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How To Setup A Planted Shrimp Bowl!

The popularity of keeping shrimp tanks is sky rocketing right now and we have recently published articles on setting up a 1 gallon shrimp tank as well as setting up a no filter shrimp tank due to seeing so many people reaching out to ask about them.

We have recently been seeing a number of people specifically asking about setting up a planted shrimp bowl to house their shrimp so we have decided to make that the main focus of today’s article to try and help as many of our readers as possible who are looking to keep their shrimp in a bowl with plenty of live plants.

Planted shrimp bowls can be an excellent way to set up a shrimp only tank as they are usually cheap, small, and easy to keep.

The majority of planted shrimp bowl setups can also work very well with most species of shrimp too and the plants in the tank can sometimes provide enough detritus and algae to feed your shrimp indefinitely for you too.

There are a huge range of different sizes bowls available on the market these days with many of them being suitable for keeping shrimp in them.

That said, we would usually recommend that you try to go with a two gallon bowl as an absolute minimum for most species of shrimp with large sizes bowls being better if possible.

You are able to make one gallon bowls work but you will usually need some prior experience in maintaining steady water parameters and the price difference between a one gallon and two gallon bowl really is minimal anyway.

Can I Keep Shrimp In A Planted Bowl?

You are able to keep shrimp in a bowl and planted shrimp bowls are becoming a very popular way for people new to aquarium keeping to build up some initial experience and hone their skills.

These shrimp bowl setups can be as beginner friendly and basic as you need them or as advanced and intricate as possible depending on your skill level to offering a wide range of customization.

As we covered in our article on keeping shrimp in a biorb, there is a large sub-community amongst aquarium keepers who love to heavily customize their tanks and share their photographs on social media with their setups often going viral.

This is one of the main reasons that planted shrimp bowls are such an excellent option for so many people as they are able to fit well with the needs of so many people offering high levels of customization.

Due to the small sizes of most bowls on the market, we would recommend that you keep a shrimp bowl a shrimp only tank.

Some people do try to add small fish to the tank but this can increase the bioload of the tank and make it more difficult to care for correctly while also increasing the amount of tank maintenance required on your part.

If you are a beginner, you should definitely be looking towards just keeping a single species of shrimp in your shrimp bowl until you gain some experience with keeping your bowl within the required water parameters and then you can look to expand your hobby.

How Do You Setup A Planted Shrimp Bowl?

Setting up a planted shrimp bowls is easier than most people initially realize and it can be as easy as getting a suitably sized bowl, adding your substrate, setting your live plants of choice, and adding your shrimp.

The tank maintenance requirements of a planted shrimp bowl is usually low making it an extremely easy tank to maintain moving forward too with water parameters often very easy to maintain compared to other setups.

As we touched on earlier in the article, going with a larger bowl will be better for the majority of people, especially beginners and a two gallon bowl is usually the absolute minimum that we would recommend.

We have an article going over if shrimp need a filter or not and you are able to successfully build out shrimp tanks with and without a filter depending on how many shrimp and plants that you are trying to keep.

The majority of people really should be looking at adding shrimplets to their bowl rather than fully grown, adult shrimp too but you can add adult shrimp if you struggle to find shrimplets.

The majority of planted shrimp bowls should not need a heater so this can help to keep your costs as low as possible too moving forward to help keep the project as budget friendly as possible for beginners.

What Shrimp Can Work Well In A Planted Bowl?

There are a number of different shrimp species that can thrive in a planted shrimp bowl with cherry shrimp usually being the obvious option.

Both neon yellow shrimp and blue shrimp are also very popular options too but some people also keep amano shrimp in a planted shrimp bowl too but their pale appearance does make them a less popular option.

We do commonly see people reaching out to ask if they can keep multiple types of shrimp in their aquarium together but this is often discouraged and most people should just stick with a single type of shrimp in their bowls.

As we covered in our article about keeping amano shrimp with cherry shrimp, the larger species of shrimp will often eat the smaller ones causing problems if you do keep different types of shrimp in the same tank.

Some species of shrimp are also able to cross-breed with each other too and as we covered in our article on letting yellow shrimp and cherry shrimp breed, you will commonly find that the offspring of crossbred shrimp will return to their natural wild colors.

It is surprisingly difficult to develop stable breeding lines for new colors of shrimp and the genetics don’t match up to maintain yellow or red baby shrimp if you let the two species breed and the babies will usually be brown and potential ruin the aesthetic of your tank.

Do You Need To Feed Shrimp In A Planted Bowl?

You are able to set a planted shrimp bowl up to be a self-contained ecosystem where you don’t have to feed your shrimp due to the plants in the blow providing all of the detritus and algae required for your shrimp to eat.

This is usually for more advanced setups though and beginners to keeping shrimp bowls will often have to supplement the diets of their pet shrimp.

There are a huge number of ways that you are able to supplement the diet of your shrimp with various foods but one of the more popular ways is to use shrimp lollies.

Not only are they cheap, easy to find, and easy to use but the majority of shrimp seem to absolutely love eating shrimp lollies with the nutritional value of the product being optimized for shrimp too.

Many shrimp species will also eat kitchen scraps though but not all kitchen scraps are suitable as a food source so you should always double check that anything you are thinking of feeding your shrimp is actually safe to feed your pets.

You should also factor in that some food types can potentially cause problems with the water parameters once added to your shrimp bowl too so keep that in mind also.


That brings our article going over keeping a planted shrimp bowl to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you. The majority of people should easily be able to setup and maintain a planted shrimp bowl with minimal problems moving forward and they really are a great way to get involved in the aquarium keeping hobby to build up your initial skillsets with a very beginner friendly setup.