Ninja Shrimp


Ninja Garnele
ふうけ, Himenumaebi-tatesen, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Ninja Shrimps are very different in their appearance. There are specimens that have a more reddish colour, while other shrimp have a blue body colour.

Most Ninja Shrimp are characterized by an irregular tiger pattern. However, this shrimp variety has earned its name because it is able to change its basic colour and pattern.

Similar to chameleons, ninja shrimp can adapt to their environment or change their colour when their mood changes. The shrimp are therefore sometimes difficult to see, but also exciting to watch.


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Ninja shrimps are very shy aquarium inhabitants. They feel comfortable if they have a lot of space and if they are offered many places of retreat. They like holes in the rock as well as hollow bamboo canes or root networks to hide. The small hiding places are very important for this shrimp species. They like peace and quiet and will take flight at the slightest disturbance. This is why they make it difficult for aquarium owners to admire the animals properly.

In addition to their retreat, shrimp also prefer moss balls and small plant cushions in their aquarium. The green oases are often visited by the shrimp and combed very carefully. The animals look for growing algae or microorganisms they can eat. If they don’t find them, the Ninja Shrimp will also search the bottom muck and detritus, which accumulates in areas with low currents. It is therefore highly recommended that you do not always scrub the aquarium clean of pores to avoid depriving the shrimp of their food sources.

However, you should make sure that the water in the aquarium is well filtered and contains a lot of oxygen. Ninja shrimp come from clean running waters with a high oxygen content. By inserting a hamburger mat filter and using an oxygen pump, aquarium owners can create an ideal habitat for the shrimp. In addition, one fifth of the water in the aquarium should be changed once a week or at most once in two weeks.


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Ninja shrimps use many different things as a food source. They prefer algae and microorganisms to eat. However, they also eat leftovers from fish food when it is left over from other fish. In the same way, the animals can also enjoy conventional shrimp food with spinach or nettles. If you want to feed your shrimp with brown autumn leaves, you can’t go wrong with Ninja Shrimp. They no longer like very fresh food because the proportion of microorganisms is then higher. It is also possible to add protein food, but in this case it should only be served once or twice a week at the most to avoid overfeeding the shrimp.


The breeding of ninja shrimps is rather difficult. They belong to the primitive reproductive type of freshwater shrimp. After a gestation period of four weeks, the female releases up to 200 eggs into the water. Zoea larvae hatch from the eggs and can only survive for a few days in fresh water. In the wild, the larvae would drift with the current to reach the sea. In salt water, the larvae then go through various stages until they are fully developed. Only when they are fully mature do the ninja shrimp swim back into the creeks to reproduce.

In a normal aquarium, however, the larvae have almost no chance. They would not survive the first larval stage. Either the larvae die through the fresh water or they are eaten by larger aquarium inhabitants.

For breeding in an aquarium environment, different tanks are needed, for example with fallow water and sea water. Breeding requires different special food types for shrimp larvae and you have to observe very carefully what stage the larvae are at in order to relocate them in time. This is why breeding is more recommended for experienced shrimp breeders, but not for beginners.


Ninja shrimps are very peaceful and sociable animals. They feel comfortable in groups of about 15 to 20 conspecifics and like to go on foraging trips together. They can also be kept together with other peaceful shrimp species in an aquarium. However, if you want to mix your aquarium, you are well advised to bring the animals together with ornamental fish such as the dwarf danio or with freshwater crabs. However, you should be careful whether the other aquarium inhabitants might become too curious and want to eat the shrimp. If this is the case, it is advisable to relocate to a species aquarium so that the Ninja shrimp can develop to their full potential.