Can Goldfish And Shrimp Live Together?

Goldfish from the carp family are said to be the third most popular domestic pet, closely behind cats and dogs! Originally they were domesticated over 2000 years ago by the Chinese, as they were seen as lucky and were to bring fortune. 

Goldfish are cousins to the very popular Koi fish, which are also kept as domesticated pets. However, they are smaller in size! Goldfish also differ in the aspect that they crush their food at the back of their throats! These wonderfully colored fish make a great addition to your fish tank!

Shrimp may also be appealing for your aquarium as they are very active! They have 5 pairs of legs, which makes them fascinating to watch while they clean! These algae lovers are also helpful with cleaning your tank and are very easy to care for, which makes them so popular.

However, we want to know if Goldfish and Shrimp are able to live harmoniously! This article looks at all the pros and cons of the two inhabiting together.

Can Goldfish And Shrimp Live Together?

Can Goldfish and Shrimp live together? Well, there is no straightforward answer! We need to predict what may happen if we do put these species together.

Firstly, we need to understand that Goldfish are notorious eaters! If another fish is smaller than a Goldfish’s mouth, it’s going to get eaten! This could be detrimental to your Shrimp. The size of Shrimp in the average fish tank could be anywhere between 1cm to 8cm! So, if you want to incorporate such Shrimp as Cherry Shrimp, you may find they all get eaten!

However, to combat these issues, I would recommend having lots of plants within your tank that the Shrimp can hide in! This will not mean they definitely won’t get eaten, but you are putting obstacles in place to give them a better survival rate.

Another way would be to acquire the Shrimp before the Goldfish! Shrimp are able to grow to their full size, and adding the Goldfish second will mean that they probably won’t know the Shrimp are there!


To ensure that you have a successful home aquarium, it is important to understand the different temperaments of your chosen fish. We need to ensure that the fish that are cohabitating are compatible! If they are not compatible, you can increase the risk of stress, disease, and longevity of life for your fish. So let’s go over the temperaments of Goldfish and Shrimp.

Goldfish Temperament

Generally speaking, Goldfish are tame fish. As with any pet, they do require a certain level of upkeep, so they are not as simply looked after as you may think. Goldfish are very social creatures! This means they will thrive if kept in pairs or even more, as they need companionship.

However, if you want to keep an array of fish in your tank, you must make sure that they are of similar temperaments to the Goldfish. Primarily, we need to ensure that the other fish are bigger than your Goldfish’s mouth! Otherwise, you are continuously paying out for an expensive buffet! We also want to make sure that any other fish have similar swimming abilities, so we don’t stress out the Goldfish as it looks for food.

Swimming abilities are also necessary for similarity due to having enough swimming space for your fish. The last thing you want is to have stressed-out fish because they don’t have enough room! But this is also a key factor in their growth.

(Ever wondered if Goldfish and glofish can live together?)

Shrimp Temperament

Not too different in temperament, Shrimp are peaceful crustaceans. Considered ‘bottom feeders’ or ‘scavengers,’ Shrimp’s useful function in your tank will be keeping everything nice and clean! This is because they enjoy feeding on any uneaten food and algae build-up. Shrimp are also content being by themselves. That being said, you can incorporate a group, too, if you wish.

 As peaceful creatures, they also maintain being busy and active constantly, which is another reason they make an interesting addition to your tank. They will spend a lot of time swimming around or cleaning/eating whatever they may come across. Again, it is important to remember due to their small size; bigger fish may eat them!

Habitat And Tank Requirements

In order to keep fish as pets, it’s mandatory to remember that these are living animals that require certain things to survive. It is important that a fish’s tank replicates its natural habitat as closely as possible in order to decrease any stress but also ensure they live as long as it should.

Goldfish Tank Requirements

Tank size

Please do not use a fishbowl! The majority of Goldfish require around 20 gallons of water each. However, depending on what type of Goldfish you are wanting, some may even need up to 50 gallons, so it is imperative that you research the particular breed. It is suggested that when purchasing a new tank for a Goldfish, you will want to allow space for a 40-gallon tank, and any new Goldfish you would like to acquire needs an additional 20 gallons each.

