Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium Lanchesteri): Ultimate Care Guide

Common Name(s)Whisker Shrimp
Scientific NameMacrobrachium Lanchesteri
OriginPeninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, southern China, Java, and Indonesia
Temperature75-86 degrees F
Size1-2 inches
Minimum Tank Size5 Gallons
Food & DietScavengers
Lifespan1-2 years
Water pH6.5-8.5
Tank MatesNeon Tetras, Pygmy Corys, Harlequin Rasboras, White Cloud Minnows, Glassfish
BreedingDifficult. Males can breed with 1-2 females at a time
Common DiseaseVorticella, Muscular Necrosis
Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium Lanchesteri)
Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium Lanchesteri)

Whisker Shrimp is a freshwater shrimp with a transparent body that allows you to see right through it. It resembles another shrimp known as the ghost shrimp.

It has a somewhat larger body than the ghost shrimp and long feelers. The whisker shrimp lacks distinctive orange bands on their front legs and at the base of their feelers.

Whisker Shrimp is a genus with over 240 species and a high level of genetic variation. Even though some species dwell in an estuary or marine environments, they spend most of their time in freshwater.

Whisker shrimp is a common and widely distributed shrimp species, with populations in Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, southern China, Java, and Indonesia. They are also considered to be one of Laos’ most frequent species.

Whisker Shrimp Care

The Whisker Shrimp is one of the easiest aquarium creatures to care for because it is low-maintenance and will thrive as long as the essential parameters are met. It prefers the bottom of the water and will most likely feel safe at the bottom of your tank. It is a freshwater shrimp that requires a freshwater tank in order to exist and develop.


Whisker Shrimp prefer water temperatures ranging from 75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water pH

The ideal pH range for Whisker Shrimp is 6.5 – 8.5.

Whisker Shrimp Size

The average Whisker Shrimp grows to 1 inch on the small end and 2 inches on the large end.

Food and Diet

Some hobbyists refer to the shrimp as a scavenger because it is an aggressive eater who spends most of its time at the bottom of the tank munching on rubbish.

Foods that can be fed to shrimp are a variety of flake foods, lobster bites as well as Hikari crab, Shirakura shrimp food, sinking stick foods for the shrimp, spinach, cucumber, Mosura shrimp food, and Borneo wild shrimp food.

Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium Lanchesteri)
Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium Lanchesteri)


A Whisker Shrimp typically lives for 1 to 2 years.

Tank Size

A minimum tank capacity of 5 gallons is required to keep whisker shrimp. Ten gallons is the suggested tank size for whisker shrimp.

Tank Setup

Whisker Shrimp can be kept in a fairly vegetated tank, however, it is recommended to avoid overcrowding the tank. It has a tendency to hide in between the plants in the tank, so having too many plants will not help you keep an eye on it.

Shrimp are not very tolerant when the features of their aquarium change frequently.

Whisker Shrimp, like other fish and invertebrates, rely on clean, fresh water to survive and grow. To guarantee that the water conditions for your shrimp are ideal, you must install a filtering system in your tank.

Whisker shrimp may be kept in any aquarium with any substrate indefinitely and require no special care or maintenance.

These shrimp thrive on a variety of substrates, including aquarium dirt and gravel, sand, and other refined grains. The aesthetics of your tank are fully in your hands, as is the choice of the best substrate for your plants to thrive in.

Whisker Shrimp Breeding

One of the most difficult components of keeping Whisker Shrimp alive is breeding them. If you are a first-time enthusiast, this task may be difficult.

Breeding the Whisker Shrimp can be a difficult task for many first-time hobbyists. Certain tank settings must be adjusted in order for your female shrimp to spawn and the eggs to hatch into the juvenile shrimp that you require.

Set the tank water temperature to a range of 65 to 82 degrees Celsius.

You must keep the male and female shrimp in the same aquarium. Female shrimp are often larger than male shrimp. A single male can successfully mate with two females who have eggs on their swimmerets.

The male should be allowed to fertilize the eggs before removing the female from the tank and placing her in another tank. This procedure should be carried out with caution because females have a tendency to drop their eggs when stressed.

It should take between 21 and 24 days for the fertilized eggs to develop into young shrimp.

Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium Lanchesteri)
Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium Lanchesteri)

Whisker Shrimp Male or Female

In this kind of shrimp, there isn’t much of a difference between the sexes; however, male shrimp are frequently physically smaller than female shrimp. The presence of small, spherical, green eggs under the female’s tail distinguishes her from the male’s appearance.

Whisker Shrimp Disease

Sickness is frequently induced by environmental factors such as unsuitable and hazardous conditions. Whisker Shrimp are commonly afflicted with fungal and bacterial illnesses as a result of contaminated water and an unhygienic habitat.


Vorticella appears to be a fungus, but it is actually a protozoon with 16 different species. It is primarily an aquatic creature, but it can be found in freshwater settings as well. It may also attach to a host, which could be anything from a plant to driftwood, rocks, or other animals.

The best treatment for this condition is a salt bath. Permanganic acid is a water-soluble, highly oxidative compound with a high degree of oxidation. It has a lovely odor and purple crystals. It is an inorganic chemical compound that can be utilized to treat Vorticella.

Muscular Necrosis

Necrosis is a biological term that refers to the death of one or more cells in the most basic form of a living entity. It causes the surrounding cells and tissues to degrade or become inflamed.

Treatment- As soon as you notice Muscular necrosis, remove any infected shrimp from your aquarium. There is no specific treatment; however, frequent water changes and a healthy environment may help to limit the disease’s growth.

Scutariella Japonica

Another prevalent parasite of Whisker Shrimps is Scutariella Japonica, often known as the Japanese ghost shrimp parasite. It is a parasitic parasite that belongs to the nematode family. Even though they are classed as flatworms, they behave differently. Many people are unable to distinguish between Scutariella Japonica and vorticella.

Treatment- This condition can also be treated with a salt bath. Make a solution with one cup of tank water and one teaspoon of salt. Pour the saltwater into the tank where you separated the diseased shrimp after thoroughly mixing it in the cup.

Are Whisker Shrimp Aggressive?

Whisker Shrimp attack small fish, other shrimp species, and snails. They are threatened, though, by larger, more aggressive fish.

Whisker Shrimp Tank Mates

As previously stated, the majority of freshwater shrimps are hostile. The same holds true for Whisker Shrimp. The majority of their rage is directed against small community fish and even other shrimp species in the area.

Solitary confinement is frequently preferable and the best approach for these shrimp. Whisker shrimp should be kept in groups of one male and many females rather than separately.

Keep in mind that whisker shrimp will compete for food with their tank mates. It may also have an impact on their behavior. If you wish to reduce this, you must keep them well-fed.

Compatible tank mates include Neon Tetras, Pygmy Corys, Harlequin Rasboras, White Cloud Minnows, Glassfish

Incompatible tank mates are fish larger or more aggressive, snails, Crayfish, Dwarf Shrimp, Crabs from other freshwater species, Amano shrimp, and frogs.

Whisker Shrimp and Betta Fish

Bettas may coexist peacefully with Whisker Shrimp. However, some bettas are quite violent and territorial. As a result, a tranquil tank community is heavily reliant on the temperament of the individual betta. For bettas and Whisker Shrimp to coexist together, the tank arrangement must be suitable for both.

Where can I find Whisker Shrimp for sale?

Whisker Shrimp can be purchased at large pet stores as well as on online marketplace buy and sell websites. The cost to buy Whisker Shrimp is $20 USD for a group of five shrimp.

Whisker Shrimp VS Ghost Shrimp

Whisker Shrimp resemble Ghost Shrimp in appearance, with nearly clear, transparent bodies, torsos, and tails. Whisker Shrimp, on the other hand, are larger than Ghost Shrimp, with longer bodies and longer feelers. They lack the distinguishing orange bands at the base of their feelers and on their front legs.

Whisker Shrimp VS Amano Shrimp

The Amano shrimp is a freshwater variant of the well-known saltwater aquarium species. They are frequently employed for their color and to help manage algae in aquariums since Amanos consume more than other varieties of shrimp and can help control undesired algae growth.

The fundamental distinction between Whisker Shrimp and Amano Shrimp is their habitat preferences and preferred locations in their habitats. Amano shrimp like to stay low and close to rocks and substrate, whereas Whisker Shrimp spend much of their time up in the water column hunting for food.