Whisker Shrimp: Guide to Care, Diet, Breeding, Tank Mates, and More

Whisker Shrimp Overview

Recently there has been an upsurge in the number of aquarists choosing to keep shrimps over plants or fish in their aquariums. Shrimps belong to a group of animals known as crustaceans and there are various species of shrimps available in the hobby today. One amazing aquarium shrimp is the Whisker Shrimp which exhibits a rather transparent body.

Whisker Shrimp

Shrimps come in varieties some inhabiting salty waters and other inhabiting fresh water bodies. The whisker shrimp on its part is a freshwater aquatic animal that is usually a little aggressive in behavior. It is also sometimes referred to as the Indian whisker shrimp. The animal looks almost similar to yet another shrimp known as the ghost shrimp that also has got a transparent body including the tails and torso.

Information ChartWhisker Shrimp
Scientific Name: Macrobrachium lamarrei
Family: Palaemonidae
Care Level: Very easy
Temperament: Aggressive
Color: Semi-transparent grey
Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
Size: 1 to 2 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Temperature: 24 – 30°C (~75°F – 86°F)
Water Conditions: Freshwater with moderate planting
Tank Mate Compatibility Dangerous to many fish and other shrimp

Appearance of Whisker Shrimp

It is a freshwater shrimp that has a transparent body that you can clearly see through. It look almost similar to yet another shrimp called the ghost shrimp.

Compared to the ghost shrimp it has a body that is slightly large with long feelers. The whisker shrimp does not the characteristic orange bands either on their front legs or at the base of their feelers like the ghost shrimp. The shrimp usually grows to a maximum of 2 inches overall body size.

Varieties Of Whisker Shrimp 

Whisker Shrimp is a genus with approximately 240 species and much genetic diversity. Even though certain species may be found in estuarine or marine habitats, they spend most of their lives in freshwater areas.

The Lifespan Of Whisker Shrimp

The typical lifespan of a Whisker Shrimp is 1 to 2 years.

Whisker Shrimp Size

The typical Whisker Shrimp grows up to 1 inch on the lower end and 2 inches for larger specimens. 

Natural Habitat And Origin

Whisker shrimp is one of the most abundant and widely dispersed shrimp species, with populations in Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, southern China, Java, and Indonesia. They are also regarded as one of the most common species in Laos.

Whisker shrimp enjoy a well-planted aquarium with plenty of dense covers to hide under. Keep in mind that if you eat too many live plants, you won’t be able to eat your shrimp, so don’t go overboard.

Whisker Shrimp Care & Tank Set-Up

The Whisker Shrimp is one of the easiest aquarium animals to care for because it is undemanding and as long as you provide it with the basic conditions, it will survive. It likes to inhabit the bottom part of the water and will most probably feel safe at the base of your tank. It is a freshwater shrimp that needs to be housed in a freshwater tank for it to survive and thrive. Because it has an aggressive nature it is best to keep it alone to avoid the possibility of fights breaking out with other tank mates.

Whisker Shrimp Care & Tank Set-Up

Whisker Shrimp Tank Size And Specifications

Here below are some good tips for keeping the shrimp in captivity:

  • minimum tank size for keeping the shrimp should be at least 5 gallons
  • ensure that the tank is filled with clean water
  • water in the tank can be set to a temperature of between 72 and 82 Fahrenheit
  • pH isn’t much of a matter when it comes to this shrimp

It can be housed in a moderately planted tank and it is best to avoid planting the tank heavily. It has a tendency to hide in between plant in the tank therefore having too many plants will not help you have a good watch over it. Try not to keep with other kinds of shrimp like the ghost shrimp or small fish because it will kill them. However you can house it with certain freshwater snail species.

If you are talking about size, bigger is better and more stable. Even though shrimp may potentially be able to survive in a tiny aquarium, the water is prone to fluctuations in temperature and other aquarium features. Occasionally, shrimp succumbs to this illness before they should. When the characteristics of their tank are constantly changing, shrimp are not very tolerant of this.

Furthermore, a healthy population of freshwater shrimp will breed vigorously, prompting the need for a bigger tank to accommodate the resulting offspring.

