Freshwater shrimp are a lovely addition to any aquarium, especially for those that are densely planted or that need a cleaning crew.
Most shrimp species feed on food not consumed by fish and their specialized food, algae, live and dead plants, and even some types of worms.
However, the biggest challenge of keeping shrimp in a community tank is that they are part of the fish food chain, and most fish will not hesitate to eat them. Usually, the rule of thumb is: if the shrimp fits in your mouth, it’s a good meal!
It doesn’t mean you can’t put shrimp with fish in the same aquarium; some species are pretty peaceful, while others feed on plant matter and algae, so they don’t bother shrimp.
We’ve created a list in this article that will help you choose which fish you can put together with shrimp in your aquarium!
Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)
Guppies and shrimp can live peacefully in an aquarium. However, you need to understand that shrimp are in the guppy food chain, albeit slightly lower.
So if you don’t feed your guppies properly or fail to take all necessary precautions, your shrimp population will likely decrease over time.
There is also the possibility that the guppies will eat all their food and the shrimp. For this reason, feed the guppies first, and while they are busy eating their food, feed the shrimp.
It also helps to feed them in areas where aquatic plants grow denser, as guppies may not be able to reach them. Also, adding lots of plants to the aquarium helps protect the baby shrimp.
Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio margaritatus)
The Celestial Pearl Danio is a little fish that you can keep together with shrimp without too many problems. Although they can feed on some baby shrimps, most of them will still be able to survive without any issues.
In addition, these fish are often very peaceful, which complements the shrimp’s shy nature.
Always remember to add lots of plants to the aquarium so the shrimplets can hide.
Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
The Harlequin Rasbora is a small, very peaceful fish that will leave any animal that is with it inside the aquarium in peace.
For example, if you have a planted aquarium, this species will hardly even be noticed by the shrimps. For this reason, you can reproduce and keep shrimp without any problems, although this does not mean that the Rasbora cannot eat one or another baby shrimp in the tank.
They do not require special conditions in terms of water chemistry. They can coexist with many other popular fish in the hobby, including small cyprinids and tetras, viviparous, dwarf cichlids, catfish, and loaches.
Pigmy Gourami (Trichopsis pumila)
Most fish in the gourami family are medium in size and will devour shrimp when kept together. However, if you want to breed shrimp with these fish, Pygmy Gourami is perfect.
Pygmy Gourami can grow to 4 centimeters in length, which means they have tiny mouths that probably can’t fit an adult shrimp.
If you decide to keep these fish with shrimp, although they are pretty peaceful, they can be aggressive towards other males of the same species.
Pygmy Gourami loves to spend their time looking for hiding places or swimming among plants, so they are an excellent choice for living with shrimp in the aquarium.
Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)
The Ember Tetra is an excellent companion for shrimp, as they have tiny mouths and cannot eat anything other than small baby shrimp.
Most shrimp will survive, so if you want to raise the shrimplets in the main tank, provide some hiding places for them by adding java moss to the tank.
This little Tetra is a beautiful, peaceful, and easy-to-care fish. For this reason, they are also ideal for beginners in the aquarium hobby.
Dwarf Cory (Corydoras hastatus)
The Dwarf Cory is another very safe fish to live with shrimp. Although they are omnivorous and likely eat dead shrimp, they are too peaceful to bother them.
In addition, most shrimp species reproduce very quickly, meaning that even if they wanted to eat them, they still could not succeed in reducing their populations.
Corydoras have a beautiful appearance, are peaceful, fun to watch, and can live peacefully in a small shrimp tanks.
Oto Catfish (Otocinclus affinis)
Experienced aquarists can easily say that we’ve saved the best for last, as Oto cat is by far the only tropical fish that you can be sure won’t eat any shrimp in the aquarium.
This fish is a small catfish with an excellent appetite for algae and is probably the best algae eater for small aquariums.
Even if they are kept in perfect condition, they still need some specific care. Make sure the aquarium is well stabilized and has lots of algae.
You can put them with the shrimps with no problem, and there’s no way this catfish will eat them. However, remember that you must provide quality food for your Oto.
Brown, K. A. , 2020. Freshwater Shrimp Aquarium: A guide for setting up and maintaining shrimp aquarium for beginners.