Shrimps are super sensitive species and need clean and stable water parameters. They also need a lot of surface area in their tanks so they can scavenge for food and biofilm. Having live plants will solve all these problems and give your shrimp a better living environment.
If you’re planning to keep or breed shrimps, it is vital to pick one or more types of plants to add to your tank. These live plants not only add greenery to your tank but will also provide your shrimp with a source of food.
If you ask any shrimp keeper for shrimp-keeping advice, they will all mention the importance of live plants and how live plants make your tank more stable. Because shrimp tanks need fewer water changes, it is important to have live plants to remove toxins from the water and keep the tank’s pH stable.
Top Shrimp Tank Plants
The ideal type of plant for a shrimp tank is a plant that is low maintenance, hardy, and can create a bushy dense jungle. The denser the plant is the more surface it can create and thus the happier your shrimps will be.
Here are our top picks of plants for a shrimp tank:
1. Java Moss
Java moss is a tough aquatic moss plant that will increase the surface area of your shrimp aquarium. You can keep them in your shrimp tank with minimal care or maintenance. This moss is well-known for its dense growth and ease of care. This is why they make an ideal plant for shrimp aquariums.
This semi-aquatic plant is easy to propagate and grows under any lighting conditions. They also grow without the need for the substrate which makes them even more desirable for shrimp setups.
Simply collect a cluster of them and put them in a shrimp tank or attach them to ornaments to make a lovely aquascape. Java moss has no roots but it can attach itself to objects. If you leave them floating in the tank you will see they will slowly start to attach to objects and stay permanently in that position.
Java moss can make a great plant for shrimps as it absorbs nutrients directly from the water column. Ir will keep the water clean and so fewer water changes will be required. They also have very affordable plants that are almost always available to purchase.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Java Moss Care Guide
The Subwassertang or Süsswassertang is another great plant for shrimp tanks. This fern plant will grow slowly and has the appearance of seaweed. They are extremely hardy species of aquatic plants that will make a great addition to your tank. They are an ideal low-light plant that you can even have in your Caridina shrimp tanks to add more surface area.
This aquatic plant is easy to grow and propagate which makes them a great beginner-friendly plant for a shrimp tank. They grow under any lighting conditions and need minimal care requirements. This plant will grow dense and absorb nutrients from the water column so no special substrate is needed.
Subwassertang plant has no roots, stem, or leaves and grows as a single weed with branches. They are great plants but sourcing them is a little hard as they grow extremely slow. If you can find this plant for sale we highly recommend having it in your tanks.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Subwassertang Care Guide
3. Water Sprite
Water Sprite is a fern type of aquatic plant that can be kept in a shrimp tank. This tough stem plant can make a great addition to your shrimp tank as it can grate dense jungles in the tank. This makes them an excellent choice for your shrimp aquarium.
Their unusual leaf shape and lovely green hue will complement the colors of your shrimps. This plant is also quite inexpensive and nearly always available at pet stores.
This fast-growing plant may be grown either floating or in the substrate. They mainly absorb toxins off the water column making your tank more clean. You can leave this plant floating in the water column or plant in the substrate.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Water Sprite Care Guide
4. Amazon Frogbit
This surface floating plant is a perfect addition to any shrimp aquarium. The Amazon Frogbit‘s thick roots will wilt off the surface of the water making your tank look more beautiful. At the same time, it will also absorb waste and debris from the water making your tank more clean. When conditions are right this plant can swiftly cover the surface of your tank.
Same as shrimps, this plant requires calm and still water. This makes them great companions for shrimps. The long root structure of this plant will also give your shrimps a lot of surface area to scavenge.
The long and silky roots of frogbit will greatly enhance the aesthetic of your shrimp tank. While preventing the water from evaporating as well as removing toxins. These are the qualities you should be looking for in a plant for a shrimp tank.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Amazon Frogbit Care Guide.
Duckweed is a small plant commonly kept in shrimp tanks. This tiny plant will cover the entire surface of your tank and make your shrimp feel safer in the shade. They will also slow down the water evaporation rate in a shrimp tank. This and the fact that they grow super fast, making them a great plant for any shrimp tank.
However, this plant needs a calm surface of the water to be able to grow. The good thing about a shrimp tank is that the water is always still which makes it an ideal environment for duckweed to grow.
While most consider duckweed a pest plant in their tanks, shrimp keepers find them extremely helpful. This plant will remove toxins from the water faster than any other plant. It also gives your shrimp an extra layer to explore and scavenge. We keep Duckweed along with other plants in all our shrimp tanks. We often see shrimplets staying close to the duckweed and feeding off the biofilm it creates.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Duckweed Care Guide
6. Dwarf Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)
Dwarf Water Lettuce is a hardy surface floating species of aquarium plant that you can add to your shrimp tanks. This plant can grow thick roots and large leaves and will cover the entire surface of your tank. They grow rapidly and as a result, they will absorb all the waste and toxins off your shrimp tank.
