7 Best Aquarium Plants For Shrimp

Freshwater aquarium plants have many positive effects on the environment of a tank, and it’s important to be aware of these effects if you have or are considering keeping a freshwater aquarium. Plants are a great way to improve your tank’s aesthetics, as well as its cleanliness, oxygenation, and pH balance. It’s a no-brainer that shrimps greatly benefit from plants, and it is a must-have item for your aquarium. However, sifting through all the selection of plants could take a very long time. In this article, we will help you choose the best plants to put in your shrimp tank.

Best Aquarium Plants For Shrimp

There are a lot of different kinds of plants that live in water, but not all of them are good for shrimp. It’s important to be careful about which plants you put in your shrimp tank. Some plants may look nice, but they could hurt your shrimps. This list tells you which plants are good for shrimp.

1. Java Fern

The Java fern is a popular plant for shrimp aquariums. You would always see shrimps take shelter in their large, spreading leaves. What’s even better is that you don’t have to invest a lot of time or money into caring for this plant in your aquarium, as this plant can easily adapt to meet the water needs of your pet.

2. Anubias

Anubias is popular among many aquarists and one of the most common freshwater plants you’d find in aquariums. This species is ideal for your shrimp tank because it is hardy, cheap, and available in a wide range of sizes. The large, rubbery leaves that this species produces ensure that it will survive in any given aquarium.

3. Water Wisteria

Your shrimps will have a blast scurrying through the Water Wisteria’s lush foliage. This plant does well in low light and can thrive on a variety of substrates. However, due to its size and the fact that it is a stem plant, regular trimming may be necessary.

4. Pearl Weed

Pearl Weed, a low-maintenance carpet plant, is great for new aquarists because it requires so little care. Also, shrimp love it because they can hide there during the day.

It is best to use a nutrient-rich substrate to help plants grow as much as possible.

5. Water Sprite

Among aquatic plants, Water Sprite is well-known for its adaptability. The thin, light-green leaves stand out against the central, dark-green stem, making it look like a Water Wisteria plant. This plant can grow rapidly in a short period of time, so you might take that into consideration before putting it in your shrimp tank.

6. Cryptocoryne

These plants, which are also known as Crypts, can be found in a wide range of sizes, colors, and forms. There is a wide variety of this plant, so you can tailor it to your shrimp tank’s needs. Just don’t give them too much light, and make sure to plant their roots in the substrate, and periodically feed them with root tablets, and they’ll be fine.

7. Pearl Weed

As with other excellent shrimp tank plants, Pearl Weed offers your shrimp a lot of places to hide. This plant has round leaves that grow on short stems. It doesn’t grow quickly, and you can put it anywhere in your shrimp tank. Even though this plant won’t require much care, you can improve its growth with fertilizer and carbon dioxide.

Best Floating Plants for Shrimp Tanks

One of the best additions you can put in a shrimp tank is a collection of floating plants. There is a wide variety of species available for use as floating plants, which will add beauty to your aquarium. Floating plants have many advantages besides just looking pretty. Here you’ll find a wide selection of shrimp-friendly floating plants.

1. Salvinia

The tops of the plants in the Salvinia family, which are also called “water spangles,” are covered with tiny clear hairs that appear to be nearly fluffy. It grows at a moderate rate, and even though the leaves and roots are tiny, they still absorb a lot of nutrients. These plants will provide shade as well as food for your shrimps.

2. Red Root Floaters

Among the best floating plants for your shrimps is the red root floater. They are completely non-toxic and pose no danger to shrimp of any kind. The unique characteristics of these plants make them ideal for aquascaping, and they are totally easy to care for. However, this plant might need constant trimming as it can grow quite really fast.

3. Frogbit

The rounded, glossy green leaves of the frogbit plant grow in dense rosettes that cast a wide shade which is perfect for your shrimps. These plants can be grown quickly and need little attention. It can overcrowd your tank, though, so you may need to trim it regularly.

4. Water Lettuce

When fully mature, Dwarf Water Lettuce is over 20 cm in diameter and is likely the biggest floating plant readily available. Therefore, it is not widely used in 10-gallon or smaller shrimp tanks, but it could be effective in larger tanks. Being on the chunkier side, it may require more trimming than some of the other plant alternatives.

5. Duckweed

Given the right conditions, this plant could outgrow any other floating plant very quickly. If you ever want to get rid of it from your tanks, you may find the combination of its rapid growth and its size to be extremely frustrating. The plant needs only a tiny leaf left in a secret location in the tank, and it will be taking over your aquarium again.

6. Mosquito Fern

Mosquito Fern is a fascinating addition to any healthy shrimp aquarium. This water fern grows very quickly on the surface of the water, and it has tiny, two-lobed leaves that grow in clusters on stems that are covered with many leaves. This plant grows freely and breaks into smaller pieces as it grows, making it a great floating plant for your shrimp aquarium because it gives your shrimp places to hide.

7. Java Moss

Java moss is a very popular plant for freshwater aquariums, and shrimp lovers love it because it gives shrimp great places to hide. These mosses grow in a dense mat and have many small, thin stems. Java moss grows best when it is attached to something, but you don’t have to worry about that because it can also be a floating plant.

betta care facebook group

Best Plants For Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp, which are known for their lightning-fast swimming speeds, are a popular aquarium addition because of their ability to liven up the environment in your aquarium. Plants are great tankmates for cherry shrimp, and some plants are especially beneficial. Listed below are the top seven plants that cherry shrimp enjoy.

