The best cleaner shrimp is an animal that has been known to clean other animals. They have been scientifically verified to remove dirt and parasites from the body of their hosts. These best cleaners are often found in saltwater, but they can also be found in freshwater. What makes them the best cleaners?
If you are looking for the best cleaner shrimp, this is the best place to find it. We have compiled a list of the best cleaner shrimp to help you decide what type of best cleaner shrimp will work best in your tank.
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The 5 Best Cleaner Shrimp For The Home Aquarium
A cleaner shrimp cleans its environment as its name suggests. Crustaceans are hardworking creatures. Despite this being a stable trait in its own right, it is not the only one they are known for. Did you know that some cleaner shrimp clean your fish and pick up debris and algae from the rocks?
The job is not entirely thankless, fortunately. Shrimps are rewarded for removing parasites and algae from your fish with a tasty meal: parasites that are packed with nutrients.
Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
The Scorpion Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) is the first species we have in our saltwater group. However, they do have the same white line running along their body as skunks. When introduced to a saltwater tank for the first time, these shrimp can proliferate. These discarded exoskeletons, or molts, allow crustaceans to grow into their more enormous skeletons.
As well as cleaning fish of ectoparasites, these shrimp can even set up dedicated cleaning stations, which function like car washes for fish. However, keep in mind that some fish species like to eat crunchy crustaceans, so you will want to identify and support those fish in a separate tank.
Blood Red Fire Shrimp
The Blood Red Fire Shrimp (Lysmata Sebelius), also known as Blood Shrimp, Fire Shrimp, or Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, is an actual cleaner shrimp that will keep your fish community clean. The scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp lacks the long white stripe of the scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp. The shrimp’s body is deep red with white spots and long white antennae.
The shrimp prefer their territory to other cleaner shrimp, which tend to stay together. Provide a space where your Fire Shrimp can find privacy. It can be hard to find them hiding in their caves, except for the white antennae that poke out.
Banded Cleaner Shrimp
The Banded Cleaners, or Coral Shrimps (Stenopus hispidus), are easy to spot as they wave their long white antennae at the passing fish. Among its most distinctive features is the long, banded third pair of arms. This shrimp has been observed to recognize and differentiate between different shrimp individuals. You should only keep a mated pair of Coral Shrimps or one Coral Shrimp if possible.
Peppermint Shrimps (Lysmata wurdemanni), also known as Caribbean Cleaner Shrimps or Veined Cleaner Shrimps, are not necessarily cleaner shrimps. Fish prefer eating organic matter floating around in their tank rather than parasites. There is a reputation for them managing Aiptasia, common anemones that grow like weeds in some reef tanks, but this isn’t always true; some will, while others will not.
However, they still add much peace to a reef system even if they are unsuitable for parasite control. Shrimp like these are easy to find because they have been bred in captivity.
Red Crystal Shrimp
The freshwater Red Crystal Shrimp (Caridina sp.) stands in stark contrast to the transparent Ghost Shrimp. According to the brightness of the red and white bands, the turtles are sorted into grades. The price of shrimp with very stark white bands tends to be higher. These shrimp are known as Bee Shrimp because they were born without the color mutation. The Bee Shrimp has contrast bands of white, black, and brown instead of red and white.
Shrimp like eating algae, detritus, and any food that floats their way. They are an excellent addition to peaceful freshwater tanks. You should know this genus prefers water that is a little on the acidic side (6.0-7.6), so you’ll have to choose which fish species to keep with it.
The Best Cleaner Shrimp For Freshwater Tanks
Freshwater shrimp come in many different species, but some are better suited to aquarium life than others, and some are more readily available in the aquarium trade than others. We have listed the top five freshwater shrimp species you should be considering for your aquarium below.
The shrimp’s name comes from its striped coloration, either black and white or red and white. Shrimps from this species usually reach a maximum length of 1 12 inches and prefer the pH range of 6.0 to 7.2 in soft, warm water. You can keep these shrimp with small fish if those fish don’t view them as prey since they are non-aggressive. Because it requires high water quality, this species is moderately challenging to care for.
Red Cherry Shrimp
The red cherry shrimp is one of the most popular freshwater shrimp species due to its bright red coloration. These shrimp grow to a maximum of around 1 ½ inch in length, and they are peaceful and moderately easy to keep. It tends to thrive best in heavily planted tanks, and red cherry shrimp are excellent scavengers. As long as one male and one female are present in the aquarium, the shrimp will breed.
Japonica Amano Shrimp
These shrimp grow to about 2 inches in length and are a peaceful, easy to keep species. The Amano shrimp can be opaque brown in color with a light tan stripe running along the back of their bodies. They may also have horizontal lines running along the sides of their bodies. An Amano shrimp tank should have a pH of between 6.0 and 7.5 and be full of lush plants and hiding places to maintain a warmer temperature. This species can live as long as two to three years when properly cared for, but it can be challenging to breed them in a home aquarium.
It is aptly named as this shrimp species has transparent bodies that make it difficult to spot them in the aquarium. The ghost shrimp grows to a length of 2 inches. They are relatively easy to keep, peaceful species. Shrimps in freshwater tanks are excellent scavengers, eating any leftover food they find. Small temperate fish species can be kept with ghost shrimp, and large groups of them can breed readily in a home aquarium.
There is nothing complicated about caring for these shrimp. In your freshwater aquarium, they eat leftovers such as a variety of bacteria in your filter. They grow up to around two inches and are excellent scavengers. They can use pigment granules to camouflage their bodies, though their bodies are transparent. A slightly salty tank with warm water and a pH of 6.5 to 8.0 is ideal, and plants and driftwood should also be provided for hiding. Breeding occurs in the home aquarium, especially if many of them are kept together.
What’s the best cleaner shrimp?
Banded Coral Shrimp are also active cleaners and will groom any fish that comes near for skin irritants. Hardy, inexpensive, and striking, they are one of the best first shrimp species for beginners.
Do ghost shrimp help clean the tank?
In an aquarium, ghost shrimp make your life that little bit easier. As a prominent scavenger, the shrimp will clear up any uneaten food and keep algae levels down. Their cleaning prowess will keep the tank looking clean.
Do cleaner shrimp kill fish?
Can they kill fish? No, a cleaner shrimp will not kill a fish.
Cleaner shrimp are best known for removing parasites and dead tissue from other marine life. They also serve as the best cleaners in our aquariums, helping to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria that keep the water clean and clear. These tiny crustaceans help remove harmful waste from other animals, but they can be challenging to find in stores due to their small size.
Annette M. Chaney is an experienced marine biologist with over 20 years of experience as an aquarist and fishkeeper. She started her first aquarium at a young age, filling it with frogs and goldfish obtained from the ten-cent pet store.
Annette grew up caring for and breeding African Cichlids, which led to a hobby in high school that doubled as a profitable means. Attending Reed College gave her time to solidify herself as an accomplished aquarium caretaker with an eye for sales. After that, from 2009 – 2013, she studied at Roger Williams University – one of the most prestigious universities for Aquaculture and Aquarium in USA. She is the founder of AquariumCircle since 2010.