Shrimp or snails - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Shrimp or snails

Hi, I'm new to fishkeeping and I got a used 17.5 litre (around 4.6 gallon) aquarium and it is cycling now and I wanted to know wether shrimp or snails would be better to keep with my (unpurchased) betta to clean the tank. I'm asking in advance so I can buy the betta and the shrimp/snails at the same time. My concern with the snails is that they won't be able to eat the algea on the plants because the plants are small and not very strong, but I'm also worried that if I get shrimp they will breed and overstock the tank.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 06:53 PM
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Just a heads up, both shrimp nor snails will clean your tank, every living thing producing some form of waste. While some species of shrimp and snails do clean algae, they need to eat more than that and will produce waste.

You can definitely keep shrimp or snails in your tank, but I don't recommend adding shrimp right off the bat, they are susceptible to fluctuations in water parameters, which can easily kill them. It's best to allow your tank to mature for a month or more to achieve a stable environment.
I personally would suggest a nerite snail for your tank size, mystery snails can get larger and produce a lot more waste, the nerite is also a better algae eater.

I have kept snails with my bettas, they did just fine, but eventually, my water became a problem since softeners used beyond my limit of control, and they died due to the unstable GH/KH.

They won't have any issues eating off of the plants, snails weigh very little, and they can find their way to eat algae as they favor.
Shrimp may be eaten by your betta, but that also depends on whether your betta has enough interest to hunt them, or if your shrimp are brightly colored.

They do breed, and if your betta wants to eat them, you may have the best success with providing places for the shrimp to hide, and the shrimplets could be eaten by your betta.
My shrimp bred a couple generations, and the offspring were kept in control by the betta, who slowly ate them over a long stretch of time.

I bet @RussellTheShihTzu would have some good suggestions on this topic as well.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 08:10 PM
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Can you post a photo of your tank? And as mentioned above, the tank needs to be two months mature beyond the finished cycle. Otherwise shrimp will die.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks here is a photo of my tank

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 05:38 AM
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Not enough hides for shrimp. After the tank has matured you also need a good amount of live plants and places for the shrimp to hide away from your betta. Not all betta show aggression to these tank mates, but some will. so it is always good to have enough plants and pebbles for them to hide in.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks I will probably go with snails then

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 08:52 AM
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I preferably recommend some live plants for shrimp, they ideally do better when there are thick plants to hide in, moss works well for shrimp too.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 08:58 AM
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As @Lunatic says snails weight very little, in fact I have two fairly large Yellow Rabbit Snails about 2" in length, they do not even bend my Java Fern when both climbing on the tip of it. I also think that they might been breeding now as I have what looks like an egg sack hidden in back. I can't see it clearly without ripping out loads of stuff so going to leave it and see. I hope they have bred, they only produce a single offspring at a time so I know I will not be overrun.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 08:59 AM
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I have never had an issue with my snails crawling on leaves, and if my large bristlenose pleco in the community tank can do this without an issue, then snails can without a doubt.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks everyone for the help I will probably get 2 nerite snails

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