In recent years, interest in alternative species in aquariums has increased considerably. Even though keeping and breeding dwarf shrimp is relatively new to the global pet industry trade, nonetheless, these cute little critters have already become extremely popular around the world.
So, why are shrimp good pets? There are many reasons for that. Dwarf shrimp are gorgeous, peaceful, and active. They are cheap and easy to care for. In addition, these adorable guys have a reputation for being amazing aquarium cleaners.
Yes, shrimp are great pets. They can also be good “starter pets” to teach kids the responsibility of caring for another living thing. It also helps them learn the importance of keeping a routine.
If you got curious about shrimp keeping, this article will answer all of your questions in detail.
Why Shrimp Make Great Pets
1. Dwarf Shrimp Do Not Need Big Tanks
The trend for nano tanks has created additional interest in shrimp because most dwarf shrimps grow only to 2-3 cm (or 1 inch) long.
Therefore, they can be easily kept in 5- and 10-gallon tanks (20 – 40 liters). Going a little bigger is always better. The greater the water volume, the easier it is to maintain good water quality.
It allows them to exhibit normal activity and have less buildup of toxins in their environment.
|Tip: I really wouldn’t recommend a tank smaller than 5 gallons (20 liters), especially for beginners. Before doing that you need to understand the main water parameters (PH, GH, KH, and temperature) and how they affect shrimp.|
2. Dwarf Shrimp Are Easy to Care For
They are easy to take care of if you understand what they need. I want to assure you they do not need a lot!
Shrimp make relatively low maintenance pets because:
- They need not be taken for a walk.
- They can eat almost anything.
- You can go on vacation and your shrimp will be absolutely fine even without food for several days.
- They have the ability to adapt to a wide range of water conditions.
- Shrimp produce very little waste. Less waste – less ammonia. No ammonia – no problems.
- In shrimp tanks, there is no need to do big and (or) frequent water changes.
- There is no need to gravel vacuum your and clean the shrimp tank that often.
Once a proper aquarium is set up and optimum living conditions are met, dwarf shrimp can reproduce and live up to 2 years.
You can also read “How Long Do Dwarf Shrimp Live?”.
3. Dwarf Shrimp Are Peaceful Creatures
Most shrimp species (Neocaridina and Caridina) are very peaceful and social animals. They will get along with nearly any tankmate when placed in a peaceful community tank.
Besides their fast reaction and speed, they do not have any real means to defend themselves. Basically, they cannot cause any trouble to other aquatic inhabitants even if they want to.
Dwarf shrimp are not territorial. Even in small tanks, there will be no fights for domination or a better spot. You will not have to deal with physical damage and open wounds due to an injury.
High density does not affect dwarf shrimp 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. Their neighbors should have a peaceful temperament as well.
4. Dwarf Shrimp Do Not Eat Living Aquatic Plants
They will not eat any healthy plants in the tank. Shrimp simply do not eat healthy, living plant material.
Unfortunately, people sometimes confuse grazing on with eating the plant. Even if you see them ‘eating’ a ‘healthy’ plant, it is not as it seems. It means that the plant is already dying, although, it has not shown yet.
Shrimp know when it is time to clean even before you see the first signs of rotting! They are great scavengers.
5. Dwarf Shrimp Make an Amazing Cleaning Up Crew
This is another thing that makes shrimp good pets. They can eat any organic matter that falls on the bottom of the tank. For example, it can be:
- different types of algae,
- detritus of any type,
- fish or snails waste,
- dead fish, dead snails, or even other dead shrimp,
- dying plants and leaves,
- vegetables, etc.,
According to multiple studies, in the wild, they mainly feed on algae, biofilm, and detritus. Therefore, shrimp will do a pretty good job keeping the algae in check and eating the leftover food.
6. Dwarf Shrimp Breed Very Easily
Breeding shrimp is not difficult; they are gonochoristic, meaning you need a boy and a girl for it to happen. As long as your water parameters are stable and they have a constant source of food, dwarf shrimp will reproduce quickly.
Depending on the temperature the embryonic development of the eggs can last from 25 to 35 days (Read more about their life cycle here). In 3 months their babies will have their own babies and so on.
Shrimp are prolific breeders and you will see a baby boom in your tank in no time!
7. Create Your Own Unique Color and Pattern
Due to their prolific breeding and fast maturation, it is possible to create new color and pattern variations. How cool is that!
That is why we constantly get some new amazing versions of dwarf shrimp in pet stores.
Of course, it will take time and careful breeding to enhance a particular feature in the shrimp. But if you get really serious about keeping them, you can do something unique and it won’t take dozens of years to do it.
It makes the shrimp-keeping hobby exceptional.
8. Dwarf Shrimp Are Not Expensive
Most dwarf shrimp species are cheaper compared to fish, crabs, or crayfish.
In addition, setting up the right environment for your shrimp will not cost you an arm and a leg. Their setups usually do not require sophisticated lighting systems, heaters, and powerful filtration.
On the contrary, it can sound strange but in some cases, you can get more benefits with simple ones.
Generally speaking, shrimp are easier and less expensive to feed and care for than other pets.
- Basic Shrimp Tank Setup for Neocaridina
- How to Set Up a Caridina Shrimp Tank
- The Best Filtration System for Breeding Shrimp
9. Dwarf Shrimp Are Fun to Keep
They are fun little guys and can be much more active than fish. Their walking/swimming style, grooming, interacting with each other also have a mesmerizing effect. They will certainly keep you occupied.
Shrimps are also very interesting to observe, which is why an aquarium with them can also be very enriching to a school classroom.
10. Dwarf Shrimp are Beautiful and Unorthodox Pets
It is a great change from keeping fish. Even though freshwater shrimp are still somewhat unorthodox pets, more and more hobbyists are giving dwarf shrimp keeping a try.
Dwarf shrimp are very beautiful and cute. There are so many color and pattern variations that your options are almost limitless.
Shrimp tank is not just an interesting hobby. It will make a great decorative addition to any household.
I think I have answered the question – why are shrimp good pets?
These cheeky little guys are fascinating, funny, peaceful, useful, entertaining, and easy to care for. So be rest assured that you will enjoy having them as pets in the tank.