Dwarf Shrimp Tank Mates
A question that is often asked by new Dwarf Shrimp hobbyist is what are makes for a good tank mate. Well the obvious answer if you are planning on breeding the shrimp and being able to raise the young is to avoid just about any fish. Even the smallest fish found commonly in the aquarium trade will make a quick meal out of baby shrimp, but there are a few options for tank mates that work just fine.
The most common animals found in Dwarf Shrimp aquariums are snails. Red Ramhorn Snails (Planorbis corneus), Malaysian Trumpet Snails (Melanoides tuberculata) and Spixi Snails (Asolene spixi ) are the most useful. These snails will not eat live plants, they do not eat baby shrimp or live adults, and they are all great scavengers. Having these snails in your aquarium add life and help keep the aquarium clean, and each have their own unique attributes that make them rather valuable to the Dwarf Shrimp aquarium.
Red Ramshorn Snails are a very prolific species of snail. They will eat a small amount of algae from the glass and other surfaces as well as consume any uneaten food. This species is often selectively bred for color and there are bright red, pink, and even blue species available. These different colors of snails ad quite a bit of beauty to the aquarium.
The Malaysian Trumpet Snail is a great snail for keeping oxygen in the substrate. They spend most of their day burrowed in the substrate and come out at night and during feeding time. This snail is a great scavenger and devours uneaten food. They are live bearing snails, so a small population will grow rapidly.
Spixi Snails are a species of the popular Apple Snails. They are a larger snail and are not appropriate for small aquariums. Spixi Snails are popular because of their appitite for hydra (a small stinging animal that could eat baby shrimp). These snails also eat algae and uneaten food.
Snails are not the only animals that make good tank mates for Dwarf Shrimp; there are a few fish that will not eat baby shrimp. The most popular of these fish are the Otto cat (Otocinclus sp.) and smaller species of Plecostomus. Both of these fish are algae eaters with “sucker” type mouths. The Otto cat is better for smaller aquariums while the Plecostomus spp are more suited to larger aquariums.
If you plan on keeping Dwarf Shrimp but not breeding them or raising the young, there are many fish that make great tank mates. Endlers Livebearers, Guppies, many species of Tetras, and most species of Killiefish make great cohabitants. One thing that must be considered is aggressiveness and size. If the fish is non-aggressive and has a mouth less than half the size of a full grown shrimp, odds are the fish is adult shrimp safe!