Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates: What To Choose & Why

Cherry shrimp are a popular aquarium shrimp because they are pretty, calm, easy to care for and breed, and can keep your fish tank algae-free. However, keeping them with other fish can be challenging because your fish might eat them. Read this article to learn if you can keep cherry shrimps with other fish.

Can Cherry Shrimp Live With Other Fish?

Cherry shrimp can live with other fish as long as those fish are small and don’t bother the cherry shrimp. Even better, they greatly help the fish because they eat the leftover food and decaying things that fall on the substrate and keep the tank clean. They require little care and can even care for themselves if you keep the fish tank stable.

The problem is that fish are likely to devour cherry shrimp since they are a natural food source for fish. Also, fish are opportunistic eaters, meaning they’ll eat anything that can fit in their mouths. Your cherry shrimp population will dwindle if you don’t pay close attention on them.

The best chance of survival for your cherry shrimp is to provide them with places to hide, such as plants and decorations. Also, ensure the fish tank is big enough so that the fish don’t swim near the cherry shrimps all the time. It’s crucial to ensure your fish are well-fed, so they won’t be tempted to eat your shrimp.

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Cherry shrimp are a cute addition to any fish tank as they scuttle and graze on the bottom of the aquarium. If you want to put them in a tank with other fish, make sure to pick ones that won’t hurt their population. Here are some fish that would get along well with cherry shrimps in a tank.

1. Otocinclus Catfish

  • pH: 6.8 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 72°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

One of the best choices for a fish tank with cherry shrimp is an Otocinclus catfish. To keep them with cherry shrimps, set up a warm freshwater tank with slow-moving water and give the fish lots of algae to eat. Choose a substrate of fine, soft sand with aquatic plants that encourage algae to grow like repens to ensure they are happy.

2. Endler’s Livebearers

  • pH: 7
  • Temperature:  64°F to 84°F
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons minimum for 3 fish
  • Fish Size: 3 to 7 years
  • Lifespan: 1 to 1.8 inches
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Endler’s livebearers are another type of fish that don’t bother shrimp and can live with them. Add plants like elodea, egeria densa, and cabomba that grow in water and have long stems to make it look like their natural habitat. Since these fish may sometimes dig, you can use sand as a substrate so they don’t hurt their skin or fins by digging.

3. Ember Tetras

  • pH:  5.5 to 7.0
  • Temperature:  68°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for six fish
  • Fish Size: 0.6 to 0.8 inch
  • Lifespan:  2 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Ember tetras are another fish that can live with your cherry shrimp because they are too small to eat full-grown adult shrimp. To keep them both in the same aquarium, make sure the water moves slowly and use a dark substrate like gravel or amazonia soil. You can also put in plants like java moss, fern, anacharis, or hornworts.

4. Clown Killifish

  • pH: 6.0 – 7.0 
  • Temperature: 73°F to 76°F.
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons minimum for a pair
  • Fish Size: 1.2 – 1.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Clown Killifish like soft, warm, and acidic water, which the cherry shrimps also like. This means that they can live together in the same tank. These fish also live at the top of the water, so they don’t usually swim together. Add floating plants and a fine-grained substrate like sand when keeping them together.

5. Neon Tetras

  • pH:  6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 75°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 6 fish
  • Fish Size: 1 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 6 to 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

You can go for neon tetras if you want to keep a hardy and easy-to-care-for fish with your shrimp. You can keep them together and give them food and a hiding place by adding plants like hornwort and java moss. You can also add decorations like driftwood to give your tetras and shrimps more hiding places.

6. Pencil Fish

  • pH:  5.7 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 71°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons minimum for six fish
  • Fish Size: 
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Pencil fish and shrimp are also a good match because they are calm and wouldn’t bother or bother each other. When keeping both, you can make their fish tank look like their natural home by putting aquatic plants like riccia or water lettuce in the aquarium. You can also use black sand to make your pencil fish, and cherry shrimp stand out with their bright colors.

7. Chili Rasbora

  • pH:  6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 68°F to 82.4°F.
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 8 to 10 fish
  • Fish Size: 0.6 to 0.8 inch
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

You can keep chili rasbora and cherry shrimp together by adding a slow flow of water to mimic their natural environment. To make it look nice, you can also put driftwood or plants like amazon swords, java fern, and moss in their tank. Since rasboras and cherry shrimp are small, you must closely monitor their fish tank and ensure the temperature, and pH level don’t fluctuate too much.


Can Cherry Shrimp Live In A Community Tank?

Cherry shrimp can live with other fish in a community fish tank if no fish are big enough to eat them. In fact, they are a big help to the fish tank because they eat the leftover food that the fish didn’t eat. Your cherry shrimp will do well if you keep your fish well-fed and provide hiding places.

Are Cherry Shrimp Good Algae Eaters?

Cherry shrimp are very good at eating algae. They can get into places where algae grow, which some bigger shrimp can’t do. They can even stick to the glass of the fish tank while eating algae off of it.

What Will Kill Cherry Shrimp?

A cherry shrimp can die from many things, such as bad water quality, sudden changes in the water’s parameters, or the presence of copper or chlorine in the water. They are also susceptible to diseases and parasites. They could also be picked on or eaten by other aggressive fish in the aquarium.

Can Guppies Live With Cherry Shrimp?

Guppies and shrimp can live together in the same aquarium. The trouble is, similar to other shrimps, cherry shrimps are on the food chain for guppies. So your guppies may end up eating your cherry shrimp.

Can You Keep Cherry Shrimp With Bettas?

Even though bettas are known to be solitary, they can actually live with cherry shrimp as long as the cherry shrimp has everything it needs. You also have to put the cherry shrimp in the aquarium before the betta so that they can get a good population going. But if your betta hunts your cherry shrimp too much, you might need to get a different betta to keep with your cherry shrimp.


Cherry shrimp are surprisingly good tankmates because they eat things like leftover food, dead plants, worms, and even algae, which helps keep the water clean. However, always remember to put plants for them to hide in because your cherry shrimp might be mistaken as fish food by your fish.

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