively small aquarium. 

For example, if you want to keep vampire shrimp or fan shrimp in your aquarium, as these shrimp can grow pretty large, you’ll need at least a 15 gallon aquarium just to keep 4-5 Vampire or Fan shrimp. 

On the other hand, if you want to keep Blue Dream shrimp, which grow to a maximum of 1.5 inches, you’ll need a smaller tank of only 5 gallons. And you can keep up to 50 shrimp in the 5 gallon tank. 

Filtration set up of your aquarium

Filtration is one of the most important factors you need to consider when deciding how many shrimp to put in your aquarium. 

Filtration is very important to not only remove visible debris but also to get rid of deadly ammonia from your aquarium water. 

So, if you have very good filtration in your aquarium, you can keep more shrimp in your tank compared to if you have poor filtration. 

For example, if you have two filters in your aquarium- sponge filter and a HOB filter in a 5 gallon tank, then you could keep up to 50 Blue Dream Shrimp in your aquarium. 

On the other hand, if you have only one HOB filter in a 5 gallon tank, then you may only keep 30 Blue Dream Shrimp in the aquarium. 

Now, why does better filtration or more filtration allow you to keep more shrimp in your tank?

As I mentioned above, ammonia is deadly for shrimp. That’s why you don’t want any ammonia in your tank. 

The ammonia is produced in your tank by the shrimp poop and the uneaten food in your aquarium.

To get rid of ammonia, you need a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria in your aquarium to convert the harmful ammonia into intrites and then into far less harmful nitrates. 

If your aquarium is cycled properly, then these beneficial bacteria form colonies all over your aquarium, like on the glass of your aquarium and on the plants in it. 

However, these bacteria are densely populated in the filter of your aquarium. So if you have better filtration in your aquarium, generally, you have more beneficial bacteria in your aquarium to take care of harmful ammonia. This allows you to put more shrimp in your aquarium. 

How much time can you give to the maintenance of your aquarium?

To maintain a healthy environment in your aquarium for the shrimp, you need to keep up with the regular maintenance of your aquarium. 

Generally, most of the fishkeepers do the maintenance on a weekly basis. 

On a weekly basis, the most important and perhaps the most time-consuming maintenance task you’ll need to do is water change. 

Doing water changes will dilute the harmful nitrates in your aquarium water. 

You’ll need to do about 30% of your aquarium water changes. 

Besides, you’ll also need to vacuum your substrate to remove debris and trapped uneaten food and fish poop (all these things lead to ammonia spikes if they are present in the aquarium).

You should also check the water parameters of your aquarium like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, KH, temperature, GH, etc. with an aquarium test kit. 

Besides, you’ll need to clean the glass wall of your fish tank and check all the aquarium equipment to make sure that they are not broken and working properly. 

So, as you can see, there are several maintenance tasks you’ll need to do to maintain a healthy environment in your aquarium. 

All these thighs take lime. 

Generally, it’ll take around thirty minutes to an hour to complete the maintenance of your aquarium. 

Now, what does time have to do with the number of shrimp you can keep in your aquarium?

Basically, if you have more time for the maintenance of your shrimp tank, then you can keep more shrimp in your fish tank. 

Specifically, if you have more time, then you can do water changes twice a week instead of once a week. 

When you keep more shrimp in your aquarium, more bio load will be produced by the shrimp. And the sooner the nitrate levels will reach the 40 ppm mark (nitrate levels above 40 ppm are toxic for shrimp).

As you have more time, you’ll do the water changes twice a week. This way, you’ll dilute the nitrate levels in your aquarium before it exceeds the 40 ppm mark. 

(Disclaimer: Every aquarium setup is different. The example I gave above is just for the theoretic presentation only. You’ll need to check how much nitrates build up in your aquarium by using an aquarium water test kit and then do the water changes accordingly)

Do you have live aquarium plants in your aquarium and how many? 

