What’s the Ideal Setup for a Planted Aquarium with Betta Fish and Shrimp?

March 26, 2024

If you’re pondering the possibilities of a new aquarium endeavor, consider creating a fascinating microcosm filled with vibrant plants, betta fish, and shrimp. Delving into the world of freshwater tanks is an exciting journey, but it requires meticulous planning and care. The harmony of your tank relies on choosing the right species, providing them with an optimal environment, and maintaining balance. Let’s dive into this engaging undertaking, exploring the ideal settings for your soon-to-be thriving ecosystem.

Choosing the Right Tank and Water

When embarking on your aquarium journey, the first decision to make is picking the right tank size. Betta fish and shrimp, such as the popular red cherry shrimp, require different spaces to thrive. Remember, the tank is their universe. For a planted tank that will house both species, a 10-gallon tank is recommended. This tank size provides ample swimming space for your betta and enough room for your shrimp to scurry around.

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Water quality is paramount in maintaining a healthy environment for your aquatic friends. Freshwater is the milieu of choice for both bettas and shrimps. Aim to keep the water parameters stable, with a pH level between 6.5-7.5, and a temperature of 76-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Selecting Suitable Plants

When it comes to choosing plants for your aquarium, a variety of factors come into play. Some plants are better at providing hiding spots, while others help in purifying the water. Plants like Anubias, Java Fern, and Hornwort are a great choice for your planted aquarium. These species are hardy, require moderate light, and are not too fussy about the water quality.

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Select plants that offer diversity in height, color, and texture to create a visually appealing environment. Tall plants can provide cover for your betta, while carpet plants make excellent foraging grounds for your shrimp.

Creating a Comfortable Habitat for Betta Fish

Bettas, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are tropical freshwater species known for their vibrant colors and flowing fins. They are also labyrinth fish, meaning they can breathe air and require access to the water surface. Therefore, it’s essential not to overcrowd the tank with too many plants.

Bettas are solitary fish and can become stressed in the presence of too many tank mates. Hence, keep just one betta in your aquarium. To enhance their comfort, provide them with hiding spots using plants or decorative caves.

Providing Care for Shrimp

Shrimp, especially the red cherry shrimp, is an excellent addition to your tank due to their small size and interesting behavior. They are scavengers, feeding on detritus and algae, thus helping to keep the tank clean.

Shrimp are sensitive to water parameters, especially sudden shifts. Therefore, regular monitoring of the water quality is critical. Also, providing enough hiding spots with plants or rocks helps them feel safe and reduces stress.

Managing Light and Maintenance

Light plays a vital role in the health of your aquarium. It influences the growth of your plants and the well-being of your fish and shrimp. A general guideline is to keep the light on for about 8-10 hours a day. Too much light can lead to excessive algae growth, which could upset the balance of your tank.

Maintenance is an ongoing process for a thriving aquarium. Regular water changes, monitoring of water parameters, and appropriate feeding are all part of the care routine. Remove any dead plants promptly as they can decay and alter the water chemistry. Feeding should be done sparingly, as overfeeding can lead to poor water quality.

Crafting the ideal environment for a planted aquarium with betta fish and shrimp is a rewarding endeavor. It requires a balance of the right elements – a suitable tank, the correct water parameters, diverse plant life, and consistent care. With patience and diligence, you can create a beautiful, thriving aquatic ecosystem that brings a sense of tranquility to your surroundings. Remember, the key is in the balance and harmony of your tank’s inhabitants and their environment. Without a doubt, the result will be well worth the effort.

Understanding the Needs of Different Shrimp Species

Whether you decide to house cherry shrimp, ghost shrimp, amano shrimp, or neocaridina davidi, it’s crucial to understand their unique needs. For instance, the cherry shrimp and neocaridina davidi are known for their vibrant red color and are quite hardy. They are omnivores and will consume algae, plant matter, and even leftover fish food. Their diet helps to keep the tank clean.

On the other hand, ghost shrimp are more transparent, making them an interesting addition to your tank. They require a similar diet to cherry shrimp but are known to be a bit more aggressive. Ghost shrimp can sometimes be seen hunting smaller tank mates.

The amano shrimp, another excellent choice for a planted tank, are larger and known for their exceptional algae-eating habits. These shrimp are useful in controlling algae growth, particularly in well-lit tanks.

Regardless of the shrimp species, it’s important to note that shrimp are a prey species. They require plenty of hiding spots to feel secure. Aquatic plants, rocks, and caves can serve as excellent refuges for your shrimp.

Balancing Your Betta and Shrimp Population

Given the betta’s solitary nature and shrimp’s small size, you might wonder how many shrimp can coexist with a betta fish. This largely depends on the tank size and the betta’s temperament. A generally accepted guideline is 2-4 shrimp per gallon. So, in a 10-gallon tank, you could keep a maximum of 20-40 shrimp.

Remember, while bettas and shrimp can make excellent tank mates, bettas can sometimes show aggression towards shrimp. Ensure the shrimp have plenty of places to hide and escape any potential betta aggression.


Creating a harmonious ecosystem with a betta fish, shrimp, and aquatic plants is a fascinating and rewarding endeavor. It offers a unique and aesthetic appeal while providing a peaceful and serene ambiance. However, it requires a careful selection of tank, betta fish, shrimp species, and aquarium plants.

Consistent care, regular water changes, and a balanced diet for your aquatic friends are crucial. Equally important is the mindful arrangement of your planted aquarium to ensure enough hiding spots and swimming space.

Remember, the well-being of your aquatic friends largely depends on the balance and harmony within their environment. So, take your time, plan carefully, and enjoy the captivating process. With patience, perseverance, and diligent care, your betta tank filled with aquarium shrimp and aquatic plants can become a thriving, self-sustaining microcosm.

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or a beginner, the beauty of a well-planned shrimp tank is certain to bring you joy and tranquility. Always keep in mind the correct care info for each species and ensure consistent water changes and maintenance for a vibrant and thriving planted aquarium. Enjoy the journey!