Coral Banded Shrimp Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

Coral Banded Shrimp are fascinating and colorful invertebrates that make an attractive addition to any saltwater aquarium. Known for their vibrant red and white banded coloration, these shrimp catch the eye while also serving a beneficial role in keeping the tank clean.

Coral Banded Shrimp care involves providing a suitable aquarium environment, proper diet, and regular maintenance. These small, colorful invertebrates require a tank with plenty of hiding places and open swimming space. They need a varied diet of meaty foods, including shrimp, squid, and krill.

Setting up a suitable environment for Coral Banded Shrimp is essential to ensure their wellbeing. From selecting the proper tank size to maintaining optimal water quality, taking the appropriate measures can greatly influence their health and longevity.

Coral Banded Shrimp

Key Takeaways

  • Coral Banded Shrimp are visually appealing and beneficial to a saltwater aquarium’s cleanliness.
  • A well-maintained tank environment is crucial for their wellbeing.
  • Health, longevity, and breeding success are possible with proper care and tank setup.

Species Summary


The Coral Banded Shrimp, also known as Stenopus hispidus, is a saltwater invertebrate native to the warm parts of the Western Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Indo-Pacific regions. They are commonly found in coral reefs and rocky environments.


Coral Banded Shrimp have a relatively short but impressive lifespan, typically living up to 2-3 years in the wild. With proper care, they can achieve a similar lifespan in captivity.


This popular marine species stands out with its striking red and white bands and long, slender body. Their legs and pincers are adorned with elegant tufts of white hairs. The front two pincers are significantly larger, giving them a unique and captivating appearance.


As invertebrates, Coral Banded Shrimp don’t grow too large. Adult sizes range from 2-4 inches (about 5-10 centimeters) in length, making them a good fit for most saltwater aquariums.

Growth Rate

Coral Banded Shrimp grow at a moderate pace throughout their life. When properly cared for in a captive environment, you can expect them to reach their full size in about 12 months. I remember being fascinated watching my first Coral Banded Shrimp grow and develop over time.

Behavior & Temperament

These shrimp are generally peaceful in nature. However, they can become territorial, especially when sharing an aquarium with tank mates of similar size and appearance. Providing ample hiding spaces such as caves and live rock will help reduce territorial conflicts.

Male vs Female

Distinguishing between male and female Coral Banded Shrimp is relatively easy. Males are usually smaller, with slim bodies and reduced abdomen size. Conversely, females are larger with a more rounded abdomen to accommodate egg-carrying. During mating, the female’s eggs will be visible under her body, which can help in identification.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

Appropriate tank size is crucial for the health and well-being of your Coral Banded Shrimp. A minimum of 10 gallons is recommended. This allows these fascinating creatures enough space to roam and claim territory. I once made the mistake of housing one in a smaller tank and quickly realized it wasn’t happy.


Coral Banded Shrimp appreciate moderate lighting. They are not as sensitive to light as some other invertebrates, but avoid overly bright lights to create a more natural environment.

Filtration & Aeration

Effective filtration and aeration are essential for maintaining good water quality and oxygen levels. Using a high-quality filter system and an air pump with a sponge filter will ensure that the shrimp’s environment stays clean and healthy.


A heater is necessary to maintain a stable temperature within the shrimp’s preferred range of 72-78°F (22-26°C). Frequent fluctuations in temperature can lead to stress and weakened immune systems. I had a heater failure in the past, and it resulted in the loss of some precious aquatic friends.


Coral Banded Shrimp are not particularly picky about substrate, but a sandy one is often recommended. It allows the shrimp to create burrows and hiding spots more easily. Plus, it can be more comfortable for their delicate legs when compared to rough or jagged options.


Provide plenty of hiding spots and crevices through the use of rocks, caves, and other aquarium decorations. This will help mimic their natural environment, giving them a sense of security, and reducing stress levels.


Adding live plants to the tank is not only visually pleasing, but also beneficial to the shrimp’s habitat. Plants offer additional hiding spots, assist in maintaining water quality, and provide a more natural place to explore.

