17 Shrimp Tank Ideas For Your New Shrimp Aquarium!

Transform your shrimp tank into a vibrant underwater world with these 17 creative shrimp aquarium ideas!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this guide is packed with inspiration and practical tips to help you design a beautiful and healthy habitat for your shrimp.

From the budget-friendly Walstad Method to intricate bonsai setups, you’ll find detailed instructions and plant lists to bring your dream tank to life.

Dive in and discover how to create stunning shrimp tanks that are not only visually appealing but also supportive of your shrimp’s well-being.

Walstad Shrimp Jar Ideas

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Beginner-Friendly
  • Work In Tanks And Jars

Cons

  • Difficult To Move Plants
  • High Initial Nitrates
  • Restrictive On Hardscape

The Walstad Method is an excellent option for a shrimp tank, and there are several ways to set up a Walstad shrimp jar or tank.

I have an article detailing how I easily made my first Walstad shrimp jar, and I highly recommend this type of project for anyone new to shrimp keeping.

The concept is simple: use a one-inch layer of topsoil for your nutrient layer, cap it with one inch of fine gravel, add plenty of plants, leave it for a month to age, and then add a couple of shrimp.

Due to the low bioload of shrimp, the plants can act as a natural filter to purify your water, keeping your shrimp safe and allowing them to thrive.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Rotala Rotundifolia
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo
  • Eleocharis Pusilla
  • Java Moss

Here’s a great Walstad shrimp jar setup for inspiration, but you will need a jar with a minimum size of 2 US gallons (7.5 liters).

Regular topsoil works perfectly as a nutritional substrate, which you can cap with sand or gravel to prevent the nutrients from leaching into the water column.

You could use a small piece of driftwood for the hardscape on the right and some inexpensive detailing stones for the small rocks on the left side of the jar.

For plants, Limnophila Sessiliflora is likely the best option for the large stem plant in the back left, as it grows rapidly and will help purify the water. Aim to add 2-5 stems if possible.

Rotala Rotundifolia is perfect for the midground stem plant on the left side. It can be a fast grower, so you’ll need to trim it once or twice a month to keep it at the desired height.

A regularly trimmed Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo might work for the red plant in the middle, but it could get too large for a small jar.

Eleocharis Pusilla is a good choice for the hair grass behind the Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo, though Eleocharis Acicularis could also work.

Most types of moss will do, but trimmed Java Moss can provide a look similar to what’s in the photograph.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Bacopa Caroliniana
  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Moss

Here’s another beautiful Walstad shrimp jar that you can use as inspiration for your own project.

As with any Walstad method setup, use regular topsoil for the nutrient layer and sand or gravel for the capping layer to complete your substrate.

Small river pebbles can be used for the detailing rocks toward the front of the jar, but aim for a jar that is at least 2 US gallons (7.5 liters) or larger.

For the fern-like plant on the left-hand side, regularly trimmed Hygrophila Pinnatifida may work, but I recommend Limnophila Sessiliflora instead. Although it looks different, it offers superior natural water purification, making it ideal for Walstad setups.

Bacopa Caroliniana could be used for the stem plant in the back right, but since it’s a slow grower, I generally prefer fast-growing stem plants for Walstad tanks and jars.

For a splash of red in the background, Ludwigia Mini Super Red is a great choice. It grows quickly and performs better in Walstad setups compared to other popular red plants.

Most types of moss will work well in this shrimp jar, so choose whichever is easiest to find in your area.

Pokemon Shrimp Jar Ideas

Pros

  • Cheap And Easy
  • Small Hardscape

Cons

  • May Have Water Problems
  • Figure Takes Up Lots Of Space
pokemon fish tank idea
A Pikachiu Fish Tank Idea

Plant List

  • Rotala Rotundifolia
  • Moss

Pokémon is one of the most popular franchises of all time, and Pokémon-themed aquariums and jarrariums are becoming increasingly popular.

Rather than go into too much detail here, I recommend checking out my article on Pokémon fish tank ideas. However, I will provide a breakdown of the beautiful Pokémon shrimp jar shown above.

For the substrate, you can use any suitable option, but Fluval Stratum is a good choice as it helps buffer the pH to keep it safe for your shrimp.

After adding the substrate, use small pieces of driftwood for detailing and add your favorite type of moss.

Select a Pokémon aquarium figure and place it in the jar to gauge the available space for plants.

Once the figure is in place, add a few stems of Rotala Rotundifolia around it to complete the look.

