I think that idea comes from the fact that some shrimp are filter feeders and/or eat detritus. Filter feeders can be referred to as a bio-filter and many view detritus as feces, further confusing the matter.
Different shrimp eat different things, but they're utilized most in the janitorial department as algae eaters. Filter feeders are a great little helper in the big picture, but they should be provided with a very good current so they can feed properly.
There is no actual need to get Shrimp for a functional aquatic system. If you dont' like them, don't force yourself to purchase them. They don't do a whole lot for me either, but my Son likes them so we have some.
Although there are creatures that help us keep an aquarium clean and neat, none will exempt us entirely from proper maintenance. Any animal will produce it's own waste as well.
Hey Al, I’ve keep cherry shrimp for years now and have had a limited amount of success with them, mainly because I’ve keep them with my Tropical fish. In fact, the only time they have really did good for me , is when I kept them by themselves in a 10 gallon tank. I know a lot of you will disagree with me but Dwarf shrimp Do NOT do well in a community tank. In fact , I have found that dwarf shrimp do not do well with fish at all. The main reason is that all fish will either eat or bother them, they will pick at them and harass them when ever they get a chance . All fish will eat their hatchlings. The other problem is with water. Most tap water contains copper and lead due to components in the piping and faucet. Dwarf shrimp cannot deal with heavy metals in their water. Bumblebee shrimp, crystal red shrimp, and tiger shrimp also prefer soft water. I use only rain water on all my tanks that contain shrimp. Have built a rainwater collection system on the side of my house so I have a source of soft water so I can regulate my tape water’s PH without the use of chemicals . Not everyone has one of these or is likely to install one just to keep their pet shrimp !!! Another problem is you cannot medicate your fish without the probability of losing all your shrimp. Dwarf shrimp are omnivorous. This means they will eat anything that’s edible except fish droppings. The only thing that eats fish droppings is a siphon hose and a bucket !! The best food for shrimp are microorganisms, but they settle for flakes. Having said all this LOL .I think Dwarf Shrimp are fascinating little creatures. More and more people are finding this out. Once they get their hands on them they get bitten by the “shrimp bug”.