Top 12 Tank Mates to Keep with Cherry Shrimp


Top 12 Tank Mates to Keep with Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) are exceptionally popular in the freshwater aquarium hobby because of their dazzling array of colors, but unfortunately, their petite size makes them irresistibly delicious to other fish. You should keep only one species of shrimp in your tank. This will allow you to breed the most shrimp possible. This list contains potential tank mates for adult cherry shrimp. None of these suggestions are 100% guaranteed since every living creature has a mind of its own, so we recommend adding lots of cover (e.g., piles of rocks, aquarium plants, and shrimp caves) to give the shrimp places to hide if needed.


Category #1: Small Invertebrates

The first thing we recommend for shrimp-safe tank partners is to study other nano invertebrates. For example, little snails – like nerite, mystery, bladder, and Malaysian trumpet snails – are mostly scavengers and detritivores that won’t eat living shrimp. However, they will eat the same foods as cherry shrimp so there may be fewer shrimp babies. Because they eat small particles in the water, larger filter-feeding shrimp like vampire shrimp and bamboo are a great choice. Thai micro crabs also use their hairy claws or legs to grab small crumbs. They are shy, so they may not be easy to spot.

Vampire or African Fan Shrimp (Atya gabonensis).

Other dwarf shrimp, like amano and ghost shrimp, can do well with cherry shrimp because they are roughly the same size and have similar care requirements. Crystal shrimp and Caridina shrimp can be difficult to grow together, as they have different water requirements than cherry shrimp. While some hobbyists have kept them together, we often find that one shrimp colony tends to be happier and reproduce more than the other colony. Finally, avoid bigger crustaceans – such as long-arm shrimp, prawns, crayfish, and lobsters – because they are voracious creatures that will consume any source of protein they can find, including their smaller cousins.

Category 2: Small Algae Eaters

While most aquarium fish are not purely herbivorous, there are several species that like to graze on algae and aufwuchs (e.g., aquatic microflora growing on underwater surfaces). Otocinclus catfish are amazing algae eaters that are both peaceful and small in size. They are slow eaters, and will most likely not outcompete your shrimp. Stiphodon gebies are another kind of nano aufwuchs grimmer with a suction-cup-like mouth designed to remove biofilm and microorganisms from rocks. Consider dwarf plecos like the Panaqolus maccus clown pleco, which are well-known for their ability to eat algae and wood. While any of these fish may opportunistically snack on a baby shrimp, they generally leave the adult shrimp alone.

Otocinclus catfish

Category #3: Peaceful Nano Fish with Tiny Mouths

Not all nano fish are shrimp-safe, but some species are so docile and diminutive that they pose little threat to full-grown cherry shrimp. Small tetras – such as the ember tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) and green neon tetra (Paracheirodon simulans) – are known for their brilliant colors and would look splendid with a group of complementary-colored shrimp. The nano rasboras such as the chili rasbora, Boraras brigitae, and neon green-colored rasbora, Microdevario kubotai – are also stunning additions to a planted shrimp aquarium. As for bottom dwellers, dwarf cory catfish like pygmy catfish (Corydoras pygmaeus) are inclined to leave adult shrimp alone.

If you are looking to breed fish for profit and want to maximize your available space, we have successfully kept small livebearers (e.g., guppies and Endler’s livebearers) and cherry shrimp together with a giant mass of java moss in a 20-gallon tank. Any type of dense foliage, such as Pogostemon stellatus ‘octopus’ or water sprite, will do because they serve as hiding spots for the baby shrimp and fry so that the adult fish have a harder time catching them. If you build a good relationship with your local fish store, they may be willing to buy your plants as well, giving you an aquarium setup with three viable products.

Neon, guppies and nerite slugs live with red cherry shrimps.

Tank Mates to Avoid

Since there is no way for us to list every type of animal you can keep with cherry shrimp, let’s go over some general guidelines for fish to avoid. Of course, say no to medium to large-sized fish – like goldfish, cichlids, rainbowfish, and bigger plecos. Also, small fish that are mainly meat eaters like to go after shrimp, so be wary of adding betta fish, dwarf cichlids, dwarf gouramis, and pea puffers. Plus, you may want to steer clear of nano fish that have a reputation for being fast and hungry, such as zebra danios and silver tip tetras. They may not eat the adult shrimp outright, but they have the tendency to outcompete them for food and may cause stress by chasing them relentlessly.

The bright colors and ease in breeding cherry shrimp are well-loved. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do. You can find more information about how to care for cherry shrimp in our other articles.