Now, this research is just for Goldfish, so if you are gathering fish for a communal tank, you will need to take into consideration how much space the other fish require as well. We mainly want to avoid any overstocking of the tank to ensure that all fish live a long and happy life!

pH Level

Maintaining a certain pH level in your fish tank is important for your fish’s well-being. Goldfish are known to flourish in waters that have a pH level of between 7.2 – 7.8. However, Goldfish can tolerate variations in the pH level but to take care of your pets properly, the above range is the most suitable. If you continue to expose your fish to sudden changes in the pH level, you risk harming your fish.

Alternatively, it is suggested you may be able to adjust the pH level over time to accommodate other types of fish. Doing so is up to your own accountability, and we recommend the pH level stated specifically previously.


The ideal temperature range for your Goldfish should be between 20-23 degrees celsius. This is the best temperature for your Goldfish to thrive in and will also maximum growth. Any lower or higher and your Goldfish will become stressed, have a lack of oxygen, or become lethargic/over-energetic.


To decorate your tank, you may want to include plants and ornaments, both of which are fine to place with Goldfish. The one thing to remember if using live plants is that we don’t want to change the pH level.

The best live plants to complement your Goldfish tank would be Java Ferns, Anubias, Cabomba, or Pennywort/Hornwort. We want plants that will maintain the purity of the water and that don’t need constant light.

(Find out if Goldfish and guppies can live together!)

Shrimp Tank Requirements

Now the answer to this varies on this topic. Some say that shrimp need as little as 1 gallon of water for 10 Shrimp. However, this is for Shrimp living by themselves. So would need additional room if being placed with Goldfish. If that is the case, then the bigger, the better in a community tank; this ensures they have a higher survival rate.

Although Shrimp are small, they are still living creatures that deserve a good amount of room to thrive in. I would recommend doubling the original figure.

Temperature & pH

Shrimp require the pH level to be anywhere between 6.6 – 8, which means they will be happy in the same environment as Goldfish! The temperature needs of Shrimp are also similar to that of Goldfish, which make them good tankmates! The ideal temperature is in the early to mid-20s (celsius degrees).


Again, the adaptable Shrimp will also thrive with the same plants listed for the Goldfish, which makes them ideal tankmates! They will eat any algae build-up, and the plants listed, such as the Anubias, make a great hiding spot for your Shrimp!


Did you know that fish can smell and taste their food? Just like humans, fish thrive off a varied and balanced diet! Fish can also get bored of the same thing, just like we can in excess! The loss of appetite can cause obvious risks, so it is important to know what to feed your pets!

Goldfish Diet

As previously stated, Goldfish will pretty much eat anything that can fit in their mouths. However, we want to focus on a varied and healthy diet!

The best things to feed these omnivores include flakes and pellets that are specially designed for them. They also love vegetables (with skins removed) like peas, brine Shrimp, bloodworms, and duckweed!

Yes, Goldfish love to eat Shrimp, so we go back to the point of ensuring your Shrimp can hide! Make sure you feed your Goldfish 2-3 times a day and try not to overfeed to avoid contamination. Although, if you have Shrimp in the tank, they will clean any excess up!

(Did you know Goldfish and minnows make great tank mates?)

Shrimp Diet

Shrimp are also omnivores! The best foods to feed your Shrimp include fish flakes, pellets (specifically for Shrimp), vegetables such as cucumbers, and fruit such as pears! Just make sure they are cut up into very small pieces! They also love algae!

Shrimp will eat any food residue left in the tank, which makes them great for tank cleaning! The range of food listed will mean they grow to their full potential and stay happy.

How To Make It Work

With the information provided, we can understand that there may be some issues for Goldfish and Shrimp living together, which mostly comes down to Shrimp being an expensive snack for your Goldfish!

You may still decide to go ahead and allow them to coincide, but you would need to put in a lot of plants so the Shrimp can hide! Again, incorporating the Shrimp before the Goldfish would be a great suggestion, so the Goldfish are less aware that the Shrimp are there!

However, in all other areas, apart from being fantastic Goldfish food, Shrimps are an excellent pairing for your Goldfish tank! Just pair wisely!

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Overall it is possible for Goldfish and Shrimp to coincide; however, as stated, there are a few risks! Goldfish have particular needs and will eat Shrimp if they encounter them.

From using the guidelines presented, we can advise on how best to avoid problems, but they will not solve them; it would be up to your own initiatives to decide what is best for your pets!

Read on further to learn about how other fish live with Goldfish and if they would be more suitable!

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