7 Best Shrimp for a Planted Tank

Posted by on 07/28/2023


Keeping inverts in an aquarium can be a rewarding experience. Their unique personalities make for great additions to both nano and large aquariums. Luckily for hobbyists looking to create an award-winning aquascape, there’s no shortage of options to choose from.

Depending on the design of your aquascape, the color of the shrimp you choose can create a dynamic contrast with the brightly-colored green and red plants seen in the hobby. While there are dozens of different color morphs out there, here are 7 of our favorites to get you started.



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Blue Dream Shrimp

Not to be confused with blue velvet shrimp, blue dream shrimp are a color morph of the Neocaridina davidi species. These shrimp feature a dark-blue colored body, and some of the most sought-after grades show little-to-no translucency on their bodies.

Commonly bred by hobbyists and shrimp keepers, these shrimp are relatively common, and hobbyists looking to pick up a pack of these unique-looking inverts should have no problem finding an online vendor willing to ship them.

Image of Blue Dream Shrimp
Blue Dream Shrimp

Green Jade Shrimp

Next on our list is Green Jade Shrimp. Another Neocaridina davidi color morph, Green Jade Shrimp look fantastic in Dutch-style aquascapes, where their light and dark green coloration contrasts nicely with red aquatic plants, such as Rotala Colorata, and Rotala H’ra.

Green Jade Shrimp aren’t as common as some of the more frequently seen color morphs such as Red Cherry’s and the previously mentioned Blue Dreams, so if you can find a reputable vendor, don’t miss out on the opportunity to pick up a group of these unique-looking inverts.

Image of Green Jade Shrimp
Green Jade Shrimp

Crystal Red Shrimp

Some of the most attractive-looking shrimp in the aquarium hobby are Crystal Red Shrimp (scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis). Also known as Bee shrimp, and abbreviated as CRS, these shrimp are often categorized by a grading system, which denotes the fullness of their coloration, where “SS” and “SSS” grades demand some of the highest prices.

Hobbyists looking to order these shrimp should be warned - these shrimp are much more sensitive to water parameters when compared to Neocaridina davidi shrimp, and also require pristine, soft-water conditions. If you plan on adding these species to a planted aquarium, make sure you have access to soft tap water, or have an RO/DI unit at the ready.

Image of Crystal Red Shrimp
Crystal Red Shrimp

Orange Pumpkin Shrimp

Next up is the Orange Pumpkin Shrimp. Similar to blue dream and green jade shrimp, the orange pumpkin is a Neocaridina davidi color morph that stands out in a planted aquarium. Their bright-orange coloration contrasts nicely with foreground plants, such as Hemianthus Callitrichoides, and Dwarf Hairgrass.

Relatively easy to find, orange pumpkins make for excellent beginner shrimp, and hobbyists new to shrimp keeping should have no problem keeping these species in a planted aquarium.

Image of Orange Pumpkin Shrimp
Orange Pumpkin Shrimp

Metallic Blue Boa Shrimp

Relatively new to the hobby, Boa shrimp are the result of breeding Taitibee shrimp with pinto shrimp, resulting in intricate color patterns and metallic sheens that span the length of their bodies.

Similar to Crystal Red Shrimp, Boa’s require soft, acidic water, so be sure to be well-equipped before housing such a challenging species. For many hobbyists, the reward is worth the challenge, as these shrimp are some of the most attractive inverts in the freshwater hobby.

Image of an Electric Blue Boa Shrimp
An Electric Blue Boa

Sulawesi Shrimp

Few freshwater shrimp rival the appearance of their saltwater relatives, but the Cardinal Sulawesi is certainly an exception.

These shrimp, native to the Sulawesi Lake system in Indonesia, were only recently discovered within the past few years, and have become some of the most sought-after by shrimp keepers. The best part? They prefer hard-water conditions, making them a great choice for hobbyists that have hard tap water.

Image of Sulawesi Shrimp
Sulawesi Shrimp, native to Indonesia

Amano Shrimp

A list of shrimp for a planted tank would not be complete without mentioning the famous Amano Shrimp. Named after Japanese aquascaper Takashi Amano, these clear-bodied shrimp play an important role in a planted aquarium.

Known for being some of the best algae-eaters in the hobby, these shrimp are one of the only species that are known to consume the infamous black beard algae, one of the hardest-to-remove algae in CO2-injected tanks. Amano shrimp make an excellent addition to almost any aquascape.

Image of Amano Shrimp
Amano Shrimp, named after famous aquascaper Takashi Amano

Conclusion

That sums up our list of the seven best shrimp for a planted tank, but as with everything in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Tons of different shrimp color morphs didn’t make the list, and if you’re looking for even more variety, be sure to visit our marketplace, where you can find others for sale by hobbyists.

Image of Miles Harrison

Miles Harrison

With over a decade of aquarium experience, Miles can be found writing about saltwater and freshwater aquariums. When he’s not writing about fish, you can find him going for a run or building websites, such as this one!