Can Saltwater Shrimp Live in Freshwater?

Not all shrimp can survive in either freshwater or saltwater. However, is it possible to maintain these two varieties of shrimp in the same tank? Can Saltwater Shrimp Live in Freshwater?

It would have been an amazing sight, but biology and nature rarely agree. We’ll talk about maintaining saltwater shrimp in freshwater here. Has this accomplishment been made? Let’s try it.

Can Saltwater Shrimp Live in Freshwater?

The body of a saltwater shrimp is not adapted to low salinity in water. They can only survive in oceans and seas with salinities more than 35 gm/kg. So a shrimp from salt water cannot survive in fresh water. These shrimp will bloat and die if their natural osmosis mechanism is interfered with by freshwater.

Can Saltwater Shrimp Live in Freshwater

Why Can Saltwater Shrimps Not Live In Freshwater?

1.   Because of osmosis

Osmosis is the process by which water moves across membranes from regions with a larger number of solutes (lower concentration of dissolved substances) to regions with a higher concentration (lower amount of solutes). Water is moved during this process, which helps to balance the concentrations in the two locations.

Seawater has a high salinity level in a saltwater shrimp’s native environment. As a result, the water they consume must be expelled with the aid of diffusion and the cell’s passive energy usage. They can maintain a continual state of osmosis thanks to this dispelling.

The habitat of the saltwater shrimp therefore contains more salt than the shrimp itself does. They will therefore continuously lose water and add salt in order to make up the required amount of salt. Additionally, they must often hydrate their bodies by drinking water. Thus, saltwater shrimps manage to survive in saltwater in this manner.

In freshwater, however, they won’t behave in the same manner since their bodies will only be eating water and not salt, which aids in the excretion of water from the body. Then, as a result of bloating, their body would enlarge and they will pass away.

2.   Various water characteristics

For saltwater shrimp to grow, the salinity of the water must be at least 35 grams per kilogram. They will become sicker and eventually die if their water has less salt.

3.   Various dietary requirements

Some marine shrimp have unique diets, while the majority consume the same foods as freshwater shrimp. Sea stars are the only food source for saltwater shrimps like Harlequin Shrimps. This is due to their reliance on these echinoderms. A pair of these shrimps may live for a week on a medium sea star.

The Bumblebee Shrimps have an unusual diet as well. Echinoderm tube feet make up the majority of their food. They are less finicky than Harlequin shrimps, though. They will eat pellets, brines, and frozen meals. The problem with these shrimps is that they struggle to find food on their own when kept in captivity. You must feed them every day, unlike freshwater shrimp.

4.   Various breeding requirements

Freshwater shrimp cannot reproduce there. For their shrimplets to grow, the water must have a greater salt level. For the larvae to grow, saltwater shrimp do not alter their environment, in contrast to freshwater species like Amano shrimp.

What Happens If You Keep Freshwater Shrimps In A Saltwater Aquarium?

Osmosis also takes place in this scenario. This is due to the increased quantities of salt that are present in a freshwater shrimp’s body. The shrimp will thus have to absorb saltwater while maintained in saltwater, increasing the quantity of salt in its body. And because of the extra salt, the shrimp loses water from its body, which leads to dehydration and eventual death.

Saltwater Shrimp

Are There Any Shrimps That Can Live In Both Saltwater And Freshwater?

There aren’t any shrimp around right now that can survive in both freshwater and saltwater. Some shrimps, nevertheless, have demonstrated a remarkable capacity for adaptation to saline water. Even though the salinity of these brackish waters is higher than that of freshwater, they are not saltwater.

It has been shown that shrimp are quite sensitive to fish acclimating in new tanks. Aquarists have successfully adapted freshwater shrimp to brackish water several times. Anyone who is familiar with the drip method for acclimating shrimps in a brackish water aquarium can handle a large number of dwarf shrimps (freshwater shrimp). There haven’t been any instances of saltwater shrimps kept in freshwater aquariums, though.

Since they need brackish water to reproduce, Amano Shrimps (Cardidina Multidentata) are the shrimp species that are closest to being a success story. They won’t be able to survive in a saltwater tank, in my opinion.

The female amano shrimp will transport her eggs to the brackish water, where she will then leave the developing larvae. Until they are close to adulthood, these larvae will continue to feed on algae. These shrimplets will eventually travel back to freshwater, where they will spend the remainder of their lives.

What Are Some Of The Saltwater Shrimps That You Can Keep In Your Tank?

I’ve included a few saltwater shrimps that you may keep and take care of at home here.

  • Purer shrimp
  • Coral Banded Shrimp
  • Flavored shrimp
  • Calamari shrimp
  • Smoked Shrimp
  • Shrimp in Disguise
  • Insect Shrimp
  • White Shrimp
  • Firearm Shrimp
  • Bruised Shrimp
  • Peacock Insect Shrimp
  • Shrimp Cleaner by Pederson

So, Which Is Best? Saltwater Shrimp Or Freshwater Shrimp?

The best shrimp cannot be defined. Everything is up to individual discretion. Freshwater shrimp are a better option if you don’t have much time to devote to tank and shrimp upkeep. Saltwater shrimps would be a great option if you wanted to aquascape your tank and add corals and reefs for a nicer atmosphere.

Additionally, the shrimp kind is significantly influenced by the other fish in the tank.

These two shrimp each have various tank mates.

Can a Freshwater Shrimp be Acclimated to Saltwater Over Time?

It is theoretically feasible, but not advisable, to introduce freshwater shrimp to brackish or saltwater since there are several accounts of individuals successfully (and occasionally mistakenly) doing so. According to the studies I’ve read, mortality was very high, and shrimp that made it through a protracted acclimatization period did not breed and generally did not live as long as they should have.

Numerous studies on the survival rates of invertebrates at various salinity levels by researchers have revealed substantial death rates in crustaceans.

Shrimp are commonly used as predation tank food, and occasionally freshwater shrimp are fed to saltwater fish. This is bad advice since a saltwater predator’s diet cannot entirely accommodate the nutrients and minerals found in a freshwater shrimp.

In conclusion, if you wish to maintain freshwater shrimp as pets, it is not worth the effort to try to acclimatize them to saltwater since you will almost certainly kill most of your pets in the process. It is an unusually harsh penalty.

Can a Freshwater Shrimp be Acclimated to Saltwater Over Time?


What is the difference between freshwater shrimp and saltwater shrimp?

Shrimp from freshwater are often bigger than those from saltwater. Due to the fact that many freshwater shrimp are not edible, these species are not as widely fished as saltwater ones. Additionally, landlocked areas of water that are shallower than deep seas are where freshwater species are most commonly found.

Are saltwater shrimp easy to keep?

Despite their little size, marine shrimp are powerful cleaners of your saltwater aquarium. These little invertebrates make great scavengers and are often quite simple to take care of.

Do saltwater shrimp eat algae?

Keep this shrimp alone or in a married couple since it can be hostile toward other shrimp of its sort. Although they are thought to be reef-safe, they can attack snails or tiny hermit crabs. It is a nocturnal eater that consumes anything from algae to debris to fish parasites.

Final Thoughts

Can Saltwater Shrimp Live in Freshwater? The purpose of evolution is to increase a creature’s chances of surviving on Earth. Therefore, saltwater shrimps have evolved to adapt to highly salinated water, just like every other organism.

These saltwater shrimp may readily flourish in highly salinized water, but if maintained in freshwater, they would perish. They cannot be maintained in freshwater tanks and expected to flourish there. Making a separate saltwater shrimp tank will be preferable if you want to keep the shrimp alive.