Nature Style Shrimp Tank Ideas

Pros

  • Plenty Of Natural Filtration
  • Lots Of Grazing Area
  • Can Be Easy

Cons

  • Plants Can Be Expensive
  • Can Require Regular Trimming
  • Lots Of Plants Hide Shrimp

Nature-style shrimp tanks have become incredibly popular recently and are likely the best option for beginners.

These tanks are ideal for beginners, intermediates, and advanced shrimp keepers due to their high level of customization.

Most nature-style shrimp tanks are heavily planted, eliminating the need for a filter, which can also help keep costs down.

Nature style shrimp tank

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Moss

This is one of the most beginner-friendly planted shrimp tank setups you can find, and most newcomers to shrimp keeping should be able to create something like this and have their shrimp thrive.

Unlike many other shrimp tank ideas featured in this article, this setup uses only three different plants, with trimmings of Limnophila Sessiliflora and moss being replanted in the tank to keep costs low.

A nice piece of cheap bogwood works perfectly for the driftwood, and some inexpensive river pebbles work for the detailing rocks.

Fill the background of the tank with as many Limnophila Sessiliflora stems as possible to naturally purify your tank’s water by using ammonia as food as they grow.

A Cryptocoryne Wendtii is a good choice for the midground plant on the right side of the tank, but other plants could work here too.

Once your main plants are in place, cover the driftwood in moss and let it grow out.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Bucephalandra
  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Moss
  • Monte Carlo

This is a slightly more advanced nature-style shrimp tank idea that might require CO2 to achieve the best results, but it looks fantastic and can be a rewarding project.

I would probably opt for aqua soil for this setup, but top soil capped with sand or gravel can also work well.

Finding the perfect piece of driftwood for this tank setup might be challenging, so it will likely be easier to get multiple pieces of driftwood and arrange them in a way that works well.

For the stem plant in the back left corner, use Limnophila Sessiliflora, and Hygrophila Polysperma could work well for the stem plant in the back right corner.

Depending on your budget, you might want to stick with one type of stem plant and cover the background with it.

A Bucephalandra variant with a red tint is probably the easiest way to get those pops of red on the driftwood.

For the fern-like plants around the base of the driftwood, something like Staurogyne Repens would work better with shrimp.

For the moss, good old Java Moss is a solid choice, but Christmas Moss could also work well.

Monte Carlo is probably a good choice for the carpet in this tank, but it can struggle without CO2 and decent lighting.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Bacopa Caroliniana
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Rotala Rotundifolia
  • Bucephalandra
  • Anubias Nana Petite
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Java Moss

This next shrimp tank idea is a bit more advanced than some of the others featured in this article and will require regular maintenance and trimming to achieve the best results.

Since this tank is heavily planted, using a high-quality liquid fertilizer regularly is highly recommended. This ensures that your plants receive both the macro and micronutrients they need to thrive.

Most types of substrate should work well in this tank, and you can keep costs low by using cheap bogwood and inexpensive rocks for your scape.

For plants, consider Bacopa Caroliniana for the back right, but keep in mind it is a slow grower and doesn’t purify the water as effectively as some other stem plants.

Hygrophila Polysperma should work well for the stem plant in the back center. I would add more stems than shown in the photograph to maximize natural water purification.

Rotala Rotundifolia in the back left is a good choice as it resembles the plant in the photograph and grows quickly, aiding in water purification.

A Bucephalandra variant with a red hue can be used for the red accents on the driftwood, but Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo could also work if you have enough substrate in small divots in your hardscape.

Anubias Nana Petite is perfect for the base of the driftwood in the middle of the tank, but be aware of Anubias melt and rhizome rot.

Cryptocoryne Wendtii would work well in the front left of the tank, but several other popular plants could look good here.

Java Moss is probably the best option for this tank to cover your hardscape, providing hiding and grazing spots for your shrimp and completing the look.

Driftwood Shrimp Tank Ideas

Pros

  • Plenty Of Grazing Spots
  • Can Be Very Cheap
  • Easy To Maintain

Cons

  • Usually Require A Filter
  • Driftwood Takes Up Space
  • Some Driftwood Leaks Tannins

Driftwood shrimp tanks are a very popular option, especially for beginners in shrimp keeping.

Not only are they cost-effective, as basic bogwood works well, but they also tend to be easy to maintain and provide plenty of grazing spots for your shrimp.

However, due to the lack of fast-growing stem plants in these tanks, you will usually need to use a filter to help purify the water, which can increase costs depending on your tank size.

Another potential downside is that some types of driftwood can leak tannins into the water. While these tannins are not harmful to shrimp, they can turn the water brown, which some people may not find appealing.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Java Moss
  • Monte Carlo

This is a simple yet beautiful tank setup, though finding the right driftwood might be challenging.

