Why shrimp?

I often get asked this question, and I suppose for good reason; shrimp are quite an odd choice of ‘pet’. Prompted by the persistence of this question, I think I should give the answer.

  1. Many shrimp species are low maintenance. For instance, they do not require feeding as often as fish (so periods of fasting are tolerated, so holidays are not a problem). They also have far smaller bioload*s  than fish so water changes are required less often than for fish, although some shrimp species are more sensitive.
  2. Many shrimp species will breed in freshwater aquaria, with the adult shrimp rarely predating on young. Shoals of shrimp look very impressive in aquaria.
  3. Shrimp generally do not consume living aquatic plants.
  4. Some shrimp (particularly Neocaridina heteropoda variants) will consume algae.
  5. Shrimp are quirky pets, often stunning and have lots of character!

I hope these are sufficient answers!

*Bioload – This is a term commonly used in aquatics. An animal’s bioload is the amount of nitrogenous compounds it produces which require ‘processing’ by bacteria to prevent them harming the aquarium’s inhabitants. It is quite literally the load the animal puts on the filtration system in the aquarium.


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