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How Many Peppermint Shrimp Per Tank? Facts & FAQs

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By Lindsey Stanton

Aiptasia eater Peppermint shrimp on gravel

The peppermint shrimp is a cool little invertebrate that is easy to care for and that actually comes with some cool benefits for your aquarium. One question which many people seem to have is how many peppermint shrimp per tank, which is what we are here to answer today. Generally speaking, you will want about 5 gallons of tank space per shrimp, but this can vary depending on several factors which we will cover here.

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Peppermint Shrimp – General Information

Before we get right into how many peppermint shrimp are ideal for a specific size of fish tank, let’s provide you with some general information about this neat little invertebrate. We want to talk about size, diet, temperament, and just provide you with a general overview of what these little shrimp are all about.

For one, although most people won’t just have peppermint shrimp in a tank, they are fairly easy to care for. They are rated as being one of the easier types of shrimp for beginners to care for. Here are some other things you should know.

Saltwater Peppermint Shrimp
Image Credit: haireena, Shutterstock
  • The maximum size which a peppermint shrimp will reach is approximately 2 inches in length, which is actually quite large all things considered. These guys are a creamy white in color, with orange and red stripes along their back, and they are in fact semi-transparent.
  • Yes, they are saltwater animals which are reef compatible for the most part. Peppermint shrimp require the water to be between 72 and 78 degrees, with a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4, a water hardness level between 8 and 12, and a salinity level of 1.023 to 1.025.
  • The only special thing to look out for here is that these shrimp do really well if you provide them with some calcium, iodine, and magnesium supplements. In the wild, they like to live close to reefs, as this is where they find most of their food, as well as shelter. They can be found all over the Caribbean Sea.
  • One big reason why a lot of people get peppermint shrimp in their fish tanks is because they are considered as excellent cleaners. Their main purpose is to get rid of glass anemones that can infest saltwater tanks fairly quickly. They also love to eat dead animal matter, rotting food, rotting plants, and all kinds of other stuff you don’t want in your tank. They are great cleaners no doubt and are also known as big time scavengers.
  • Peppermint shrimp tend to be quite peaceful in general, especially with fish and other peppermint shrimp of the opposite sex. Now, they have been known to steal food from anemones and other invertebrates, and to get in fights with other invertebrates of similar sizes. However, they will usually never get into quarrels with other fish, especially community fish you have in a tank.
  • Keep in mind that while they are not strictly nocturnal, they will usually hide in rocks and other small spaces during the day, only really coming out at night in search of food. Also note that male peppermint shrimp however can be fairly aggressive towards each other, so putting too many together in the same tank might not go over too well.
Peppermint Shrimp - Lysmata wurdemanni
Image Credit: Vojce, Shutterstock

How Many Peppermint Shrimp Per Tank?

There is actually not too much information to go with in terms of how many peppermint shrimp that you can keep per tank. The reason for this is because most people simply don’t bother having a tank with only peppermint shrimp.

Now, from all the research we have done and the information we have gathered, it is pretty clear that peppermint shrimp require about 5 gallons of water per shrimp.

You can go with as little as 3 gallons per shrimp, but remember that these things are pretty big, 2 inches long, so you do want to give them enough space, especially where males are concerned. For instance, if you plan on having nothing else than peppermint shrimp, you could manage about 6 of them in a 30-gallon tank.

Peppermint shrimp do like to be with their own kind, especially the opposite sex, so you really should not keep them alone. Having at least 2 is a good idea, so you should have a 10-gallon tank.

Peppermint Shrimp
Image Credit: timsimages.uk, Shutterstock

Keep In Mind What Else You Are Housing

However, something to keep in mind here is that of course, if you have other fish and critters in the tank, these spatial requirements don’t mean all that much. Generally speaking, if you have a community tank with various kinds of fish, you should allow at least 3 to 5 gallons of extra space for each peppermint shrimp.

So, the bottom line here is that for 2 peppermint shrimp, a tank of at least 10 gallons is needed. You don’t want them too close on top of each other, as they can be a bit aggressive with the same sex of peppermint shrimp. They like to have their own territory, so to speak.

Red Monaco Peppermint
Image Credit: Vojce, Shutterstock

Peppermint Shrimp – Important Notes

If you plan on keeping peppermint shrimp, there are a few important sidenotes that you need to keep in mind. Failing to keep these points in mind probably won’t end too well, for either you or the shrimp.

Big Time Breeders

One thing to keep in mind here is that peppermint shrimp love to breed. It does not take them long to breed, a female can have a lot of young, and given the right conditions, these things will multiply really fast.

Keeping your peppermint shrimp population under control can be an issue. So, you have to find a way to ensure that they don’t breed too much, like starting out with just two of them and trying to get the same sex so they cannot breed. That is unless this is something you desire.

group of peppermint shrimp on red coral
Image: Stewart Kirk, Shutterstock

Not With Large Fish

Another thing to keep in mind is that large fish, say anything over 6 inches in length, is a viable predator for these shrimp. In other words, if you do not want your peppermint shrimp to get eaten, do not keep them with fish that are much larger than they are.

Feeding Them

Feeding peppermint shrimp is actually very easy, as they are scavengers and will eat more or less anything. They will eat small anemones, dead fish bits, uneaten fish food, and more or less anything in between.

It is recommended that you buy shrimp food for them, but depending on the size of your tank and the inhabitants present, you might not have to feed them at all.

Peppermint Shrimp
Image Credit:
Aquarius Traveller, Shutterstock

Soft Corals Beware

Although the results here are a bit mixed; peppermint shrimp have been known to nip at soft corals. If you have soft corals, just beware that these shrimp might nip at them from time to time.

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There you have it folks, more or less all of the information you need on keeping peppermint shrimp. They are cool critters that clean your tank, they are easy to care for, and for the most part, really should not cause any problems in your tank. Just remember to give them enough space, at least 5 gallons of tank volume per shrimp.

Featured Image Credit: Vojce, Shutterstock

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