Same as shrimps, water lettuce prefers slow-moving waters with a still surface. They grow long roots that your shrimps can scavenge for food and take refuge. Water lettuce is one of the best plants for keeping a shrimp tank clean. They will grow and propagate rapidly and as a result, they will absorb as much nutrients off the water as they can.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Dwarf Water Lettuce Care Guide
7. Java Fern
The Java Fern is another great plant to add to your shrimp tank. This plant is hardy and grows long leaves making your tank look more beautiful. At the same time, they are not root-feeding species so they will continuously absorb ammonia from the water column.
However, this plant will grow slowly and as a result, it is not the best plant to remove toxins fast. The main purpose of this plant is to complement other plants you keep in your tank and also to make your tank more diverse and beautiful.
Same as all other plants, it will add a lot of surface area to your tank and will provide your shrimps with a lot of biofilms to eat. We added this plant to this list because of its hardiness and its ability to live in dim lighting conditions.
When adding this plant to your tank make sure not to cover its rhizome with the substrate. The light should reach the rhizome so this plant can survive.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Java Fern Care Guide
The Anubias plants are one of the hardiest and slow-growing species of aquarium plants you can get for your shrimps. Same as Java Ferns this plant is a rhizome plant and grows at a slow rate.
The Anubias plants are one of the most common freshwater plants that are almost always available in pet stores. This plant has many varients and all of them can make a good shrimp tank plant. They are very affordable and are super easy to care for.
Anubias are incredibly low-maintenance plants which makes them a great plant for a Neocaridina shrimp tank. The large and sturdy leaves of this plant will give your shrimps enough surface area to scavenge for algae and biofilms.
Anubias are water column feeders and do not need substrate to thrive. This makes them even more desirable plants for shrimps. Because they grow very slowly, you can basically put them in your tank and you will rarely need to do any pruning or trimming.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Anubias Care Guide
9. Buce Plants (bucephalandra)
Bucephalandra or Buce Plants are another type of hardy plants you can have in your shrimp tank. This plant is very similar to anubias in terms of care and growth. But Buce plants grow wavy dark leaves that look very different from Anubias.
These plants are hardy and can withstand most tank conditions. They will grow in low-light conditions without any issues. There are many different variants of bucephalandra available in pet stores. each will grow at a different size and shape making it easy for you to decorate your tank beautifully.
These plants grow slowly and will not demand a lot of attention from you. Same as Anubias, they are water column feeders that will not need a substrate to grow. This plant is often sold at affordable rates making them more accessible for most shrimp keepers.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Buce Plants Care Guide
10. Marimo Moss Ball
Marimo Moss Balls are one of the best greenery for a shrimp tank. Moss Ball, despite its name, is a type of algae. This algae naturally forms into a ball shape by the movement of the water in rivers.
These algae can be a great plant to keep with your shrimps as they can eat biofilm of it. Shrimps often gather around this ball and start eating. This makes your tank stay cleaner and healthier for your shrimps.
Marimo means “Seaweed ball” in Japanese but it’s now more famous as Moss Ball. This alga is one of the few good algae you can add to your tank as they will not spread and take over your tank.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Marimo Moss Ball Care Guide
Anacharis is another tough plant that you can keep in with your shrimps. This plant is extremely easy to care for and requires very little care. They produce semi-transparent tin leaves that will enhance the appearance of your aquarium.
Anacharis is a basic yet lovely stem plant that can grow into a dense jungle for your shrimps to explore. As long as you have a good source of light, this plant can flourish and grow without any issues. They are the ideal plant for shrimp tanks as they will continually absorb nutrients from the water, making your shrimp tank healthier.
The Anacharis plant has gained a lot of interest in recent years and is now a staple plant in most pet stores. Because it can thrive in low-tech tanks, this plant is a fantastic choice for shrimps.
For more information about his plant please follow this link: Anacharis Care Guide
Things to Consider
Shrimps are super sensitive species so it is important to quarantine plants before adding them to your shrimp tank. All imported plants will be sprayed with pesticides in order to prevent the introduction of invasive species.
These pesticides will stay on the plants for weeks before they get washed by water changes. Even a small amount of pesticides will eradicate your entire shrimp tank. I remember I lost my first shrimp colony for the same exact reason. It was only then that I realized the USDA made it a requirement to use pesticides on aquatic plants.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to buy tissue culture plants. If this is not an option you should quarantine your plants for 2 – 6 weeks before adding them to your tank. As a precaution, I add a shrimp to the quarantine tank and see if it can survive for a few days or not. I add the plants to my tanks only if the shrimp survive.
Shrimps should have a sufficient amount of surface area in their tanks to be able to thrive. Ideally, you can mix a few different types of these plants to create a beautiful aquascape. Doing this will give you a beautiful tank that you can enjoy and a better living space for your shrimps. The plants we mentioned are also great for baby shrimps as they can provide your shrimplets with food and shelter.