Now you know that nitrates are harmful to your aquarium. And nitrates build up in your aquarium over time, and the way to remove the nitrates from your aquarium is by doing a weekly water change.

However, doing weekly water changes is not the only way to get rid of nitrates from your aquarium.

You can also plant a lot of live aquarium plants in your aquarium to get rid of nitrates from your aquarium.

Nitrate is toxic to the shrimp in your aquarium. However, nitrate is a food source and works as a fertilizer for the live aquarium plants.

So if you have live aquarium plants in your tank, then the plants will absorb nitrates from the water of your aquarium.

And this will enhance their growth.

So if you plant a lot of live aquarium plants in your aquarium then this allows you to handle a lot of nitrate in your aquarium.

This allows you to keep a lot of shrimp in your aquarium.

Are you putting shrimp in a new tank or in an existing tank?

Whether you are putting shrimp in a new tank or an existing tank will also determine how many shrimp you can put in the tank.

If you are setting up a new stream aquarium for only shrimp, then it is fairly easy to calculate how many streams you should put in your aquarium.

The tables I mentioned above at the beginning of the article will give you an idea about how many shrimp you should put in your shrimp-only tank.

On the other hand, if you are putting shrimp in an existing tank, in that case, you will need to consider the bioload that builds up in your aquarium throughout the week.

If you are adding shrimp to an existing aquarium that has other fish and invertebrates, then in that case, a good way to go about it is that you should start with a few shrimp and then you can add more shrimp according to the bioload that your aquarium produces on a weekly basis.

How many shrimp should a beginner keep in an aquarium?

freshwater shrimp

As a beginner, how many shrimp you should keep in your aquarium really depends on the aquarium size you have or want to get for your shrimp. And the species of shrimp you want to keep in your aquarium.

Different shrimp species grow to different sizes. That’s why you’ll need to choose a tank size suitable for the shrimp species you’re keeping in your aquarium. 

Generally, you should try to get as large of an aquarium as you can to keep shrimp. Because your chances of successfully keeping shrimp alive in the aquarium are much greater if you have a larger tank. 

We’ll talk about all the benefits of a larger aquarium below.

What is the ideal size of a shrimp aquarium for beginners?

For beginners, I would suggest you get at least a one gallon tank. And the bigger the tank, the better.

Why are bigger aquariums better for keeping shrimp for beginners?

There are several benefits of having a bigger aquarium compared to smaller nano aquariums.

Water parameter fluctuations

To keep the shrimp healthy and increase their life expectancy in your aquarium, you will need to maintain the ideal water parameters that the shrimp need for their proper growth and development.

So if you have a larger aquarium, then the water parameters will not fluctuate as drastically as they can fluctuate in smaller aquariums.

For example, if you have a larger tank, say five gallons, then it will take a lot more time to increase or decrease the temperature in that tank compared to a one-gallon aquarium.

Low risk of ammonia spikes

You will not see sudden ammonia spikes in larger aquariums, which you could see in smaller aquariums.

This is because a larger aquarium can hold more water, so the ammonia will be diluted. Smaller aquariums or nano tanks, on the other hand, can hold a small amount of water. So even a slight ammonia level can be deadly for your shrimp in the aquarium. 

What is the ideal aquarium shape for keeping shrimp for beginners?

For beginners, regular rectangular aquariums, which are also known as long tanks, are recommended.

Benefits of long tanks or rectangle aquariums

There are a few benefits of long aquariums or rectangle aquariums.

Lot of water surface area

Compared to other shapes of aquarium tanks, rectangle aquariums provide more water surface area.

This is important because the gas exchange happens on the surface of the water in your aquarium, which helps to keep your aquarium well oxygenated.

Now, oxygen is very important for the survival of the shrimp in your aquarium. That’s why, compared to other shapes of aquariums like square aquariums, rectangle aquariums are better.

You can plan a lot of floating plants

There are a lot of benefits to keeping live aquarium plants in your aquarium.

