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FAQs on Freshwater Shrimp Compatibility

Related Articles: Freshwater CrustaceansInvertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford

Related FAQs:  FW Shrimp 1, FW Shrimp 2, & FAQs on: FW Shrimp Identification, FW Shrimp Behavior, FW Shrimp Selection, FW Shrimp Systems, FW Shrimp Feeding, FW Shrimp Disease, FW Shrimp Reproduction, & Shrimp by Family, Genus, Species: Atyids: Genera Caridina & Neocaridina (Japanese Marsh, Yamato Numa Ebi, or Amano Shrimp, Bumble/Bee, Crystal), Genus Atyopsis (Bamboo, Wood Shrimps), Genera Attya, Atya, Atyoida (Mountain, Rock Shrimps), Freshwater/Brackish/Marine Palaemonidae Rafinesque, 1815 & FAQs on: Palaemonetes (Ghost/Grass/Glass Shrimp), Macrobrachium (Blue "Lobsters), & FW Crustaceans 1FW Crustaceans 2, FW Crustaceans 3, FW Crustaceans 4, & & FAQs on: FW Crustacean Identification, FW Crustacean Behavior, FW Crustacean Compatibility, FW Crustacean Selection, FW Crustacean Systems, FW Crustacean Feeding, FW Crustacean Disease, FW Crustacean Reproduction & Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Hermit ID, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health, & Crayfish FAQs, Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Disease, Crayfish Reproduction,

Comp. Crays, shrimps      5/14/16
Hello again,
<Big B>
Did a search on your site, did not find the answer for my latest problem.
I have three dwarf Cajun crayfish in my 55 gallon tank. They are doing awesome, co-existing nicely with 12 zebra danios, 8 guppies, 10 bleeding heart tetras and 4 sterbai Cory cats.
<Glad to hear/read that your Crayfish aren't going after your fishes>
I have algae due to lots of plants and probably over fertilizing. That said, I have three questions about adding cherry or similar shrimps:
1. Will the crays eat them?
<If they can get hold of them, yes>
2. Will they help eat and control the algae?
<Possibly; depends on what type/species of algae you have here. MANY kinds are unpalatable>
3. How many can I add?
<A dozen or two; hoping that they'll establish a breeding population>
Thanks as always for assistance and guidance.
<Have you read on WWM re algae control? There are a few approaches... other biological controls.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Comp. Crays, shrimps      5/14/16

I will read up on algae control thx. They are dwarf X-rays by the way, only about an inch long claws to tail.
<Neato! These may well not be able to catch such small shrimp in as large a
system as you have. BobF>
Re: Comp. Crays, shrimps      5/14/16

Meant to type dwarf crays, not x-rays. That would be neeto indeed. Dang auto correct. Thx again.
<Heee heee hee>

Help! Weather loach/shrimp comp.   10/13/11
My husband and I have a 135 gallon tank and your people helped us out on before when we cracked some glass, which I might say our advise worked wonderfully! Currently I bought a golden loach
<I take it this is a xanthic variety of Weather Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)...>
without researching it first. We have shrimp, kali loaches, Otto cats with rocks, driftwood, and lightly planted (we are planning on heavy planting).
We keep it between 76.5 and 80 degrees. My questions are: will the golden loach eat my shrimp? Will it befriend the Kali loaches, how big will it get in our tank, and probably most important of all....... How the hell do I get it out of the tank before my husband shoots me!
<Very hard to extract for sure... use two nets...>
Thank you Michelle
<In a system this size, with enough plant material, though this loach may consume some small shrimp (young)... Not all likely. Bob Fenner>

Quick cherry shrimp compatibility question, Chaetostoma   1/18/11
I have a 35 gallon tank with 6 black neon tetras and a rubberlip Pleco.
I bought 10 medium sized cherry shrimp the other day. I have observed them the last few days moving about the tank and seeming to be eating algae.
However, I have seen none today and, somewhat alarmed, have been watching my tank almost obsessively for several hours with no sighting. I did research before I bought, and the everyplace that mentioned black Neons and cherry shrimp said they were compatible. Have I bought my fish an expensive
snack? Is it possible the black Neons ate them?
<Not the Tetras, but the Loricariid. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quick cherry shrimp compatibility question   1/19/11

Thanks for your reply, and I apologize for the grammatical error. That it could have been the Pleco was a passing thought I, unfortunately, disregarded. Am I correct in assuming this would happen with any Loricariid? Hope you are enjoying your vacation!
<Mmm, I don't think I would trust any Loricariid with these small shrimps... There are other "algae eaters" of use... Bob Fenner>

Whisker shrimp  5/11/10
Reading about whisker shrimp it sounds a lot like they may go after my fish.
<What's a "whisker shrimp"? Do you mean a fan shrimp, Atyopsis, such as Atyopsis moluccensis?>
Do you think it would be safe to keep two of them in my planted tank with a female Betta and a small 2" Bristlenose Pleco or will they eventually attack the fish?
<Atyopsis species are completely safe and do not attack fish. They may eat a dead fish, but they won't be the cause of that fish's death. In this sense they are different to Macrobrachium spp. shrimps, the so-called
Long-arm Shrimps, which are indeed opportunistic carnivores and mostly not suitable for community tanks.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Whisker shrimp 5/11/10

