Do ghost shrimp need substrate? I just got a 10 gal and a betta for my birthday and I would like to put shrimp in it, I just put some plants in it and I know they need lots of hiding places. It's heated and filtered. But I'm not 100% on what the shrimp would need. Also how many could go into a 10g? How do i quarantine them?
Shrimp prefer sand as they like to burrow in them, and it’s easier to feed off of pellets that drop to the bottom of the tank, and on top of the sand. Food can get lost in between gravel, and the shrimp can not dig into it.
The pro of ghost shrimp: They are colourless, so your betta may be indifferent to them (in Triton’s case, they were his goons and they followed him around. Triton was nice to them.) The cons of ghost shrimp: they’re big, and may get nippy with your betta’s fins if they feel threatened. I’ve never had this problem myself, but it’s good to consider this. Another thing is that shrimp are easily stressed, and can die from it! So you should only add shrimp if your betta is totally chill, and even then it’s hard to tell the outcome.
In terms of quantity…I think 5-10? They reproduce often under the right conditions, and you don’t wanna overcrowd the tank! I’ve never had to quarantine shrimp, but let’s say you had some pregnant ladies who’s gonna birth her babies soon- isolate her in a separate tank that’s heated and has a sponge filter. This way her fry won’t be eaten by the betta OR the shrimp.
When ghost shrimps turn opaque (cloudy white), they’re stressed. You’ll have to remove them into their own tank, because not even an abundance of hiding spots can help if a betta is constantly chasing them.
If there aren’t too many of them, they can feed off of the tank without you needing to drop algae or betta pellets for them. There’s specific food for shrimp if you’re worried they’re not getting enough vitamins. I use to feed them algae wafers and Hikari’s Crab Cuisine.
I hope this helped! If anyone has more to add to this, or if anything needs correcting, please feel free to add onto this post!