How To Clean A Shrimp Tank?

How To Clean A Shrimp Tank

Cleaning a shrimp tank can be pretty easy and hard at the same time. If you know the basics, the job gets pretty easy. However, if you don’t know what to do if there are shrimp babies in the tank, then cleaning can get pretty dangerous!

To clean a shrimp tank, you can use a gravel vacuum or siphon to remove old water and debris from the substrate. It is important to avoid vacuuming too much substrate, as this can release harmful substances into the tank.

Cleaning a shrimp tank can be a little tricky considering the hideous baby shrimps. So, you have to be careful and use some techniques to clean the tank without causing harm to the shrimps. I recommend you to read the whole article to know about the cleaning techniques properly.

yellow cherry shrimp colony
Owner: Kaz Brown

How to Clean Shrimp Tank?

Most shrimp keepers once in a while come across this question. A clean tank means happy shrimps. And happy shrimps mean happy you!

Cleaning a shrimp tank can be quite a tricky task if you use a vacuum or your tank contains baby shrimps. So, you better follow some common ways to avoid getting unwanted problems.

  • You can use a power filter that comes with an intake covered with netting. It’s a good way of cleaning the water while preventing the shrimps from getting sucked in.
  • Gravel vacuuming is another option to clean the dirty gravels. Most of the shrimps’ leftover foods and poops gather around these gravels. However, you have to be careful with the shrimps.
  • Another option is the airline tubing. But this is best if there is not much dirt in the tank.

How to Gravel Vacuum a Shrimp Tank

Gravel Vacuum is one way of cleaning your shrimp tank in case you get sudden TDS spikes. However, substrate vacuuming might cause some harmful things to release in the tank. So, there are some things you should maintain before vacuuming the gravel. Like:

  • Make some movements above the place to get your shrimps to move out of the way.
  • Make sure to hold the vacuum at least 1 inch up from the substrates so that you don’t release any bacteria cloud accidentally.
  • Continue doing this but focus only on small areas so that the shrimps don’t get sucked in.
  • After you are done, make sure to check the vacuum bag in case any of the shrimps were sucked in accidentally. If so, release them in the tank as soon as possible.
shrimp tank setup aquascape
Owner: Ricky Sales

Using Airline Tubing To Clean Shrimp Tank

Another way of cleaning the tank is an airline tubing. This only works for sucking out a small amount of dirt like shrimp wastes or leftover food.

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Airline tubing can be a little hard considering the job it does. You can tie the airline tubing to a chopstick to move it easily. Also, the increased weight will help you with keeping the tube nearer to the bottom of the tank.  Airline tubing is ideal if you are concerned about the baby shrimps getting hurt or releasing any bacteria cloud.

How to Clean Tanks with Baby Shrimps

It’s always a great challenge to clean the shrimp tank while making sure that the baby shrimps don’t get hurt. Naturally, they are too small and too hard to notice. So, there are some things you should maintain while cleaning a shrimp tank with baby shrimps.

First of all, identify all the places where the shrimp babies are hiding. They like to hide in different places. So, give a quick scan to the whole place.

It’s very often that baby shrimps are sucked into the vacuum or whatever sucking device you are using to clean the tank. To avoid that, you can put a cloth on the mouth of the device. This technique has proven to be keeping all of the shrimp babies safe.

Baby shrimps can’t get away every time you change the water of the tank. So, in this case, you can use a bucket with a net to pour the water. In that way, the shrimps will get stuck in the net and you won’t have to worry about throwing any of them out. However, use a white bucket to identify if any of the little ones slip through the nets.

painted red shrimp grazing on leaf
Owner: Kaz Brown

What Effects The Cleanliness Level of Shrimp Tank?

There are a number of factors that decide whether you should clean your tank or not.

  • One of the most important factors is how much food you give to your shrimps every day. More food technically means more wastes. Your shrimps don’t even need food every day! So, it’s recommended to give your shrimps food 3-4 times a week. A sufficient amount of food will keep the tank clean of leftover foods and poops.
  • The size of the tank plays an important role in how often you will have to clean it. A small tank will require frequent cleaning since the small spaces build up dirt easily. A big tank has a lot of space for the dirt to scatter around.
  • Plants can be a good idea if you don’t want to change the water very often. Plants are great in absorbing ammonia that lessens the nitrate in water. Hence, the water doesn’t require frequent change. Some of these plants are moss balls, anacharis, water lettuce, and duckweed. They are very easy to keep with a little maintenance. If you want to check out my safe plants list for shrimps, click here.
  • Some people have snails and other fishes to enhance the beauty of their tanks. But you should know that these are living beings who require food and release poop a lot. So, with these extra creatures, you will have to clean your tank more often. 
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How Often To Clean Your Shrimp Tank?

Shrimp Tank is easier to maintain than most other fish tanks. You don’t need to clean those very often but you can maintain a timeline of cleaning different parts regularly.

The prefilter sponge should be cleaned once every 2 weeks and the filter once every month. You should change the water 2-3 times every 2 weeks depending on the amount of dirt and wastes.

These are only general times of cleaning different parts of the shrimp tank. The rest depends on your maintenance of the tanks and the factors mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do shrimp clean fish tanks?

Shrimp can clean fish tanks by eating algae, leftover food, and other debris in the tank, helping to maintain a clean and healthy environment for the fish. Additionally, some shrimp species also eat parasites off the fish, providing an additional cleaning benefit.

How to clean shrimp poop in tank?

To clean shrimp poop in a tank, you can use a siphon or gravel vacuum to remove debris from the substrate.

You can also cut rigid tubing to the tank height plus four inches, place your finger at the top opening, position the bottom opening over the waste, release your finger for a split second, and then put it back to trap the waste inside and remove it.

It is important to avoid over-cleaning the substrate, as this can disrupt the beneficial bacteria in the tank.

Do shrimp tanks need cleaning?

Shrimp tanks need cleaning to maintain a healthy environment for the shrimp. The frequency of cleaning depends on factors such as tank size, shrimp population, and water parameters.

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Generally, it’s recommended to perform a 25-30% water change every 1-2 weeks for a well-established shrimp tank.

Additionally, it is important to remove debris from the substrate and clean the filter regularly to prevent the buildup of harmful substances.


I hope now you have got your answer to the question “How to clean shrimp tank”. While there are a number of ways to clean it, you should always pick the one that’s easier for you, less harmful for your shrimps, and is appropriate to clean the dirt.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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