Using a mix of mangrove root, corbo catfish wood, and bogwood is likely your best option, though it may increase the project’s costs.

After adding your substrate and hardscape to the tank, start anchoring your moss to the driftwood and let it grow out over the coming months.

For the carpeting plant, you could use Monte Carlo, Helanthium Tenellum, or even Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis. Your shrimp will enjoy grazing on the algae and biofilm that forms on the carpet.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Eleocharis Acicularis
  • Java Moss
  • Marimo Moss Balls

Here’s another shrimp tank idea that can be quite simple, with the most challenging part being the driftwood.

Instead of searching for the perfect piece, consider getting some corbo catfish wood and starting your project. However, large, detailed pieces of corbo catfish wood can be expensive, so there’s always a trade-off.

For the stem plant on the back right of the tank, I recommend using Limnophila Sessiliflora. Try to add as much as possible, rather than the few stems shown in the photograph. Limnophila Sessiliflora is an underrated plant for shrimp tanks as it helps purify the water, provides hiding spots, and offers ample grazing space for your shrimp.

For the hair grass on the left-hand side of the driftwood, something like Eleocharis Acicularis should work well, but most types of dwarf hair grass will suffice. Again, try to add as much hair grass as possible to ensure plenty of grazing spots for your shrimp.

Java Moss is the obvious choice for the moss on the driftwood, but you’ll definitely want to add more than shown in the photograph. Java Moss is probably the best plant for shrimp tanks, and I always like to add plenty of it.

For the circular moss on the substrate, consider using Marimo Moss Balls, though they will eventually grow larger than the ones shown in the photograph.

Mountain Scape Shrimp Tank Ideas

Pros

  • Unique Look
  • Plenty Of Grazing Space

Cons

  • Can Be Expensive
  • Usually Need A Filter

Mountain scape shrimp tanks have surged in popularity recently, thanks to some stunning tanks going viral on social media and YouTube.

While some of these setups can be relatively straightforward to create, they often cost more than many of the other tank setups featured in this article, so budget considerations are important.

Additionally, it’s crucial to note that certain types of rocks can release minerals into the tank water, potentially raising the pH level.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Ludwigia Mini Super Red
  • Java Moss

This is a beautiful shrimp tank that can easily support a small shrimp colony.

As with most mountain aquascapes, the biggest challenge is finding suitable rocks. Focus on Seriyu Stone, Geo Stone, Frodo Stone, and Millennium Stone, as these often have the sharper, jagged edges desirable for this style. However, they can be difficult to find in specialist aquascaping stores, so you might need to break up other stones to get the shapes you want.

For the red stem plant in the background, something like Ludwigia Mini Super Red would work well. Ideally, add 3-8 stems rather than just one to create a fuller look.

For the rest of the plants, you can use moss. Java Moss is an obvious choice, but you could also experiment with multiple types of moss to achieve different textures, adding more visual interest to the tank.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Eleocharis Acicularis
  • Marimo Moss Balls
  • Moss

This is another relatively simple mountain scape that can work well as a shrimp tank, though it might be a bit more expensive due to the use of red rocks.

Dragon Stone is likely your best bet for rocks, but red lava rock could also work in certain situations. If you’re open to using other colors, Seriyu Stone, Geo Stone, Frodo Stone, and Millennium Stone are all good options.

For the plants, smaller Cryptocoryne Wendtii variants could work well in the foreground and along the left-hand side of the tank. Eleocharis Acicularis is suitable for the hair grass at the middle and top of the rock on the right-hand side, but most types of hair grass would work well here.

For the balls of moss on the substrate around the base of the rock, Marimo Moss Balls are a great choice. Alternatively, you could cover small rocks in regular moss for a similar effect.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo
  • Moss
  • Monte Carlo

Here’s a mountain scape shrimp tank that is truly beautiful and surprisingly easy to set up and maintain.

Unlike the other mountain scape tanks featured in this article, you could use Dragon Wood driftwood as your “rock” in this setup and still achieve great results. Alternatively, regular rocks such as Seriyu Stone, Geo Stone, Frodo Stone, and Millennium Stone can also work well.

For the plants, consider using Hygrophila Polysperma for the green stem plant towards the back left of the tank. Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo may provide nice pops of red around the hardscape, though it can be challenging depending on the tank size and whether you can hide substrate on the hardscape.

An easier option might be a Bucephalandra variant with red hues, though it may not be as vibrant as the photograph above.