Looks like I made the wrong choice because they are in the Macrobrachium family.
<A few Macrobrachium are fine in community tanks. If you haven't perused the excellent PetShrimp site, have a look there:
http://www.petshrimp.com/shrimpspecies.php >
<<Macrobrachium spp. will eat most any fish they can catch... RMF>>
It's not worth bringing them back for $4 so I think I will put them with Scuba the red eared slider and see how long they last. Scuba may get a gourmet meal.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Killer Ghost Shrimp? -- 01/13/2010
Hello Crew, I hope you are well today.
I recently acquired several Ghost, Cherry, and Rudolph (Caridina gracilirostris) shrimps which I placed in my quarantine tank. The next day, I found one of the large (4cm) Ghost shrimps munching on one of the Cherry shrimps. I assumed that the Cherry shrimp had died and the Ghost Shrimp was simply scavenging.
<Could easily be... and do remember that large carnivorous shrimp will cannibalise small shrimp just after the small shrimp have moulted.>
However, yesterday I looked into the tank and saw the remaining two Cherries busily working away at my pre-filter sponge, looking very healthy.
Not one hour later, I was dismayed to see the large Ghost Shrimp feasting on another of the Cherries. I have since separated the Ghosts from the others.
I was hoping you could tell from the attached photos whether this is the usual harmless Palaemonetes species sold (in North America) under the Ghost Shrimp name, or the more insidious Machrobrachium species.
<Very difficult to say. As you perhaps realise, Macrobrachium are characterised by having much longer arms than most other shrimps (Greek; Macro = big, Brachium = arm). Your photos don't seem to reveal particularly big arms, but the catch here is that female Macrobrachium have smaller arms than the males, and both can have unusually small arms if they've lost their arms in a fight. Until they moult a few arms, their "temporary" arms will be quite small. It's certainly possible for Macrobrachium species to turn up in aquarium shops, including some fairly small and comparatively peaceful species, such as the Red-Claw Macro, Macrobrachium cf. hendersoni. Males of Macrobrachium species typically have patches of colour on their pincers, so even if they have smaller arms they should be obvious. Females are less obvious. But I will observe that whereas Palaemonetes seem to have spindly arms that mostly point downwards, pecking away at the substrate, Macrobrachium seem to have arms they mostly hold out to their side ("elbows out", like rude children at the dinner table). Their arms also tend to be more strong looking. If you haven't already looked at the excellent Petshrimp.com site, it's a good place to compare photos of many of the traded freshwater shrimp species.>
If these do turn out to be Macrobrachium, rather than go into my peaceful Endler/Molly/Halfbeak/Shrimp tank, I'm afraid they will have to take their chances with my Cichlids!
<Oddly enough, even Macrobrachium can end up as dinner when kept with robust tankmates. They're quite difficult to house, and I haven't found them especially hardy animals in terms of water quality. So while fascinating, I would be cautious with what you keep them with.>
Thank you so much for your help to aquarists all over the world!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Killer Ghost Shrimp? -- 01/13/2010
Neale, thank you for your lighting-fast response.
<My pleasure.>
Your knowledge of aquatic creatures is amazing!
<Not sure about that!>
So amazing, in fact, that I thought I might ask you another question. . .
One of the three Caridina gracilirostris I have is full of eggs.
I have been unable to find detailed information regarding breeding this species, other than the fact the larvae require brackish and/or seawater for development.
<Apparently so. Actually, this is not uncommon with "freshwater" shrimp. By having a marine stage, the larvae can colonise rivers and islands by drifting along the coastline. Since adults can't swim well, this allows the species to cover a much wider area than otherwise.>
Although it's probably a long shot, I thought I might leave this female in my quarantine tank and have a go at raising the young.
<Has been done in labs; not easy, but do-able. See here:
The larvae need about half-strength seawater, SG 1.010, and don't adjust to freshwater conditions until 69 days post-hatching. Since these shrimps are tolerant of brackish water as adults, you might try acclimating them to brackish water first, SG 1.005, so that the eggs are then exposed to only a moderate change in salinity once you move them on.>
Do you have any tips, such as when to raise the salinity and by how much, and what to feed the larvae, etc.? Or if you know of a link or book that provides this information, that would be great as well.
<Ecologically, these shrimps are doing the same thing as many freshwater gobies, which also have marine larvae. "Brackish Water Fishes" goby chapter author Naomi Delventhal had a go at breeding such gobies, the details of which may be informative:
By the way, I spent the last hour or so perusing the Petshrimp.com site; very informative with excellent photographs.
<Yes, indeed, a gem of a site.>
I've been researching shrimp for the last little while, and oddly enough, never come upon that site.
Thanks again!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Killer Ghost Shrimp?   1/16/10
Neale, again, thank you so much for the information! I will update you if I have success with rearing any Caridina gracilirostris.
<Glad to have helped, and look forward to hearing more.>
As an aside, my "killer" ghost shrimps look very much like the shrimp on page 362-363 of your "Brackish Water Fishes" book.
<I'm pretty sure that's a small coldwater prawn; harmless, even with small fish.>
Great read, by the way! It's rare to find a book dedicated strictly to brackish creatures; most aquarium books have only a rudimentary chapter on brackish fish, but your book is very complete and detailed.
<Thank you for these kind words.>
Thanks again,
<Good luck with your shrimp breeding! Cheers, Neale.>

