Invertebrates in Freshwater Planted Aquarium

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Freshwater aquarium invertebrates are thus becoming an increasingly popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Over the course of the earth’s evolution, invertebrates have evolved to an amazing level of diversity. Their fascination stems from their bizarre forms, fantastic colours or markings and their interesting behavior. Often small size makes them ideal for nano aquariums. Most aquarium invertebrates such as freshwater shrimps and snail species are tolerant of salinity and pH ranges but are very sensitive to ammonia/ammonium and heavy metal concentrations.

Popular Invertebrates for Aquascape Aquarium

There are many aquarium invertebrates like shrimps and snails species available to the aquascape aquarium. Some are purely ornamental, while others (namely neocardina and cardinia species for shrimps and Neritina species for snails) are kept primarily as algae eaters.

Freshwater Snails
Freshwater snails make their appearance in every aquarium sooner or later, sometimes becoming a real nuisance. Recently, these former “undesirables” have found their own place in some aquarium enthusiasts.  Some varieties such as Ramshorn Snails are highly interesting and also useful helpers in aquascape aquarium.

Dwarf Crayfish
Crayfish are also fascinating aquarium inhabitants. Most varieties grow to a considerable size, however, and require an appropriately large habitat. Dwarf crayfish of the Cambarellus genus are ideal for nano aquarium. With a size of 3-5 cm, they are suitable maintained in nano tanks of 25 liter or larger.

As dwarf crayfish are not interested in destroying plants, any aquarium greenery of your choice is appropriate. However, Crayfish are the great “escape artists”. They are able to survive in air for some time and are excellent climbers. An aquarium containing crabs or crayfish thus needs to be “escape-proof”.

Aquarium Shrimps
These lively little invertebrates are highly robust animals which flourish when kept in the right conditions. Most aquarium shrimp varieties have a relatively large tolerance range with regard to water values. A good supply of oxygen is particularly important. If the oxygen level drops too low, this will have an adverse effect on their health.

Shrimp are generally omnivorous, with a preference for plants. In addition to algae, their menu also contains natural animal plankton, detritus (dead plant material, decaying leaves, etc.). And even carrion.

Keeping Freshwater Aquarium Invertebrates

Of the many invertebrates species found to be useful to the aquaria hobby, like the Japanese Marsh Shrimp which better known as the Yamato or Amano Shrimp is by far the most popular algae eater in the hobby. And Ramshorn snails on the other hand, are not far behind, they will rid algae from your rocks, driftwood and make your aquarium equipment as if they were brand new. Even Black Beard Algae (BBA) doesn't stand a chance.

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Fluval EBI Nano Shrimp Habitat
Keeping Freshwater Shrimp with Fluval EBI Nano Aquarium
If you want to learn keeping freshwater invertebrates at home, I recommend  starting with the Fluval EBI Nano Shrimp Habitat by Hagen. The nano shrimp aquarium has been designed with freshwater shrimp specifically in mind. The Fluval Ebi comes fully equipped to provide the ideal habitat for freshwater shrimp and crayfish.

With their vibrant colours and entertaining disposition, freshwater shrimp (called ebi in Japanese) are a truly fascinating species to collect and keep. The Fluval EBI Nano Shrimp Habitat kit includes everything you need to enjoy this wonderful and increasingly-popular hobby. Equipped with an internal filter designed for maximum water clarity and biological capacity, the Fluval Ebi is a great habitat to get you started and experience the fascinating lives of shrimp. read more.

For the majority of shrimps a neutral and medium hardness water is generally suitable. Some species of shrimp do have preferences for slightly acidic or moderately alkaline waters though a range of 5.6 to 7.5 pH and hardness levels around 5-10 gH. Temperature, likewise has to be kept below 30C.

While changing water, ensure that chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals are removed with dechlorinators prior to adding to the tank. It is highly recommended not to use any hot tap water when performing water changes. It should be noted that if keeping these aquarium shrimps, snails and other freshwater aquarium invertebrates, copper based water additives or medicines should never be used.