Can Shrimp Regenerate Limbs?

Can Shrimp Regenerate Limbs?

Here are the stages of regeneration of limbs in aquarium shrimps. In this article, we have also added favorable conditions required for molting periods in shrimps.

Can Shrimp Regenerate Limbs? Yes, shrimps can regenerate limbs. In shrimps, limbs regenerate during their whole body growth phase. These shrimps regrow their exoskeleton during the molting process. In this process, they remove the old skeleton while the new skeleton develops under the old one. Sometimes one molt is insufficient and shrimps require 2 to 3 molting for a complete recovery. 

Can Shrimp Regenerate Limbs?

Aquarium shrimps are a common source of your entertainment. It also recognizes as scavengers because they can eat uneaten food and the debris in their habitat.

Ghost shrimp are also known as the glass shrimp, which are freshwater living species, and these are easy to handle for the aquarists. These shrimps also use as feeders for the aquarium fish.

Their care is easy for the aquarists, and shrimps can live in the small gallon aquarium. These also call the aquarium cleaner because they eat the uneaten food in the aquarium that protects the aquarium water from the debris and the murky appearance.

Shrimp molting process and its stages

The molting process is necessary for their growth indicates that they are healthy, active, and growing at a regular pace. Regeneration and molting are interdependent.

A specific hormone released by the shrimp controls its molting process. If the loss of a limb increases, the chances of the molt are also increases.

There are three stages involved in the molting process named stage pre-molt, inter-molt, post molt.


 This stage is also known as the pre-ecdysis. At this stage, the shrimps cannot eat properly. Their mass grows fully, and cuticle and you can see it easily.

The exo-skeleton removes from the shrimp body completely. The new cuticle appears and becomes visible with the naked eye. Its duration is 55% of the total molting period. 


It is also known as the stationary phase or the Anecdysis. At this inter-molt stage, the new skeleton of the shrimp becomes functional. Mass grow continuously, and they feed properly and require enough food for their growth.

Due to mineral and protein deposition, the exoskeleton becomes hard. Feeding activity in this stage is at its maximum level. Its duration is about 40% of the total molting period. 

Post- molt

Post-molt is also known as the post-ecdysis. In this post-molt stage, shrimp began to recover from their last molt. Shrimps require absorbing a large amount of water for the purpose to extend, make an adaption to their new size and replenish their cuticle.

You make patience with the hardness of the skeleton because it requires several hours. In this phase, their feeding activity is none or minimal. Its duration is 5% of the total molting period.

It is the most sensitive phase of the molting process. In this phase, aquarium shrimp is vulnerable to many diseases due to the absence of a skeleton. Examples of some infections are White Spot Syndrome Virus and osmotic shock because of the excess of water. Use osmoregulation in the water to ensure cell integrity.

Conditions that influence the molting process and the growth of shrimp

These conditions affect the molting stage as the light affects the shrimp growth rate and their survival rate. If you increase the light energy and provide it for a longer duration, they grow faster and become large and regenerate with ease.

You adjust the temperature according to the shrimp requirements. The suitable temperature for them is around 10 to 15 Celsius. If the range increases, their growth rate decreases.

Loss of limbs is also the main factor that influences the molting process. If the number of limbs lost rises, the chances of molting also increase.

Problems occur in the molting process in shrimps and how to overcome

Problems occur during the molting process “The white ring of death” is the signal, which indicates that the problem happens during the ecdysis. There are many reasons why problems occur during this process. Here are the following:

Protein requirement

Protein is the main component that is essential for their growth, regeneration, and molting process in shrimps. It is also the main constituent of the exoskeleton of the shrimp. If you feed an excess of protein, it may also cause a problem.

The same contingency persists if you give lesser protein or its 0% contribution in shrimps’ diet. You give them the correct and proper amount of protein in their diet. A rough estimate of around 40 to 45% of protein fulfills their protein requirement.

For protein requirements, you can add some human food such as fruits, vegetables, and plants in their diet that enrich with protein and minerals constituents.

