What Fish Can Live with Shrimp? Discover The 14 Best Tank Mates

Last Updated on 2023-08-08

Shrimp from fresh water is an excellent addition to a fish tank. However, the problem with maintaining shrimp in tanks is that, depending on the fish, they might end up as fish food. Luckily, other fish can live alongside shrimps and wouldn’t mind sharing the tank with them. Read more on this page to find out which fish is best with shrimp.

Can Any Fish Live With Shrimp?

Not all freshwater fish would mind sharing an aquarium with shrimps. Aquarists often find that bigger or more aggressive fish are not good tankmates for shrimps. They will even bully or bother the shrimp or just eat the shrimp.

The best tankmates for shrimps would be small, calm fish that won’t bother your shrimps. Small fish also can’t eat shrimps because they are too big to fit through their mouths. Just make sure to feed your small fish enough so they don’t bully the shrimp to death and then eat it.

Shrimp are tough, but sudden changes in the water can kill them. So, it’s essential to keep the temperature and pH level of the water stable if you want to keep fish and shrimp together. Doing large water changes will likely cause them to molt early or die.

The Short List

If you’re short on time, here are the best fish to keep with your shrimp!

  1. Endlers Livebearers
  2. Pygmy Corydoras
  3. Harlequin Rasboras
  4. Celestial Pearl Danios
  5. Kuhli Loaches
  6. Betta Fish
  7. Bristlenose Plecos
  8. Guppies
  9. Hillstream Loaches
  10. Otocinclus Catfish
  11. Neon Tetras
  12. Ember Tetras
  13. Chili Rasboras
  14. Clown Killifish

What Fish Can Live With Shrimp?

Shrimps are a great addition to a fish tank because they help clean the water in some ways. But the problem is that some fish can live happily with them, while others can’t and might eat them. Here’s a list of fish that can get along with shrimps without any problems.

Endler’s Livebearers

endler's livebearers care sheet
  • pH: 7
  • Temperature:  72°F to 82°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 schooling fish that can live alongside shrimp because they don’t bother them.  However, these fish will eat whatever comes across their mouth, so you may notice that some shrimplets are missing. When keeping Endler’s Livebearers and baby shrimp in the same tank, make sure the baby shrimp have places to hide.

Pygmy Corydoras

pygmy corydoras care sheet
  • pH:  6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 3 years
  • Lifespan: 1 inch
  • Difficulty Keeping: Beginner

Because of their size, these fish might be the top pick for tankmates with your shrimps. Pygmy Corydoras usually don’t grow much bigger than 1 inch, so they won’t hurt your cherry shrimp. They don’t bother the other fish in the tank, and they like to hang out in the upper part of the fish tank.

Harlequin Rasbora

harlequin rasbora care sheet
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.8
  • Temperature: 72°F to 81°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 6 fish
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Harlequin Rasboras are among the most peaceful and adaptable fish aquarists can put in their aquariums. These fish can get up to 2 inches long, which is too small to eat a full-grown shrimp, but they might eat shrimp fry. They also like the same water conditions as shrimp, making them excellent tankmates.

Celestial Pearl Danio

celestial pearl danio care
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.8
  • Temperature: 72°F to 81°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 6 fish
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Celestial Pearl Danios are another good tankmate for shrimps because they only get to be 2 inches long as adults. They’re easy to care for, peaceful, and sociable, and they prefer the same water parameters as shrimp. One of the nice things about these danios is that they can adapt to various temperatures and even live in fish tanks without a heater.

Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach Care Sheet
  • pH: 5.5 to 6.5 
  • Temperature: 73°F to 86°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 3 to 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 7 to 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

If you prefer to avoid keeping small fish with your shrimp, you should get kuhli loaches instead. However, some aquarists say they might eat the shrimps because they are scavenger fish and usually find food on the bottom of the fish tank. But as long as you feed them well and only put in adult shrimp that are too big for them to eat, shrimp and kuhli loaches can get along pretty well.

Betta Fish

betta care sheet
  • pH:  6.5 to 7.5.
  • Temperature: 72 to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 3 gallons minimum for 1 fish
  • Fish Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years 
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Bettas are known for being territorial and aggressive, but shrimp can get along well with them. While some bettas may tolerate shrimp in the aquarium, others may become aggressive and harm the shrimp. To prevent that from happening, keep them both in a large fish tank, feed them well, and give them lots of places to hide.

Bristlenose Pleco

bristlenose pleco care sheet
  • pH: 5.7 to 7.8 
  • Temperature: 73°F to 81°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 4 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

These bristlenose plecos are another medium-sized fish you can keep with your shrimp. They have a unique look. Most plecos hunt shrimp, but bristlenose plecos usually don’t bother with them because they are herbivores and prefer to eat plant matter like algae. But if the two are breeding, you might have trouble because shrimps might eat the pleco’s eggs, and the pleco might accidentally eat the shrimp fry.

Guppies

guppy care sheet
  • pH:  6.8 to 7.8.
  • Temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 0.6 to 2.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Colorful guppies can also live with your shrimps because they are usually small and calm. Your guppies might not actively hunt adult shrimp, but they might eat them if they are hungry or think they are food. Your guppies might also eat all the food for them and the shrimp, so keep an eye on them when you feed them.

Hillstream Loach

Hillstream Loach Care Sheet
  • pH: 7.0 to 7.8
  • Temperature:  65°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons minimum for  a single fish
  • Fish Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan:  8 to 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Hillstream loaches are peaceful fish that can live with other small, calm fish and invertebrates like shrimp and snails. This fish can’t swim well in open water, so it mostly crawls along the substrate or climb on rock and other tank decorations. Keep them in groups of four to six in clean water to give them the best care.