My question is concerning the compatibility of freshwater shrimp and goldfish 12/15/09
Hi WWM guys and gals,
<Hi Lourdes! Melinda here with you today.>
I have written to WWM before concerning a common goldfish with a lump in his tail. He still has it, but doesn't seem bothered in the least by it. I separated my fancy goldfish from the common goldfish and now have them in two separate planted tanks. They seem very happy.
<That's a good thing!>
My question is concerning the compatibility of freshwater shrimp and goldfish. I know that some (all?) shrimp are algae eaters. I was wondering if I could add some freshwater shrimp to my goldfish tanks safely, or if it is not a good idea at all.
<Well, I guess it depends on a couple of things. First, what temperature are your tanks at? Goldfish, as you probably know, would rather not have a heater in their tanks. However, most of the freshwater shrimp available (Ghost Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, Bamboo Shrimp, etc.) are really warm-water shrimp. Amano Shrimps can handle somewhat lower temperatures.
So, depending on what your temp is, the shrimp may or may not make it.
Keep in mind that without a heater, the tank temperature is going to fluctuate, which is something the goldfish can handle, but the shrimp, who are more delicate, may not be able to. Also, what size are these goldfish?
I worry that at some point, the shrimp may be seen as food. Sure, we don't think of goldfish as voracious predators, but if there's something that looks like food, and they're large enough to eat it, I worry they would either eat the shrimp or injure it, especially if they happened to catch the shrimp after a molt. If you were going to try this, I'd make sure there were plenty of places too small for goldfish to enter, but large enough for shrimp to hide>
If it is possible, I wonder which kind are best suited for a goldfish tank.
<I'm really not sure if I'd try this combination. Some shrimps do eat algae, but chances that they'd survive without supplemental feedings are pretty low. It would have to a pretty tough shrimp to fight off goldfish for his algae wafers or whatever is on the menu! So, there may be some issues there with feeding/nutrition. Have you thought of snails as another option? Overall, though, I have to say that my choice for algae removal here would be a good old Mag-Float. You don't have to worry about feeding them, and they don't poop! Also, it might be helpful to figure out why that algae's there in the first place... if you could pin it down, and fix what's causing it, there would be no need for algae removal.
Here are is a link that might be of use to you -- further reading on freshwater shrimps, and some on snails, as well...
And, at the heart of the matter, one on algae control in freshwater systems:
And an article to help you figure out what kind of algae this is, which will assist in figuring out what's causing it!

Shrimp and cardinal tetras   12/6/09
Dear aqua experts,
<Hello Janet,>
I have only found conflicting advice in trying to find the answer to my question, so I come to you to get my answer. I have 2 established freshwater tanks. The 10 gallon houses 14 red cherry and Amano shrimp as well as 10 zebra danios that are about 6 weeks old and growing.
<Very good.>
The 20 gallon houses 3 zebra danios and 6 cardinal tetras.
<I'd up the number of Cardinals if you could. I'd also make the observation that Danios prefer cooler water to the Cardinals, so one or other group of fish isn't going to be completely happy. 25-26 C would be about the best
compromise, but even then, not ideal.>
I would like to move the danio juveniles into the 20 gallon with their parents and have a danio-only tank.
<Very wise. Danios like things on the cool side, around 22-24 C.>
I would like to move the cardinals into the shrimp tank.
Both tanks are planted, the 10 gallon heavily. I'm sure (?) the shrimp are very happy in their current tank with only some baby danios to keep them company. Can I add the cardinals to the shrimp tank (after I move the baby
danios) without the shrimp becoming reclusive, boring, anxious and eaten?
<Yes; Cardinals pose minimal threat to the Shrimps, even Cherry Shrimps, and the two species will coexist nicely. Since Amano shrimps like things a little on the cool side, they're ideally kept with Danios rather than Cardinals.>
Thank you all knowing ones.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Cherry Shrimp, guppy comp.    9/27/08 I was just wondering, would my guppies eat red cherry shrimp? <No; have mixed Limia (closely related to Poecilia) with Cherry shrimps and ended up with lots of babies of both.> Are red cherry shrimp good cleaners? <Excellent; though as ever, it's YOUR job to keep the tank clean. Do this my minimising what goes in (i.e., don't overfeed) and maximising what comes out (i.e., via water changes). Both Guppies and Cherry shrimps are primarily algivores, so do provide them with a diet rich in greens.> Does their exoskeleton shed a lot and does it make a big mess? <Yes they shed their exoskeleton, but the shrimps eat them to recycle the calcium. So usually not a problem.> thanks! -Sarah <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Cherry Shrimp   9/28/08 Hello Crew, In addition to my other e-mail, I was wondering if the red cherry shrimp would eat my baby guppies. all of the babies are between 2-4 months old. _thanks _Sarah_ <Sarah, please do read my e-mails thoroughly: as stated, both baby guppies and baby shrimps will coexist with parents of either species. You might lose or two, but not enough to matter. Cheers, Neale.>

