Canh Shrimp

The Problem of Raising Shrimps With Fish

There is one thing that beginner aquarists ask the most. Can shrimp be kept with this or that fish? Are there any fish that are safe for shrimp?
Shrimp and plants aquarium
Shrimp and plants aquarium

In fact, most fish eat shrimp. If it can eat shrimp, they will definitely eat it. Especially, the newly hatched shrimp are extremely small. This means that basically any fish can eat them. So what you will find is that in most cases it depends on the individual temperament of the fish.

Unfortunately, there is no universal compatibility table for shrimp and fish. It simply does not exist. This is the sad truth that you have to accept.

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However, if you are willing to take your chances, there are ways to increase the survival rate of shrimp.

1. Hidden Space

This is the absolute number one problem. Shrimps are defenseless and cannot protect themselves from fish. They are at the bottom of the food chain and they know it. If you provide dense planting areas, (shrimp only likes java moss) and appropriate hiding space (burrows, tubes, driftwood, decorations, etc.), you will give the shrimp a better chance of survival. Shrimps need places to stay away from unwanted attention.

Note: Have you ever thought why in the wild there are no bright and beautiful colors? The answer is obvious, really. It helps them camouflage from predators by mimicking their surroundings. Shrimp breeders have taken away this defense mechanism and with no place to hide, the shrimp shines like a beacon for the fish.

You can read more about "Driftwood in the tank Tep"right here.

2. Feed the Shrimps First and Release the Fish Later

The next thing is how you put the shrimp in the tank. Ideally, you need to order the shrimp first. Let them establish themselves before adding any other fish. As the shrimp colony spawns and grows, you can think about adding some smaller fish.
Another point is that ideally the fish should be stocked in juvenile form. In this case, your fish will get used to the shrimp from the very beginning. Of course, it can't guarantee 100% security, but practice shows it works and makes a difference.

But what should we do once we have an aquarium? How can we add shrimp? Well, at least don't do it during the day! This is a common mistake. People started adding shrimp and immediately watched the massacre. Why? Because your fish have taken them for food. So to avoid that, turn off the lights completely for a few hours or release the shrimp at night when the fish tend to settle down.

3. Tank size

It is clear that the larger the aquarium, the more comfortable the coexistence of shrimp and fish. In a small aquarium, even the most friendly fish can harm a shrimp or even another fish. Aquarium fish are more aggressive in confined environments. Conversely, increasing tank size and complexity can reduce harmful aggressive behaviors in fish. Don't overfeed your aquarium.

4. Feed the fish

This is also a very important question. If you're used to feeding your fish once a day with a pinch of cheap, dry food, prepare yourself for a time when even the friendliest of fish are sure to enjoy the shrimp. I suppose anything if it's hungry enough will try, and eat anything else. As a rule, tried once, it will try in the future. However, if you keep the fish well fed, hopefully the fish won't start to look at the shrimp as if it were a delicacy.

Of course, that brings its own problems. Obviously, the more you feed, the more you need to take care of your tank.

If you are planning to successfully grow fish in a shrimp tank, then keep in mind that shrimp can damage fish eggs. Also, don't forget that some fish guard their nests, and they are very aggressive during spawning. This is not good for the shrimp, they fly around the corners of the aquarium. 

Therefore, here are ways to improve the survival rate of your shrimp population in the community tank. It is better to learn from the mistakes of others than from your own.

Now let's look at shrimp compatibility based on the experience of aquarists. 

Refer: Flukes In Shrimp Lake – Causes And Treatments

The Best Common Farmed Fish Is Oto Goby – Otocinclus catfish

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It is the best neighbor for the shrimp. This is a very peaceful fish. They will never bother adult shrimp and they are like 99% safe for shrimp. If “something” happens it is a pure accident. People have seen them suck on baby shrimp just to spit them out. Also with this fish you won't have algae problems in your tank anymore.
Average adult size: 3.8 – 5 cm

Types of Peaceful Fish with Shrimps

They are the best neighbors for any shrimp, as a rule, they don't mind the shrimp at all. Remember that while fish may be non-aggressive herbivores, that doesn't mean they won't snack on occasional free protein sources like baby shrimp.

1. Pygmy Cory fish (Corydoras Pygmaeus) and raccoon fish

Pygmy Cory

Pygmy Cory Fish (Corydoras pygmaeus)There are many examples of this fish's peaceful coexistence with shrimp. I saw Pygmy Cory next to her and she didn't show any desire to eat this baby shrimp.
Average adult size: 3cm

2. Fish Doctor Panda Garra (Garra flavatra)


In general, the fish is peaceful and active. It is compatible with other temperate fish and invertebrates. However, you need to be very careful and be prepared to move them when they are a bit larger than the size of the shrimp. Because they are omnivores and may begin to prey on smaller animals (the tiny ones) as they grow older.
Average adult size: 7 – 9 cm

3. Albino Bristlenose Pleco

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A generally peaceful and hardy species, the Albino Bristlenose Pleco is an excellent candidate, it will often ignore everything in the aquarium. 
Average adult size: 7 – 12 cm

4. Bhikkhu Madam

Daddy's boom

Due to its relatively small size, this fish can be kept together with shrimp. 
Average adult size: 6.5 – 7.5 cm

