Max Size: 30cm

Giant Freshwater Prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii)

Giant Freshwater prawns max out at nearly the size of a small lobster, with arms up to twice the length of their body so with their large size and active dispositions, this species is not suitable for the beginner aquarist.

Medium to large-sized Freshwater Prawns will also engage in predatory behaviours. Therefore choosing tankmates can be a tricky prospect and, for the most part, a species only tank is the safest bet.

Any inhabitants would have to be large enough to avoid the Giant Freshwater Shrimps predation but not big enough to eat the shrimp themselves. A well-armoured, herbivorous fish, such as a larger plecostomus, might be a better choice.

Keeping fish of equal size to the prawn is generally not advisable unless you're working with a very small species.

The Giant Freshwater Prawn are typically brownish in colour, but this can vary. Smaller individuals can be greenish in colour and present faint vertical stripes. The rostrum is very obvious and contains 8 to 11 ventral teeth and 11 to 14 dorsal teeth.

The first pair of pereiopods are elongated and very thin, ending in delicate claws which are used as feeding appendages. The second pair of pereiopods are much larger and more powerful, especially in males.

The adjustable claws of the second pair of pereiopods are distinctively covered in dense bristles that give it a velvety appearance. The colour of the claws in males varies according to their social dominance; however, blue seems to be the typical colour.


Giant Freshwater Prawn
Giant Freshwater Prawn
Quick Facts
Scientific NameMacrobrachium rosenbergii
Other NamesGiant River Prawn, Malaysian Prawn, Freshwater Scampi, Cherabin
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asTrios
Lifespanup to 3 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.0 - 8.0
GH2 - 9
57 - 82℉
13.9 - 27.8℃


Unlike other algae-eating and filter-feeding shrimp you can find in the hobby these days, Giant Freshwater Prawns are omnivores. Therefore, they require High quality dried foods such as granules, sinking pellets and wafers as well as meaty foods such as earthworm, bloodworm and brine shrimp in their diet.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is Somewhat straight forward to distinguish male from female Giant Freshwater Prawns. Females tend to have broader abdomens and smaller second pereiopods than the males. Whereas males typically have more powerful and more extensive pereiopods than females.

Other Prawns of interest

Asian Glass Shrimp(Macrobrachium lanchesteri)
Date Added: 15/02/2021 - Updated: 17/11/2021 03:32:08