Keeping Freshwater Cherry Red Shrimp as a Pet
Why Freshwater Pet Shrimp?
Why not? They are fun little guys and can be much more active than fish. The most popular types of pet shrimp are cherry, ghost, and blue shrimp.
These little guys are great little cleaners and will spend every waking hour exploring your tank and picking up little bits of food left over and cleaning up algae. Its also fascaniating to watch them breed as it doesn't take any special care to get them to breed.
I currently have a small cherry shrimp tank setup and it's really great fun to watch them speed around the tank with their powerful little legs. It's a great change from keeping fish.
The great thing about keeping pet shrimps are that they don't require huge tanks, and you can easily keep a little group of shrimps in a small bowl of around 10-12 liters. If you want to see more activity and breeding its best to for a tank size of 40 liters or more.
Many people keep there pet shrimp tanks inside and usually room temperature will keep the water at a good temperature range but in winter the water may drop below the recommended range of between 20 - 24 degrees Celsius. So its best to have a heater handy for the colder months.
Filtration and Aeration
Just like any other aquatic creature the shrimp requires proper filtration and aeration of the water especially in large colony's. The most popular filtration set up is either and underground gravel filter or a sponge filter that wont suck in poor young shrimp.
Shrimp are omnivores so they will pretty much eat anything, from little bits of flake food to pellets which they break down to size. They can also live happily on little micro-organisms growing inside your tank.
Only feed your shrimp once a day and feed them as much as they can consume within 2-3 minutes, but its hard to monitor it so a little sprinkle of food is usually enough.
Keeping Shrimp with Fish
Generally its best not to keep fish with shrimp, any fish with a mouth big enough to fit a shrimp is a danger to your little shrimps. The most common tank mates are guppies or endler variety guppies. As they are less aggressive and do not grow that big.
There are many shrimp variety's out there to try to are very comptabile with each other its best to have them in decent size groups of at least 5:P so they can stay close to there friends. The most popular varieties are Dwarf Shrimp, Ghost or Glass Shrimp, Cherry Shrimp, Blue Shrimp, and the Long armed Shrimp
Your shrimp don't really require live plants in the tank unless they are competing for survival with other fish, where a moss ball or other live plants will help to keep younger shrimp safe. Shrimp do enjoy a bit of driftwood to claw against.
Breeding shrimp is unbelievably easy , just make sure the water quality is good and they are getting enough to eat and they will start to breed. You will see the females are plump with eggs, and if you look closely you can see the eggs are very visible.
Freshwater shrimp usually don't get any larger than 3-4 cm long, depending on the type of shrimp of course non freshwater shrimp can get as huge as 15 cm long.
Its a good idea to get a lid for your tank cause a startled or excited shrimp can spring it self out of your tank and start crawling across your carpet. Either that or just fill your tank 3/4 of the way up
Watch what you add into your tank, such as supplementation for your plants or anything to help kill the diseases of your other fish. Shrimp are very sensitive to copper and you could end up killing all your shrimp.
Buying and Collecting Shrimp
Shrimp in pet stores usually aren't that cheap. It's best to look on classified pet enthusiast websites for people who have bred a lot and are willing to sell them off cheap. The other option is to head down to your local river/stream and try to catch some local shrimp and bring them home for your tank.