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How To Setup A 1 Gallon Shrimp Tank!

As the number of people looking to take up aquarium keeping in a small space increases as well as the number of people looking to specifically keep shrimp tanks keeps going from strength to strength, we have noticed a number of people reaching out and asking about keeping a 1 gallon shrimp tank.

Although a 1 gallon shrimp tank is often overlooked with many people thinking that it is too small, it is actually a great way to get started in aquarium keeping.

With the blue amano shrimp and the purple cherry shrimp getting large amounts of attention on social media right now, we only expect the number of people looking to keep a shrimp only tank to increase over the coming years too.

Our hope is that our article going over the commonly asked questions that we see time and time again about keeping a 1 gallon shrimp tank will be able to help our readers get their own shrimp tanks off the ground and help you get started.

A 1 gallon shrimp tank really is an excellent gateway into the aquarium keeping hobby as the initial costs are minimal and then you can keep expanding into larger tanks and add additional things to what you keep in addition to your shrimp.

If you do fall in love with aquarium keeping then you are also able to use your 1 gallon shrimp tank as a breeding tank to produce shrimp for your other larger tanks that you may expand into in the future too.

Can Shrimp Go In A 1 Gallon Tank?

You are able to keep a number of shrimp in a 1 gallon tank with ease with some people even adding some very small fish to their 1 gallon tanks in addition to their shrimp.

For most people, we would only recommend that you keep shrimp in such a small tank though along with some live plants and potentially a snail.

In reality though, it is surprisingly hard to get a 1 gallon tank with most people opting to go with a 1.2 gallon tank like the YCTECH 1.2 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit that is perfect for use as a shrimp tank and only costs around $35 depending on the retailer.

Unlike most other 1.2-1.5 gallon starter aquariums, the YCTECH starter kit comes with a built in filter making it easier to maintain the tank with less effort required on your part.

There are a few other suitable tanks on the market around the 1 gallon capacity that are suitable for use as 1 gallon shrimp tanks but we would always recommend that you go with the YCTECH 1.2 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit if possible due to it being so cheap while offering everything you need.

It is also readily available too so there is no need to wait for your tank to be delivered like some of the competing small tanks that can be a pain to find.

“Cherry Shrimp” by s_jacoby is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

How Many Shrimp Can You Have in A 1 Gallon Tank?

Most people should only keep two to five shrimp in a 1 gallon tank and although you can technically keep more, you have to factor in the small water volume and the waste the shrimp produce.

More than five shrimp in a 1 gallon tank will usually end up with problems with the water parameters due to there being too much waste in the tank.

You are able to purchase sets of five cherry shrimp online for around $20 with cherry shrimp usually being the most popular shrimp to keep in a 1 gallon tank due to their bright red colors.

You can usually get five ghost shrimp for around $15 if you want to take the ghost shrimp path with some people preferring them over cherry shrimp due to their translucent bodies.

A pack of five amano shrimp are also around $15 if you want to take that route but most people do usually go with cherry shrimp or ghost shrimp for their 1 gallon shrimp tanks.

There are some less common shrimp species that can also work too but they tend to pump your initial costs up and as most people looking to keep a 1 gallon shrimp tank being new to aquarium keeping, they usually want to keep their costs low.

Do You Need Shrimp Hides In A 1 Gallon Shrimp Tank?

You should always have shrimp hides in your shrimp tanks and even though a 1 gallon shrimp tank is small, you should still have at least 1 shrimp hide with plenty of live plants for the shrimp to hide in.

This can reduce stress and anxiety in the shrimp and help them feel safe but shrimp hides can be made out of almost anything and can be very cheap.

We have a dedicated article going over different shrimp hide ideas that may be helpful if you are looking at different ways that you are able to keep shrimp in a 1 gallon tank.

You can usually find some form of hide for your shrimp but most people will usually want to integrate some form of aquascape into the tank anyway with a range of different plants.

If you are considering adding live plants to your shrimp tank then skimming over the various suitable live plants is usually the best place to start.

You can often get some great ideas for different leaf colors and shapes to visualize how you are able to use them in your tank when you set everything up.

How Do You Set Up A 1 Gallon Shrimp Tank?

The best thing about a 1 gallon shrimp tank is that you can set it up anyway you wish.

You can use a simple minimalist design or create a detailed aquascape that takes a bunch of time and effort to maintain as well as everything in between provided you have water within suitable parameters for your shrimp to survive, you are generally good to go.

Although a tank with a filter is not essential for something like a 1 gallon shrimp tank, it is usually recommended and that is one of the reasons that we recommend the YCTECH 1.2 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit as out rank of choice for your 1 gallon shrimp tank.

You are usually able to find a number of photographs of other peoples 1 gallon shrimp tanks on social media that you are able to use as inspiration for your own too.

We have actually seen some people get very creative using wall bubble tanks for their shrimp tanks too with some of them looking phenomenal. Just remember that the more intricate the design of your shrimp tank, the more maintenance it will require.

Are 1 Gallon Shrimp Tanks Low Maintenance?

Provided you keep two to five shrimp in a 1 gallon shrimp tank, it is generally considered a low maintenance tank with maintenance requirements really being minimal if you have two or three shrimp in there.

The minimal maintenance requirement of these smaller tanks with less shrimp in them makes them excellent for beginners as they as so easy to care for.

Unfortunately, it is very common for people new to keeping shrimp tanks to overstock their tanks, especially the smaller ones and then wonder why they are having problems with their water parameters.

This is why we only ever recommend that you keep a maximum of five shrimp in such a small tank with three or less usually being better when it comes to keeping tank maintenance requirements as low as possible.

Due to the lower volume of water in these smaller tanks, it is always going to need more maintenance than a larger tank though as the smaller water builds up toxins quicker.

This is why many people will start with a 3 gallon tank instead of a 1 gallon tank due to maintenance being easier and being able to keep more shrimp in the tank too.


That brings our article going over keeping a 1 gallon shrimp tank to an end. We hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible and that we have helped provide you with some pointers on what you should be trying to do with your own shrimp tank. A 1 gallon shrimp tank really is an excellent place to start for most people and we would highly recommend them if you are wanting to get started in aquarium keeping or just wanting to start your first shrimp only tank.