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Should I add shrimp to my Oranda Tank?


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Ok, I have a couple questions for people who have currently or have ever had shrimp in their fancy goldfish tank:

1. What are the benefits of shrimp in your fish tank? I know they are good as starters when cycling a new tank, but do they have other beneficial properties?

2. How many would be appropriate in a 25 gallon tank with 1 5" oranda?

3. What do they eat? Do you have to feed them special food, or will they just eat the plants and fish poop?

Anything else you think I should know, please give me your knowledge. :) If they help with cleaning, I'm in with the shrimp lol

(although, I like to do 80% water change every third day, all additional help cleaning is appreciated)

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  • Regular Member

I am adding shrimp to my 55g tall planted tank. I been doing alot of research on them.

Shrimp are good algae eaters. They will eat the algae off the plants too. Most likely will breed in your tank and add to the colony.

What I have read, you can add 5 or 6 per gallon.

They eat algae, if you have no algae to eat, you can feed them special food for shrimp or I am sure the food you feed your gold fish.

They are non aggressive and should be kept in a tank with other non aggressive fish. Just be aware that some breeds of shrimps can not be kept together.

Not referring to the Ghost feeder shrimp

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Hey there! I had ghost shrimp with my goldies for a little bit. They started off as tiny babies with the shrimp in the tank from day 1. It went ok... the shrimp would NEVER leave a large plant, though, being scared of the goldfish, and some of them starved. They got moved to a new tank with only small fish, and are active and happy there. My goldfish never tried to eat them- I think this is only because they were babies when I got them, and the shrimp were already in the tank before they were, and they weren't seen as food from the beginning. With a 5" oranda- you are probably looking at shrimp being a godlie snack, as he will probably see them as food, and eat them.

The shrimp eat algae wafers, some veggies, and fish food. I've never seen them touch fish poop... my mystery snails, on the other hand, eat goldie poop regularly. Not as their main food source, of course, but, they do like to eat it without me prompting them to do so.

Hope this helps!

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  • Regular Member

the shrimp may become a goldie snack. However, if your tank is heavily planted (providing them lots of areas to hide and feel safe), then you may be okay.... it's really trial and error. For shrimp it's best to start with a small colony (a minimum of 5-6 would be best).

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Shrimp are great, BUT there are a few buts. And these buts assume you are thinking of smaller cherry or ghost shrimp. There are bigger shrimp, but I haven't had them, so I can't speak about them. :)

1. They are not good tank starters. Some people cycle tanks using a piece of dead rotting shrimp, but shrimp are a little sensitive. I wouldn't get them until the tank is cycled.

2. I would say they are beneficial in that they have a very low bioload and they eat fallen food and algae. I wouldn't say that they do anything significant in terms of cleaning. But I keep them because they are cool to watch.

3. Their bioload is so small that some people say there really is almost no limit to how many you can have.

4. I sometimes feed them shrimp food, but mainly they eat leftovers from the fish and algae.

I have red cherry shrimp in my betta tank, and they breed like rabbits. I now have a sustaining population, even if the betta and neons are eating them all the time.

In one of my goldfish tanks, I have Petsmart ghost shrimp. They are a little bigger and supposedly more aggressive than rcs (aggressive in that the two shrimp species shouldn't be together, not that they attack fish). I figure they stand a bit more of a chance against the goldies. I have them in there only because I have plants and other hiding places. Ghost shrimp are much cheaper than the other types of shrimp (3/$1), but they don't breed easily like the rcs. It's a continually dwindling population. I did see a fish with a piece of shrimp hanging out of its mouth, but I don't know if she ate the shrimp or if it was an exoskeleton. Generally, they survive for awhile, and I don't see the goldfish having ghost shrimp feeding frenzies.

I have been thinking of putting some rcs into my goldfish tank, since I have so many in my betta tank. One problem I foresee is that I have to have a sponge intake cover over my filter in the betta tank, otherwise the shrimp go into the filter. I wouldn't want to use an intake cover in the goldfish tank -- I want maximum poop suction. ;)

Edited by ShawneeRiver
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I wouldn't do it personally. Even at 3/$1, that could become a $30 free-for-all buffet. Plus, like Shawnee said, sponge covers will impede poop suction. If you want shrimp, do it in a trop tank and have lots of shrimp before adding fish. I am getting yellow shrimp in the mail in a day or two, and they are really cool. Just a color variation of RCS.

