How to Keep Fresh Water Shrimp

Written by david shaw
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How to Keep Fresh Water Shrimp
Raising freshwater shrimp at home is a great idea for seafood lovers who don't live near water. (shrimp image by Lukasz Ozimek from

Freshwater shrimp are bred and hatched beginning in salt water. After the larvae stage, they are introduced to freshwater for a process called growing out. The grow-out process takes anywhere from four to six months, depending on your climate. The prawns prefer a water temperature of 24.4 to 31.1 degrees C. Most freshwater shrimp cannot handle cold water. Knowing how to maintain and care for your freshwater shrimp will allow you to harvest your own freshwater shrimp for fishing bait or food.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clear plastic bag
  • Small flowerpot
  • Flake food
  • Aquarium
  • Nonaggressive fish
  • Thermometer

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  1. 1

    Begin breeding your shrimp in a saltwater tank. The salt in the water is needed for the shrimp larvae to survive. The larvae feeds on tiny plankton. Leave the shrimp larvae in the saltwater until the larvae stage has been completed. This process takes roughly three to six months.

  2. 2

    Test the temperature in your freshwater tank or aquarium using a thermometer. Make sure the temperature reads 24.4 to 31.1 degrees C. Make sure the water never reaches below 18.3 degrees C. Cold climate and water temperature will harm the shrimp.

  3. 3

    Remove the shrimp from their saltwater habitat and introduce them to the fresh water. Place the shrimp in a clear plastic bag. Fill the bag halfway using the saltwater. Float the bag in the freshwater tank for 15 minutes to allow the shrimp to adjust to the temperature of the fresh water.

  4. 4

    Pour some of the fresh water into the bag. This will let the shrimp gradually adapt to the water temperature. Let the bag float for another 15 minutes.

  5. 5

    Release the shrimp into the freshwater tank.

  6. 6

    Provide a suitable environment for your shrimp. Use small flowerpots with holes in the bottom to provide shelter for the shrimp. Flip the pot upside down and bury it in the gravel or sand in your aquarium.

  7. 7

    Add small, nonaggressive fish to your freshwater aquarium. Fish such as tetras, laboras and danios are all suitable to share a tank with freshwater shrimp.

  8. 8

    Provide food for the shrimp. Shrimp will eat nearly anything if it is small enough to eat. Place a small pinch of fish flake food into the aquarium to feed the shrimp.

Tips and warnings

  • Always test water temperature in your aquarium. The temperature must stay above 18.3 degrees C in order for the shrimp to survive. Colder water temperatures affect the larvae more than adult shrimp.

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