Are Amphipods Good or Bad for Reef Tank?

Amphipods, also known as sea fleas, are common in reef tanks. For several reasons, these tiny creatures tend to be a favorite of many reef keepers. 

Some consider them to be suitable for their reef tank, and some doubt if there are any possibilities of drawbacks in their tank because of these amphipods. 

However, good or bad, there are potential effects of amphipods in reef tanks. Read this write-up to know if amphipods are good or bad for reef tanks. 

Here we explore the possible pros and cons of keeping these invertebrates in a reef tank and many more related to amphipods.

Before starting lets get know what are amphipods

What Are Amphipods?

An Amphipod is a type of crustacean that can be found in both salt and freshwater. There are more than 9900 species out there. 

They don’t have the carapace section and have compressed bodies. They have a large number of legs and are able to crawl quickly over the bottom of a reef tank. 

Amphipods are believed to be suitable for reef tanks because they feed on detritus and algae, which can help to clean the tank. 

Some people, however, are concerned that they may damage the coral reef by eating them. But that is not always true.

What Do Amphipods Look Like?

Amphipods are small crustaceans that range in size from 1 to 340 millimeters in length. But generally found in reef tanks not more than 10mm. 

They have a primarily white body, although some may also exhibit light brown, green, dark brown or black coloration. Amphipods have a segmented body that is divided into 13 different segments. 

It has two pairs of antennae and six pairs of legs. Legs help them in swimming swiftly. 

What Do Amphipods Do in a Reef Tank?

Amphipods are a common sight in reef tanks, and if you’re wondering what they exactly do there, your curiosity is legit. 

As you know, amphipods are crustaceans that live attached to hard surfaces or coral. They feed on tiny organisms that live in the water column and help clean the tank. 

Amphipods can also be a food source for some fish in your reef tank. They also clear up the gaps and surface of live corals by eating up the wastage.

What Do Amphipods Eat in Reef Tanks?

In the wild, amphipods are crustaceans that feed mainly on algae and detritus. However, amphipods will feast on detritus and organic material left by fish and other invertebrates in reef tanks. 

Amphipods help clean the tank and are essential to the reef ecosystem. Amphipods also eat other tiny organisms. And help to minimize the bacterial and parasite invasion. 

Do Amphipods Eat Corals?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. There are many different types of amphipods, and they vary in their diets. 

Some amphipods are herbivores, while others are carnivores or omnivores. Carnivorous amphipods eat the soft parts of corals, while herbivorous amphipods do not typically consume coral tissue.

Are Amphipods Good or Bad for Reef Tanks?

In nature, amphipods are generally considered to be good for the reef tank as they feed on detritus and other organic material. 

Besides keeping the tank water clean, they also play a secondary role in disease control in reef tanks. 

Amphipods are good food for fish in your reef tank. They are rich in omega 3 and omega 6. That makes them nutritious source of food for various aquarium fish.

Moreover, amphipods are considerably liable for maintaining the natural ecosystem for coral. They also help to maintain a food chain balance inside the particular ecosystem.

However, some amphipods can cause problems if they are not controlled or if they become overpopulated in the tank. 

Amphipods are small enough not to threaten most fish, but they can be a nuisance to filter-feeding corals. The best is to keep them in your reef tank at a controlled level.

Can You Have Too Many Amphipods?

When it comes to the number of amphipods in a reef tank, many reefers think that the more, the merrier. In some cases, this may be true. 

However, while some amphipods are suitable for your tank, too many amphipods can negatively impact your reef aquarium. 

Amphipods are scavengers, and their numbers will determine how much food they can find and eat. 

Too many amphipods can also create a mess on the coral and cause them to expel their color due to food overload.


Amphipod populations can be quite large in certain areas, and they can significantly impact the health of coral reefs. 

It is essential to understand the role that amphipods play in reef ecosystems so that we can better protect these delicate habitats. 

While amphipods can play an essential role in a reef tank, they can also be a problem. It is crucial to monitor the population of amphipods in your tank and take steps to control them if they become too numerous.

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