Optimum Tank Size For Whisker Shrimp

The recommended tank size for Whisker Shrimp is 10 gallons.

Whisker Shrimp Tank Size And Specifications

Tank Shape For Whisker Shrimp

Whisker shrimp have a lot of movement in their tank, which is excellent.

The tank should be big enough for the fish to have enough area to wander about and enough space to hide in and get away from things like unwelcome attention or direct sunlight.

Filter Type

Like most fish and invertebrate species, Whisker shrimp rely on clean, fresh water to live and thrive. You must therefore install a filtration system in your tank to ensure that the water conditions for your shrimp are perfect. 

In addition, there are no further criteria to satisfy. As long as you have a filter appropriate to the size of the tank that you own, you should be alright. You may, however, need to cover the filter input pipe to protect the tiny Whisker shrimp from getting dragged into the filter and killing them.


Whisker shrimp may be maintained forever in any aquarium with any substrate and do not need special care or maintenance. In the company’s opinion, these shrimps are at ease on any substrate, including aquarium soil and gravel, sand, and other refined grains. The aesthetics of your tank are entirely in your control, as is the selection of the most suitable substrate for your plants to flourish in. 

Whisker shrimps are most active at night when most fish are resting on the ocean’s bottom, where the bulk of fish is found. The time of day during which most fish are most susceptible is also at this point.

How Many Whisker Shrimp Are In A 10-Gallon Tank?

One male and 1 or 2 female

Water Parameters For Whisker Shrimp 

Water polluted with ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. Water comprising high concentrations of these pollutants can put your shrimp in danger. They are also quite sensitive to temperature variations, preferring conditions comparable to their original habitat.

Water Parameters For Whisker Shrimp

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Whisker Shrimp is 24 – 30°C (~75°F – 86°F).

pH Level

The perfect water pH level for Whisker Shrimp is 6.5 – 8.5.

Water Hardness

2 – 14 GH

Whisker Shrimp Tank Landscape

Best Plants For Whisker Shrimp Tanks

Aquatic mosses, Christmas Moss, Java Moss, Water Wisteria, Java Fern, Anubias, Pearl Weed, Hornwort, Red Root Floaters, Salvinia natans, and Azolla filiculoides.

Whisker Shrimp Tank Landscape

Decorations For Whisker Shrimp Tanks

Whisker shrimp have basic tank requirements since they spend most of their time at the bottom of the aquarium, making them easy to care for. It is fantastic news since you can decorate the tank’s upper levels in any way you wish without worrying about the shrimp.

Lighting For Whisker Shrimp Tanks

Whisker shrimp do not need much light to live.

Consequently, you should illuminate to satisfy the individual requirements of the plants in the tank.

Whisker shrimp do not need any particular lighting conditions to survive and reproduce, and this is an example of when the usual aquarium light will be sufficient for these species.

Nutrient Requirements For Whisker Shrimp Tank

They need ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, among other things, in a fully cycled tank.

Feeding Whisker Shrimp

Best Diet For Whisker Shrimp

The shrimp is an aggressive eater that will be found most of the time at the bottom of the tank feeding on debris being referred to as a scavenger by some hobbyists. The animal however prefers eating No products found. balls and can also be fed artificial foods. Below are some manufactured foods that can be given to the shrimp:

Feeding Whisker Shrimp
  • Variety of flake foods
  • Lobster bites as well as Hikari crab
  • Shirakura shrimp food
  • Sinking stick foods for the shrimp
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Mosura shrimp food
  • Borneo wild shrimp food

It is best to choose those shrimp foods that hold their form in water and will not easily break apart so quickly. This is because if this occurs the water gets polluted. Perhaps the best kind of food that will do a great job feeding your shrimp are slices of cucumbers immersed in the aquarium. These usually stay in the water much longer and don’t really break to pollute the water and the shrimp can still eat the slices without much ado.

Another important thing to note in your aquarium if the population of your shrimp is not big is not to provide too much food to them. They should just be able to survive on the biofilm that is present on the tank water. Leaving lots of uneaten food hanging in the tank water is a usually a recipe for bacteria to start developing in the tank. You better remove leftover food from the tank if you notice that your shrimp haven’t eaten them in an hour’s time.

