I've noticed lots of debate on varying forums about whether these shrimp are compatible with Betta splendens. The bottom line is yes AND no. Regardless of gender or age, it all depends on [I]individual temperament[/I] of that betta.
I have two ghost shrimp in a 9 gallon tank with 3 danios and 2 paradise fish. They are great fun and exiting to watch. Even though other fish will try and get them they will just swim off and the fish cant be bovered to chase them.
I have five ghost shrimps in my 55g tank together with a half moon betta, four gold mollies, seven cardinals and 3 bamboo shrimps. They're so much fun to watch, alsways trying to find something to eat. I have to females with eggs.
I've been experimenting with these little guys, i have 3 in a 2.5 and another 3 in another 2.5. Depending on what you will feed them, their color will reflect what it is they are eating. In one I feed them shrimp pellets (for cories), brine shrimp, and tropical crisps. The other, algae wafers and cooked spinach. The carnivorous ones are turning into a light red, with a crimson outline, very much like reallllllly light cherry shrimp. The other ones are developing green spots and are starting to look like Amano shrimp. I'll take some pictures =D
They have these guys 4 for a dollar at the LFS. I use them as feeders but the bigger and smarter one hang around and clean up. Big ups to tenzo about the color changing fact. I noticed something kinda similar when I put one in my shrimp only tank he turned greener than the ones in my big tank. I thought it was just a coincidence.
Buy a bunch. I say this because they are great hiders and out of the 6 I have in my planted 10 I only ever see 1, maybe 2, at a time untill feeding time. So the more you have the more you see them. They are great for clean up crews. I always see mine cleaning something, the plants, the hardscape, between the substrate particals. They add personality and activity to planted tanks. I've been told 1 gallon to one shrimp for these guys. The bigger ones will fight over territory or food or whatever these little guys feel is important. I have never seen any of my fish or inverts picking on them or anything, in my oppinion as long as they're to big to fit in the fish's mouth they are safe. I keep mine with a male betta, mollies, otos, a wood shrimp and a couple mystery snails. The most interaction I've seen between the ghost shrimp and any other organism was that my wood shrimp pushed one out of the way because he was in his (the wood shrimp's) favorite feeding spot. So let's talk finances. If you can't find them for less than $.50 you're not looking hard enough. PetSmart sells them 3 for a dollar. Don't go and pay over $1.50 per shrimp at a overpriced pet shop. I love these guys and I think you will too.
I've had varied success with these guys. Someone mentioned they are hard to find at times- that is absolutely true. I had about 6 in a 10g and rarely saw them. I guess a few in a smaller 2.5/3g tank would be better. These guys are very territorial with each other. I've watched them quarrel over scraps of algae tabs. Never violent though. Shrimp fights! I think I'm going to go with a hardier, more colorful shrimp, rather than Ghost Shrimp for my current setup.
I got 6 in my 8g tank and not long afterwards i noticed a significant drop in the number of pest snails in the tank with a growing number of empty shells... today i finally saw one of them pick up a snail and eat him right out of his shell.
I bought one of these shrimp to try out. Read they are fish food so I put him in a small tank with baby platties, thinking he would be safe. Everything worked out great until I started to notice baby fish were disappearing. One day I saw him grab a baby platty! The baby got away but was injuried. I got him out of the tank and stuck him in with the adult platties with my okay to eat. :) They did not and 6 months later I have a larger happy ghost shrimp. I learned a lesson, still like ghost shrimp, and plan on getting more. But not for the nursery!
As another member mentioned, they will predate on tiny fish and can kill and eat smaller inverts like rcs and snails. They don't do too much for algae control but are nonetheless interesting in their own right.
My 5 ghost shrimp, appear to be social shrimp. They follow each other around the tank for the most part... As they keep their vigilant eyes out for THE BEAST aka Sam the Siamese Fighting Fish. I think the fact they are together helps protect them against the fish. The shrimp tussel over fish poo every once in a while (an item they seem to prefer over fish food... yuk! but whatever) They have lasted 3 days so far. The tank is planted 1 US Gallon and I'm waiting for Sam to eat his first shrimp. The shrimp are a lot of fun to watch and I think they bring the viewer into an intimate relationship with the tank, because you have to get close and be patient to see them; but I find it well worthwhile. They do eat the fallen fish food and I have observed them cleaning both the java fern and red luwidgia I have. They like the ludwigia better and I can often find multiple shrimp in the branches. The jave provides a lot of cover and often 2 or 3 shrimp will post at the base.
How do you tell the difference between a whisker shrimp and ghost shrimp? Some of my guys have teeny tiny bands around their front claws-surprisingly they are the larger members of the group at .5in/ 1in if you go whisker to tail. They do have whiskes-which greatly help them avoid becomming snacks for....THE BEAST aka Sam the Betta.
Super cheap, and super easy to keep. i can find them in some of my LFS for as little as $1 a dozen. i almost always see one roaming around my tank. i bought six, but i think i'm down to a couple, i've been having a rash of one dead shrimp a day. my RCS, Rili, and Bamboo shrimp have all been decimated. but a couple ghosts are still around.
You can buy a bunch of these little guys as their bio load is almost nothing. You will look and look but they're nowhere to be found. Then come feeding time here they all come from out behind the plants like those little munchkins in wizard of oz lol.
I disagree that they won't eat algae. I have a branch in my tank that was getting algae and mine have cleaned it up. In fact of the 20 I started with I have about a dozen left and half of them live on that branch. They are fun to watch. The biggest one will have a stand off with a fish over a piece of food. Since they joined the tank the branch stays clear of algae and as proof that they eat algae the ones on the branch have a greenish tinge and the bottom dwellers are clear with pink fish food tummies.
I can't keep these little buggers alive. I think the pH is too high for their liking. I lucked out and have a betta that has no interest in shrimp at all, so I tried keeping them twice. Oh well. They make great feeders though! Very interesting to watch other fish feed on them.
I just bought five of these critters and five chinese algae eaters, since Otos don't have a chance (major die off). So far I have three that like to hang out under my red ludwigia and devour flake food that makes to the bottom. I observed the big guy eating algae but not as ravenous as the flakes. Lava (betta) was very interested in them this morning and the mollies were stealing their algae pellets. Then Scud (pleco) came over and kicked them all out of the way.
I bought 5 more since they were so much fun to watch. I lucked out and got one that was 1 1/2 inches already. He actually comes to the surface to pick flake food. They have all gotten very comfortable and swim all over the tank. My Betta doesn't bother them at all.
These are dangerous to small fish- don't keep them with anything smaller than a pencilfish or neon tetra. Be sure you don't get a whisker shrimp, which looks similar. Whiskers get large and are definitely dangerous/aggressive to most small fish. Can sometimes be kept with larger fish. Only sometimes. Other times the fish will choose to eat them.
I had originally got 6 of these guys to help start a 6 gallon tank. They are very active and fearless! I now only have 1 left but he is a character, he is always trying to out smart my betta at feeding time lol, constantly trying the snatch and grab method with the blood worms and dosnt back down from the betta that easy. The other 5 got caught trying to nip at the bettas fins and he killed them. The one left is getting huge and has developed red patches on his claws and feelers . IME the are safe with amanos , he just seems to be curious and watches them a bit and moves on...
I bought 10 or so about 8 months ago, now I have about 15 ... maybe 20. to me that is a good rate of reproduction because I do not want them taking over my tank. I imagine my fish eat most of the babies which are born alive. I do not add any salt or have any green water and do a 25% water change every 4-5 days (mainly to keep all my parameters perfect). That seems to keep them really healthy.