The Secret to Keeping Your Camel Shrimp Happy and Healthy

Fact Checked by
Sheldon Myers, MS / Aquarist

Camel shrimp, also known as hinge-beak shrimp or dancing shrimp, are a popular choice for many marine aquarium hobbyists. Their striking appearance, fascinating behavior, and relatively easy care make them an excellent addition to any saltwater tank. However, ensuring their happiness and health requires some effort and understanding of their unique needs. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about keeping your camel shrimp happy and healthy.

What is Camel Shrimp?


Camel shrimp are small, colorful crustaceans that typically grow up to 2 inches in length. They have a distinctive hump on their backs, resembling a camel, and their long antennae resemble the camel’s neck. Their bodies are covered with red and white stripes, and their legs are usually translucent with red bands.


Camel shrimp are native to the Indo-Pacific region, where they inhabit coral reefs and rocky environments. They are nocturnal creatures, spending their days hiding in crevices and emerging at night to forage for food.

Proper Aquarium Setup

Tank Size

Camel shrimp require a minimum tank size of 10 gallons, but a larger tank is always better. This will provide them with ample space to move around, explore, and find hiding spots.

Water Parameters

Maintaining proper water parameters is crucial for the health and well-being of your camel shrimp. They thrive in a stable environment with a temperature between 72-78°F, a pH of 8.1-8.4, and a salinity of 1.023-1.025.

Decorations and Hiding Spots

Camel shrimp are shy and prefer to have plenty of hiding spots in their aquarium. Incorporate live rock, caves, and other decorations that provide shelter and mimic their natural environment. This will help them feel safe and reduce stress.

Feeding Your Camel Shrimp


Camel shrimp are omnivores, meaning they consume both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they feed on algae, detritus, and small invertebrates. In the aquarium, provide a balanced diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp.

Feeding Frequency

Feed your camel shrimp once or twice a day, offering only what they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health issues.

Tank Mates

Compatible Tank Mates

Camel shrimp can coexist peacefully with many other marine species. Good tank mates include small, non-aggressive fish like clownfish, gobies, and blennies. Other invertebrates, such as snails, hermit crabs, and other shrimp species, can also share the same aquarium. It’s essential to research and ensure compatibility before introducing new inhabitants to the tank.

Incompatible Tank Mates

Some tank mates should be avoided, as they may pose a threat to your camel shrimp. Larger, aggressive fish like triggerfish, lionfish, and groupers may view camel shrimp as a food source and should be kept separately. Additionally, camel shrimp may not be suitable for reef tanks containing delicate corals, as they have been known to occasionally nip at coral polyps.

Health and Disease Prevention

Signs of Illness

Observing your camel shrimp for signs of illness is crucial for their well-being. Symptoms to watch out for include lethargy, loss of appetite, discoloration, and erratic swimming. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to take action promptly to identify and treat the issue.

Disease Prevention

To keep your camel shrimp healthy, maintain proper water parameters, and provide a balanced diet. Regularly test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels and perform partial water changes as needed. Additionally, quarantine new tank mates for at least two weeks before introducing them to the main tank to prevent the spread of diseases or parasites.


Breeding camel shrimp in captivity can be challenging due to their specific environmental requirements and the need to raise their delicate larvae. If you’re interested in attempting to breed your shrimp, provide them with a separate breeding tank and ensure optimal water conditions. Once eggs are laid and hatch, the larvae will require specialized care and feeding to improve their chances of survival.


Keeping camel shrimp happy and healthy requires understanding their unique needs and providing them with an appropriate environment, diet, and compatible tank mates. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the fascinating world of these beautiful and captivating crustaceans.


1. How long do camel shrimp live?

Camel shrimp can live for up to 5 years in captivity with proper care and ideal living conditions.

2. Can camel shrimp change their color?

Yes, camel shrimp can change their color depending on their environment, stress levels, and overall health.

3. Are camel shrimp reef safe?

While camel shrimp can coexist with many coral species, they may occasionally nip at coral polyps. It’s essential to monitor their behavior if you choose to keep them in a reef tank.

4. How can I tell if my camel shrimp is male or female?

Female camel shrimp are generally larger and have a more rounded abdomen than males. Males have a slimmer body shape and smaller abdomen.

Elliot Galindo
Elliot Galindo
Elliot Galindo is a highly educated expert on freshwater shrimp and their care as pets. He received his Bachelor's degree in marine biology from the University of Oregon and has used that knowledge to become an authority on shrimp care.



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