5.Helicopter Fish – Royal Farlowella

The collection of the type of mini flight

Despite its large size, Royal Farlowella will get along well with all of our small fish and shrimp in your aquarium. Maybe the big ones will eat very small shrimp. However, many aquarists keep Royal Farlowella with their shrimp flocks without any problems.
Average adult size: 20.3 cm

6. Spotted Butterfly - Borneo Sucker (Gastromyzon)

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This peaceful, attractive fish is an algae and biofilm sorter. Due to their small size and diet, they won't bother the shrimp at all. Although it may eat some of your shrimp by mistake. 
Average adult size: 3.5 – 4 cm

7. L260 Queen Arabesque Pleco (Hypancistrus sp.)


Although it is possible that juveniles and juveniles will fall prey to Queen Arabesque Pleco, other than that, there is no problem with large shrimp species.
Average adult size: 8 – 9 cm

8. Rainbow Forktail (Iriatherina werneri)

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These fish live in the middle and upper tier areas of the aquarium. Fully grown rainbow trout are generally safe to keep with adult shrimp.
Average adult size: 3 – 4 cm

Conditional Peaceful Fishes

They will eat small shrimp for a snack but will not touch an adult shrimp in most cases. You need to give the shrimp plenty of hiding places.

1. Ruby Tetra


Some people list Ruby tetra as one of the best fish to keep with shrimp even with baby shrimp. They said that they have never seen this fish hunt shrimp or poke shrimp. However, I do not recommend keeping them with shrimp. They like small live food, so baby shrimp will be an easy target.
Average adult size: 1.5-2 cm

2. Glass Fish – Ghost Glass Catfish

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Like most catfish, the Ghost Glass Catfish is predatory, but it has a relatively small mouth. It is not compatible with small shrimp and very small fish. It will eat any animal that fits its mouth.
Average adult size: up to 4.7 - 5.9 inches (12 - 15 cm)

3. Small Guppies 

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Guppies can be a problem for small shrimp. Guppies are too curious and small enough to get into most crevices.
Average adult size: 2.5 inches (6.3 cm)

4. Neon tetra

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Neon tetra species have the ability to eat young shrimp and have the ability to catch baby shrimp.
Average adult size: 4cm

5. Grouper


There is always the possibility of shrimp being harassed to death, even if they cannot eat adult shrimp directly.
Average adult size: 4-6 cm

 6. Triangle Fish – Harlequin Rasboras (Rasbora heteromorpha)


Rasboras are voracious little creatures. Fortunately, they are usually on the top floor of the tank. Harlequins will not touch the shrimp as long as they are large enough for their mouths. 
Average adult size: ,5 – 4.5 cm

7. Zebrafish – Danio rerio


Zebrafish are omnivores, feeding mainly on zooplankton, plankton, insects and small shrimp.
Average adult size: 4-6 cm.

 8. Sword tail (Xiphophorus hellerii)

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It is an omnivore, so it is likely to eat smaller shrimp and their offspring, but it is also safe to keep with peaceful invertebrates. However, some say it killed all the shrimp in the tank, even the adult shrimp. Personally, I would never risk releasing swordfish into a shrimp tank.
Average adult size: 2 – 2.8 inches (5 – 7.1 cm).

 9. Red-headed Squirrel – Rummy nose Tetra 

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Adult shrimp are generally safe, but adult red-headed squirrels can easily eat young shrimp.
Average adult size: 2.5 – 3.8 cm

Fish Harmful to Shrimps

They will eat any shrimp regardless of its size in most cases. The shelter is good but it won't be enough if the fish decide to hunt for shrimp and practice shows that they will in most cases. Honestly, it's not a good idea to try shrimp with these fish. Especially if you don't have a huge aquarium in which a swarm of shrimp can find a secluded place.

1. Goldfish


Goldfish are incompatible with nearly all plants and animals. They can become too aggressive.
Average adult size: 17.8 cm or larger

2. Discus fish 


If you add shrimp to your discus tank, they will be the most expensive fish food you will ever buy. Of course, there is a possibility that the Discus can leave the shrimp alone for a while… to eat later.
Average adult size: 2-15 cm.

3. Betta fish

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Betta fish are hunters and are always looking for and examining everything that can be eaten. There have been success stories of bettas living with shrimp, but that is certainly not a guarantee and I cannot recommend keeping them together.
Average adult size: 5 – 7.6 cm

4. Angel fish

money song

Shrimps and other small, fragile invertebrates should not be kept with Angelfish, even in a large enough aquarium.
Average adult size: 15cm, 20cm

You should not treat the above lists as an axiom. There are always exceptions and there will always be people who say they have no problem with “bad” neighbors or that their shrimp have been completely destroyed by the “peaceful” fish. Just like humans, you can have a crazy fish that will attack anything.

The main problem of shrimp and fish, shrimp is natural food. Fish consider shrimp a delicious snack or even part of a fish staple diet. Also, they don't need to be fit to be killed or eaten. Most shrimp are very delicate and fish can shred the shrimp like a piece of cake.

That is why any fish larger than the shrimp will usually lead the shrimp to lead a more secretive lifestyle. Even without any signs of aggression, your shrimp will always sense danger. Therefore, in aquariums with shrimps, fish will often hide and mainly turn to nocturnal.

Anyway, I want to reiterate once again, that there are always exceptions. I think it really depends on the personality of the fish, the size of the aquarium and providing enough vegetation and moss for the shrimp to hide for most of their life.

Read more: How to Raise and Care for Blue Bolt . Shrimps

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