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Hmmm.....

one thing I'd like to say is that ghost shrimp defend themselves nicely.

I had 3 with my betta in a 3 gallon tank. If Om got too close to them, they would either dart to cover or lift their claws high and pinch the hell out of whatever part was close enough to pinch. I know it hurt the fish because he would jerk and twist and wiggle away and stay in hiding for a few minutes after the incident. I don't believe a shrimp would pinch a goldfish unless cornered, or unless my shrimp were just really aggressive. They never actively sought fights, though.

Another thing is that ghost shrimp are only aggressive amongst themselves. A ghostie will easily rip a pellet out of another ghostie's claws, but with a RCS he will sit peacefully and not fight. This is from my experience.

Also if ghosties are to be kept with RCS, I would keep them in a 2:5 ratio in order to establish the RCS as the primary sights. Also with the RCS in bigger numbers it will be established that they are the "head honchos".....

Other than that, I don't think shrimp should ever be kept with goldfish. They are just much too defenseless and a fish can easily corner one.

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PP, I agree that ghost shrimp defend themselves well. They can dart faster than my eyes can track them. I've never seen the goldfish go after one, but I've seen them get close and maybe look curiously. But if they get too close, the shrimp dart out of the way. Those little dudes can dart all the way across the tank in a split second -- it's amazing, actually.

And I really do NOT think there's a feeding fest on ghost shrimp in the goldfish tank. I had added 7 shrimp a month or so before I switched to my new tank, and I pulled out 5 during the change -- and I found two dead on the floor (my tank was not covered -- I don't know how they got out). But none had been eaten.

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I just have to say...

Last time I added ghost shrimp with my goldfish, they at them all in about 2 days. :o

I did at one time have bamboo shrimp, they did just fine in there :thumb:

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  • 3 months later...
  • Regular Member

There really are no benefits to having shrimp in your fish tank. Shrimp are not good for cycling a new tank. They are much more sensitive to water conditions than fish. You don’t have to feed shrimp anything special. They will eat algae (but not enough to clean the tank) and they will eat the same food you feed your goldfish. Shrimp don’t eat fish poop but they’ll pick at the micro-organisms that are on the poop.

When doing water changes it is important to temperature match the water. But it’s best not to use warm water out of the tap. Since the water that goes through the hot water heater can pick up metals that can be harmful to shrimp and a cold water change can shock them and cause them to die a day or week later since the stress causes them to die over time.

It is best not to keep shrimp in a fish tank. Even if you give them lots of plants so they have hiding places and your fish aren’t interested in eating them. The fish will stress the shrimp.

The bigger shrimp like bamboo shrimp and vampire shrimp are big enough where you don’t have to worry about the goldfish eating them but these shrimp are filter feeders and have special requirements of their own.

The Cherry shrimp are known to be one of the hardier shrimp varieties. Snowball, yellow and blue pearl shrimp are color varieties or the Cherry shrimp and can interbreed. While these are the hardier shrimp varieties they are still quite sensitive compared to fish.

There is a new shrimp in the hobby called the Malawa shrimp. I’ve had these guys for years and their hardier than the Cherry shrimp. I recently dedicated a 40 gallon tank to Cardinal shrimp which is also new to the hobby and one of the more delicate shrimp varieties.

The copper in a lot of fish meds can be deadly to shrimp.

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  • 1 month later...
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My 2 cents on this. I had ghost shrimp in my 29 gallon cherry shrimp tank. After reading that the ghost shrimp would probably eat young cherries, I moved them to the goldfish tank. I put in 12 and a couple months later there is one. I have never seen goldie actually eat one, but I haven't seen any bodies. I have seen what appeared to be a shrimp carcass in a piece of goldfish poop but that may have been a molt.

The cherries do a great job eating algae. I had a couple of pieces of floating moneywort in the goldfish tank that were just covered in it. I moved the plants to the shrimp tank and they were spotless in 2 days.

I do plan on putting my excess cherries into the goldfish tank when the population gets too high but with the intention of giving the goldies some high quality live food. I will gut load them with spirulina first. i would not put them into the goldie tank with any hopes of them surviving.

I love my shrimp tank tho. Low maintenance and very calm.

BTW, the stocking level I have read is around 10 per gallon.

Edited by Avepico
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