Shrimp Swimming Around Tank – Identify The Causes & Solutions

Apart from fish and aquatic plants, shrimp are a common choice for aquarists when it comes to building a tank community. Not only are these invertebrates aesthetically pleasing, but they are also energetic and fun to watch.

That said, not all shrimp are immune to diseases inside the aquarium. Sometimes, you will see shrimp acting rather abnormally. So, why are your shrimp swimming around tank? And what can you do to stop this issue? Let’s have a look at the article below!

4 Reasons For Shrimp Swimming Around Tank

shrimp in aquarium

Stress level

If your shrimp are under a lot of stress, they will react by swimming around rather erratically. You will notice how your shrimp seem to suffer from external factors such as incompatible tank mates, large water changes, failure to familiarize themselves with the tank, and so on.

In case the shrimp show signs of uncontrolled behaviors, you may have to check out whether your shrimp’s mental health is compromised or not.

Water conditions

As shrimp spend their entire time living inside the tank, the conditions of their habitat play a vital role in ensuring their survival. If the water parameters fall out of the recommended range for shrimp, it is no wonder why these animals find it hard to stay still.

All metrics ranging from oxygen levels, pH levels to kH, and temperature are all worth considering once you think there is something wrong with your water.

Toxin buildup

Some aquarists are under the misconception that shrimp are better protected than fish due to their hard shells. But on the contrary, since the gills of shrimp are exposed directly to the water, harmful substances can easily seep through these openings.

As a result, shrimp are more affected by toxin buildup. Thus, you must look out for hydrogen sulfide, copper, nitrate, chlorine, and CO2 concentration inside the tank.

If these concentrations are through the roof, your shrimp are more likely to swim around restlessly.


Sometimes, when affected by diseases and parasites, shrimp will resort to swimming around and rubbing themselves against the tank to relieve the tension. Other worrisome symptoms such as lethargy, lack of appetite, and physical distortions can also be found in sick shrimp.

Reliable Solutions For Shrimp Swimming Around Tank

Keep the surrounding environment suitable for shrimp

As mentioned above, the state of the habitat will greatly affect the health of shrimp. Therefore, it is important that you keep the water parameters in check. Make sure to give your tank a daily check-up and see whether all the metrics are how they should be.

Clean the water regularly

Cleaning the water by performing water changes is a foolproof way to get rid of waste and toxin buildup inside the tank. If you cannot afford the time and energy to do a 50% water change once a week, you can opt for a 25% water change instead.

Whatever you do, do not forget to monitor the amount of waste and eliminate it before these unwanted substances pollute the water.

Choose suitable tank mates

Having aggressive, belligerent tank mates can be one of the reasons why your shrimp get stressed out. If you are going for docile, peaceful shrimp, find tank mates with a similar temperament. You would not want your shrimp to wake up one day only to be chased after by bigger animals.

Provide hiding places

amano shrimp hiding

Some shrimp prefer staying in the dark and far away from brightly lit areas. Some want some space on their own to seduce partners and breed. Some simply enjoy a spot where they can escape from intimidating predators.

Offering your shrimp lots of hiding places by placing aquatic plants and putting in driftwood is bound to make your shrimp happier. Hence, they will be less likely to swim around for no reason.


How long does it take for shrimp to get used to a new tank?

If the water conditions are optimal, you can expect quick acclimation during the first 2-3 hours.

However, if the water is widely different from the shrimp’s original habitat, then you will find it much more difficult for these invertebrates to introduce themselves to a new environment.

Do shrimp sleep?

Yes. Since many people fail to see the closing eyes of shrimp, it is assumed that shrimp do not sleep. But this cannot be further from the truth. Like all other animals, shrimp need sleep to regain their energy.

You will notice how shrimp tend to minimize their movement and remain almost non-responsive to any stimulating factor from the outside. This is when you know the shrimp is already sleeping.

How long should you leave the light on in a shrimp tank?

Shrimp require an established day-night cycle to thrive. Thus, you are recommended to keep the light on for around 6 to 8 hours a day.

But rest assured that even if you accidentally keep the light on for longer than recommended, shrimp will still know how to hide in the shade.

Can shrimp live without a tank’s filter?

As mentioned above, shrimp are highly sensitive to toxic substances, as they can travel directly inside the shrimp’s body through their gills.

Thus, you are advised to attach a filter inside a shrimp-filled aquarium. This way, the nitrate and ammonia levels will be kept under control. Otherwise, your shrimp would stand a lower chance of developing comprehensively.


Shrimp swimming around the tank can be indicative of problems. If you spot your shrimp with these strange behaviors, make sure to give them a quick check and come up with timely solutions!