The Best Aquatic Plants for Shrimp

Updated on June 13, 2020
Deborah Minter profile image

Deborah is a fish hobbyist and is fascinated by small ecosystems. She enjoys caring for aquatic life, including goldfish.

Freshwater Shrimp!
Freshwater Shrimp!

Freshwater aquarium shrimp come in many bright colors and complement the fish in the tank. When choosing plants for a nano shrimp tank or simply for the few that inhabit the aquarium, there is a variety of aquatic plants that are ideal for freshwater shrimp.

These little invertebrates help the ecosystem of the aquarium. Shrimp work at keeping the tank clean by feeding on unwanted algae and left-over food. They settle in nicely in planted tanks and help stabilize the aquarium. Aquatic plants and shrimp have a symbiotic relationship that is beneficial to the under-water world of your aquarium.

Plants provide a natural environment for freshwater shrimp and they will thrive with the beneficial element’s live plants provide in the tank. Aquatic plants supply biofilm which shrimp love to feed on.

Plants also provide cover for shrimp to hide from bigger fish and stabilize the water quality of the tank by removing nitrates and balancing the PH levels. If you have shrimp in the tank here is a list of the perfect kinds of aquatic plants for them to stay healthy and happy.

Shrimp remove the algae off the leaves of plants and plants provide food and remove nitrates from the water, creating a nice environment for the shrimp. Aquatic plants and Freshwater shrimp have a symbiotic relationship in an aquarium.
Shrimp remove the algae off the leaves of plants and plants provide food and remove nitrates from the water, creating a nice environment for the shrimp. Aquatic plants and Freshwater shrimp have a symbiotic relationship in an aquarium.
The Marimo Moss Ball comes in bigger and smaller sizes.The greener the ball, the more appealing it will be to the shrimp.
The Marimo Moss Ball comes in bigger and smaller sizes.The greener the ball, the more appealing it will be to the shrimp.

The Marimo Moss Ball

The Marimo Moss Ball is the perfect little ball of moss for your shrimp. It is best to place moss in an aquarium that will be or is inhabited by shrimp. Moss is one of the tastiest snacks for shrimp and produces biofilm, therefore, providing plentiful food for them in the tank.

Freshwater shrimp thrive when moss is introduced into the tank. The Marimo Ball is not technically an aquatic plant but a species of moss. This moss ball is convenient to simply drop into the tank and can be a ball of fun for other fish in the aquarium.

Other popular mosses:

  • Java Moss
  • Weeping Moss
  • Phoenix Moss
  • Peacock Moss
  • Flame Moss

Water Lettuce! An ornamental plant that floats on the surface of the water in an aquarium or pond. Shrimp eat and hide in the roots.
Water Lettuce! An ornamental plant that floats on the surface of the water in an aquarium or pond. Shrimp eat and hide in the roots.

Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce is an excellent pick for shrimp. The lush leaves of this aquatic plant will simply float on the surface of the water. The shrimp like to hide in the long roots that hang into the aquarium and will eat the algae off the roots keeping them clean.

The roots of Water Lettuce also conceal shrimp fry from predators, allowing them to hide from bigger fish. Floating plants are excellent for shrimp, lovely in appearance, and easy to place in the tank. Please note that Water Lettuce should not be allowed in your local waterways as it can be invasive especially in warm climates.

Other floating plants that are beneficial to shrimp:

  • Frogbit
  • Red root floaters
  • Duckweed
  • Water Hyacinth (Invasive)
  • Salvinia

Shrimp add an exotic look to an aquarium and provide the benefit of eating algae and left over food.There are many different species of Freshwater Shrimp that come in clear and bright colors.
Shrimp add an exotic look to an aquarium and provide the benefit of eating algae and left over food.There are many different species of Freshwater Shrimp that come in clear and bright colors.

Vallisneria

Vallisneria creates a jungle in the aquarium for shrimp to hide in and explore. The shrimp happily spend their time eating the algae off the long grass blades.

Vallisneria is a popular choice for globe-shaped aquariums and aquascapes. With this plant, there will be an underwater forest in the tank for shrimp to inhabit.

Java Fern requires little care, and will remove nitrates and balance the PH in the tank. Providing benefits to the shrimp in the aquarium.
Java Fern requires little care, and will remove nitrates and balance the PH in the tank. Providing benefits to the shrimp in the aquarium.

Java Fern

This aquatic plant will be a benefit to freshwater shrimp. Java Fern is a Rhizome plant which means the roots may be tied to rocks or driftwood, it will die if roots are placed in the substrate.

This plant helps stabilizes the water parameters and will continue to thrive in relatively low temperatures, making it possible to always supply your shrimp with biofilm. The brown spots that appear on the leaves usually mean a new plant is sprouting. It will continue to grow with relatively low light and is easy to care for, making Java Fern a good choice for the beginner aquarist.

Other leafy aquatic plants for shrimp:

  • Anubias (Rhizome)
  • Anubias Nano (Rhizome): This miniature plant is a cute choice.
  • Hornwort
  • Water Wisteria
  • Water Sprite: ideal for shrimp fry to hide in
  • Pearl Weed

Subwassertang

Subwassertang is one of the best aquatic plants for shrimp. Shrimp love it and will thrive in tanks with this plant in them. Subwassertang removes toxins from the water and promotes oxygen for the shrimp, a good choice for aquarists who want lots of shrimp in their tank.

Technically a fern, aquarists at times prefer this plant to moss for their shrimp. This aquatic plant will grow in lovely bushes in your aquarium and eventually become the perfect habitat for shrimp as well as shrimp fry to play in. Subwassertang can float in the tank or be tied to rocks, décor, or driftwood.

Cherry Shrimp! At times these little guys appear as a tiny lobster. Shrimp enjoy exploring a green jungle in the aquarium.
Cherry Shrimp! At times these little guys appear as a tiny lobster. Shrimp enjoy exploring a green jungle in the aquarium.

Enjoy this green underwater world with one of the fun nest little aquatic creatures in the aquarium hobby.

Water Hyacinth! An Aquatic plant that considerably filters nitrates from the water.
Water Hyacinth! An Aquatic plant that considerably filters nitrates from the water.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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