Cherry Shrimp Compatibility, w/ Corydoras   8/20/08 Hello, <Amanda> I hope whichever of the crewmembers that gets this is having a good day. <I hope we all are> I have a quick question. I am pretty sure I already know the answer, but I read over the facts (both shrimp and Corydoras) and just wanted some confirmation either way. I have the opportunity to purchase some cherry shrimp (they aren't very common here). I am very interested in getting some but only if I can house them safely. The only tank I have which is suitable to their needs at the moment is populated by 10 Corydoras (five C. aeneus and five C. sterbai). My gut feeling is that the Corydoras might try to eat the cherry shrimp (on the Corydoras section on WWM it is stated "Corydoras et al. are more carnivorous than omnivores... eating mainly insect larvae, worms, and crustaceans in the wild." If this is the case I will not get them, but if you feel housing them together will be safe I'll pick them up. Thank you Amanda <If this tank is large enough (let's say 29 or more gallons), and there is sufficient habitat (rocks, plants, wood...) these shrimp and Callichthyids should be fine together. Bob Fenner>

Platy fry and ghost shrimp fry    4/9/06 I really need help. My ghost shrimp had babies about a month ago and now my "Minnie" platy is going to. I need to know if i can put all the fry in the same breeder net. As of right now I can afford to get another tank. I also need to know if i really need to get another tank do to overcrowding. At this point I have 1 frog, 1 Betta, 2 kuhli loach, 3 Cory cats, 2 platies and 2 adult shrimp plus i don't know how many baby shrimp. I know I am pushing over crowding and really don't want that... Please tell me what to do. Can the fry go into one net and how long before I really have to get a bigger tank? Thank you Leeann <Mmm, the shrimp and platy fry can go and stay in the net as long as both are fed (small amounts a few times daily). The Betta and others will consume both if they are small enough to ingest... You will eventually need another tank if these animals keep reproducing. Bob Fenner>

Bettas and Ghost Shrimp comp., incomp.   4/1/06 Hi. <Hello> Do you know why my fighting fish ate my ghost shrimp? <Are you sure he did?> My fighting fish was a male <And still is, I'm thinking> and he ate 2 ghost shrimp. I bought 6 but he ate 2. I have 4 left. <Your math is correct. :)> E-mail me back when you get this. <We always do> Thank you very much! <First, Danielle, I don't have any way of knowing, one way or the other, if your Betta actually ate your Ghost Shrimp. I'm a bit skeptical about this for a few reasons. First, Ghost Shrimp are pretty fast when they need to be and Bettas aren't known for their speed (this makes them quite compatible together). Additionally, at warm temperatures such as your Betta requires, Ghost Shrimp are known to be far more active and aggressive than they would at cooler temperatures making it more likely that it would be they who would take a swipe at your Betta rather than the reverse. Finally, Ghost Shrimp regularly shed their outer shells (exoskeletons) and then hide until new exoskeletons form. This, all too frequently, leads folks to assume that their shrimp have fallen prey to a hungry tankmate when, in fact, no such thing has happened. I'd keep an eye on your tank and see if your "missing-in-action" shrimp don't magically reappear. Tom>

New bamboo shrimp  02-05-06 Hello, <Hi there> I just got a bamboo shrimp tonight and am super excited that there is a shrimp out there that can live with my goldfish and snails! <Can> I have been trying to read up on what I should feed this new guy and understand now that he or she will eat A LOT. I keep running across, "see on the net re: cannot live on pellets alone," but cannot seem to find it, so if these questions are redundant I truly apologize. <... try to use the Google search tool as described here: http://wetwebmedia.com/faqstips.htm Putting in the terms "Bamboo Shrimp Feeding": http://www.google.com/custom?q=Bamboo+Shrimp+Feeding&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Look at the cached versions...> I feed the snails sinking algae pellets that break down, and flakes to the goldfish. Does "cannot live on pellets alone" mean algae pellets, fish food pellets or something else entirely? Do I need to buy special food for this shrimp? By the way, he seems to be enjoying himself so far, running around the tank and checking out the intake tube. xxx Kuniko <Read. Bob Fenner>  

Betta Compatibility, Cherry Shrimp - 05/20/2006 Hey WWM crew, you guys have a pretty awesome FAQ going here. <Thanks for the kind words!> I went through the Betta compatibility FAQ and searched online but I did not really find an answer to my question so I was hoping you guys could help me out.  I currently have an eclipse 12 (12 gallon, 150 gph, bio-wheel) that has a relatively dense group of plastic plants around the back and sides with a cave and 2 ornamental decorations with some holes in it. The tank is cycled and currently houses 6 harlequin rasboras and a Betta. They get along fine and for the most part seem to ignore each other. The Betta seems to enjoy going around the tank and occupies all levels of the tank. My rasboras tend to stick to the middle to upper levels so I was thinking of getting something to occupy the bottom of the tank.   <Sounds great.> I know Cory cats tend to get along well with Bettas. However, I think a group of 3 Cory cats might be pushing my tank to the limits <Mm, you'd probably be okay with a few of one of the smaller species.> so I was thinking of maybe housing some cherry shrimp instead with the Betta and rasboras. <Cherry shrimp are great.> I know cherry shrimp live about 2 years long but I'm worried that my Betta might try to eat them for food. <It's possible.  I have a particularly aggressive female Betta that has killed shrimp much larger than cherries.  I think most Bettas would be fine with them, though.> However, they are about an inch long <Surprising.  They rarely get this large.  It might be a different species that you're looking at; maybe C./N. sp. "zeylanica", which can look similar but gets larger.> so I was hoping that the Betta would leave them alone after a while.   <You could try getting just one or two shrimp at first and see how the Betta responds.> What do you think, should I add a group of 3 Cory cats to the tank or add like 6 or 7 cherry shrimp to the tank?   <I, personally, would try the shrimp.  I think this would be better for the tank in terms of bioload, also the shrimp will eat algae, also shrimp are a lot of fun to watch.  Start with just a couple to see how the Betta reacts to them, and if there are no problems, get the rest.> Thanks for all your help.  -Xiaosong <Glad to be of service.  -Sabrina>

