Wanting to start a small shrimp tank

Abbykathleen

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I have had guppies in the past and was overwhelmed with how sensitive they are, and how often they breed. I have not had a tank in over a year but am thinking about starting a simple tank that is easy to maintain. I am hoping for a 2-5 gallon tank, that will have live plants (I have cared for them before) and some shrimp, and possibly snails. I have cared for one ghost shrimp for two years now, he is indestructible. I want to create a relatively low maintenance tank that is smaller in size.
I have a few questions:
1. How many shrimp can go in a 2/3/5 gallon tank?
2. Do shrimp tanks need a filter? I know if I keep living plants I will need a light
3. Can I keep only shrimp, or do they need some pals?
4. Gravel or substrate for shrimp?
Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
 

Crimson_687

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The only shrimp you can do in a nano would be ghost shrimp or dwarf shrimp (cardinal or neo) or, if you want something that isn’t a shrimp, you could do a single dwarf crawfish in a 5g.

Are you trying to breed? Both ghosts and dwarfs will breed when they’re happy. As for tank size, I would just do a 5 as anything less will be high-management and will be prone to parameter changes, which will kill your shrimp. I tried keeping a 3.3g cherry shrimp colony and found it so much easier in a 5.5g. I’m not saying you CANT manage a smaller tank, but IMO it’s not worth it when you can get a bigger tank. In the 3.3 water changes had to be more frequent and smaller, and the slightest change would cause me to lose cherry shrimp. In the 5.5 I don’t lose shrimp, at least not due to param spikes.

As for fish, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do shrimp and fish in a nano, but you could do a small school of chilli rasbora, if you wanted to, but then I would get a bigger tank, at least 7.5g. If you want to breed, don’t do fish as they will eat shrimplets. In a 5g you could do ghost shrimp with a betta, though the betta might eat them so have a lot of hiding. Do not have dwarf shrimp with a betta as this is nearly a death sentence.

Yes, shrimp NEED a filter, preferably a sponge filter or one with an intake guard. Shrimp are also social, so you should aim for a small colony (8-12). With Ghost shrimp you could do 5 or so. Shrimp are low-bioload and breed like crazy, so you’ll end up with a lot quickly, just keep the tank stable and they’re fine. Some people have hundreds in 10g tanks. Any substrate will do, I use sand.
 
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Abbykathleen

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This is very helpful, thank you tons!! I am not aiming to breed, I just want a couple of shrimp to keep me company at my desk. 5 ghost shrimp for 5 gallons seems like a good idea.
 

Killies

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Ghost shrimp tend to have a really short lifespan due to the poor conditions at the store, and only tend to live a few months. Also, they’re pretty sensitive to changes.
 
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Abbykathleen

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Killies said:
Ghost shrimp tend to have a really short lifespan due to the poor conditions at the store, and only tend to live a few months. Also, they’re pretty sensitive to changes.
Interesting, I have a ghost shrimp now and it is 2 years old. Its lived in 3 different tanks with all sorts of fish. Is there a different low maintenance shrimp you would recommend?
 

Crimson_687

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Abbykathleen said:
Interesting, I have a ghost shrimp now and it is 2 years old. Its lived in 3 different tanks with all sorts of fish. Is there a different low maintenance shrimp you would recommend?
I’ve also had a ghost shrimp that lived for 2 years, while I’ve also had a few that only lived a couple months. Ghost shrimp are sensitive to change just like any other aquatic animal, but for shrimp I’d say they’re the hardiest. You’ll still have to do your weekly WCs. Just pick the ones that look healthy and avoid stores that overstock them. most stores sell them as feeders and will have tons of them. From my experience, these are the ones that live only a few months. Other stores won’t overstock and sell them as pets, and IME these ones will live a good year or two

They’re going to breed though, so you’ll soon have many more than 5, unless you managed to pick all male or all female
 

Killies

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There’s wild Neocaridina shrimp, which are more common than you might think. You can even form your own strain color of shrimp if you think that’s cool. (Made from the wild strains) I would definitely buy a few babies from you if you choose this route.
 

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