Shrimps or Prawns are fascinating organisms. There are over 130 species of shrimp and they come in a variety of different colours such as white, red, blue, pink, brown, black and yellow. Most people associate them solely as a food item but they actually make a brilliant pet. I have had a pet shrimp for over a year called Graham in one of my 5 gallon tanks who cohabits with two plecs and he enjoys walking and paddling about.
A pet shrimp requires very little care. All you need is a small fish tank with the usual equipment you would have for keeping fish. You’ll just need an air filter, gravel, a 5 gallon minimum aquarium to keep one. As shrimps are omnivores they will eat any fish flakes you give them, Graham will also eat algae and lettuce. In Graham’s tank I have put a few plants he likes to chomp on and a rock where he will occasionally hide behind or pose on statuesque whilst pensively thinking about the intricacies of life.
Maintenance for a tank is exactly the same as fish tanks, water needs to be changed every week and gravel needs to be vacuumed every two weeks. Shrimp can cohabit with fish already in an aquarium however it is not a good idea to put them with big fish or aggressive species such as Malawi Cichlids as they may be eaten or assaulted. Most shrimp don’t need any special care. Graham prefers for the flakes to come to him and eats them from the aquarium floor rather than paddle to the flakes so don’t be alarmed when your shrimp do not swim to the surface to eat.
Shrimps are territorial, so it would not be a good idea to keep many of them as there may be a few fights. I recommend a 5-10 gallon tank, small sized gravel and a few live plants if you can. Graham really enjoys eating most vegetables and fried chicken, I give him some as a treat occasionally. Sometime Graham will get scared of the plecs and hide behind the rock which is why it is very important to place a large rock or an ornament where they can get some privacy when they require it.