Re: Betta Compatibility, Cherry Shrimp - 05/21/2006 Hey Sabrina, <Hi, Xiaosong!  Incidentally, you have a beautiful name.> Thanks for your help! <And thank you for giving me the opportunity to help!> You were right about the size of the shrimp; they are more like 3/4th of an inch. So I had a quick follow up question. Once I get the shrimp, do you think it would be better to pull the Betta out of the tank for a day or two to let the shrimp get acclimated to the tank or should I just put the shrimp in with the Betta right away? <I'd get just a couple to start with, and go ahead and put them in.  That'll give you the best idea of how the Betta is going to respond to them, I think.> When I first introduced the Betta to the tank with the rasboras, I put the Betta in the tank in a breeding net on the side for a day but I didn't think it made a difference in the end with the rasboras. <Sounds like a plan, then!> Thanks! <Any time.> Xiaosong <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

FW catfishes and shrimp comp. help  6/25/06 - Hello, I am looking at buying some shrimp and was wondering if i would have to remove my 2 bumble bee cats (Microglanis sp) and my Synodontis cat so the poor little guys(3/4 of an inch.) wouldn't be eaten upon arrival. If I did would I be able to put them back. Thank you CJ <It is highly likely that these cats would ingest the shrimp at some point (likely during molts or just when hungry). This is an "either/or" situation. Choose. Bob Fenner>

Killer Ghost shrimp?!?!   03/09/07 Hi there! <<Hello!.>> I don't have a question, I just wanted to share what I thought was kind of surprising.  I turned the light on in my 10 gal tank this morning, just in time to watch my ghost shrimp "pounce" on a neon tetra.  Before I went to bed the neon looked perfectly healthy, and seemed to be pretty strong after the attack this morning...at least initially.  I would have intervened but I was far too shocked and amazed by what I was seeing.  The neon struggled to get away, "dragging" the shrimp with him, but the whole time the shrimp had a hold of him he shredded his tail and fins.  Eventually the neon stopped struggling and the shrimp was able to settle on a piece of driftwood and eat the neon at his leisure.  He held the fish tightly and moved it up and down his legs ripping and tearing with tiny little pincher claws that I never noticed before.  I just could not believe what I was seeing!  I have two particularly large crayfish in my 30 gal, and I have neons there, as well as some glowlight tetras, and in the past 6 months have not lost a single fish to the crayfish.  I have had the shrimp since January, and he has already caused a loss... NOT what I expected! <<Thank You for sharing.  I have not experienced this, but I have heard similar cases.>> Many Thanks for all the time and money this site has saved me with free education.  My tank losses have never been lower since I started my research here 2 years ago! <<Happy to hear it!  Keep up the good work.  Glad to help. Lisa.>> Doug

Apistos and Shrimp    5/21/07 Hello,  I was wondering if it would be ok to keep Apistogramma and Caridina serrata together. I have plenty of room for them and they would be going into a planted aquarium. I'm just worried that the apistos would eat the shrimp. Thank you, CJ < Apistogramma cacatuoides have a pretty good sized mouth. If the shrimp will not fit in their mouths then they will probably leave them alone until the shrimp moult. When the shrimp moult their skin is very soft and leaves them vulnerable to be eaten by fish. If there are plenty of places for them to hide they will be fine.-Chuck>

Crawfish and Shrimp 06/14/07 Howdy. < Ave.> > I have 2 10 gallon tanks. One of them holds my 4"inch crawfish, Bojan and four (used to be 5) guppy "friends". He is happy and healthy and hilarious. < So, you have discovered that crayfish can and do eat small fish, given the chance.> > The other tank holds 3 Cory catfish, a couple of guppies and three TINY crawfish (one temporarily named "grain of rice") which I know will get bigger and will need to be either moved to separate tanks, or returned to the creek from whence they came. < Returning animals "to the wild" is at least the wrong thing to do, and at worst illegal. If in doubt, <<My value systems switch these. RMF>> consult with your local Fish & Wildlife Bureau. The problem is that those crayfish have no been exposed to pathogens and bacteria than native crayfish (and other aquatic organisms) may have no resistance to. American crayfish got loose in the UK, likely from farms, and carried a fungal disease that has basically wiped out our native crayfish. The American crayfish is somewhat resistant, and so takes over vacated territory. See here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/fish/freshwater/crayfish.htm . Moral of the story: never, ever release captive animals back into the wild.> > Here is my question. My friend has the cutest little ghost shrimp. I was thinking of getting some to put in with the Corys and baby crawfish. I am guessing that ghost shrimp and crawfish are not compatible, but thought I would ask you guys and gals to see what you thought. If these two are not compatible, are there any shrimp that would be compatible with baby crawfish or would I need to choose between having crawfish or having shrimp? (What a delicious question!) > Thanks! < Crayfish and small shrimp are indeed incompatible. Crayfish are omnivores, feeding primarily on plant material and detritus, but small animals are also on the menu. In the confines of an aquarium their clumsiness isn't a problem, and eventually they corner smaller tankmates, usually at night. Obviously baby crayfish smaller than the shrimps won't be much of a problem, but as the crayfish grow, expect them to become more predatory *and* more territorial towards one another. The only shrimps I would keep with crayfish would be large Macrobrachium spp, (Freshwater Tiger Prawns) because they are pretty nasty animals themselves. Given crayfish don't move about much, I personally think they look best kept in their own small aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>