What Fish Can You Not Keep With Shrimp?

To keep your shrimp population from going down, you should not keep them together with any predatory fish. You should also stay away from fish that are aggressive. Here is a list of common aquarium fish that should not be kept with shrimps.

1. Cichlids

Cichlids don’t like shrimps because they are usually aggressive and don’t get along with other fish. Even the smaller dwarf cichlids would attack the shrimp until they died and then eat them. Also, most cichlids like water conditions differently from shrimp, so they are not good tankmates.

2. Pea Puffers

Even though pea puffers are small fish, shrimps shouldn’t live with them in an aquarium. This is because they are very territorial, highly aggressive, and carnivorous. They could even hunt down all of your shrimp in a matter of hours.

3. Goldfish

Goldfish are popular in many aquariums because they are peaceful fish. This is because they are big and not suitable tank mates for shrimps. After all, shrimps can fit through a goldfish’s mouth and might end up as food. There are ways to manage these problems, but many aquarists don’t recommend keeping both together in the same tank.

4. Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish are another fish you might not want to put in the same fish tank with shrimp. Even though they are known for being peaceful and good community fish, they may eat your shrimp to get more protein. They can also be territorial, especially during the breeding season, and may pick on your shrimp.

5. Gourami

Gouramis aren’t good tankmates for shrimps because most gourami species are large and can devour most shrimp quickly. There are a few small-sized gouramis, but they can still kill adult shrimp or eat shrimp fry. There are still ways to keep shrimp and gouramis in the same fish tank, but most aquarists don’t recommend it.

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What Fish Can You Put With Cherry Shrimp?

Cherry shrimps are challenging to keep with other fish because many fish see them as food. So, the best way to ensure your cherry shrimps live is to give them everything they need and choose their tankmate carefully. Here are some fish that can live with cherry shrimps.

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

Otocinclus catfish is generally kind and gets along great with its fellow tank mates. They usually spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank and are mostly shy. They prefer not to interact with the other animals in the fish tank, making them excellent tankmates for the cherry shrimps. Just make sure to give them a lot of places to hide, like plants, driftwood, rocks, and other decorations.

2. 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

Neon tetras and cherry shrimp can get along well and live in the same tank because tetras’ mouths are too small to eat an adult cherry shrimp. Neon tetras are also great aquarium fish because they are hardy, peaceful, and easy to care for, making them a perfect starter fish for beginner aquarists. However, If you want to breed the shrimps in a tank with neon tetras, make sure there are places for the shrimp fry to hide, like java moss.

3. Ember Tetras

  • pH:  5.5 to 7.0
  • Temperature:  73°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

Cherry shrimps get along well with Ember tetras because they are small. They are also very calm, so any other fish in the same size tank will get along with them. Like their cousins, the neon tetras and ember tetras are schooling fish and should be housed in no fewer than six groups.

4. 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

Chili rasboras are excellent tankmates for cherry shrimps because they are small and rarely get bigger than an inch. These schooling fish usually spend a lot of time curiously looking around, but they usually won’t bother the other inhabitants in the fish tank. To give them the best care, make sure they have lots of places to hide and keep the water stable.

5. Pencil Fish

  • pH:  6.0 to 7.4
  • Temperature: 71°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons minimum for six fish
  • Fish Size: 
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping:

Cherry shrimp also get along well with pencil fish because they are calm and won’t bother the shrimp. They also won’t eat the shrimp because they live in the upper parts of the aquarium and have small mouths. They are a kind of fish that is easily stressed by environmental changes, so it’s essential to keep the water parameters stable

6. Clown Killifish

  • pH: 6.0 – 7.0 
  • Temperature: 70°F to 79°F.
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons minimum for a pair
  • Fish Size: 1.2 – 1.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Clown killifish are another good tankmate for cherry shrimp because they are too small to eat adult shrimp. But these fish would eat shrimp fry and other shrimp that could fit in their mouth. These tiny fish usually hang out at the top of the tank, while the cherry shrimp live on the substrate below.

Can Guppies Live With Shrimp?

If you like caring for them, you can put shrimp and guppies in the same aquarium. The hard part about caring for these two is that your guppies will likely eat the shrimp because shrimps are on their food chain. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with these problems.

To keep your guppies from eating your shrimp, only put guppies and adult shrimp together. Guppies are known as opportunistic feeders and would eat anything that could fit right into their mouths. Usually, adult shrimps are large, so the guppies won’t bother them in the fish tank.

You could also give the shrimp a lot of places to hide, such as plants, rocks, caves, and tank decorations. Ensure the guppies have enough food, so they don’t get hungry and eat the shrimp. You could also put the shrimp in the tank before the guppies to make it more likely that they will get along.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about what fish can live with shrimp.

Do Shrimp Need Live Plants?

There should be a lot of live aquarium plants in the tank so that your shrimp have lots of places to crawl and look around. Live plants give these shrimp great places to hide. A tank with live plants is also good because it can eat the dying part of the plant, which will be eaten up by the shrimp, benefitting both.

Are Shrimp Ok With Goldfish?

If the goldfish are still small, you can keep them with the shrimp. The problem is that goldfish can grow up to 6 inches long, meaning they might eat the shrimps as time passes. To keep the goldfish from eating the shrimp, you could put the shrimp in the tank before the goldfish and give them a lot of places to hide, like plants and decors.

What Fish Can Live with Shrimp_ Discover The 14 Best Tank Mates

Recap

Putting together a community aquarium where shrimp can live safely can be tricky as the fish could eat your shrimps. But with the list above, you can quickly build a shrimp-safe community fish tank. Remember to give them lots of hiding places to escape fish that might accidentally eat them.

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