Category Archives: Shrimp

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion – the Ultimate Shrimp Hide.

A little bit about it…

What I love most about this Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion is that it not only does this hide give your aquarium a natural yet urban feel with the vibrant green, lush and thickly grown moss. The somewhat industrial looking pipes is this great little hideaway is ideal for your shrimp to feel safe and at ease in your aquarium.

Hand crafted into these robust grey ceramic tubes making it a perfect refuge for not only just shrimp however other small crustacians, dwarf crayfish and youngsters too.

Why is it so useful?

Moulting is an important time for all shrimp where they need a quiet, safe haven. Moulting is part of their natural growth cycle however this time makes them very vulverable to other fish as once moulting has taken place their new skin is relatively soft so they hide from anywhere between 48 to 72 hours to give their new shell time to harden. The Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion is the perfect place for them to be as if your shrimp are unable to moult in safety they can become stuck in their old shell and perish.

Sit back and watch as your shrimp make their way through the tunnels and hop onto the plush moss for a clean up and tidy.

Where do I put it in my aquarium?

The Shrimp Seclusion is all ready to go – simply place in the desired spot in your aquarium. I always think slightly nestled away amongst your aquatic plants to give a real indigenous look and feel and allow your shrimp to take their fortress.

How big is it?

Measuring just 8 x 8 x 5cm so ideal for both nano and larger aquariums.

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Tempted? Click here to go straight to the product.

Acclimatising Fish & Shrimp Properly

Making sure you acclimatise your fish and shrimp properly is essential. In fact, pretty much anyone who we have dealt with who has a problem with their shrimp have not acclimatised them properly – they’ve rushed it and it’s cost them and the shrimp dearly.

TMC Acclimatisation Kit

TMC have introduced a nifty device which means you no longer need to worry about getting it wrong. You drip feed the water in and take your time over it. You don’t guess, you get it right, each and every time. What I particularly like about the TMC Acclimatisation Kit is the simplicity and the fact that once you have invested in it, you can keep it for as long as you are in the hobby. Think about it – how often are you going to buy fish and shrimp in your lifetime? A LOT I suspect, so investing in this cool piece of kit means you won’t have to worry.

Interested? Click here for more info.

TMC Acclimatisation Kit

Freshwater shrimp additives….

The market is becoming very aware of shrimp additives and conditioners. Years ago, and I’m talking about 5 years, I took a punt and began selling shrimp conditioners and foods and to be honest it flopped. People just didn’t want to buy it. I was too early and ended up giving the stuff away – I was passionate but the rest of the UK market wasn’t. It was big in Europe but just not over here.

Ping forward 5 years and it’s a very different story. You only need to google the subject  to see. That’s a reflection of where the market is now. Fancy shrimp galore and now prices have come down, popularity increases. Supply and demand etc.

But the market has also been flooded with different additives that will effect shrimp in some way. And if you’re not careful you won’t know what to choose as you’re spoilt for choice. So just who should be buying these additives?

If you’re keeping Cherries, Tigers or Amano’s then I just don’t think you need to bother. Sure I could be telling you to buy it – that would be easy, but the bottom line is, those sort of shrimp don’t really need it. Additives like Genchem White Pellet,


will help improve white banding on Crystal Red Shrimp, but they won’t help Cherries or Tigers.

Genchem Polytase on the other hand


is excellent for higher grade shrimp (like Crystal Reds) that may be a little more sensitive due to their gene pool being much smaller and as a result their off spring could do with a little helping hand.

The message I am trying to get across is think about the sort of shrimp you have before committing to certain additives. And I’m not talking about foods (that’s a different subject).

The more ‘common shrimp‘ will need less attention and therefore don’t need some of the more exclusive additives. The more premium your shrimp, or the more you have paid for them, generally means they need a bit more looking after.

Shrimp lesson over :)

Ultimate Aquarium Algae Eaters

Algae is a massive issue in a planted aquarium and everyone suffers from it.

Some more than others. Those who have been in the hobby for a while will know the HUGE benefits of keeping shrimp in a planted tank, with particular reference to Amano Shrimp which are the LARGEST algae eating shrimp I am aware of. They’re SO HUNGRY for food is almost comical. Not only do they eat a lot, they’re big at roughly 3cm long.

