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Old 07-01-2022, 08:04 AM   #1
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Will shrimp destroy/kill plants?

Hello everyone! I was in the hobby for many a year once upon a time and had to drop out about 5 years ago when my last child was born to focus on the family!

Well my kids are a bit more grown and I am able to come back to the hobby. So I'm going to start on a small 20 gallon planted tank and have my daughter pick out some small fish (like tetras, ect).


My main focus on the tank is going to be adding live plants, which is a first for me on the fresh water side. I was recommended by a friend to get some shrimp, as they are fascinating to watch, but when I was researching them I saw that they love to eat plants. The tank will have java moss, anubias, moss balls.. maybe others, but that's where I'm starting.

So my question is: Will the shrimp destroy (make them look terrible) or kill the plants that I end up going with?

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Old 07-04-2022, 10:48 PM   #2
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I guess before anyone can answer that question. What type of shrimp are you thinking about?

Maybe better question, what’s available to you and do you care if they are purely for decoration?

Something like a bamboo shrimp gets quite large, but it’s not exactly a tank cleaner. They’re a filter feeder, basically catching small bits out of the water on ‘mitts’ and eating that. I don’t believe they’re any threat to a plant unless maybe they were extremely starved
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Old 07-05-2022, 01:10 AM   #3
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as someone who used to own a lot of cherry shrimp, mine only ate decaying/decayed leaves. i'm sure it might be different for other breeds, but i never ran into any problems. i hope this helps
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Old 07-05-2022, 01:47 AM   #4
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From what I’ve read on the cherries that’s true. I’ll have my cherries and blue velvets tomorrow and my tanks are quite heavily planted so I’ll let you know how that turns out!

I had one ghost shrimp for a while (just because it was the one and only left at the store) and never saw him pick at the plants, just dead leaves on the substrate and other gunk. Unfortunately I think he ended up being a snack for one of the tank mates

I guess biggest thing regardless of the breed is that there be enough food for them so that they won’t resort to damaging good plant leaves.
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Old 07-05-2022, 03:03 PM   #5
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I have not really considered what kind of shrimp as of yet, I have not paid too much attention to what my local aquatics store is selling in the past. Next time I head down there I will see what they have on availability. I had to get my substrate from Petco, but I do not plan on buying plants or shrimp/fish from there.

I just filled my 20 tall up with water and Eco-Complete Plant substrate (40lbs) about 4 days ago. I have a relative bringing me their filter that they are changing out from their established tank tomorrow, so I'll be using that as my seed to help kick start the tank.


So it sounds like they are opportunist, not plant predators.
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