Shrimp are some of the most fun and interesting creatures you can keep in your reef tank. They come in a tremendous variety of colors, sizes, and personalities, and to top it all off, they are fantastic tank cleaners. In a community reef tank, it’s important that all members be able to coexist, so how many shrimp can you have in a reef tank?
Most shrimp that can live in a reef tank are peaceful and will happily coexist as long as there is enough space in the tank. When you’re keeping the same species of shrimp, you can often keep a large number together. There are exceptions though: Banded Coral Shrimp and Peacock Mantis Shrimp will attack and even eat other types of marine shrimp!
Reef tanks can host so many types of gorgeous shrimp that it’s hard to choose which ones you want for your tank. As long as you do your research on the type of shrimp you’re buying and keep an eye out for any aggressive behavior, you can keep as many shrimp as the size of your tank will allow. Read on to learn more about the number of shrimps you can keep in your reef tank and how well they live together.
Can You Have 2 Fire Shrimp in the Same Reef Tank?
Yes, you can keep 2 Fire Shrimp in the same reef tank as long as there is ample room. As with any reef aquarium animals, there is the possibility for shrimp on shrimp violence, but for the most part, Fire Shrimp are perfectly content living together. In fact, some Fire Shrimp come out more often around their peers.
Fire Shrimp are strikingly beautiful with their dark red color, which is why so many reef aquarium keepers are desperate to know if you can have 2 Fire Shrimp in the same reef tank. Having just 1 of these gorgeous shrimp means you might not see them as often, so it’s easy to see why someone would want more. Luckily, Fire Shrimp tolerate each other well.
Fire Shrimp may even mate in captivity, since they are all hermaphrodites. Having 2 of these shrimp doesn’t guarantee reproduction, however. If you want the best chance possible for baby shrimp, start with a group of 5 or 6 Fire Shrimp and see which one’s pair off together.
What Marine Shrimp Can Live Together?
Not all marine shrimp are created equal. Some are mild-mannered cleaning machines, while others are adept, deadly hunters. If you want to keep different types of marine shrimp together, it’s imperative you know which kinds of shrimp can tolerate each other without your tank becoming a war zone.
For friendly shrimp that can happily coexist, we recommend Fire Shrimp, Peppermint Shrimp, and Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. These shrimp can live alone, in mated pairs, or in small groups, as well as in an aquarium with each other. If the tank is too small, or one of the shrimp is particularly aggressive, there can be problems, but for the most part, these shrimps are peaceful.
On the other end of the spectrum, Peacock Mantis Shrimp and Coral Banded Shrimp are solo shrimp only. Both of these shrimp will attack their own kind, as well as other species of shrimp. The Peacock Mantis Shrimp will eat anything and everything it can get its claws into! You can keep the Coral Banded Shrimp with fish, but the Peacock Mantis Shrimp needs to live completely alone.
Are Saltwater Shrimp Easy to Keep?
Like all reef aquarium animals, saltwater shrimp have different needs depending on the species. Most saltwater shrimp are easy to keep, but a few varieties are pickier than others. If you are new to saltwater shrimp, it’s a good idea to stick with beginner shrimp like Fire Shrimp and Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp.
Both the Fire and the Skunk Shrimp are saltwater shrimp that are easy to keep because of their simple diets and because they aren’t fussy about parameters like some more delicate shrimp. These two shrimp varieties can even make keeping a reef tank easier on you! Fire Shrimp and Skunk Shrimp help to keep the aquarium clean, and they will even eat parasites off of your fish.
Without the right amount of food saltwater shrimp may pick at coral, damaging it, so make sure your saltwater shrimp have proper diets. They also tend to be shy, but if kept in mated pairs or small groups, they can be braver, and you may see them more often. For easy shrimp keeping, a minimum aquarium size of 55 gallons is recommended.
When Can I Add Shrimp to My Saltwater Aquarium?
Saltwater shrimp can be sensitive to harsh swings in water parameters and are especially vulnerable to ammonia spikes. Because of this, you should never add saltwater shrimp to your aquarium before it is fully cycled and ready to stock. A water testing kit is a priceless tool when you’re cycling your tank for saltwater shrimp.
If you can’t test your tank water before you add your saltwater shrimp, it’s a good idea to wait at least two months before adding the shrimp. You can also take a sample of your tank water to most local aquarium stores to have it tested! In order for shrimp, or any livestock for a reef tank, to survive, the nitrogen cycle must be established in your tank fully.
It’s also important to have an adequate environment for your shrimp before adding them to your tank. If you add a group of saltwater shrimp to a bare tank with no hides, plants, or corals, they will be stressed and upset, having to be out in the open all the time.
If you’re adding fish to your reef tank that may pose a danger to your shrimp, add the shrimp first and give them at least a week to establish themselves and find places to hide before adding the fish.