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Can You Keep Shrimps In Iwagumi Tank?

As a shrimp enthusiast, I naturally gravitate towards the idea of adding these tiny, colorful creatures to my iwagumi tanks.

But the question lingered: Can you successfully keep shrimp in an Iwagumi tank without disrupting its delicate balance?

In this post, I’ll share my journey and insights into integrating shrimp into the tranquil world of Iwagumi, blending art with the vibrant life of these fascinating aquatic beings.

Keeping shrimps in an Iwagumi tank is not only possible but beneficial. They fit into the tranquil scenery and play a role in maintaining the overall health of the aquarium while respecting its serene and orderly principles.

iwagumi aquascape layout rock positions with name
Iwagumi Aquascape Layout – Rock Positions & Their Names

Can You Keep Shrimps In Iwagumi Tank?

Indeed, in my Iwagumi aquascape, which prioritizes a minimalist aesthetic, shrimps can make an excellent addition.

I’ve found that shrimps, especially the Amano shrimp, are not just decorative but also serve a practical purpose. Their inclination to feed on algae helps maintain the cleanliness and balance of my iwagumi tank.

Let me list out why shrimps are suitable for an Iwagumi aquarium:

  • Algae Control: Shrimps, like Amano shrimps, are natural algae eaters.
  • Harmony with the Style: Their understated appearance blends with the minimalist nature of the Iwagumi.
  • Beneficial for the Environment: Their scavenging nature contributes to a healthier aquatic ecosystem.

I always ensure that any fish or other invertebrates I introduce into my aquarium are peaceful and won’t threaten the shrimps. It’s essential to create a balance where all inhabitants can thrive.

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When adding shrimps, I’m careful about their requirements; for instance, the water parameters need to be stable as shrimps are sensitive to changes.

Moreover, the layout of the stones and the type of substrate used should allow them to forage without stress.

painted red shrimp grazing on leaf
Owner: Kaz Brown

Shrimp Species To Consider For Iwagumi Tank

When setting up an Iwagumi tank, I focus on shrimp species that thrive in such an environment.

The shrimp I choose must not only adapt to the soft, acidic water conditions typically favored in these tanks but also add to the aesthetic without disrupting the minimalist nature of the tank.

Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata): 

These are my go-to shrimp for Iwagumi setups. Not only are they great algae eaters, but their translucent bodies with a pattern of dots and dashes complement the serene nature of the tank. They’re larger and quite active, making them a focal point in the tank.

How Often Do Amano Shrimps Molt

Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi): 

For a pop of color, I often recommend Red Cherry Shrimp. They’re small, peaceful, and their vibrant red provides a beautiful contrast against the green of the plants and the grey of the Iwagumi rocks.

Crystal Red and Black Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis): 

These two variants are my pick when I want a shrimp that comes with a stunning, intricate pattern. The Crystal Reds display a bold white and red striped pattern, while the Crystal Blacks offer a striking white and black.

They require a bit more care when it comes to water parameters, but they are well worth the effort.

I always remind myself to research the specific care requirements for these shrimp, especially regarding water temperature, pH, and tank mates, to ensure the Iwagumi tank remains a harmonious and stress-free environment for them.

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thermometer inside planted aquarium

Suitable Plants For Both Shrimps and Iwagumi Aquascape

When setting up an Iwagumi aquascape that’s shrimp-friendly, my selection of plants is crucial. I focus on choosing plants that are both aesthetically pleasing for the minimalist style of Iwagumi and safe for my shrimp.

Here’s a concise list of plants that meet these requirements:

  • Carpeting Plants: These are fundamental for an Iwagumi layout. I particularly like using Glossostigma elatinoides and Hemianthus callitrichoides, commonly known as Dwarf Baby Tears, which create a lush green carpet. They require good lighting and CO2 to thrive, which also helps maintain the aquarium’s health for shrimps.
  • Midground PlantsPogostemon helferi, also known as Downoi, is a favorite of mine for its unique look. It grows into a nice bushy shape that offers shrimps plenty of spaces to hide and forage.
  • GrassesEchinodorus tenellus, or Micro Sword, and Eleocharis parvula, known as Dwarf Hairgrass, are perfect for bringing a meadow-like appearance to the tank. They’re easy to maintain and the fine leaves are good for shrimps.
  • Moss: While not always seen in traditional Iwagumi setups, Riccia fluitans can be used creatively. Not only is it a beautiful addition, but it also serves as a safe place for shrimp.
Carpeting Plant ChoiceMaintenance NeedsShrimp Benefits
Glossostigma elatinoidesHigh (CO2, lighting)Provides cover and foraging areas
Hemianthus callitrichoidesHigh (CO2, lighting)Oxygenates water, offers hiding
Eleocharis parvulaModerateSupports natural shrimp behavior
Riccia fluitansModerateCreates microhabitats

For substrate, I ensure to use a quality soil that can help buffer the pH and provide nutrients to the plants, which, in turn, benefits the shrimps as they enjoy a more stable environment.

See also  Can You Use Driftwood In Iwagumi Aquascape Setup?

In addition, regular maintenance such as trimming and proper fertilizers (shrimp safe) keeps both my plants and shrimps thriving.

freshwater iwagumi aquascape plant detail, blyxa grow in gravel bottom, Amano style planted aquadesign, vivid colors in bright LED light, professional aquarium care, blurred rhodostomus fish shallow dof

Maintaining A Shrimp Friendly Iwagumi Aquarium

When I set up an Iwagumi aquarium, the key is to create a balanced ecosystem that caters to the delicate needs of shrimp.

To maintain a healthy environment, I focus on several critical aspects: water quality, temperature, filtration, and aquascaping technique.

Firstly, water quality is crucial. I ensure the water parameters are stable, keeping the pH levels between 6.5 and 7.5 and hardness within the acceptable range for the shrimp species. Regular water changes are a must, but I take care not to disturb the aquascape’s layout. I use a liquid fertilizer sparingly, as excess can harm the shrimp.

The filtration system needs to be efficient yet gentle to prevent the shrimp from being sucked in. I prefer HOB filters, Canister filters or filters with a protective cover. The water should be clear and free of harmful chemicals, which is where a good filtration system comes into play.

Lighting should be balanced to promote plant growth without causing algae outbreaks. I prefer LED lights for their adjustability and energy efficiency. It’s essential for highlighting the minimalist aesthetic of the Iwagumi style.

For temperature, I use a reliable heater to maintain a consistent range, ideal for my shrimp. Depending on the species, most shrimp thrive in temperatures between 72–78°F (22-26°C).

I choose my fish selection carefully—if I decide to have any—ensuring they are shrimp-friendly and won’t disrupt the peaceful setting.

In an Iwagumi aquarium, where the stones and the cleanliness of the layout are the focus, I avoid adding excessive decorations that might clash with the minimalist nature of the design.

My aim is always to create an environment where the rocks form a naturalistic and harmonious view while providing shelter and grazing areas for the shrimp.

Keeping these key factors in check allows me to have a thriving Iwagumi aquarium that’s also a safe haven for shrimp.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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