Cleaner Shrimp – Hard Working Crustaceans
By Jessie M Sanders, DVM, CertAqV
Planning and developing your tank environment by taking all biome contributors into consideration will make the healthiest home for your new pets, and the best home aquarium systems flourish through diversity.
One of the most overlooked components of healthy and diverse fish tanks are crustaceans; specifically, those in the cleaner shrimp family. Even though they may look like little space aliens, cleaner shrimp are a natural fit for many aquatic biomes; beneficial for both the inhabitants of the tank and for the human who has to clean the tank.
As their name suggests, cleaner shrimp clean their environment. They are hard-working crustaceans. But while that is an impressive trait by itself, that is not all they are known for. Even as they are picking debris and algae off the rocks, did you know that some types of cleaner shrimp will clean your fish as well?
Fortunately, it isn’t an altogether thankless job. In return for removing parasites and algae from your fish, the shrimp are rewarded with a tasty meal: yummy parasites that are packed with nutrition.
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