Inspirational aquariums: Freshwater inverts

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Tiny shrimp can be big on appeal and shrimp keeping is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the hobby, so why not feature them in a tank such as this?

What you will need

Tank:  A pico or nano tank of 10 l/2.2 gal upwards can be a suitable home to shrimp, though always buy the largest tank that you can afford. Larger volumes of water are more stable.

Light:  Most freshwater inverts are kept with live plants, which makes proper lighting so very important.

Fit a power compact light, or even some LEDs to grow the plants and to highlight the bright colours of your shrimp.

Filter:  Filtration needs to be adequate enough to provide consistantly good water quality for inverts — though not so powerful as to suck them in by accident!

A small internal filter, air powered sponge filter or small external power filter can be used, and you can protect the shrimp by placing a foam sleeve over the inlet or by turning the flow right down.

CO2 system: This is optional for the shrimp tank, but if plants are included in your design it’s worth adding.

A small aerosol or yeast-based kit will suffice, but pressurised systems are available and are more controllable.

Substrate: Fine gravels look best in small spaces and there are lots to choose from. Small tanks will only need a couple of kilos of substrate so will turn out to be cheap to decorate and easy to clean. Any planted tanks will also need a substrate fertiliser.  

Food: Along with all these great new shrimps, crabs and snails now available to you comes food.

Ranging from algae-based foods to sinking granules and tablets to leaves, a specialised diet will encourage growth, development and colour.  

Livestock: You may have to look hard to spot some of these tiny freshwater inverts, but once viewed up close you may be hooked on them.

As new species are arriving all the time inverts can be desirable and collectable, and many can even be bred. Offering red white and even blue coloration these freshwater shrimp can rival marines.