Popular Types of Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp (pictures)

Written by Randy Martin

Aquarium Shrimp are popular and widely available—the shrimp keeping hobby keeps growing everyday.

Here I have compiled a list of the most popular types of freshwater aquarium shrimp that are commonly kept by enthusiasts.

This list goes from the most popular shrimp species on down to the less common. Let’s jump right into it.

Red cherry shrimp

Red cherry shrimp on green vegetation
  • Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi
  • Other names: Simply known as cherry shrimp, or RCS
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Water pH: 6.5-8.0
  • Temp: 57-86°F (14-30°C)

The red cherry shrimp is the staple of dwarf shrimp. They have a striking look, they are easy to care for and easy to breed.

RCS have various color grades, and are named differently depending on the color grade. The cheapest and most common is the cherry grade color, which is a translucent pinkish color.

Then as the color keeps getting redder you move to low sakura grade, high sakura grade, fire red grade, and then painted fire red grade; which is a deep red without any translucency.

Ghost shrimp

Ghost shrimp
  • Scientific name: Palaemonetes paludosus
  • Other names: Skeleton shrimp, glass shrimp, feeder shrimp
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Water pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temp: 72-82°F (22-28°C)

One of my favorite dwarf shrimp is the ghost shrimp. These are super common and you can find them for sale anywhere.

They are very hardy and easy to keep. They have a lot of personality and are entertaining to have around.

I personally keep them as pets, but many people use them as feeder food for their larger fish and animals, which is why they are so readily available and why I put them so high on this list.

Amano shrimp

Amano shrimp
  • Scientific name: Caridina multidentata
  • Other names: Algae shrimp, yamato shrimp
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Water pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Temp: 70-80°F (21-27°C)

The amano shrimp is another easy to care for and very common shrimp in the aquarium hobbyist world.

People refer to them as the algae eating shrimp and that is exactly why they are so popular because they are one of the very best shrimp at keeping your aquarium clean.

I wrote an article about their odd eating habits in my article titled Will amano shrimp eat fry, or snails, or other shrimp, it goes into more depth of the amano with a few entertaining examples.

Crystal red shrimp

Group of crystal red shrimp
  • Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis var.
  • Other names: Red bee shrimp, crystal shrimp, CRS
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Water pH: 5.8-7.4
  • Temp: 62-76°F (17-24°C)

The crystal red shrimp is another shrimp that is good at keeping your aquarium clean.

They are color graded similar to the RCS, but in this case the more expensive and higher grades have more white color and less translucency.

Blue bolt shrimp

Blue bolt shrimp
  • Scientific name: Caridina cf cantonensis
  • Other names: Taiwan bee blue
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Water pH: 6.2-7.8
  • Temp: 65-85°F (18.5-29°C)

The blue bolt is a slightly more sensitive shrimp so you will have to make sure your water and temperature is consistent in their range of needs, and that you have good filtration. All shrimp need this, but the blue bolt is not as hardy as the previous listed shrimp.

The blue bolt is a beautiful looking shrimp and is definitely worth the extra care.

Blue tiger shrimp

Royal blue tiger shrimp
  • Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis blue tiger
  • Other names: Orange eyed blue tiger, royal blue tiger
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Water pH: 6-7.5
  • Temp: 65-75°F (18.5-24°C)

The blue tiger to me is one of the more odd looking shrimp. It’s a dark blue color with these orange eyes that pop out. It almost looks alien.

But many people love this look and keep a colony of them.

Panda shrimp

Panda shrimp - black and white aquarium shrimp
  • Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis panda
  • Other names: Taiwan bee panda
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Water pH: 6-7.5
  • Temp: 62-76°F (17-24°C)

The panda shrimp or taiwan bee panda is named for it’s black and white panda colors. You will often see it listed simply as a ‘taiwan bee‘.

These are a cheap shrimp, but very sensitive and will take a more intermediate skilled fish keeper to maintain them well.

Sometimes these get confused with the ‘Black king kong shrimp‘ which has a similar color marking, but the black king kong’s colors are more vivid and striking and it’s a much more expensive shrimp—usually up in the $60 to $80 range.

Conclusion

These dwarf shrimp are a lot of fun to keep, and there is many more species and variations that you can find to add to your shrimp colonies.

Make sure to have an aquarium with good filtration, and provide them with lots of plants and cover to hide in.

The type of substrate you choose for your shrimp should be a big consideration since shrimp are bottom dwellers. I go into depth about shrimp and substrate in my article aquarium sand vs gravel: the pros and cons, check that out to decide what your aquarium could possibly need.

Good luck with your colonies and have fun.

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