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So I have this 1.5 gallon cubic tank that I was going to put some plants in. I've heard people say that size is okay for shrimp but I just want to make sure. I'm planning on picking up two, maybe more blue velvet shrimp for the tank. I have a few questions: is it cruel to put shrimp in a tank of that size? Do they need more room, even if it's only a couple shrimp? Is it best to just not get any? Also, can I put them in uncycled but conditioned, or do I need to cycle it first? And how often should I be changing the water of a tank that size? When I had ghost shrimp they would get stressed and die after water changes. Sorry for all the questions, I'm new to shrimp keeping. Thanks!
 

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If you can get shrimp of the same sex, it'll be fine... if you can't, you are better off with a 10 gallon tank.

Also wouldn't recommend a tank anything smaller than 5 gallons personally, but the smallest tanks I use are 10 gallons.


Shrimp do best in fully cycled tanks. Water changes can be as frequent or infrequent as necessary. Some people do them weekly, others may only do water changes once a month but still top off the water.
 

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You could probably start with 5-6 shrimp and have no issues in a 1.5 gallon. The general rule of thumb is 3 shrimp per gallon but realistically you could push it to 10 shrimp per gallon as long as your tank can generate enough biofilm for them to eat or you supplement in shrimp food. I would not put them in an uncycled tank since they are sensitive too ammonia and nitrites. If you're looking to minimize water changes then you can test your water weekly and if the nitrates are building up faster than the plants can absorb them then you should change the water.
 

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How would you go about cycling a 1.5 gallon tank? It seems difficult to do because of the size.
You could look up the Walstad method which works well for smaller tanks. Basically you want to start as heavily planted as possible, since the plants absorb ammonia and nitrates while also giving nitrifying bacteria a surface to grow on.
 

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You can fit a lot of shrimp into a small tank. The problem is keeping the water stable which is harder with less water. Best option...set the tank up...get it planted and established...then add like just a few shrimp. Like suggested...probably best to make sure it's a same sex tank so there's no breeding. Last thing you want to do is end up with 50 shrimp in a 1.5g tank. 3-5 would probably be my max and give you something cool to watch.
 

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You'll likely have to top off water pretty frequently in addition to doing routine changes. I have a 1 gal with shrimp and I top off/water change every week. More top offs/changes also mean more variability, which shrimp don't like, so keeping your water stable is quite tricky in a tank that small. Less of an issue since you're not trying to get them breed.

Definitely cycle first, either go with Walstad as others have mentioned or get a tiny HOB filter and run that.

Before putting any shrimp in, make sure you've got pH 6.5-7.5ish, gH 6-8, kH 3-5, TDS 120-220.
 
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