Can Shrimp Live Without Live Plants?

Cole23

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Just curious, can shrimp live without live plants? Specifically Amano, Ghost, Cherry and other colorful Neocaridina shrimp. I haven’t stocked my tank yet as it hasn’t cycled yet, it’s an unplanted tank, it’s a 15 gallon Fluval Flex with a bonsai driftwood tree, dragon stone, Marimo moss balls, and a few fake plants. And I was wondering if any of the species listed above could live in a tank set up like this. Thanks!
 

wishuponafish

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None of them actually need plants, but the neos and amanos want some sort of biofilm or algae growing on the surfaces of the tank that they can graze on. It will grow on fake plants, but I think it would grow better on live plants which can shed organic matter as cells die, providing "food" for biofilm? Seeing as it grows well on dead plant matter like driftwood and dead leaves. There are many other benefits to live plants that make them preferable.

Your setup sounds fine for any of them as long as you have allowed biofilm to accumulate on the driftwood and everything if you're getting neos and that takes a little time even after cycling.

The ghost shrimp and amano shrimp can survive fine without biofilm, but amanos do like to stay busy grazing.
 

86 ssinit

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Thing is they eat algae and micro-film. Also the plants give shrimplets places to hide. But I don’t know. Guess if you can keep the algae up you could keep them going.
 

flyinGourami

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Can they live without live plants? I'm going to say yes, they can. However, I would highly recommend live plants for multiple reasons. They can graze on it(so food growing or getting trapped in the plant), it helps with water quality, is a hiding spot, and just looks nice :)
 
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Cole23

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So if algae and biofilm aren’t present in the aquarium then I’m assuming it’s not appropriate for the shrimp to only have leftover fish food, shrimp pellets and algae wafers to eat, right?
 

wishuponafish

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Cole23 said:
So if algae and biofilm aren’t present in the aquarium then I’m assuming it’s not appropriate for the shrimp to only have leftover fish food, shrimp pellets and algae wafers to eat, right?
Ghost shrimps feed on just that and don't really need biofilm, but neos will need to graze on biofilm almost 24/7 and amanos are kind of in the middle, they will eat that stuff voraciously and can live on it but they like to graze too.
 
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Cole23

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wishuponafish said:
Ghost shrimps feed on just that and don't really need biofilm, but neos will need to graze on biofilm almost 24/7 and amanos are kind of in the middle, they will eat that stuff voraciously and can live on it but they like to graze too.
Do you happen to know which of these species would do best in a community tank? The list of fish I’m interested in is honey gourami, male guppies, ember or neon green tetra, and pygmy cories, I haven’t figured out which I’m going to use or how I’m going to stock but the first thing I was worried about was not having live plants. The second thing I was worried about is the fish above eating the shrimp.
 

wishuponafish

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Cole23 said:
Do you happen to know which of these species would do best in a community tank? The list of fish I’m interested in is honey gourami, male guppies, ember or neon green tetra, and pygmy cories, I haven’t figured out which I’m going to use or how I’m going to stock but the first thing I was worried about was not having live plants. The second thing I was worried about is the fish above eating the shrimp.
They'll all be fine with any of those fish as far as keeping adults, but breeding them will be difficult in case you want to, because fish will eat and wipe out ghost and neo babies if you don't have enough hiding places. Amano babies need saltwater to survive so most people don't bother breeding them.
Also there are ghost shrimp "impostors" that can attack fish that sometimes get sold, but it seems to be pretty rare.
 

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