Home | Aquarium Livestock | Freshwater Shrimp: an Overview of Popular Aquarium Species – Part 2

Freshwater Shrimp: an Overview of Popular Aquarium Species – Part 2

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Please see Part I of this article for information on the care of freshwater shrimps, and for profiles of other popular species.  Today I’ll highlight a few beautiful, lesser-known species in the genus Caridina and Brazil’s yellow-bellied grass shrimp.

Red-Nosed or Rhino Shrimp, Caridina gracilirostris

A relative newcomer to the trade, the rhino shrimp is already quite popular.  In its native India, this shrimp inhabits salt marshes and, while it thrives in freshwater, it will not reproduce without exposure to brackish water.  It also differs from other shrimps in its propensity to swim rather than crawl.

Rainbow Shrimp, Caridina babault

This ¾ inch beauty occupies a huge natural range – India through Malaysia – and occurs in an equally impressive range of colors – blue, red, rust, yellow and variations thereof. 

Black Forest Shrimp, Caridina sp.

Dwelling in Thailand and perhaps elsewhere in Southeast Asia, this shrimp-fancier’s favorite is boldly marked with a broad white band about the body and a white-tipped head.  At 1 inch in length, it is large enough to make quite an impressive display when kept in groups.

Brazilian Yellow-Bellied Grass Shrimp, Palaemon pantanal

One of the few South American species in the trade, this hardy 1.5 inch long fellow is best kept in cooler waters than the aforementioned species, and is an excellent choice for an outdoor pond.  It does best at temperatures of 68-70 F, but will remain active and healthy in colder conditions as well.

Further Reading

For information on keeping amano, cherry and bamboo shrimps, please see An Introduction to Freshwater Shrimps.

To learn more about a truly unique shrimp, please check out my article Keeping the African Giant Filter Shrimp.

Please write in with your questions and comments.  Thanks, until next time, Frank Indiviglio.

Palaemon serratus image referenced from Wikipedia and originally posted by Enrique Dans.

Bamboo Shrimp referenced from Wikipedia and originally posted by Faucon


  1. avatar

    I need to know what kind fish r good 4 a 5 gal tank please help? Im so confused u see I got a book on fish .

  2. avatar

    I got a bbook on fish Im now more confused now. What kind of fish r good in a 5gal tank plese help thanks.

  3. avatar

    A five gallon tank gives you very limited space for fish, and thus limits the type and number of fish you can keep. The general rule of thumb for freshwater is an inch of fish per gallon. Since most fish grow larger than 1 inch, you’ll need to consider the adilt size of the fish you want to keep. A Single betta may be a good candidate as it is low maintenance and it will have ample space. You may consider a pair of small fish like mollies, platties, guppies, or a couple of small tertas, killifish, danios, rasboras, dwarf cichlids, ect. The capacity of the tank will also depend on the filtration and decoration you use including live plants. Find out how large the fish you want can get, monitor your water chemistry and limit the number of fish you introduce to avoid water quality issues.

  4. avatar

    Are there any shrimp that will make it through a mid atlantic winter in a pond?

  5. avatar

    No species that I know of will survive one or our winters. Even species that can tolerate cooler temperatures will likely not survive extended periods in temperatures just above freezing. Native crayfish can winter over if the pond is deep enough, and cooler water shrimp could be introduced for the summer months.

  6. avatar

    What other South American shrimps are there in the trade?
    I have a Paludarium inspired by Suriname (frogs+fish+plants from there) so looking for something from there

  7. avatar

    Hello Gabriel,

    Sounds like an interesting project. This supplier carries a large assortment of FW species, some of which are South American in origin. If locale info is not in description, send them an email, as they will have the info on hand.

    Enjoy and please keep me posted, Frank

About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.