Most types of moss should work well in this aquascape, so choose whatever is available in your local area. Monte Carlo could serve as the carpeting plant in this shrimp tank, but it can sometimes struggle without CO2, so keep that in mind.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii Flamingo
  • Moss
  • Monte Carlo

Here’s a slightly more advanced mountain scape that you could use in your shrimp tank, but be aware that this setup will likely be more expensive than the average mountain scape.

The higher cost is due to the need for multiple pieces of rock to create the various offshoots in the scape. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure all the rocks are securely held in place to prevent any potential issues with them falling and cracking your tank glass.

If you’re new to the shrimp-keeping hobby, I recommend choosing one of the other featured shrimp tanks above, as they are much easier to set up.

Bonsai Tree Shrimp Tank Ideas

Pros

  • Can Look Amazing
  • Plenty Of Grazing Space

Cons

  • Intermediate-Advanced
  • Expensive

Although the Bonsai tree trend is starting to slow down, there was a significant spike in the popularity of this type of aquascape a few years ago, with photographs of Bonsai tree tanks flooding social media.

While these setups can look amazing, people often overlook how challenging they are to create and the potential expenses involved.

You’ll need bonsai driftwood as the base for your aquarium bonsai tree, and the prices for these can quickly become quite high.

The video below covers three different methods for creating aquarium bonsai trees that might help you with this type of tank setup.

shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Java Moss
  • Marimo Moss Balls
  • Monte Carlo

This type of bonsai shrimp tank looks fantastic but can be challenging to replicate.

Instead of spending excessive time searching for the perfect rocks and tree base, I recommend getting something close enough and setting up your tank.

Seriyu Stone or driftwood could work for the base of the main hardscape, and a standard bonsai tree base should suffice for most people.

Build your bonsai tree using your preferred method, then focus on the rest of the tank.

Java Moss is likely the best option for this particular tree, as it can achieve a similar texture when trimmed short.

Marimo Moss Balls should work well for the small moss balls around the tank base, and you could use Monte Carlo, Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis, or Helanthium Tenellum for the carpet.

Tree shrimp tank idea

Plant List

  • Moss

This bonsai tree scape is simpler to create than the previous one, though it may not look as impressive.

For this tank, you’ll only need moss, and you can use various types depending on your desired bonsai tree appearance.

To keep costs low, use affordable materials for the rest of the hardscape and arrange the tank in a way that suits your preference.

Even though shrimp have a low bioload, you might still need a filter for this setup due to the minimal number of plants available to help maintain your tank’s water parameters.

Lost City Shrimp Tank Ideas

Pros

  • Eye Catching
  • A Test Of Skill

Cons

  • Difficult To Build
  • Expensive

Lost city aquascapes are incredibly popular right now, and for good reason—they look stunning when executed well.

However, creating these aquascapes requires a high level of skill and tends to be more expensive compared to other shrimp tank setups featured in this article.

Custom 3D-printed buildings are trending but can be very pricey.

If you’re on a budget, consider using tabletop gaming buildings, which are much cheaper and can look equally impressive.

Keep in mind that lost city setups typically require a suitable filter and target feeding for your shrimp.

shrimp tank idea

This shrimp tank idea showcases what can be achieved using inexpensive tabletop gothic building ruins as the main centerpiece.

There’s no need for custom 3D prints that cost hundreds or even thousands. While the increasing popularity of these building sets means more people might have the same one, the cost savings are substantial.

After placing your buildings and hardscape where you want them, add moss to the areas where you want plant growth. Mount your filter and introduce your shrimp.

Due to the limited number of plants, even a small shrimp colony may require regular water changes to maintain proper water parameters.

shrimp tank idea

Here is another relatively simple lost city scape that can be recreated using tabletop gaming ruined buildings.

Similar to the previous aquascape, start by building out the hardscape, adding the buildings, and then introducing your moss.

Trim the moss regularly to prevent it from overtaking the scape. Be sure to include a hidden filter behind one of the buildings and feed your shrimp every other day.

Cool Shrimp Tank Ideas

Pros

  • Unique Looking Tanks

Cons

  • Can Be Expensive

Cool, unique-looking shrimp tanks are often impractical and difficult to maintain, so I generally advise against them.

Therefore, I will only be featuring one in this article, as I firmly believe that live plants are always the best option for shrimp tanks.

shrimp tank idea

This eye-catching shrimp tank idea uses various plastic corals to create visual appeal.

Although biofilm and algae will eventually grow on the decorations, it’s still a good idea to target feed your shrimp every other day to ensure they have enough food.

If you notice your shrimp are focusing on grazing the decorations, you can reduce the target feeding.

Since this tank lacks natural filtration, it’s advisable to add some type of filter.

Depending on the size of your shrimp colony, regular partial water changes may also be necessary to manage ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.