Pinto Shrimp Care: Don’t Make These 14 Common Mistakes

Although pinto shrimp are a versatile and fascinating addition to the shrimp tank, you may lose them by making some common mistakes. For this, you must have a foolproof guideline for pinto shrimp care. Several shrimp owners confess on the shrimp forums about their mistakes for which their pinto shrimp may die.

I’ve kept pinto shrimp for several years and lost many of them. In this article, I’ve listed 14 common mistakes to create awareness among all pinto shrimp owners. 

So, you must not miss this article if you want a long accompaniment from your pinto shrimp. Let’s go through the details without any further ado.

Pinto Shrimp Overview & Facts

Pinto Shrimp Overview & Facts

14 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Pinto Shrimp Care

Mistake 1: Setting Up Pinto Shrimp Tank Not Doing Enough Research

The very first mistake is to jump into setting up the shrimp tank without doing enough research. Pinto shrimp are a kind of crossbreed of Caridina shrimp. So, you must know all requirements, conditions, and detailed overview of pinto shrimp before jumping into their habitation setup. 

There are mainly two types of pinto shrimp. Some of them have black-and-white patterns. On the contrary, the red pinto shrimp have red and white contrasts. However, these pinto shrimp aren’t much suitable for beginners.

However, I’ve made an overview of pinto shrimp below. Let’s take a quick look at this.

Categories Features 
Common namesBlack Pinto shrimp, Yellow Goldenback shrimp, Red Zebra pinto, Red Pinto shrimp, etc.
Scientific nameCaridina cf. Cantonensis 
Size Up to 1.2 inches 
Tank size10-25 gallon
Optimal temperature 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius) 
Diet Omnivores 
TemperamentDocile and non-aggressive 
Breeding careEasy 
Care levelIntermediate 
Lifespan 1.5-2 years

Mistake 2: Improper Acclimation Of Pinto Shrimp

Some owners lose their pinto shrimp after a few hours or days of adding them to the aquarium. The reason behind this sudden death is a shock to your pinto shrimp. 

Since these pinto shrimp thrive in water, you can’t simply leave your newly bought shrimp in a new environment. These pinto shrimp require some time to adjust to the temperature and parameters of the new water. To avoid such shock, you must acclimatize your pinto shrimp before adding it to the tank.

Moreover, improper acclimation can cause osmotic shock to your pinto shrimp. If you don’t want to make your pinto shrimp stressed, you shouldn’t make the mistake of improper acclimation.

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Mistake 3: Adding Pinto Shrimp Before Maturing The Tank

Another big mistake behind losing your pinto shrimp is to add your shrimp to a non-cycled tank. After setting up the shrimp tank, you should wait for a few days to let the tank getting mature. 

When you add your pinto shrimp to a tank, your shrimp must not be stopping to release biological wastes. A newly set-up tank does not have beneficial bacteria to turn the toxic elements into less harmful products. 

Hence, you should wait for around 4-6 weeks to let the pinto shrimp tank cycle and mature. In the meantime, a good level of beneficial bacteria grows in the tank that converts the nitrite into nitrate.

Besides, the ammonia and nitrite level must be zero. So, you must not make the terrible mistake of adding your pinto shrimp without maturing the tank.

Mistake 4: Not Encouraging The Growth Of Biofilm

In the wild, the shrimp love to prick up algae, biofilm, etc. The highest share of their diet consists of such microorganisms. So, you should encourage abundant growth of biofilm and algae in your pinto shrimp tank.

Many pinto shrimp owners make a mistake by keeping a bare bottom tank. When there’s no substrate, the microorganisms do not find any surface to grow. To promote the detritivorous nature of your pinto shrimp, you should encourage the growth of these natural byproducts in the shrimp tank.

Mistake 5: Not Keeping The Right Water Parameters

Categories Features 
Temperature 64-76 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius) 
Carbonates and bicarbonates 0-3.5
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm

A horrible mistake of pinto shrimp care is not keeping the right water parameters in the shrimp tank. These unique shrimp are highly sensitive to slight changes in water parameters. After all, pinto shrimp are inbred with different types of shrimp.

Hence, the care level of pinto shrimp is pretty difficult when it comes to maintaining the water parameters. If you fail to keep the optimal parameters constantly, your pinto shrimp will not survive for a long time.

Since pinto shrimp are freshwater shrimp, these shrimp like slightly acidic or neutral soft water. So, you must maintain the pH level of water within 5.8-6.7. To keep a lower pH level, you can also add an active substrate to your pinto shrimp tank.

Besides, you should keep the general hardness of the water in check. These pinto shrimp thrive well in hard water where the GH level ranges from 3 to 6. In addition, you should keep a lower KH of the water in the pinto shrimp tank. To ensure constant parameters, you should keep water test kits. 

Not to mention, it’ll be a big mistake if you keep your pinto shrimp in tap water. There remains the presence of toxic elements and chemicals in the tap water that can be fatal for your pinto shrimp. You should add almost drinkable fresh water to your shrimp tank.

Mistake 6: Not Keeping A Heater In Your Pinto Shrimp Tank

If you live in a cold country, maintaining the optimal temperature for your pinto shrimp must be a difficult task. 

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Pinto shrimp do not require any heater when the room temperature ranges from 64-76 degrees Fahrenheit. Although these rarest shrimp can tolerate minor temperature changes, sudden temperature changes can cause shock to your pinto shrimp.

Some shrimp owners complain about their pinto shrimp death due to dipping down the temperature in the tank. Besides, your pinto shrimp will not survive above the temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. 

