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!

Most people recommend using a gravel vacuum to clean a shrimp tank. However, you can use a power filter or airline tubing to do the job.

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.

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.

Airline Tubing:

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.

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.

What Effects The Cleanliness Level of The 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. 

How Often To Clean Your 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.


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

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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