Related Post: Bee Shrimp

How Often Should You Feed Whisker Shrimp?

You should typically feed the Whisker Shrimp once every two or three days.

Whisker Shrimp Behavior And Temperament

As nocturnal creatures, whisker shrimp are most active at night and early morning. Besides eating debris and biofilm, whisker shrimp are also noted for foraging for food in their tanks; it is rare to observe them with their bellies empty.

Whisker Shrimp Behavior And Temperament

On the other hand, Whisker shrimp are relatively easy to care for and maintain.

Understanding their temperament is necessary to know that they are aggressive, which may dissuade some potential owners because of this characteristic.

Also, it is usual for them to conceal themselves under the leaves of the plants in your aquarium, remaining relatively undetectable while they move around the tank.

Are Whisker Shrimp Lone or Societal?

These shrimps are not known to be very friendly. When it comes to gaining control of their territory, whisker shrimp males often intimidate and ‘push’ each other out of their environment. Due to this, it is no longer necessary to confine them to large groups. They will very likely engage in conflict with other members of their species if they are not already doing so.

Whisker Shrimp Tank Mates

The bulk of freshwater shrimps is antagonistic, as previously noted. The same is true in the case of Indian Whisker Shrimp. The majority of their hatred is directed against small community fish or even other shrimp species in the region.

Whisker Shrimp Tank Mates

Solitary confinement is typically desirable for these shrimp, and it is usually the best solution. Rather than being kept separately, whisker shrimp should be kept in groups of one male and numerous females.

Keep in mind that whisker shrimp will compete with their tankmates for food. It might also affect their behavior. It’s vital to keep them well-fed if you want to reduce this.

Ideal Tank Mates For Whisker Shrimp 

  • Neon Tetras
  • Pygmy Corys
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • White Cloud Minnows
  • Glassfish

Bad Tank Mates For Whisker Shrimp

  • Fish larger or more aggressive.
  • snails 
  • Crayfish.
  • Dwarf Shrimp
  • Crabs from other freshwater species
  • Amano shrimp
  • Frogs

Breeding Whisker Shrimp

Breeding the Whisker Shrimp certainly can prove to be tough test for many first time hobbyist. There are certain parameters in the tank that need to be set to optimal conditions for your female shrimp to be able to spawn and the eggs to hatch into juvenile shrimp that you need.

Breeding Whisker Shrimp

Here below are some tips that should guide you through the whole process of preparing your shrimp for a successful breeding in the tank:

  • Set the tank water to temperature range of between 65 and 82 degrees Celsius.
  • You will have to place the male and female shrimp in the same tank. The female shrimp is usually larger than the male. One single male can successfully mate with two females that are already carrying eggs on their swimmerets.
  • The male should be allowed to fertilize the eggs and then the female will then be removed from the tank to another separate tank. This process should be done carefully as the female have a tendency to drop their eggs when they feel stressed.
  • The fertilized eggs should take between 21-24 days for them to hatch into juvenile shrimp.

Whisker Shrimp Breeding Level – Hard

Breeding Indian Whisker Shrimp is one of the most challenging aspects of keeping these crustaceans alive. This task might be pretty tricky if you are a first-time enthusiast.

Whisker Shrimp Sexual Dimorphism?

There isn’t much difference between the sexes in this variety of shrimp; however, male shrimp are often a bit smaller than female shrimp in terms of physical size. The presence of tiny, spherical, green eggs under the female’s tail will help you tell her apart from the male’s look.

Unless you’re planning on starting a Whisker shrimp breeding business, the difference between males and females isn’t significant.

Whisker Shrimp Common Diseases And Their Treatment

Sickness is most often caused by environmental factors such as improper and harmful circumstances. Ghost shrimps are usually sickened by fungal and bacterial infections due to polluted water and an unsanitary environment.

Whisker Shrimp Common Diseases And Their Treatment


Vorticella seems to be a fungus, but it is a protozoon with 16 distinct species. It is primarily an aquatic organism that may be found in freshwater habitats. It may also attach itself to a host, ranging from a plant to driftwood, rocks, or other animals.

