An aquarium is a miniature version of the natural ecosystem. Although most people rear different species of fish in it, some like it to spice it up by adding a few non-fish species in it. One such species that is highly popular among aquarists is flower shrimps. Today, we are going to help you understand how you can rear this magnificent creature at home.
Care Guide of Flower Shrimp
Having their origin in Southeast Asia, Flower Shrimps are scientifically called Atyopsis moluccensis. They are also known as Marble Shrimp, Timber Shrimp, Wood Shrimp, Maluku Shrimp, Singapore Flower Shrimp, Mountain Shrimp, Fan Shrimp, Asian Filter Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, and Filter Shrimp.
In the wild, you would find them sheltering themselves in streams and rivers that have fast currents. This is why you would need a filter with a strong water flow in your tank. They are tiny in size and are known for their ability to camouflage. One of the most interesting aspects of Flower Shrimps is that they change their colours from tan to brown to red.
Appearance of Flower Shrimp
As we said earlier, Flower Shrimps are extremely small in size, measuring up to 3.5” (8.8 cm). They can change their colour in seconds. You would also find a racer stripe down their backs, especially in the young ones.
They come with four pairs of fans through which they catch food and filter water. These splendid creatures have two short eyestalks and two sets of antennae along with a thick carapace and six abdominal segments. Their tail is connected to their sixth segment.
Usually, males are larger than their female counterparts. In addition, the first set of legs is larger in male Flower Shrimps.
Behaviour of Flower Shrimps
One of the most rewarding aspects of fishkeeping is that you get to experience the amusing behaviours of various aquatic species. When it comes to Flower Shrimps, you would find them to be amongst the more docile aquatic pets that you can ever have.
Peaceful by nature, they are very sensitive to water conditions. This is why you need to ensure the water parameters remain constant and the water currents are fast round the clock. They get along well with non-predatory fish, Dwarf Shrimps, and snails.
The biggest risk that they face is during their introduction to a new tank. Unfortunately, many shrimps wouldn’t make the transition. You would also notice them not moving much or eating much during the initial days. However, once they settle in, you would see them being their bold self.
They can live up to two years given you provide them with a suitable environment. It should be noted that Flower Shrimps moult every couple of months. Few days before moulting, you would notice them hiding more than usual. Generally, the old shell that they moult is eaten away by other aquatic pets. They are extremely vulnerable during moulting. You would also notice them stop eating and hiding themselves a couple of days before moulting.
Despite a lover of solitude, they can thrive pretty well in groups. They usually are active at night.
Diet of Flower Shrimps
Flower Shrimps are omnivore by nature. They would eat anything from algae to leftover food or even animal wastes. So, essentially they are tank cleaners.
Besides, you can provide them with crushed algae wafers and flake food. Be sure to moisten the food before adding it to the tank. Spirulina powder, micro worms and pond plankton are also great food options for Flower Shrimp.
Make sure that your tank has plant matter and a bit of algae population for satiating the nourishment need of these shrimps.
Tank Requirements of Flower Shrimp
We suggest you get a 20-gallon tank for your Flower Shrimps and it would be better if it is a long rectangular tank so that they have plenty of space to swim around. Make sure there are plenty of plants, rocks, driftwood, caves, rocks, and castles, among others because Flower Shrimps need plenty of space to hide in.
As far as the water conditions go, you need to ensure that the temperature of the water is 75-77° F (24-25° C). We suggest medium to hard water for them. Please remember that Flower Shrimps need a high oxygen level in their water. Cleaning the tank is, of course, essential, but remember, not to make it crystal clear because at the end of the day, these creatures are scavengers and they like to keep themselves busy by cleaning waste materials and algae.
A major concern for Flower Shrimps is the presence of copper in the water. You need to make sure that there is no copper present in their water. Many plant fertilizers contain copper and if you are using any fertilizer in your tank, your first order of business is to check whether it contains any copper or not. If it does, you need to avoid it since copper can prove fatal for Flower Shrimp.
Ideal Tankmates for Flower Shrimp
Try to not keep more than 3-4 Flower Shrimps together. They gel well with peaceful and small species.
- Otocinclus Catfish
- Cory Catfish
- Ivory Snail
- Ramshorn Snail
- Nerite Snail
- Rabbit Snail
- Malaysian Trumpet Snail
- Japanese Trapdoor Snail
- Assassin Snail
- Gold Inca Snail
- Amano Shrimp
- Ghost Shrimp
- Red Cherry Shrimp
- Vampire Shrimp
On the other hand, don’t keep your Flower Shrimp with the following creatures under any circumstances:
- Jack Dempsey
So, as you see, rearing Flower Shrimps is extremely easy. The only specifications that you need to keep in mind are to make sure that their tank contains a strong filter and you introduce them safely to your tank. When it comes to breeding, we suggest you not to breed them at home since it is extremely tough. If you want to buy young fries, buy them from a reputed vendor so that any fear of infected shrimps contaminating your tank can be avoided.