Remember to keep it brief and avoid exaggerated or false claims. Overall, a well-planned tank setup will ensure a happy and healthy Coral Banded Shrimp while providing you with an intriguing and rewarding aquatic addition.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

Maintaining the right water temperature is crucial for coral banded shrimp. They thrive in water temperatures around 72-78°F (22-26°C). Keep a heater and thermometer in your aquarium to easily monitor and adjust the temperature. I’ve personally found that keeping my aquarium’s temperature stable at around 76°F has been perfect for my coral banded shrimp.

Water pH

The ideal pH level for coral banded shrimp lies between 8.0 and 8.4. Maintaining a stable pH can help your shrimp live a healthier life. Ensure you regularly test the water to monitor any fluctuations. A quality buffer can help maintain the pH levels in the desired range.

Water Hardness

Coral banded shrimp require specific water hardness levels to promote proper molting, growth, and general health. The optimal parameters are a Calcium level of 350-450 ppm, Magnesium of 1250-1350 ppm, and Alkalinity of 8-12 dKH. Keeping these parameters in check may require supplements as well as regular water testing.

Water Changes

Regular water changes play a significant role in maintaining optimal water quality for coral banded shrimp. Aim for a 10-20% water change in your aquarium every 2-4 weeks. This helps reduce harmful toxins and replenish essential elements in the water. In my own experience, performing 15% water changes every three weeks has kept my shrimp happy and healthy.

Tank Maintenance

To maintain a healthy environment for the Coral Banded Shrimp, proper tank maintenance is essential. Regular water changes play a crucial role in keeping the water quality in check. I make it a habit to change 20-25% of the water every two weeks.

Another important aspect is cleaning the substrate. This helps prevent the buildup of waste and uneaten food which can negatively affect the water quality. Using a gravel vacuum can make this task much easier and efficient.

Filter maintenance is also important for maintaining a clean and stable environment. Clean or replace the filter media as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Ensuring proper water movement and aeration is also essential for your shrimp’s well-being.

Monitoring water parameters such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and temperature is crucial to ensure a suitable environment for your Coral Banded Shrimp. Aim to keep ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm, nitrate below 20 ppm, pH between 8.0 and 8.4, and temperature at around 75 to 82°F.

In conclusion, maintaining a clean and stable environment goes a long way in promoting the overall health and longevity of your Coral Banded Shrimp. By performing regular water changes, cleaning the substrate, properly maintaining filters, and monitoring water parameters, you’ll be well on your way to providing the best possible home for your shrimp.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

When I set up my reef tank, I found that coral banded shrimp best thrive with peaceful fish. Some of these compatible companions include:

  • Clownfish: These hardy, brightly-colored fish typically keep to themselves and don’t bother tank mates.
  • Firefish: Known for their unique appearance, firefish are peaceful and avoid trouble.
  • Gobies: There are many varieties of gobies, most of which coexist well with coral banded shrimp.

In my experience, it’s essential to keep species with similar temperaments in the tank.

Incompatible Fish Species

Adding coral banded shrimp to a tank with incompatible fish can be a recipe for disaster. Some species I’ve found to be problematic are:

  • Angelfish: Although beautiful, angelfish can be territorial and are notorious for snacking on shrimp.
  • Damsels: They can become aggressive, especially if kept in smaller tanks, which might endanger the shrimp.
  • Six Line Wrasses: These seemingly peaceful fish have been known to turn on invertebrates in reef tanks.

Remember to carefully select tank mates for your coral banded shrimp to ensure a harmonious environment.


What To Feed

Coral Banded Shrimp are omnivores and thrive on a varied diet. They primarily consume algae, detritus, and small organisms like copepods and amphipods. In captivity, it’s essential to mimic this diverse diet for their optimal health. I’ve found that providing frozen foods like brine shrimp and mysis shrimp, and flake or pellet food specifically formulated for shrimp, can help.


It’s important to feed Coral Banded Shrimp consistently and in small amounts. Ideally, feed them once or twice daily. Overfeeding can lead to excess nutrients in the water, which may cause algae blooms or promote poor water quality.