Treatment- Salt Bath is the best treatment for this disease. Permanganic acid is a highly oxidative, water-soluble molecule with a high degree of oxidation. It has purple crystals and a pleasant odor. It is an inorganic chemical substance that may be used as a Vorticella medicine.

Muscular Necrosis

Necrosis is a biological term that refers to the death of one or more cells in a living organism in its most basic form. It causes the cells and tissues in the surrounding region to break down or become inflamed.

Treatment- You should remove any diseased shrimp from your aquarium as soon as you see Muscular necrosis. It has no specific treatment; however, frequent water changes and a healthy atmosphere may assist in slowing the disease’s progression.

Scutariella Japonica

Scutariella Japonica, also known as the Japanese ghost shrimp parasite, is another common parasite of ghost shrimps. It belongs to the nematode family and is a parasitic parasite. They behave differently from flatworms, even though they are classified as flatworms. Many individuals can’t tell the difference between Scutariella Japonica and vorticella.

Treatment- Salt bath works for this disease too. Using one cup of tank water and one teaspoon of salt, make a solution. After adequately mixing the saltwater in the cup, pour it into the tank where you separated the infected shrimp.

Facts About Whisker Shrimp

  • According to current theories, freshwaters were considered to have been invaded by members of the Palaemonidae family during the late Mesozoic or early Cenozoic epochs.
  • If you want to keep your Whisker shrimp in a community environment, you should aim for a tank at least 20 gallons in size and ideally more than that.
  • Females are often taller and more imposing than males. A freshwater shrimp ensures that all of the tank’s parameters are optimized for survival and reproduction.
  • The Whisker Shrimp has a unique appearance that will take your breath away. To see their internal organs through their grayish translucent skin is an extraordinary and mind-blowing experience.
  • Aside from that, they are pretty sensitive to temperature variations, preferring conditions comparable to those found in their natural habitat.
  • Ailments such as parasitic or bacterial infections may suddenly cause ghost shrimps to succumb because of their sensitive nature.
Facts About Whisker Shrimp

Are Whisker Shrimp Right For You?

Whisker Shrimp is one of the most visually appealing additions you can make to your home aquarium collection, and they are easy to care for.

The Whisker shrimp may be an excellent choice for your shrimp tank if you have a large, tropical aquarium that does not include any tiny invertebrates or fish species. 

Because of their semi-transparent sheen, they are difficult to ignore or dismiss as being unimportant.

In contrast, these beautiful nocturnal shrimps have a terrible reputation, and they will gladly attack and kill any smaller or more vulnerable species that enter their territory. When considering whether to adopt whisker shrimp, each enthusiast must assess the pros and drawbacks of choosing themself.


Are Shrimp With Whiskers Aggressive?

Whisker Shrimp are aggressive against small fish, other shrimp species, and snails. They are, however, under threat from larger, more aggressive fish.

What Is The Appearance Of A Whisker Shrimp?

It’s a freshwater shrimp with a transparent body that lets you look right through it.

Are There Orange Bands On Whisker Shrimp?

The distinctive orange bands are absent at the base of their feelers and on their front legs.

What Distinguishes A Shrimp Whisker?

All shrimps are visually stunning with their see-through bodies and translucent digestive tracts.

On the other hand, the whisker shrimp is much larger and has longer feelers than the ghost shrimp.


The Whisker Shrimp has become a favorite amongst aquarists who prefer keeping shrimp for the stunning display it offers an aquarium. It features a transparent body with the female being slightly larger than the male one. It is a freshwater shrimp that needs to be housed in a tank that contains purely freshwater but mildly acidic.

For your shrimp to survive better in captivity ensure that perform frequent water changes in the tank. Nearly all types of shrimp will not survive in poorly maintained aquarium waters.

1 thought on “Whisker Shrimp: Guide to Care, Diet, Breeding, Tank Mates, and More”

  1. I have a whisker and ghost shrimp and they both are still alive but one could be male and one could be female so they could possibly mate I’m sure.


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