The animals have a light basic colouring with dark points, lines or spots. This pattern varies greatly between individuals. Their basic body colour is light grey, light brown, light beige or a light rust red, depending on location. Mostly the back is darker than the sides, the belly is the lightest.
The light back line typical of fan shrimp is barely pronounced or is completely absent.
The legs of this shrimp species are exceptionally strong. Striking and typical are the front, fan-shaped legs.
Lesser shrimp inhabit rivers near the sea in Indonesia, New Guinea and the Philippines. Old animals love places with strong currents, young animals prefer to stay in quieter places.
If a pair of basic requirements are met, these creatures are easy to keep in an aquarium. The water must be soft to medium-hard and have a pH value of 6.0 to 8.0. The optimal temperature range is between 22 and 28 degrees. The tank should be 60 to 70 cm long and be able to hold a minimum of 60 l of water.
For the small shrimp to feel comfortable, they must live in groups of at least 5 animals. They are grateful for a rich planting of fine-grained plants and mosses. Because the animals especially like to swim, their tank should have an area without plants.
Important are hiding places made of stones or roots where they can retreat after moulting. There they wait until their new, still soft shell is stable again.
Fan shrimp need a current in their tank. For this purpose the aquarium should be equipped with a shrimp filter with air lift or a flow pump.
The shrimp sit on larger stones or plants and fan the passing water for food. With their strong legs they hold on to the strong current.
These animals live as herbivores. They are supplied with dust food and spirulina algae powder. Dust food is either given directly into the current or dissolved in water. Feeding is done with a pipette or syringe.
Practical are food tabs, pastes and special puddings. They are attached to a side window of the aquarium. The water flowing past dissolves them and slowly releases the finest particles. The shrimp eagerly filter these food particles out of the water.
When the shrimp begin to search for food on the bottom, there is not enough floating food circulating in the water. In this case, powder must be added as quickly as possible.
These shrimps belong to the original reproductive type. The larvae need brackish water to develop. They can be born in freshwater aquariums, but die after a short time.
In their natural environment, the females begin to develop eggs after reaching sexual maturity. During the next moult, the eggs can be fertilized by a male. The female carries them in special abdominal pockets until the larvae hatch after 5 to 6 weeks. The tiny larvae are washed by the current into the sea, into brackish water. Within a few weeks, the larvae pass through several larval stages there until they have developed into young shrimp. As young shrimp, they migrate back into the rivers where they were born.
This habitat change, which takes place twice, is very complex and difficult to manage in a domestic aquarium.
Dwarf fan shrimp are peaceful animals. They can easily live in an aquarium together with other shrimp or small harmless fish.
Furthermore a socialization with snails and crabs is possible.
You should avoid mussels in the dwarf shrimp tank. Mussels are also filter feeders and thus food competitors.