Here are some tips to ensure a healthy and well-fed Coral Banded Shrimp:

  • Rotate the types of food offered to maintain a varied diet.
  • Use a feeding dish to minimize waste and prevent food from getting trapped in the substrate.
  • Observe your shrimp during feeding time to make sure they are actively eating. If not, adjust the feeding frequency or food variety as needed.
  • Soak pellet or flake food in tank water before feeding to help with ingestion and digestion.

Common Diseases


From my experience, Coral Banded Shrimp are generally hardy creatures. However, they can still be affected by a few common diseases, such as Shell Rot and White Spot Syndrome.


Shell Rot is often characterized by an unhealthy, discolored, or damaged exoskeleton. White Spot Syndrome manifests as tiny white spots on the shrimp’s body or appendages.


When I noticed my shrimp exhibiting signs of Shell Rot, I isolated the affected shrimp to prevent it from spreading. To treat White Spot Syndrome, I raised the water temperature slightly (by 1-2 degrees Celsius) for a few days, which helped speed up the parasite’s life cycle and allowed the shrimp’s immune system to tackle the infection more effectively. A medication like copper sulfate can also be used following proper dosing instructions.


Maintaining optimum water quality is the key to minimizing the risk of diseases. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and avoiding overcrowding in the tank can help keep your Coral Banded Shrimp healthy. Additionally, providing a balanced diet and maintaining proper water parameters will ensure their immune systems are strong enough to fight off potential infections.

Signs of a Healthy Fish

Coral Banded Shrimp are fascinating creatures and having a healthy one in your aquarium can be very rewarding. A key sign of good health is their coloration. Healthy shrimps will have vibrant red and white bands throughout their body.

Another indicator is their activity level. These shrimps are known to be active scavengers, so they should be frequently moving around the tank searching for food. If a shrimp is lethargic or hiding, it could be a sign of stress or illness.

When I first started keeping Coral Banded Shrimp, I noticed that they tend to be quite territorial and will often establish a preferred spot in the tank. This is a normal behavior and demonstrates that they feel secure in their environment.

It’s also important to observe their molting process. Molting is a natural and essential process for their growth and development. A healthy shrimp should molt every few weeks, leaving behind a transparent exoskeleton.

Coral Banded Shrimp should also exhibit healthy feeding behavior. They are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat a variety of foods like leftover fish food, algae, and even dead organisms. If your shrimp is consistently refusing food, it might be time to consult an expert.

One personal tip I can offer is to always keep an eye on your water parameters. Maintaining stable and optimal water conditions is key to a healthy and thriving shrimp. Regular water testing and keeping the tank clean will make a significant difference in their overall well-being.

By observing these signs, you can ensure that your Coral Banded Shrimp is in good health and will continue to be a captivating and entertaining addition to your aquarium.

Signs Your Fish is Sick

Coral Banded Shrimp are fascinating creatures to keep in an aquarium, but like any other aquatic pet, they can fall ill. I remember when I first noticed my shrimp acting different, and I discovered it had an illness.

One sign that your fish is sick is a change in its behavior. For example, if it becomes lethargic or increasingly aggressive, it could be an indication of a health issue. Another sign to look for is loss of appetite; if you notice your shrimp is not eating as much as it typically does, it might be unwell.

A change in appearance can be another sign of an unhealthy fish. Keep an eye out for unusual spots, discoloration, or changes in the shape of their body. Additionally, if your shrimp is constantly hiding and avoiding others, this could point to a higher level of stress or sickness.

Increased respiration rate and erratic swimming patterns are also signs that your fish may be unwell. In some cases, the shrimp may float at the water’s surface for prolonged periods of time, which is out of the ordinary behavior for Coral Banded Shrimp.

Proper care for your Coral Banded Shrimp is essential to keep them healthy. By monitoring their behavior, appearance, and overall well-being, you can address any issues early on, ensuring the health and happiness of your aquatic pets.


Coral Banded Shrimp 2

Breeding Setup

A successful breeding setup for Coral Banded Shrimp should have plenty of hiding spots. I’ve found that PVC pipes and ceramic caves work well to provide shelter for the shrimp. Additionally, it’s essential to maintain optimal water quality with stable temperature, salinity, and pH levels.