Imagine this for a moment: The tank we keep them in has no algae left – they’ve eaten every last scrap and as a result we have to feed them shrimp food. We pop a few premium grade pellets in and within seconds they’re fighting over it. In the end, the largest shrimp wins and swims off the biggest chunk and eats it all to himself (greedy or what?!). The rest battle it out over the smaller pieces and in no time all the food is gone. Hopefully this demonstrates just how hungry these shrimp are for food. They will tirelessly eat algae 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Below is a wonderful picture of how good these shrimp are. The picture (from Tropica website) shows how efficient the Amano shrimp is when it comes to keeping a plant aquarium free from algae. The aquarium to the left had 3 shrimps, the one in the middle had none, while the one to the right had one shrimp during the start-up. They were all planted in the same way: 3 Anubias barteri var. nana and 3 Eleocharis parvula. The picture has been taken 3 months after the start-up.  A recommendation is 1 Amano shrimp per 5 L water during the start-up of a new plant aquarium. Once a biological balance has been achieved in the aquarium, you can easily settle for fewer shrimps – e.g. 1 per 15 L water. However, if you have many fish that you feed, then we recommend that you maintain the population of 1 Amano shrimp per 5 L water.


If this tickles your fancy, and you want a stress free way of keeping your tank algae free, then invest today in Amano Shrimp by clicking here. And if you want your order for (tomorrow) i.e. Saturday then you can – just make sure you order before 4pm today :)

Where do your shrimp sleep?

Shrimp are essential for all planted aquariums but they’re also part of the food chain.

I can’t count the number of customers who buy shrimp for the right reason, only to turn them into expensive fish food. Now you always have to be aware of the tank mates and if they are compatible for obvious reasons, so you must plan.

But you always have to remember that as shrimp are part of the food chain, they naturally hide. Provide them with somewhere to shelter where fish can’t get to them and you will find your shrimp will not only be happier but will breed more quickly and more often.

Our Shrimp Shelters are awesome for that. Not only are the covered in moss so they look natural, but the tubes are small enough for only shrimp to shelter in. What more could they want :)

To find other cool shrimp accessories click here.

the ultimate clean up crew…

a tank without freshwater shrimp is not complete in my opinion…

I would always have shrimp in any planted aquarium I have and so should you. They perform such a wonderful job of cleaning up and recycling everything in your tank and offer a buffer it terms of keeping excesses down. For example, in previous newsletters I’ve discussed the importance of water changes and by keeping your water clean, you reduce the amount of food available for algae. Anything in your aquarium that is breaking down produces ammonia, so leaves that are decaying contribute to this.

But if you have shrimp, they’ll be straight onto it. So rather than leaves rotting and producing ammonia, your shrimp will deal with it and compost it for you. As a result, there’s less food for the algae to consume and your tank is cleaner and healthier. It really is as simple as that. In terms of shrimp numbers you can literally have as many as you want. The tank which holds our cherry shrimp is 3x1x1′ and houses about 800 shrimp – they’re not cramped in anyway. I’m not suggesting you need that many but you do need a suitable amount (more than 10 for eg) for them to make an impact. To visit our shrimp page click here.

Fire Red Shrimp

These shrimp are a little more unusual to the typical red shrimp that you may have seen in shops or our website and a little bit more attractive as I am sure you will agree. They’re a bit like Cherry Shrimp but just much redder (see below).

Making sure that you know what grade shrimp you are buying is paramount and this post is to give you the knowledge. So you know the shrimp is redder than a typical cherry, but by how much? Well, there are actually a few different grades of Cherry shrimp – did you know that?! Here’s a run down:

Cherry Shrimp – Mostly transparent with spots of red. Legs are always colourless.

Sakura – The whole body remains fairly red, except the lower part of its body which tend to be striped.

High Grade Sakura – Almost red with only a few cracks on its body and legs. Some can appear slightly orange.

Fire Red - Entirely red with no obvious cracks on the body or legs. The key to this shrimp is the legs are all red.

We only grade our red shrimp at the moment as Cherry Shrimp or Fire Red Shrimp. I don’t believe the market is ready for other grades of cherries at the moment so we’ve just broken it down into two which avoids confusion – this means some of you when purchasing Cherry Shrimp from us may receive High Grade Sakura.

Fire Red Shrimp need the same care as the other shrimp we stock. They prefer slightly acidic water and a temperature of 22C. Give them high quality shrimp food from Genchem and you will find that given time, they will breed. Best to keep them on their own as they are part of the food chain.

Crystal Red Shrimp Grade A

We used to stock Crystal Red Grade A’s a long time ago but demand just wasn’t really there. Since then, the hobby has come on some what and now I believe the demand is beginning to grow and hobbyists are prepared to invest in quality live stock. It’s always exciting to see shrimp arrive, packed in their little bags all clinging onto the filter floss, waiting for their new home.

Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS) are growing in popularity due to their lovely colouration. The red and white banding on them is what makes them so very different to other shrimp and more importantly they really stand out in a planted aquarium. If you have ever seen Grade A or higher CRS you will know exactly what I mean. Today there are lots of different variants on the market of Grade A shrimps so the message I want to get across is what grade A represents and how you know if you are getting the ‘real macoy’. The best way to describe the banding on Grade A CRS is that you get a fairly decent white banding. By decent I mean, pretty good, far from perfect but the white stands out from the red and it looks reasonably solid. The higher the grade, the better the banding. Have a look at the picture below:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a Grade A CRS. If you invest in this type of shrimp from us this is what you will receive. You see how the white is fairly solid but not quite there. But don’t despair if you are looking to improve the white banding, then you can do so with Genchem White Pellet. We’ve been using this product on our CRS for 2 months now and the improvement is noticeable.

So are there any special requirements of CRS? Not especially but you have to make sure you treat them with a bit of caution. They are more sensitive than other shrimp because their gene pool is so much smaller than other shrimp such as Cherry or Tiger Shrimp. However we treat all of our shrimp the same way so don’t let it deter you. We feed them a broad range of foods and use the Genchem range of shrimp conditioners to get the best out of them. So if you’re thinking, maybe I should treat yourself today as you won’t regret it.You can see our CRS Grade A by clicking on this link.

If you’re looking for more information on grading and shrimp in general, I recommend having a look at Plantet Inverts.

Shrimp Shelters

We’re a big fan of shrimp at Aqua Essentials and we’re now stocking some of the smallest and neatest shrimp shelters ever. These will keep your shrimp happy and safe too.

We often hear people who have purchased shrimp from us that they can’t seem to see where their shrimp go and wonder if they have just ‘disappeared’. The fact is shrimp will hide if they feel insecure and stocking shrimp with fish can make them feel very insecure – after all they are part of the food chain. However if you invest in a shrimp shelter, for very little cost you can protect your shrimp and ensure they are happy as soon as they land in your aquarium.

Not only that but these neat shrimp shelters look even better if you tie some moss around them and before you know it, you will have created their own little home :)

Reducing Nitrite in Freshwater Shrimp Tank

Nitrite in a freshwater shrimp tank only equals one thing – problem. Shrimp are almost intolerant of any nitrite and if your levels do suddenly rise you can tell by observing them – shrimp tend to sit still and stop feeding when unhappy – some may die within 24 hours.  When shrimp stop feeding you know they’re in trouble and this is their ‘alarm bell’ ringing. To make matters worse, large water changes are not an option as shrimp cannot tolerate that either so it would appear there are not many choices left! Until now…

Genchem Biozyme is a brilliant product that reduces ammonia and nitrite instantly without the need of any water change. But like most Genchem products they have a two fold effect. The other added benefit is Biozyme will improve the metebolic digestive system of your shrimp and baby shrimp can also consume it!

It doesn’t get better than that :)

See our the Genchem range here.

Shipping Freshwater Shrimp

We love our shrimp at Aqua Essentials and when we send them in the post we make sure they are healthy, lively and of a certain size. What most people are surprised at is what size shrimp should be sent in the post and why.

When we send ours, we don’t look to send adults. We aim to send juveniles and the reason for this is very simple. Smaller shrimp are far more adaptable that larger shrimp. Think of it this way – imagine a shrimp which has spent all of its life in one aquarium. This could make it roughly 2 years old. Then compare it to a younger shrimp that is still growing and may have only been alive for 5 months – which do you think will be more adaptable?

The answer is a juvenile shrimp.

So if you purchase shrimp from us (and we hope you do!) expect shrimp of about 10mm is size or so. This means your shrimp will travel better to their destination and then adapt much more easily into their new home.

For our range of freshwater shrimp please click here.

Freshwater Shrimp Molting

If you keep freshwater shrimp (and many of you do) you will have seen shrimp exoskeletons which are the shell of a shrimp. Molting is necessary for shrimp to grow and during this process, they can be very vulnerable. Their new ‘skin’ is relatively soft and therefore after they have shed their skin, they tend to hide for 48-72 hours so that they can allow their shell to harden up. Depending on how much the shrimp is eating there is a direct correlation between number of molts and food eaten.

However, not all molts go to plan. It is still very common for freshwater shrimp to die in a an aquarium when trying to molt and this can be for a variety of reasons but predominantly bacterial disease. The shrimp will attempt to molt but will not be able to shed its skin and it therefore becomes trapped and dies. Many hobbyists have often wondered about how this happens and why and chose to feed a wider range of foods to overcome the problem but it still didn’t have the effect hoped for. This can be easily overcome thanks to a wonderful new product…

Genchem Beta-G which is a unique powder that should be added to your shrimp tank every week. This will stop any molting problems in the future enabling your freshwater shrimp to grow at the speed they wish without any risks.

Economical too, you only need to use 1/5th of a spoon which comes with Genchem Beta-G, so expect this product to last a couple of years :)