Terrific aquarium dwellers without vertebral column: invertebrates
Although the marine aquarium offers a much larger variety of invertebrates, you can still find a lot of beautiful invertebrates in freshwater aquariums. Shrimps, crustaceans, crabs and snails are very popular animals and you can keep many species in small aquariums. The German Animal Protection Act states, for instance, that you only can keep fish in aquariums from 54 liters upwards!
Shrimps are like crustaceans dependent on oxygen in the water because of their gills. Therefore the aquarium water needs to be well aerated by the filter or an air stone. For the filter it is important that a suction opening is no danger for shrimps (or shrimp offspring)! Please give therefore preference to filters with foam in front of the air intake system. Very suitable are: JBL CristalProfi m greenline , JBL PROAQUATEST Cu Miedź .
For the aquarium water it is imperative to check whether any copper content is measurable ( JBL Cu Miedź Test ). If you can measure even a trace of copper you MUST use a special water conditioner ( JBL Biotopol C ) since copper is essential for shrimps, but is deadly in measurable amounts. JBL plant fertilisers ( JBL PROFLORA Ferropol , JBL PROFLORA Ferropol 24 etc.) do contain copper, but NEVER in amounts that can be dangerous for invertebrates. They can therefore be used without any worries.
Snails can become pests or desired gems. Beautiful and fascinating snail species are becoming more and more popular.
Apple snails (Pomacea, Marisa, Asolene), swamp cover snails (Viviparus, Filopaludina)
Nerites (Neritidae), antler snails (Clithons)
Crepuscular and nocturnal, do not maintain below 20 °C, reproduction in freshwater not possible, separate sexes, good algae eaters
Great ramshorns (Planorbidae), trumpet snails (Melanoides)
Often unpopular because of intense reproduction, very low-maintenace.
Sulawesi rabbit snales (Tylomelania)
Predatory snails (Buccinidae)
The subphylum of the crustaceans with over 50,000 species has more species than the order of the fish!
One of the most popular animals among aquarium enthusiasts must be the shrimp, since they are peaceful and generally remain small. Shrimps are particularly ideal for enthusiasts with aquariums of less than 50 litres volume.
Many crab species are also very popular. Only a few of them are real aquarium dwellers, however. They prefer an aqua-terrarium with land part to a pure aquarium, filled with water!
Another group are the crayfish, which due to their appearance are also referred to as freshwater lobsters. You do need to know exactly how big the species will grow, since a lot of them can grow to be very large, are incompatible and can also be dangerous for your fish stock.
Cambarellus & Procambarus species
Dwarf shrimps (Caridina and Neocaridina species) are very sociable animals, whereas longarm shrimps are loners. Larger fish sometimes prey on the smaller dwarf shrimps – while longarm shrimps can prey on fish.
Small crustaceans, such as Gambarellus and Procambarus are peaceful creatures and can be well socialised.
The large Cherax species can be dangerous for other fellow occupants and should ideally be kept in a single-species aquarium. Even if the crayfish leave the fish alone during the day, they may prey on the sleeping fish.
In many crayfish defining the gender is not difficult: the gonopores (genital openings) might look similar, but they are located in different places: on the male they are situated between the rear leg pairs, on the females they are further forward.
The small and colourful tank inhabitants are not only beautiful to look at, but can also help with aquarium care. They are conquering more and more aquarists' hearts all over the world.
Caridina & Neocaridina species
Some of the most colourful shrimps come from lakes on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. These include the cardinal shrimp (Caridina dennerli), the harlequin shrimp (Caridina woltereckae) and the gold-spot shrimp (Caridina spinata). These species require special water conditions: temperature 27-31 °C, pH around 8 and soft to medium hard water. They like to eat JBL Spirulina , as well as JBL NovoPrawn and, like other Caridina species, should not be given too much animal protein with their food.
Fan shrimps (Atya species)
Strong shrimps up to 10 cm in length, which are absolutely peaceful and can be socialised well with fish. Can live for 10 years! They love currents from which they filter out their food. The type of food is almost irrelevant, as long as it’s not too large!
Red claws (Macrobrachium)
Max. 3 cm small species that likes to live in groups. Prefers low temperatures around 20 °C (use JBL PROTEMP Cooler!). Give birth to about 30 almost fully developed young. Eat all kinds of food (ideally: JBL PRONOVO SHRIMPS GRANO S ).
Bumble bee dwarf shrimps
Also only max. 3 cm in size. Demands: like bee shrimps, with which they can also interbreed!
Tiger dwarf shrimps
Red fire or cherry shrimps
At 5.5 cm, it grows larger than the species mentioned so far. Very good algae eater, needs to be kept in small groups. Reproduction only possible in brackish or seawater for the larvae. Very tolerant of water temperatures (12-29 °C). Eats algae, almost all types of food and really likes JBL PRONOVO SPIRULINA FLAKES M .
Red rhinoceros shrimps
Grows to only 1.5 cm long and makes special demands on the water: high temperatures of approx. 27-30 °C, soft to medium-hard water with a high pH value around 8. Due to a strong surface movement of the water, higher pH values are usually easy to achieve with soft water! Its food, e.g. JBL PRONOVO SPIRULINA FLAKES M needs to lie practically in front of it on the bottom. It rarely actively searches for food throughout the aquarium.
With 1.5 to 1.8 cm another small, but beautiful species. Not easy to keep! High temperatures of approx. 27-30 °C, soft to medium-hard water with a high pH value around 8. Due to a strong surface movement of the water, higher pH values are usually easy to achieve with soft water! Needs to be kept in a group. Flexible eaters with JBL PRONOVO SHRIMPS GRANO S , JBL PRONOVO SPIRULINA FLAKES M and many other foods.
Watch out when googling: There is also a harlequin shrimp that lives in the sea and feeds only on starfish!