So, you should not make a such life-taking mistake by not adjusting a thermostat regulating heater in your pinto shrimp tank.

Mistake 7: Not Adding Suitable Filter Into Your Pinto Shrimp Tank

A good filtration system is a must needed component for any shrimp. Like all shrimp, pinto shrimp are also sensitive to ammonia and nitrite. On the other hand, these shrimp continuously produce ammonia as biological waste.

Besides, the leftovers, decaying plants, dead fish, or shrimp can add ammonia to the tank water. To save the lives of your pinto shrimp, you should add a proper filtration system. 

The beneficial bacteria of the filtration system will turn the ammonia and nitrite into less harmful nitrate. If you do not add any filtration system, the harmful components will not be filtered out. So, you shouldn’t make the mistake of adding an inappropriate filter that may cause ammonia to burn to your pinto shrimp.

In addition, beginners often make the mistake of choosing a filter with a strong current. If the water intake of the filter isn’t protected, the filter can suck up your tiny pinto shrimp. However, the experts recommend a sponge filter for the betterment of pinto shrimp.

Mistake 8: Not Keeping Enough Plants In The Tank

Keeping live plants is a crucial step of tank set-up to ensure the good health of your pinto shrimp. The live plants provide oxygen to the water. Besides, plants will regulate the pH of the water. 

The most significant advantage of keeping plants is their being food sources. If you keep live plants, you’ll notice the growth of biofilm in your pinto shrimp tank. The adult pinto shrimp may nibble and eat the plants too.

Moreover, your pinto shrimp will search for foods that fall between the leaves. When your pinto shrimp feel stressed, they may look for hideouts. So, live plants provide your shrimp with some good places to hide. 

Mistake 9: Not Changing The Water Of Your Pinto Shrimp Tank

The beginners might find it unnecessary to change the water due to adjusting a filter with the shrimp tank. Although a filter can remove a large share of contaminants, you still require to make a water change. Not changing water can be a horrible mistake that can be responsible for your pinto shrimp’s death. 

Mistake 10: Making A Large Water Change All Of A Sudden

When you make a big water change all of a sudden, the parameters of the water will change unexpectedly. This sudden change may cause shock to your pinto shrimp. You should do only 10-15% water change in a week.

If you make frequent water change, it may make your pinto shrimp stressed. Don’t make more than 20% water change all of a sudden. 

Mistake 11: Overfeeding Your Pinto Shrimp

Overfeeding is a curse to the healthy routine of pinto shrimp. These tiny shrimp do not require much feeding. It’ll be a big mistake of pinto shrimp care if you continue to overfeed your shrimp.

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Since your pinto shrimp can not eat such a huge amount of food, the extra food gets stored as leftovers at the bottom of the tank. As a result, these leftovers turn into bio-loads. The live plants and filtration system can not even process these huge build-ups of toxic components.

It’ll lead to ammonia shock to your pinto shrimp. If you want to keep your pinto shrimp healthy, you should feed your shrimp only 2-3 times a week. Do not forget to clean the leftovers at each feeding time. This action helps the water not get foul.

Mistake 12: Not Providing Enough Calcium Sources 

You can not expect good health from your pinto shrimp by providing them with a diet without supplements. 

Like the wild, your pinto shrimp may not get good calcium concentration in the water of the closed tank. However, you might know that calcium is vital for forming a strong shell. It also helps your shrimp to have a smooth molting period.

To prevent calcium deficiency, you can take several measures. You can add cuttlefish bones, crushed coral, crushed oyster shells, etc. 

Besides, you can buy calcium supplementation from the stores. Make sure that the calcium level should not become too high to endanger the lives of your pinto shrimp.

Mistake 13: Keeping The Wrong Tank Mates For Pinto Shrimp

You might be happy to have peaceful pinto shrimp in your tank. But, the docile temperament of pinto shrimp demands non-aggressive tank mates samely. You shouldn’t make the mistake of gambling the lives of your pinto shrimp by keeping the wrong tank mates.

When you keep large and aggressive fish in your pinto shrimp tank, you’re making your shrimp the prey of their tank mates. In addition, aggressive tank mates can bully and attack your shrimp.

As a result, this makes your pinto shrimp stressed. It can lead to the death of your pinto shrimp. As suitable tank mates for your pinto shrimp, you can choose bee shrimp, black snails, Japanese snails, Corydoras fish, etc.

Mistake 14: Not Making Breeding-friendly Tank

Like the pregnancy phase of humans, the breeding phase is highly sensitive for all shrimp. Not to mention, you must give extra effort to make the tank breeding-friendly for your pinto shrimp. A slight temperature change can cause failure in the breeding of your pet shrimp.

When you start breeding your pinto shrimp, you should ensure to keep the water parameters constant. The temperature range should be a bit high during the breeding period. Keep the temperature range within 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Also, the water pH should remain 6.5-8. Besides, you must ensure a consistent food source for your pinto shrimp in breeding months. While ensuring consistent food sources, you must remove the leftovers from the bottom of the tank after a few hours of feeding your pinto shrimp. 

Keeping constant water parameters is crucial for the successful breeding of these unique shrimp. For this, you must keep the ammonia and nitrite levels zero in the water. Only a breeding-friendly environment can help your pinto shrimp remain safe during the breeding period.

Before You Go

From this article, you must have got a clear idea about the common mistakes of pinto shrimp care. Like pinto shrimp, another fascinating shrimp is Master Taiwan Bee shrimp. If you are curious about the Master Taiwan Bee shrimp, you should check out the following article.

Master Taiwan Bee Shrimp Care In 7 Easy Ways!

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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