Live aquarium plants absorb harmful nitrates from your aquarium.

As nitrates can be deadly for your shrimp, this can be a very important benefit.

Besides, live aquarium plants help to oxygenate your aquarium and give it a unique natural look.

Now, specifically on rectangle tanks or long tanks, you have more water surface area to keep more floating aquarium plants.

In the case of shrimp, especially, floating aquarium plants provide a very good hiding place for shrimp babies.

Besides, on the roots of the floating aquarium plants, a lot of biofilm can grow.

As shrimp like to munch on biofilm, this can be a huge benefit.

Rectangle or long aquariums are easy to clean

Compared to a bowl, long aquarium tanks, because of their straight walls, are very easy to clean.

Now this benefit also applies to other shapes of thanks that have straight walls, like a cube or square aquarium.

More equipment choices

Because of the straight walls of long aquariums, it is easy to mount equipment such as a hang on the back filter or a heater to the walls of the aquarium.

Now again, this benefit is not only applicable to long aquariums or rectangle aquariums; it is also applicable to other shapes of aquariums, like square aquariums or cube aquariums.

How to maintain your aquarium if you want to keep more shrimp in a relatively smaller tank?

You should choose the tank size for your aquarium according to the species of shrimp you are keeping in it.

Generally speaking, larger aquariums are easier to maintain compared to smaller aquariums.

Because, in larger aquariums, the water parameters don’t fluctuate as much as they can in smaller aquariums. And the risk of ammonia spike is lower in larger aquariums compared to smaller aquariums.

However, you may have seen nano tanks with a lot of shrimp. And you want to have a lot of shrimp in a nano tank.

So, in this case, how can you maintain a healthy environment in your nano tank and keep all the shrimp alive in it?

Basically, when it comes to keeping more shrimp in a relatively smaller tank or nano tank, there are two problems that we need to take care of: 

  1. Water parameter fluctuations
  2. Ammonia spikes

Now we are going to talk about each problem and how you can overcome these problems in your nano tank.

Water parameter fluctuations

When it comes to maintaining stable water parameters, especially in the case of temperature, the placement of your aquarium is very important.

You should not put your aquarium near any heat source.

For example, you should not put your aquarium beside an open window.

Because the cool or warm air coming from the open window can easily raise the temperature or lower the temperature in your nano aquarium.

Besides, you should have a thermometer set at the ideal temperature to maintain the temperature in your aquarium.

To maintain other water parameters like the pH and KH, you will regularly need to test your aquarium water, and measure the pH and KH of your aquarium water and adjust it accordingly.

Ammonia spikes

Ammonia spikes can be deadly to the shrimp in your aquarium.

That’s why you should regularly test the ammonia levels in your nano aquarium. 

To make sure that your fish tank doesn’t contain any ammonia, you should regularly do water changes in your aquarium.

How many times a week you will need to do water changes in your aquarium really depends on the bioload that builds up in your aquarium over time.

By the end of the week, ideally, we want the nitrate levels to build up to a maximum of 40 ppm.

Nitrate levels above 40 PPM can be deadly for shrimp.

Another way to keep ammonia levels under control in your aquarium is to plant a lot of live aquarium plants in your tank.

Aquarium plants will absorb ammonia and nitrates from your aquarium.

FAQ

How many shrimp can I keep in a 60 litre tank?

You can keep anywhere between 5 to 150 shrimp in your 60 litre tank. Exactly how many shrimp you should keep in your 60 litre tank depends on the species of shrimp you want to keep in your tank.

For example, if you want to keep bigger species of shrimp like vampire shrimp in your aquarium, then you can only keep 5 vampire shrimp in your 60 litre tank.

On the other hand, if you want to keep small species of shrimp, for example, Blue Dream Shrimp, then you could keep 150 shrimp in a 60 litre tank.

How many cherry shrimp can I keep per litre of my aquarium water?

