Life without oxygen: Shrimp edition
We all know the basics of life is cells. One of the biggest components of a cell to survive is oxygen. Without it, it would simply die. Oxygen is an essential part of our body and we are 65% made up of oxygen!
Most living organisms use oxygen to survive, even fish! Yes, that’s right, fish! Many believe that fish don’t use oxygen because they live underwater, but it is not true!
They get most of their oxygen in the form of dissolved oxygen gas in the water. During the morning plants that do photosynthesis create oxygen; this is where the fish get it, but at night when no photosynthesis is done. Fish start respiring and use up the oxygen, that is why a lot of fishermen prefer to fish at night because different types of species of fish come up to the surface to get that sweet sweet oxygen! The example below is how fish uses oxygen.
How about Shrimps? Do they really need oxygen? Especially the Red Cherry Shrimp in tanks or aquariums.
The answer is yes and no, it really depends on the setup of your tank! They are tough animals. I can tell you that, but it can handle only so much before it starts giving you the “I’m in danger” look. If you have a simple no plant tank/aquarium you most definitely would need an air filter, most preferably a simple sponge filter. Just look at that little cutie using up oxygen.
Like I mentioned earlier, shrimps are tough and would most likely survive little to medium changes in water parameters inside the tank or aquarium, but they still need that oxygen. If you plan on using a small tank and filters would most likely take up a lot of free space for the shrimps to swim around comfortably, instead, you can choose to add natural oxygen-producing plants.
You can add substrate at the bottom of the tank to give your aquarium a plus when it comes to water chemistry and keeping the occupants of the tank comfortable. It can also help with the health and growth of the plants you choose to add to your aquascaping hobby.
The most commonly used for producing oxygen inside aquariums is Java moss as it helps with maintaining ideal oxygen levels inside the tank. It also helps with new shrimp hatchlings as they tend to thrive in moss.
The plus side of having oxygen-producing plants inside the tank is that it also acts as a home or sanctuary for the little creatures, it is where they can reproduce with ease and have a sense of security, like every living creature it wants to feel secured.
If you plan on not having any fish tank filter, you can also opt for using a jar filled with water then pouring it from a height thus creating a filter like a process to oxygenate your tank as the water movement at the surface brings oxygen to the bottom of the tank and distributes it.
But if you do decide to get oxygen-producing plants to add a lot of variety to make it more natural-looking!