Nigerian floating shrimps


Nigerian floating shrimps (Desmocaris trispinosa) impress above all by their behaviour. This shrimp species loves to swim and float in water. They can bend their specially shaped swimming legs. This enables them to move forwards and backwards. The fascinating thing about this shrimp type is the “floating mode”. They prove their special social behaviour in “group swimming”.

The transparent body colour is somewhat inconspicuous. The big dark eyes dominate on these creatures. Sometimes a slight yellowish tinge and a dark pattern can be seen on the antennae. The sexes can be kept apart by the difference in size. Female floating shrimps grow up to 4.5 cm. The more delicate males usually reach 3.5 cm. Nigerian floating shrimp have a life expectancy of 18 to 24 months.


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To enable these animals to swim and float, the pool should hold at least 50 litres. A pool length of 60 cm or more would be advantageous. The division in the aquarium is also based on the preference for swimming. Sufficient space with a light current and a partly dense planting are ideal conditions. The water temperature should be between 22 °C and 28 °C. Further prerequisites for good water quality are a pH value between 6 and 8. The total hardness has a margin of up to 20 °dGH and the carbon hardness up to 3 °dGH.

Larger fluctuations in temperature or water quality should be avoided. Nigerian floating shrimp are sociable and peaceful. They should be kept in groups. The minimum number of members is 10. Nigerian floating shrimp live in groups and swim in the group. This special feature can be ensured by sufficient open space. As a change and for climbing and hiding, rocky structures, roots and clay tubes can enrich the aquarium. The floating shrimp is extremely active. It can not only swim, but also climb and jump. The aquarium should have a cover to prevent accidents. The jumping ability should be taken into account when moving the net.


Nigerian floating shrimps do not make any special demands on their food. They are satisfied with green fodder. A supplementary feeding with frozen or live food is gladly accepted. Brown autumn leaves they like to eat and can remain in the aquarium as permanent food. Feeding with special dwarf shrimp food is no problem. It should be noted that Nigerian floating shrimp like to eat on the ground. The shrimp food should therefore sink to the bottom of the tank. Special sinking foods have these characteristics. For these active animals, a food containing protein and protein is important. These special feeds can be given three times a week.


The reproduction of Nigerian floating shrimp is not abundant. In order for them to become active in this respect, the water quality must be in line with the living conditions of the floating shrimp. Errors in husbandry can also cause reproductive listlessness. As a rule, the males attach sperm packs to the female suspended shrimp. The mother squeezes out 10 to 15 eggs and these are fertilized by “gliding past” the sperm.

Unfertilised eggs are released by the female within a week. The gestation period is 5 to 6 weeks. Nigerian floating shrimp give birth to finished young shrimp. These small independent floating shrimps are larger than the other dwarf shrimp species. The standard is about 10 juveniles, which live through the growth phase until they reach adulthood within their familiar environment.


Nigerian floating shrimp can be disturbed by larger fish. The free space for swimming and floating is restricted and the well-being of this shrimp species is reduced. This peaceful hovering shrimp can easily be socialized with other dwarf shrimp species or snails. Nigerian floating shrimp do not mix with other species. A socialization with small peaceful fish (nano fish) is unproblematic.