You can keep one cherry shrimp per litre of aquarium water.

The minimum tank size for cherry shrimp is 7 litres.

In a 7 litre aquarium, you could keep up to 10 cherry shrimp.

How many cherry shrimp can I keep in my community tank?

The number of cherry shrimp you can keep in your community tank depends on the existing fish or invertebrates in your tank. Also, the type of fish and invertebrates you have in your tank. And the size of your tank and the bioload of your tank on a weekly basis.

How many shrimp per litre of aquarium water can I keep?

You can keep anywhere between 1-2 dwarf shrimp in your aquarium.

Exactly how many shrimp can you keep per litre of your aquarium depends on the species and the size of the shrimp you want to keep in your aquarium.

How many cherry shrimp per gallon of aquarium water can I keep?

You can keep up to five cherry shrimp per gallon of your aquarium water.

The minimum tank size requirement for cherry shrimp is 2 gallons.

How many cherry shrimp can I keep in a 30 litre tank?

You can keep anywhere between 25 to 35 cherry shrimp in a 30 litre tank.

How many shrimp can I keep in a 10 gallon tank?

The number of shrimp you can keep in a 10 gallon tank depends on the species of shrimp you want to keep.

Here are some of the popular shrimp species and the number of shrimp you can keep in a 10 gallon tank.

Shrimp speciesNumber of shrimp in a 10 gallon tank
Amano shrimp4-5
Blue dream shrimp70-100
Bee shrimp30-50
Ghost shrimp or glass shrimp20-30
Cherry shrimp30-50

How many shrimp can I put in a 30 gallon tank?

Depending on the species of shrimp, you can keep anywhere between 7 to 150 shrimp in a 30 gallon tank.

Below are some of the more popular shrimp and the number of shrimp you can keep in a 30 gallon tank.

Shrimp speciesNumber of shrimp in a 30 gallon tank
Amano shrimp10-15
Blue Dream shrimp250-30
Bee shrimp30-50
Ghost shrimp or glass shrimp60-90
Cherry shrimp100-150
Vampire Shrimp or Fan shrimp7-10
Bee shrimp100-150

How many shrimp can I keep in a 10 litre tank?

Depending on the species of shrimp, you can keep anywhere between 3 to 20 shrimp in a 10 litre tank.

Below are some of the more popular shrimp spaces and the number of shrimp you can keep in a 10 litre tank.

Shrimp speciesNumber of shrimp in a 10 litre tank
Cherry shrimp5-10
Ghost shrimp or glass shrimp3-6
Bee shrimp5-10
Blue Dream shrimp10-20

How many shrimp can I keep in a 30 litre tank?

Depending on the species of shrimp, you can keep anywhere between 3 to 80 shrimp in a 30 litre tank.

Below are some of the more popular shrimp and the number of shrimp you can keep in a 30 litre tank.

Shrimp speciesNumber of shrimp in a 30 litre tank
Amano shrimp3-4
Cherry shrimp25-35
Ghost shrimp or glass shrimp15-20
Bee shrimp25-35
Blue Dream shrimp70-80

How many shrimp can I keep per gallon of aquarium water?

Depending on the species of shrimp, you can keep anywhere between 3 to 10 shrimp per gallon of your aquarium water.

For example, you can keep three Ghost shrimp per gallon and five to ten Blue Dream shrimp per gallon of aquarium water.

There are some big species of shrimp that require more water than smaller shrimp.

Conclusion

Overall, how many shrimp you can put in your aquarium really depends on the species of shrimp you want to keep. And the size of the aquarium you have. 

I hope the tables I’ve included in this article helped you to find exactly how many shrimp you should put in your aquarium. 

Keeping live aquarium plants allows you to keep more shrimp in your tank because they can consume ammonia and nitrates that are produced by the shrimp. 

So if you want to keep some live aquarium plants in your shrimp tank, here are some of the best ones to keep

Happy Fishkeeping!

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