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Keeping shrimp

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You asked for suggestions, so here goes:

  • The two most common ornamental shrimp are caridina and neocaridina.  The caridinas need lower pH and softer water, and are generally more difficult to keep, and more labor intensive.  Neocaridinas are more forgiving, and generally do better in higher pH and harder water than caridinas.   Neos are the only  ones I have any experience with, and as long as they like your water they're pretty easy to keep.
  • There are many color varieties of each species, and while caridina and neocaridina shrimp won't breed with each other, any of the color varieties within the same species will, and the results will generally be brown or clear after a few generations.  For this reason, if you want to maintain a specific color it's best not to mix them.
  • To get the most enjoyment from shrimp, keep them in shrimp only tanks, or shrimp and snails.  That way you don't have to worry about predation, and they'll also be more visible if there aren't predators in the tank with them.
  • Even if they are the only things in the tank they will feel more secure with hiding places, especially when molting or when a female is releasing babies.  Dense plants are a good option, along with a pile of rocks, sized so that the shrimp can crawl inside.
  • They are more sensitive to changing water parameters than most fish, so most experienced shrimp keepers recommend limiting water changes to around 15%.
  • They need biofilm to graze on, which is why it's usually recommended to let a tank run for several months before adding shrimp.  You can do it sooner by adding a sponge filter, plants, substrate, etc from an established tank, but you still aren't likely to have as much success as you will if you're patient and let the tank "season" (I know this from first-hand experience).
  • In addition to the biofilm, they will also benefit from being fed.  There are several commercial foods especially for shrimp, but I've also given mine several kinds of fish food, and they've eaten all of them.  While there are mixed opinions about it, most people believe they also benefit from blanched vegetables once or twice a week.  I've tried several kinds, and mine seem to prefer zucchini and spinach, followed by sweet peppers.  I usually feed those late in the evening, and remove any uneaten portion the next morning.  By the way, shrimp just LOOOVE freshly crushed snails.  Mine will swarm all over one.
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1 hour ago, KlaasjeD said:

Thank you sooo much for your info.  I was hoping to add them to our 60G tank, but that may not be the best way to go.  Great info, thank-you!!


You're welcome, and I'm glad you found the information helpful.  There's nothing wrong with putting them in a community tank if you want.  I just wanted to let you know that you'll almost certainly have a stronger population and will see them more often if they're in a tank dedicated to them.

I have shrimp in my 40 gallon community tank, and often see one or two.  I've also added a few to the 65, but I've never seen one in there after releasing them.  I expect that between the angelfish and rainbowfish they don't last long.

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