How To Breed

To breed Coral Banded Shrimp, introduce a healthy male and female pair into the breeding tank. Wait for the female to molt, as this is when she’ll be receptive to mating. After mating, the female will carry eggs under her tail for about 2-3 weeks. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will float in the water column.


Caring for the baby shrimp is crucial to their survival. To provide proper nutrition, offer them freshly hatched brine shrimp, rotifers, and copepods. Keep in mind that the larvae need gentle water flow to prevent them from sinking and changing the water frequently to maintain pristine conditions. With patience and perseverance, some will molt and turn into juveniles, eventually becoming fascinating adult Coral Banded Shrimp.

Product recommendations for Coral Banded Shrimp:

  1. Hikari Crab Cuisine: This food is specially formulated for shrimp and provides a balanced diet for optimal health.
  2. Seachem Stability: This product helps to establish a healthy biological filter in your aquarium, which is important for maintaining good water quality for Coral Banded Shrimp.
  3. Fluval Sea Protein Skimmer: This protein skimmer helps to remove organic waste from your aquarium water, which can be harmful to Coral Banded Shrimp.
  4. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump: This circulation pump helps to create a natural water flow in your aquarium, which is important for the well-being of Coral Banded Shrimp.
  5. Instant Ocean Sea Salt: This sea salt mix is perfect for creating a healthy marine environment for Coral Banded Shrimp and other saltwater creatures.
  6. API Aquarium Salt: This product helps to promote healthy gill function and reduce stress in shrimp, including Coral Banded Shrimp.
  7. Seachem Prime: This water conditioner helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in aquarium water, which can be harmful to Coral Banded Shrimp.
  8. Coralife BioCube 32 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for keeping Coral Banded Shrimp in a medium-sized space, and comes with a powerful filtration system.
  9. Marina Floating Thermometer with Suction Cup: This thermometer helps you to monitor the temperature of your aquarium water, which is important for keeping Coral Banded Shrimp healthy.


In conclusion, caring for Coral Banded Shrimp requires attention to their habitat and diet. These colorful and fascinating creatures thrive when proper conditions are met.

To ensure a healthy environment, maintain stable water parameters and provide ample hiding spots. Water quality is crucial – closely monitor parameters like salinity, temperature, and pH levels.

A diet consisting of meaty foods like mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and chopped fish helps these crustaceans maintain their vibrant colors and energetic demeanor. Remember to not overfeed them, as this can lead to water quality issues.

I remember when I first got my Coral Banded Shrimp, and after researching and providing a suitable environment, it became the highlight of my aquarium. Their active nature and interesting behavior kept me engaged in observing their day-to-day activities.

Proper care benefits not only the Coral Banded Shrimp but also the overall health and stability of your aquarium. So, apply the aforementioned care tips and enjoy a thriving environment with these captivating creatures.


Do Coral Banded Shrimp make good additions to a reef tank?

Absolutely! I’ve had a Coral Banded Shrimp in my own reef tank and they not only have stunning appearances, but also help keep the tank clean by eating debris and dead matter.

What tank conditions should I aim for?

  • Salinity: 1.023 to 1.025
  • Temperature: 72-78°F (22-25°C)
  • pH: 8.0 to 8.4
  • Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH

What should I feed my Coral Banded Shrimp?

As omnivores, they feast on a variety of foods – frozen meaty fish foods, pellets and flakes all work well. Providing a mix of these will offer them a healthy diet.

Do Coral Banded Shrimp require hiding spots?

Yes! They are shy creatures and appreciate caves or overhangs in the rockwork. When I added a few hiding spots to my tank, my Coral Banded Shrimp became more active during the day.

Are they aggressive?

In general, no – but they can be territorial to other shrimp, so it’s best to house only one Coral Banded Shrimp per tank, unless you have a mated pair.

Do they molt?

Yes, they molt their exoskeleton as they grow. You might see the empty shells lying around your tank, which they eat for a calcium source.

Can they reproduce in a home aquarium?

It’s possible, but difficult due to their larval stage’s delicate nature. They often become food for other tank inhabitants, so sufficient larval care is essential for successful breeding.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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