Water quality

You have to make a keen observation to maintain the health of your shrimp. Water is also the factor that may cause the problem in their molting phase, this is a must for both vampire shrimp and bamboo shrimp.

The leading cause is the change of water. If you add the excess amount of water or change it several times a day, it can cause this problem.

When you change the water, the parameters also change like the Ph, kH, and TDS leads to incomplete molting of the shrimp, and they are not ready for it.

Calcium level

Calcium is another factor which affects the molting process that further cause complication in the regeneration process of limbs. It slows down the regeneration of limbs if the calcium level is not balanced.

If you put the excess amount of calcium in the water or the water contains more calcium content, the exoskeleton becomes hard. Due to this, the molting process is difficult to proceed at the proper time. 

If you add water that contains a lower level of calcium, it also causes the problem in the molting period. It makes the skeleton flexible and fragile the shrimp’s difficulty in the regeneration process becomes slow because the exoskeleton does not easily crack.

Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a vital source for shrimp regrowth and the development of the exoskeleton. Calcium, Mg, and other mineral ions are useful for shrimp.

The source of these minerals is the old skeleton contributes mostly 20 to 24%, and others obtain from the diet and make a nutritional plan for them. With a delicate exoskeleton, shrimp is vulnerable to the other aquarium mates in the aquarium.

Addition of microelements

Kale enriches with calcium, vitamin, and other essential nutrients. You can give your aquarium shrimp the kale in blanch form, which finishes the molting problem. 


Copper is not healthy for your aquarium shrimp. You avoid adding the copper in the aquarium water, which may lead to the shrimp.


Iodine is the essential element for shrimp regeneration. Marine water shrimps need the saltwater in which iodine is the content that is useful for their regeneration and exoskeleton ecdysis.

Water pH

pH affects by the calcium and magnesium content. If the calcium content is high, then the pH level reduces, affect the exoskeleton molting process. 

Eggshell fulfills the calcium requirement

 You do not have any other food source to accomplish the calcium requirement for your shrimp. You can use the eggshell, which also the constituents of the calcium content.

You can feed them in a useful way put the eggshell in the oven, which helps to kill the bacteria, and then crush it into the fine powder. You can give it to your shrimp in a little amount to be sufficient for them to pinch is suitable for them.

How to speed up the molting process in shrimps?

Here are pro tips to help shrimps in the regeneration of limbs and speed up this process:

  • The aquarium is an eco-system that is difficult to understand and face difficulties in handling. You change the water after a week or a couple of 7 days is the best option for your shrimp’s healthy life.
  • You do not buy the adult shrimp; always get the baby shrimps they adjust according to the aquarium environment.
  • Reminelizer is the best option for your shrimps.
  • Avoid the aquarium water from the CO2 can cause problems.
  • Prepare the proper diet plan for your shrimp.
  • Driftwood is also the factor that affects the water pH.

How much time is required for the regeneration of limbs in shrimps?

Sometimes shrimp limbs do not regrow in their first molt, this is a slow process, and they are slightly growing.

This process occurs in the immature stages. The 2 to 3 molts requires the regeneration of the limbs and the complete growth of the limbs. This process requires approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

How often shrimp regenerate limbs?

It’s difficult for you to find the exact duration of the molting process of shrimp. Aquarists and shrimp hobbyists excited and see the natural process wake up early morning find the empty shell at the aquarium bottom.

If you provide them the best food with a proper diet plan and a suitable environment, they molt and grow and regenerate with ease without any hurdle. The adult shrimp molt after 2 to 4 weeks approximately while the younger shrimp require less time.


It concludes from the above discussion that shrimp can regenerate their limbs. You assure that a proper diet plan requires that fulfills their nutritional requirements and protect them from other factors that slow down the regeneration process the delay of the molting process.

Related Articles:

Can shrimp jump out of a tank?

Can betta fish live in a vase?

What do shrimp do in a fish tank?

Everything About Red Rili Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp Care Guide