Can Shrimp Live Out of Water? Let’s Read to Get the Correct Answer!

Shrimp are aquatic species, including both freshwater and saltwater species. So, many may wonder if they can live well after being taken out of the water.

If you’re also wondering, “Can shrimp live out of water?” you are in the right place. In this post, we’re going to answer this question.

Can Shrimp Live Out of Water?

Shrimp can survive up to several hours outside of water

The answer is yes; however, they can only live out of the water for 15 minutes to one hour. It is incredibly risky and not recommended unless necessary.

During transportation, you must always take care of your shrimp to ensure that their gills are wet or can access at least a few inches of water.

Also, it is essential to provide them with a relatively clean environment.

Many studies have shown that all aquatic animals, including shrimp, lobster, prawns, and fish, feel pain when out of water.

Evolution has given all animals on earth the ability to feel pain as a way of self-preservation.

For example, you will feel hurt when getting too near a fire or cutting your hand.

How Do Shrimps Live?

Common habitats for shrimp are oceans, lakes, and rivers. They are known as bottom-dwellers, so we can find them on sandy or ocean floors and river beds.

Several smaller subspecies live inside sponges. Others, such as mantis shrimp, dig into the mud, sand, rocks, and coral crevices along sea shores.

Although the ambient temperature from 83°F to 88°F is too warm for shrimps, they will survive. The ideal range for them to live and breed is from 68°F to 82°F.

Between 59°F and 68°F, these species can live well; however, breeding will stop temporarily.

The Best Way to Keep Your Shrimps Alive

How to prolong the life of your shrimp

One of the good ways to keep your shrimps alive is to use a strong aerator, such as an air stone or water recirculation. Both work well to keep oxygen levels up and water temps down.

Besides, many aquarists and aquarists use oxygen pellets, which also work great.

In case of lack or depletion of oxygen, big-sized shrimp will die first as their oxygen requirements are higher than smaller ones.

But things don’t stop there. Once big-sized shrimps have died, their bodies will start to stink, and the rest will soon join the afterlife.

How to Increase Your Shrimp’s Lifespan?

Keep Tank Water Clean

As an aquarist, you must ensure your aquarium water is visibly clean, meaning it should not contain any ammonia. Ammonia is one of the causes of reduced lifespan, even death, in shrimp and other aquatic species.

It is generated from uneaten food, shrimp poop, and decaying plant leaves (if you have plants).

You can do an ammonia test with an aquarium test kit. If you notice ammonia levels in the aquarium, we recommend immediately changing about 30 to 50% of the tank water.

If you repeatedly notice ammonia levels in the aquarium, it may indicate your aquarium isn’t cycled. In this context, you must cycle your aquarium.

Maintain Your Water Parameters Within an Ideal Range

All aquatic species, including shrimp, need specific water conditions to survive and thrive. These parameters that you need to pay attention to are:

  • TDS
  • KH
  • GH
  • pH
  • Temperature

Each species will have different requirements for water parameters. So you need to start by identifying your shrimp species.

Feed Your Shrimps Proper High-Quality Food


You can feed your shrimp with vegetables. Shrimp can eat various vegetables, and here are some options you can try:

  • Okra
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Canned carrots
  • Canned green beans

Algae and Biofilm

Red bee dwarf shrimp eat food

Freshwater shrimp can eat biofilm and algae that can be grown in aquariums easily and quickly.

If your aquarium does not have algae in it, try to keep aquarium lights on for a more extended period, and algae will appear in your aquarium soon.

If you want to grow biofilm in the tank, we recommend adding Catappa leaves or Indian almond leaves. Finally, the biofilm will grow on them, making your shrimp happy.

Commercial Foods

Besides biofilm and algae, you can also feed your shrimps with commercial foods specially made for them. These foods are easy to consume and deliver all nutrients your shrimps need.

Put Natural Decorations

You can also consider adding decorations to your aquarium to increase the longevity of the shrimp.

They will provide potential hiding places for your shrimp, helping them to hide from predators. In addition, biofilm might grow on natural decorations, providing an ideal food source for your shrimp. Here are our recommendations:

  • Cholla wood
  • Catappa leaves
  • Indian Almond leaves
  • Malaysian driftwood

Add Live Plants

It can be said that aquarium shrimp and live plants go hand in hand. Shrimps are scavengers and prefer to go around live plants and consume the food particles that are stuck in live plants.


How Long Can My Shrimp Live Out of Water?

Your shrimps can live from several minutes to a few hours out of the water, depending on the conditions.

They need moisture to survive out of the water. Hence, if there is a lot of humidity in your room, you can expect your shrimp to survive longer.

On the flip side, if your room’s conditions are dry, your shrimps will dry out soon and eventually die.

Does Shrimp Feel Pain When Out of Water?

Yes, your shrimp may find it painful to get out of the water.

How Long Can Shrimp Survive Without Oxygen?

Shrimp will not survive without oxygen.

Can Shrimps Live in Cold Water?

Yes, many shrimps can survive in cold water, such as:

  • Crystal red shrimp
  • Red cherry shrimp
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Blue shrimp
  • Dwarf shrimp
  • Bee shrimp
  • Snowball shrimp
  • Bumblebee shrimp
  • Marble shrimp.

Why Do My Shrimps Keep Dying?

If your shrimp keep dying, it could be the following causes:

  • Not cycle the shrimp tank
  • Overfeeding your shrimps
  • Your shrimps are not acclimate
  • Buy shrimp from a poor source
  • Overstock shrimp in your aquarium
  • Not maintaining the proper water parameters
  • Sudden changes in the chemistry of your tank water


Can shrimp live out of water? Yes, but it won’t last, usually from several minutes to a few hours, depending on the type of shrimp.

To prolong the life of your shrimp, it is essential to maintain proper aquarium conditions and diet. Thanks for your time!