Just a quick question, missing livebearers post holiday  7/14/07 Hi, I currently own a ten gallon tank with a few platies and a guppy inside it, along with a few platies that are small. I went on vacation and notice that a few are missing. <Sorry to hear that. Be sure and figure out *why* before adding anything new. Check water chemistry and quality, for example, and double check you're using the right food, i.e., something vegetable/algae based rather than generic flake food.> I think they might be dead, and I just want to know your suggestions on what might have happened... <No idea without more details. Water chemistry, water quality, number of each species, how long you were gone, what foods used, etc....> ...and what kind of crabs and shrimps are compatible with them. <None. Crabs are [a] amphibious so need somewhere to walk on land and [b] predatory. Shrimps can work with small fish but they are generally delicate and if you can't keep guppies alive then you're probably not at the stage in your hobby where buying shrimps would be worthwhile. That is, unless you don't mind the shrimps being dead in 4 weeks. Seriously, they need excellent water quality, the correct diet, and safe places for moulting where they can't be molested.> I usually leave fry in the tank instead of separating them and I want a few to live, are these good to add to the tank? <Don't understand this. Do you mean the crabs and shrimps are good to add to the tank? If so, no.> Or are they bad like Albino Aquatic Frogs? (I had bad experiences with them) <Not "bad" but just wrong for you and your aquarium. Crabs need their own vivarium a bit like something used for newts or frogs, with some water for bathing but also some dry land for social behaviour and feeding. Shrimps are really something for the semi-advanced hobbyist. Most of the ones sold end up dying within a few weeks when thrown into generic community tanks. Cheers, Neale>  

What can I add? Betta...    8/30/07Hello, I recently bought a 1.5 Gallon tank for my betta fish. I have not yet placed my fish in this tank because i read on a website that you should put in the less aggressive fish first. What I was wondering was what type(s) of fish would be suitable for this environment? Some of the fish that I would be interested in putting in the tank are: Cherry Shrimp <Maybe> Mollies <Nah> African Dwarf Frog <Maybe> Flying Fox Tetras <Nah and nah> Julii Cory catfish <Need more room, stable env.> Will any of these fish work out with my betta? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm the linked files above, and re the Compatibility, Systems of the life you list, are considering... on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Re: What can I add? Betta comp.  08/31/07 thank you so much for your help i really am thankful! I think i might go with the cherry shrimp but i haven't decided yet! But thanks again <Welcome! BobF>

Re: What can I add? Shrimp w/ Betta 9/6/07 Hi again! I was wondering if any other kinds of shrimp can be put with my Betta fish such as: Amano Algae Eating Shrimp Tiger Algae Eating Shrimp Rudolph Red-Nosed Shrimp Bumble Bee Shrimp White Spotted Pearl Shrimp Blue Buddha Shrimp I don't know I might just stick with my first idea, the cherry shrimp, but I haven't decided yet <Mmm, do wish I knew more right off-hand and had my in-print references with me... am on the road... I would look for info. on the net re which of these species stays smaller, likes warm, semi-acidic water (like Bettas)... and eats readily the sorts of foods Siamese Fighters do. Bob Fenner>

Re: What can I add? With a Betta   9/7/07 thanks anyway I think ill just stick with the cherry shrimp <A good choice> I don't think my fish is aggressive because i put a picture of the cherry shrimp up to the tank and he flared up for like one sec then was perfectly fine with the picture. What do u think? <Interesting> Is that a good test to see if he is aggressive? <I do think you have something here. BobF>

