3 Signs Of Stress In Shrimps You Should Know

Signs Of Stress In Shrimps

Shrimps are delicate creatures. If you are breeding shrimps in your fish tank then you must know about the factors that can cause stress to your shrimps. In my research, I have found some signs and symptoms that can help you know if your shrimps are under stress.

The main signs of stress in shrimps are lethargic, change in appetite, and change in their visual color.

It is also important to know what causes the shrimps to stress so you can make sure that your shrimp are safe. These visible signs are very important for you to recognize so that you can take immediate action to save your shrimps.

a berried blue cherry shrimp with eggs
Owner: Natalie Skinner

3 Signs That Your Shrimps Are Stressed

Stress can be caused in shrimps for various factors and I have listed some of the common signs and that might have caused those symptoms.

#1 Stress Sign: Change In Coloration

One of the most visible symptoms that can easily tell you if your shrimp is under stress or is affected by any kind of disease is their change in natural color.

Some of the color change that should alert you are:

Milky Washed out color: 

It is a sign that indicates that your shrimps are under stress. You can even observe the same effect in red cherry shrimps. 

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This color change can be caused by Muscular Necrosis disease. It is a very deadly disease for shrimps and should be taken care of immediately when you detect it. 

Black and Brown Spots: 

When you see black and brown spots appearing on the body of the shrimp it can also be an indication that your shrimps are affected by the Chitinolytic Bacterial disease.

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#2 Stress Sign: Lethargic Behavior

You would notice that often your shrimps are very lethargic and are not as active as they used to be. In my research, I have found many tank owners to see this problem in their shrimps.

Many of the shrimp owners noticed that the shrimps which used to be active were not moving often and were just hiding. 

In most cases, this condition is caused by a change in water parameters. It can be a rise in the temperature or change in pH that can cause the shrimps to be lethargic.

If you notice that your shrimps are less active check the water parameters immediately and if you find anything wrong with the water parameters take action to change the water immediately before it can cause some serious problems to your shrimps.

gorgeous yellow cherry shrimp grazing on leaves
Owner: Kaz Brown

#3 Stress Sign: Loss of Appetite

Most of the shrimps are voracious eaters. When you observe that there are many leftover foods in your fish tank when you didn’t overfeed your shrimps, then it can be a sign of stress.

However, make sure that if they are getting food from natural sources in the tank. If that is the case then you should not be alarmed.

Loss of appetite can be a sign of stress that is caused by diseases like vorticella or other stress factors. 

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Freshwater Shrimp Diseases, Prevention & Cure

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do shrimp molt when stressed?

Molting is a normal process for shrimp to shed their old exoskeleton and grow a new one. However, stress can affect the frequency of molting and cause molting problems.

Signs of stress in shrimp can include failed molts, lethargy, lack of appetite, loss of color, and decreased growth. So while molting is a normal process, stress can impact it.

How to tell if shrimp are happy?

Signs of a happy shrimp include:

1. Feeding eagerly and excitedly

2. Grazing on food and other surfaces

3. Active and moving around

4. Bright and vibrant colors

5. Breeding and reproducing

Also, healthy shrimp will have clear eyes, smooth shells, and active antennae.

Why are my shrimps huddled in a corner?

Shrimps may huddle in a corner due to several reasons, including:

1. Poor water quality or parameters, such as high levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate

2. Sudden changes in water temperature or pH

3. Presence of predators or other threats in the tank

4. Lack of hiding places or shelter in the tank

5. Stress from overcrowding or overfeeding

Why are my shrimps swimming around a lot?

If your shrimp is swimming around a lot fanatically, one of the following reasons might be responsible:

1. New shrimp exploring their surroundings

2. Bad water parameters causing stress

3. Temperature causing stress

4. Mating behavior

5. Scavenging for food

6. Shrimp being stuck in a molt

7. Stress from incompatible tank mates, large water changes, or failure to familiarize themselves with the tank

See also  Can You Keep Shrimps in Blackwater Tank?

What do stressed shrimp look like?

Stressed shrimp may exhibit several signs, including:

1. Erratic swimming or increased movement

2. Hiding or reduced activity levels

3. Loss of color or fading

4. Reduced feeding or appetite

5. Abnormal molting or failed molting

6. Restlessness or pacing

7. Increased aggression or territorial behavior

8. Reduced reproduction or breeding activity

Do water changes stress shrimp?

Water changes can stress shrimp if they are not done properly. Abrupt changes in water parameters, such as temperature, pH, and salinity, can cause stress and even death in shrimp.

Additionally, using untreated tap water or water with high levels of chlorine or chloramines can also stress shrimp.

However, regular and gradual water changes can actually benefit shrimp by improving water quality and reducing the accumulation of waste and toxins in the tank.

Always ensure that the water being added is properly treated and the temperature and other parameters are gradually adjusted to avoid shocking the shrimp.

How to help stressed shrimp?

There are several ways to help stressed shrimp, including:

1. Maintaining proper water parameters, such as temperature, pH, and water quality

2. Providing hiding places and shelter in the tank

3. Reducing light exposure and providing a consistent light cycle

4. Limiting overcrowding and ensuring that the tank is not overstocked

5. Providing a varied and nutritious diet

6. Avoiding sudden changes in water parameters or other stressors

7. Treating any diseases or parasites promptly


Signs and symptoms of stress help you detect a disaster that is about to happen to your shrimps. Take the necessary steps immediately when you see any of them.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. 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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