1. Java Moss

The best plant for cherry shrimp is Java moss, and anyone who wants to make such a list should begin with it. When it comes to plants, this moss is one of the simplest and best options for beginner aquarists. It has low requirements and works well with a basic tank, and brings a lot of benefits.

2. Anubias Nana Petite

Anubias nana petite is a low-maintenance plant that could be a great addition to the aquarium with your cherry shrimp. Having a slower growth rate means less frequent trimming is required. More importantly, it helps clean and oxygenate the aquarium’s water.

3. Java Fern

Cherry shrimps, in particular, love Java fern. This plant can survive in a wide variety of temperatures and water conditions. Java fern, like Java moss, can grow without any supplementary substrate, light, or carbon dioxide, but it’s recommended that you give the plant a little extra attention to help it thrive.

4. Water Wisteria

The water wisteria may require slightly more attention than the other aquatic plants, but it is absolutely beautiful and well worth the effort. The fact that these plants don’t need to develop roots first is a pretty neat feature. But once they are planted in a good substrate, strong root systems grow, which may need some caring.

5.  Dwarf Water Lily

Dwarf Water Lilies are great for both new and experienced gardeners because they look nice and aren’t too hard to take care of. Cherry shrimps are crazy about plants with big leaves, like this one. But because these plants grow quickly, you may need to trim them regularly.

6. Bucephalandra

Bucephalandra is another beautiful plant that you can add to your tank. It sticks well to the wood and makes a rich green color that is great for carpeting. It also has big leaves that cherry shrimps love to run around and hide in. 

7. Cryptocoryne

Species from the Cryptocoryne family are known for their wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes, but cherry shrimp are particularly fond of nearly every one of them. Though crypts, like many other aquatic plants, thrive in dim conditions, they can have slightly higher light requirements. If you’re looking to put this in your aquarium, make sure to bury it at least two inches in the substrate.

What Live Plants Do Shrimp Eat?

Shrimps are experts at foraging for edible plants in their natural habitats, and they would pretty much eat anything.  Aquatic plants are a great food source for your shrimps in any setting. As meant to be nibbled on, they ought to be tasty, nutritious, and fast-growing but not so invasive as to destroy the environment in your aquarium. Here is a selection of tasty plants for your shrimp to snack on.

1. Duckweed

Duckweed, or “water lense,” is a pretty plant that spreads quickly in the presence of sunlight. The tiny, oblong leaves of this plant bob on or near the water’s surface, which can provide nutrition to your shrimps. Because it grows quickly, you may need to take some of it out every so often, so it doesn’t hurt the environment of your aquarium.

2. Water Sprite

An attractive floating plant, Water Sprite blooms on the water’s surface. This gorgeous aquatic plant serves a dual purpose by providing your shrimp food and hiding place while inhibiting algae growth. When given adequate medium light and carbon dioxide, water sprite plants typically develop rapidly.

3. Marimo Moss Ball

Marimo Moss Balls are an excellent addition to your shrimp tank because they filter the water and naturally absorb harmful nitrates. The moss will also give your aquarium some extra greenery without hassle. Shrimp have been seen to love these moss balls so much that they will peck at them, which can destroy the moss balls.

4. Cabomba

The foliage of the Cabomba tree is stunning and feathery, with interesting whorls of leaves. They come in colors that pop in bright light. This plant is perfect for your shrimp to nibble on and explore.

5. Rotala

Rotala is a tough water plant that requires very little care and has tender leaves that shrimps find irresistible. One of the many species of Rotala is one that turns vivid red in bright light. Rotala, like any other living plant, uses the water’s nutrients to grow, and it converts carbon dioxide into usable oxygen, which it then releases back into the water.

6. Myriophyllum 

Although each stem is only about an inch in height, the plant branches out readily and quickly become thick and lush. Keeping the flow of light and water requires regular tree-cutting. This plant is ideal for use as a food source in shrimp tanks due to its slow rate of growth.

7. Egeria Densa 

Egeria Densa is highly sought after as an aquarium plant because of its beautiful growth and adaptability to different water conditions. The plant is great for both experienced aquarists and those just starting out because of its low maintenance needs. In addition to being an effective oxygenator, its leaves provide hiding spots and food for all kinds of aquatic life, including shrimp.


Can Shrimp Survive with Just Plants?

Shrimps can get everything they need from plants. However, plants may require a fair amount of maintenance, and if the plants die, the shrimp will inevitably die as well.


If you keep shrimp in a freshwater aquarium, you need to make sure you have the right plants for them. The right plants can help maintain the tank’s pH level, provide a food source, and increase oxygen levels, making it ideal for your shrimp. There are many different plants you can choose from to add to your aquarium, and each has its own unique set of advantages. Plants give your shrimp the environment they need to grow and live for a long time. Keep in mind that there are other plant species that can be harmful to shrimps and should be avoided when planning on putting plants in the aquarium.

About the author

Hey there! I'm Antonio, the passionate owner and chief editor of Betta Care Fish Guide. With over half a decade of hands-on experience, I've become your go-to expert for all things betta and tropical fish.

Over the past 5 years, I've not only kept bettas and other tropical fish but also connected with a diverse network of hobbyists, seasoned fishkeepers, and even veterinarians.

Now, I want to help other beginner fish keepers who had the same questions as me when they were just starting out! So they can save themselves a ton of time and keep their fish happy and healthy!