Neocaridina heteropoda compatibility  11/28/2007 Hello, I would like to keep some cherry fire shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) in my 55 gallon planted tank and was wondering if they would be ok with my blue rams. I have also heard of people keeping a dwarf puffer (Tetraodon travancorius) with red cherry shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis) successfully and was wondering if this was possible, and if so would they be safe with the cherry fire shrimp. thanks CJ <Greetings. The short answer is no and maybe. Rams require very soft, very acidic, and very warm water. Neocaridina heteropoda is a subtropical species that needs around neutral to slightly alkaline, moderately hard water to do well. In very acidic water these shrimps have problems developing their exoskeletons. So basically there's no overlap between what Mikrogeophagus ramirezi wants to survive any length of time (28-30 degrees C, below 5 degrees general hardness, pH 5.5-6.0) and what the shrimps need (18-20 C, ~10 degrees dH, pH 6-8). As for mixing shrimps with Dwarf Puffers. Some have managed it. Some have seen their shrimps turn into sushi. It's not like Puffers don't eat little red shrimps, and certainly any baby shrimps will be dinner. But if you want to give it a go, that's a gamble only you can decide on. I personally wouldn't. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: compatibility, FW shrimp  11/28/07 thank you, I don't plan on keeping puffers and shrimp anytime soon so no worries there. But are there any shrimp you would suggest to keep with tetras and rams for algae control (no ghost shrimp please, bad experience with them eating all of my fish). <Greetings. If Ghost Shrimp were eating fish then either [a] they weren't Ghost Shrimp; or [b] the fish were dead anyway. Ghost Shrimp -- if we're talking Palaeomonetes spp. -- are opportunists. Mixed with tetras, Corydoras, and the like they are utterly harmless. But it is entirely possible you were sold Macrobrachium sp. instead. Juvenile Macrobrachium can be easily mistaken for other, more harmless shrimp species. While Macrobrachium are essentially scavengers that feed on carrion, algae, and organic detritus some species can and will eat small fish given the chance. This underlines a common problem in the hobby: retailers using common names instead of Latin names, and hobbyists not pressuring them do to otherwise. In any event, there really aren't any shrimps that will do well in the hot, soft, acidic water Mikrogeophagus ramirezi wants. If you visit a blackwater river or swamp you will immediately notice the lack of molluscs and crustaceans. Neither group do well in such environments because of the absence of calcium salts in the water that they need for skeleton construction. Instead you find insects and other animals less dependent on calcium for their growth. You could of course increase the pH to around 7 and maintain a moderate level of hardness and a middling temperature, but your Mikrogeophagus ramirezi probably won't do well, and will likely die from something like Hole-in-the-Head before too long. I'd strongly recommend you just enjoy them for what they are. If you *must* try a shrimp, then go with either the Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) or the Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis), both of which seem to be more adaptable than anything else on the market. I've kept Neocaridina denticulata sinensis in neutral, moderately soft water with Cardinal tetras and they've done quite well, breeding happily and growing quickly. But I doubt they would do well in strongly acidic water, and all shrimps do best in moderately hard, neutral to slightly basic conditions at temperatures similar to those experienced by that species in the wild. Cheers, Neale.>

Siamese Algae Eaters killing Shrimp? 10/14/07 Hi, Great Site! I recently purchased 2 Siamese Algae Eaters (as far as I can see the are the real ones, not just flying foxes etc) to add to my 70L tank. The tank had one overly curious Zebra Loach, some Neon Tetras and two large-ish Amano Shrimps. Before buying the SEA's I checked whether they would cause any problems with anything I had in there, just in case, and nothing came up. They're only small at the moment, about 2.5 cm. So I bought some. The next morning after putting them in the tank I noticed one of my Amano Shrimps laying dead in the entrance to a pipe that I've laid under the gravel for the loach to hide in, his lair if you will. And the other shrimp was hiding on the ground and struggling to move (later that evening I found him half eaten at the front of the tank). Is it possible that these two SAEs killed both my shrimp that were if anything a cm bigger than them? Failing that how about my Zebra Loach? He was always chasing after them, but mainly around feeding times when they were partial to nicking his pellets. But they had been fine for the year or so that I had them together for. Thanks in advance for your help in solving my mystery! Andy <Andy, SAEs, and indeed most small Crossocheilus/Epalzeorhynchus-type fish are relatively harmless towards shrimp. Many "Amano" style aquaria mix the two animals together. On the other hand, Loaches are dedicated invertebrate feeders, and many species are equipped with strong jaws expressly modified to crush shells. Shrimps are especially vulnerable at moulting times, and it may well be that your Loach had ignored them until one particular moulting event where "he had a bit of a nibble" and found the results were tasty! Cheers, Neale.>

Shrimp.  It's What's For Dinner. - 07/13/2004 Hi, <Hi, Tim, Sabrina here, this evening'!> I have bought a number of freshwater shrimp (japonica) to help control hair algae.  However, they apparently are being consumed by someone in the tank.   <What leads you to believe this?  Are you missing shrimp, or have you found shells and/or dead shrimp?> I have a long-standing 30-gallon tank with 10 golden white clouds, 5 green neon tetras, 3 marble hatchets, 3 Kuhli (sp?) loaches, 1 spotted Cory cat and 1 stick catfish.   <By stick catfish, do you mean a Farlowella/Sturisoma cat, or something else?  I don't see anything in this list that looks like a shrimp eater, provided that cat is in fact a Farlowella or Sturisoma....> Any idea who the shrimp eating culprits might be? <No clue whatsoever.  None of the above animals seem like something I'd think twice about....  I have a large Sturisoma aureum in with my japonicas, and haven't seen any problems....  Also, how big are your shrimp?  And are you *positive* they're being eaten?> Thanks,  Tim <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Shrimp.  It's What's For Dinner. - II - 07/14/2004 Hi, Sabrina, <Hi, Tim!  Glad to hear back from you.> I've bought maybe 18 shrimp over the last six months - four in the last couple of weeks. I saw 2 yesterday (none now but they could be hiding in the plants - Amazon Swords).   <They are a good critter at hiding.> Their size is maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inch.   <Pretty small, but even still, I don't see how any of those tankmates could be at fault.> Yes, I've seen some shells, which I expect are molting, and occasionally I see what appears to be the meaty portion of a shrimp body on the floor of the tank. <Some things to consider, here.  Do you dose the tank with iodine?  And have you ever, in the life of the tank/substrate/decor, used ANY medication containing copper?  AquariSol, Cupramine, and CopperSafe are just a few.> My "stick catfish" is a Farlowella (according to the pictures).   <A very cool fish.  I would not expect this animal to go after shrimp, at all.> Still stumped, but thanks for your thoughts.  Tim <My best guess is that the shrimp are dying for reasons other than predation - first and foremost, I'm thinking a lack of iodine.  I used to lose a few ghost shrimp a month before I began using iodine in my shrimp tanks; now, not only am I not losing any, but everyone's breeding.  I use Kent Marine Concentrated Iodine, marketed for reef tanks, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week - NOT the marine dose!  The other idea I can come up with for your losses is toxicity of the water; copper naturally comes to mind, possibly ammonia or nitrite....  Do be testing.  I hope we can get to the bottom of this!  Wishing you and your inverts well,  -Sabrina

