Today I would like to talk about 10 amazing reasons to start shrimp keeping hobby instead of fish-keeping. So, if you got curious about shrimp but still have some doubts, this article will answer all of your questions. Once you see the power benefits of the shrimp hobby, you will become one of us, whether part-time or full-time. It is not hard to get here, but can be very hard to leave – because you will not want to! Don’t say that I did not warn you 🙂
To summarize, they are cheaper and easier to maintain. Dwarf shrimp are beautiful and pretty hardy. They will clean your tank and it will be their food. How cool that is!
1. Dwarf shrimp do not need big tanks
The absolute majority of dwarf shrimp are small creatures and usually grow only up to 3cm (~1 inch). Therefore, (unlike fish keepers) you will not worry about what size is the minimum size tank you need to choose for this or that shrimp species.
Lots of shrimp are kept in 5 gallons (~20 liters) tanks or even smaller. However, the optimal size would be 10 gallons (~40 liters). The point is that it is easier to keep stable water parameters in bigger tanks.
Even more, you will never see anywhere that you need 40-60-80 gallons to keep shrimp. At the same time, this is one of the major problems for fish keepers.
Another great advantage of relatively small tanks is that you have more options where to put them. You are not limited to steel racks or something because they are too big or too heavy.
Note: The smaller the tank the cheaper it is. Save some money.
Shrimp 1-0 Fish
2. Dwarf shrimp do not need any heater (except Sulawesi shrimp).
Dwarf shrimp are quite tolerant when it comes to surviving temperatures unless there are big and fast temperature swings. It means that if your water temperature does not drop or sky-rocket in a short period of time, they will adapt very well to different water temperatures. For example, as I wrote in the article “3 Most Hardy Dwarf Shrimp For Beginners”, the biologists found Neocaridina species (Red cherry shrimp) in 11.8 °C (53 F) water!
Therefore, if your room temperature is consistently around 70 – 80F (21 – 26C), they will not care much.
Note: High temperature will increase their metabolism and breeding rate. The downside is that it will also lower their life span.
Note #2: No heater – more money in the pocket.
Shrimp 2-0 Fish
3. Dwarf shrimp keeping is not harder than keeping fish.
In general, dwarf shrimp are more sensitive to copper, nitrates, nitrite, and ammonia. However, it does not mean that you will have to bend over backwards to keep them alive. Once established, the routine is not different from keeping fish. On the contrary, in many aspects, it can be even easier! Just keep reading and you will see it yourself.
In any case, as with fish keeping, it is necessary to closely monitor water parameters. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to learn more about water parameters in a shrimp tank (pH, GH, KH, and TDS).
Shrimp 3-0 Fish
4. Dwarf shrimp require little maintenance
An obvious benefit of keeping shrimp is that many shrimp species are low maintenance. For example:
- They do not require feeding as often as fish. Do not worry about it at all. They will be absolutely fine even if you do not feed them for a few days. Actually, some shrimp keepers do it on purpose to clean their digestive system. Therefore, vacations and holidays are not a problem.
- There is no need to do big and (or) frequent water changes. Compared to fish, they produce significantly less waste. Less waste – less ammonia. No ammonia – no problems.
- You do not have to gravel vacuum your shrimp tank that often (if ever!).
Shrimp 4-0 Fish
5. Dwarf shrimp are an amazing cleaning crew.
First of all, dwarf shrimp are scavengers. According to multiple studies, they mainly feed on algae, biofilm, and detritus. Actually, algae are one of the most common food sources in the wild. That is why dwarf shrimp will do a pretty good job keeping the algae in check and eating the leftover food.
In combination with Nerite snail and Amano shrimp, you will not see algae again. This is the reason, why they can survive without you feeding them every day. They will find food themselves.
In addition, as I have just said earlier, because of their cleaning abilities, you will not have to gravel vacuum your shrimp tank that often.
Even if anyone dies in the tank, they will take care of the dead body as well. Shrimp do not leave any evidence behind because they are real professionals.
All in all, they are awesome!
Shrimp 5-0 Fish
6. Dwarf shrimp are non-aggressive and not territorial.
Most popular dwarf shrimp (like Neocaridina and Caridina) are not aggressive. Actually, besides their agility, they do not have any real means to defend themselves. They are extremely peaceful creatures.
Shrimp will not cause any trouble to other aquatic inhabitants. You will not have to deal with fin and tail injuries. There will not be any fights for domination.
In addition, dwarf shrimp are not territorial. Therefore, small tanks and high density will not affect them that bad compared to fish (which will be stressed all the time).
Note: Because of their peaceful nature, it is important to choose tankmates very carefully, if you decide to have a community tank. Their neighbors should have a peaceful temperament as well.
Shrimp 6-0 Fish
7. Dwarf shrimp do not consume living aquatic plants.
They are plant safe. Unfortunately, there is a huge misunderstanding about this matter. Let me clarify it.
Some aquarists believe that shrimp can also eat live plants. They say that they saw it with their own eyes. Sure, they saw it but they misinterpreted it.
Shrimp graze on plants. They do pick detritus, algae, and biofilm off them. That is why sometimes it looks like they are eating it but they do not.
However, if the plant is dying or decaying it will attract their attention. You can think that the plant is healthy and it can look healthy but it is not. Shrimp know when it is time to clean even before you see the first signs of rotting.
Personally, I think that this is great, because, it will also play in your favor. Once again, you do not have to spend time cleaning the tank.
Shrimp 7-0 Fish
8. Dwarf shrimp breed like crazy.
If your water parameters are good enough and you have a good mix of both sexes, you will see a baby boom in your tank in no time!
Dwarf shrimp grow and mature very fast (around 75-90 days). For example, each female (Neocaridina) can carry up to 50 eggs. Depending on the temperature the embryonic development of the eggs can last from 25 to 35 days.
So, basically, they can have babies almost every 1 – 2 months and in 90 days their babies will have their own babies and so on. Yes, shrimp are very prolific.
Shrimp 8-0 Fish
9. You can create your own unique color and pattern.
The freshwater shrimp keeping hobby is very young, compared to fish keeping. However, it is growing at a very rapid pace Worldwide.
Due to their prolific breeding, shrimp keepers can create new color variations. Basically, every color and pattern variation which you can see right now was skillfully bred (culling) within the last 5-20 years. Actually, patterns and colors emerge all the time. Every year we have some new amazing versions of dwarf shrimp.
It makes this hobby unique.
Shrimp 9-0 Fish
10. Dwarf shrimp are beautiful.
Dwarf shrimp are beautiful, cute, and funny little creatures. Shrimp tank is not just an interesting hobby. It will make a great decorative addition to any household.
Shrimp 10-0 Fish
Dwarf Shrimp are exceptional pets that are truly interesting to watch because they literally walk on air. These bright-colored dwarf shrimp are beautiful and easy to keep, making them a great option for beginner and experienced aquarists alike.
They are one of the most interesting and entertaining species in the aquaria hobby. A shrimp tank is a great way to add a bit of class to your home décor.