Algae Eater With Guppies - 10/17/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I have a 36 gal tank with guppies and live plants. I have had some algae growth on my plants and hoped you might suggest a good fish to add to my tank that will eat algae on the plants but is safe to keep with guppies and their fry. One of the people at the LFS I use a lot suggested Otocinclus. <A very effective, but very sensitive fish.> I've also read about using Plecos, but that they can damage plants if they are large. <Ancistrus "bushynose" Plecs are a good choice, and stay under 5" roughly.> The algae on the plants appears to be mostly green hair algae. There is some on the glass and a little on the substrate that appears to be more of a green slime. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. <You might consider shrimp of genus Caridina or Neocaridina.... the "algae-eating" shrimp, Caridina japonica, and the "cherry" shrimp, Neocaridina denticulata sinensis v. red, are both readily available in the hobby now and excellent consumers of algae. Not to mention cute!> Thanks, -Rob <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Oh Golly Mollies, Salt, pH, etc. - 10/21/2005 Hello I am new to salty systems. I've always had freshwater aquariums which I still run two. But I saw some Dalmatian Mollies and had to get some. I have one male and three females. I do plan on adding maybe two or three more mollies and an algae eater and that's all this tank will have in it. I don't want to overcrowd them. I talked to three different fish stores to set up my system to get it ready. (I wish I had found this site first.) So I set up a 29 gallon tank with one teaspoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. Should more salt be added? <Nah. Especially not if you plan on an animal for consuming algae. With salt in the water, I would recommend using Caridina japonica, the "algae-eating" shrimp, as these fare well in slightly salty conditions.> I have an Aqua Tech 20-40 power filter at a flow rate of 160 Gph with bio fiber. Is this ok or would a bio wheel be better? <Mm, whatever you prefer. If you've already got the Aqua Tech, I see no reason to buy something different.> All the stores said a pH of 7.2 was right; mine's between 7.4 and 7.8. <This is fine - BUT - please don't let it be *fluctuating* between these.... far too much fluctuation between 7.4 and 7.8 to be safe. A steady pH is pretty important.> The temp is at 80 degrees. I see on you're site you recommend a high pH so should I get some crushed coral sand to raise it, or is it okay at the level I have? <Constant, steady pH is better than precise pH. You'll be fine with what you've got, I think.> Also I do test the water with strips but this just shows a range of where it should be. So should I get a better testing kit if so what do you recommend? <I would. Look for a quality liquid-reagent test kit.... Kordon makes 'em, so does Aquarium Pharmaceuticals.... You'll need pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate most essentially.> Thank you for your time. -David <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Discus Tankmates  11/28/05 Hello. I was wondering if the blue tetra (Boehlkea fredcochui), the glass blood fin tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi), and some shrimp (Palaemon pantanal) would be able to be housed with 3 discus and not be eaten. If so would these be able to coexist with each other in a 55 gallon tank. CJ <All should get along fine. The tetras are too fast for the discus to eat even if they wanted too. When the shrimp shed their exoskeleton they will be soft and very vulnerable for awhile so they will need a place to hide until their new outer skin hardens.-Chuck> 

Shrimp Tonight ... adding to FW  1/22/06 I am going to setup a 29 gallon freshwater aquarium. I was thinking about putting in 7 Zebra Danios, 9 Harlequin Rasboras, 4 Dwarf Gouramis, and about 10 Ghost Shrimp. I have a 50 gallon AquaClear Power filter and a 30 gallon undergravel that I will be using with air to circulate the undergravel.  Would the Ghost Shrimp be ok with these other species? Would I be able to put in more fish or is this the max I should go? Any suggestions on other fish if possible? < The problem with adding shrimp is the fact that every once in awhile they need to shed their exoskeleton as they grow. When they do this their skin is soft and they have no protection and become mobile banquet blocks. Go with this set up at first and see how it goes for awhile. Meanwhile check out some other fish and check the nitrates periodically. If you can continue to keep the nitrates under 25 ppm between water changes then i think you can add a few more fish depending on the species. If the nitrates exceed 25 ppm then you need to increase the frequency of the water changes or increase the amount of water changed.-Chuck>

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