Fish For Your Shrimp Aquarium

Probably the second most asked question by new shrimp keepers are what type of fish can they keep safely with their shrimp. The short answer is none. There are unfortunately no completely shrimp safe fish. There are however fish that are safer to keep with shrimp than other. Here are some that we at Garnale Garden have kept in shrimp tanks and aquascapes in the past. These were kept in highly planted tanks to give the shrimp and babies an higher chance at survival.

Types of Fish

With the sheer magnitude of available types of freshwater fish, it can be quite difficult to know which ones are suitable for keeping with shrimp. It’s very important that you get the right types of freshwater fish for your shrimp tank, getting the wrong ones will decimate your shrimp. Sadly there are to many stories of people releasing their new shrimp into their aquarium, only to see them instantly be eaten by predatory fish.

The problem with shrimp are the natural food for many types of freshwater fish. Many types of tropical fish see shrimp as delicious snacks, or even a part of their staple diet, and so if you go putting predatory fish into your shrimp tank, or vice versa, then you are almost certainly going to see a shrimp “on the menu”.


In nature, shrimp spend most of their lives hiding out from types of freshwater fish. Indeed, some have . Most wild type shrimp have very natural colour tones and are considered bland that helps them to mimic their surroundings and help them to evade predators . We as shrimp breeders have completely removed this line of defense for your shrimp, with selective breeding to make them look more beautiful. Many shrimp have colors that are rarely, if ever, seen in the wild – as an example; solid reds, whites, blues etc. are normally never seen. Therefore, your brightly colored shrimp often attract the attention of predatory types of freshwater fish.

The point of all this is not to sway you from keeping fish with your shrimp, but rather, we just want to enlighten you so that you don’t make any mistakes as some shrimp can be very expensive and if they get eaten, you will not be very happy about it.

You should remember the golden rule: “If a shrimp looks like it can fit in a fish’s mouth, then the fish will probably eat it or try to eat it”


Otocinclus is the only fish in a community tank that is absolutely safe to keep with shrimp. They do not have any interest in eating shrimp, they will never attack or harass even baby shrimp. The only problem is that they will compete with shrimp for algae thus it can affect the survival rate of baby shrimp. So, if you are planning to seriously breed shrimp, you cannot allow any fish in the tank! Even if it is an amazing Otocinclus. In addition, if there are not enough algae in the tank, it can be difficult to keep Otocinclus and Amano shrimp. As an algae eating-team, they are absolutely awesome but Amano shrimp are voracious algae eaters and in the long run, can starve Otocinclus out.

Neon Tetras

These little fish are actually some of the best types of freshwater fish for keeping in large communities, as they don’t seem to harm anything. On top of that, the spectacle of these little guys swimming around together in a school of 10 or more can be an awesome sight. Peaceful and small fish, they are highly unlikely to bother your shrimp, and they are very adaptable as well, being able to live in a pH range from 5.0 to 7.0 quite comfortably. These types of fish are a beautiful addition to any shrimp tank and come well recommended.

Harelequin Rasboras

These small, intensely colorful fish are great types of tropical fish for your shrimp tank. They can be kept alone, or in shoals, or even with groups of other peaceful fish. Harlequin Rasboras generally prefer water that is slightly acidic and soft, but they can be kept in neutral or ever so slightly alkaline water without too many health problems. Note that they do like to eat live food, as well as flakes, and so if you are trying to breed shrimp then keeping them together is not such a good idea when the babies start popping out.

White Clouds

Extremely beautiful types of freshwater fish, don’t go making the mistake of assuming it looks like the white clouds that you see up in the shy. They take their name not from the clouds in the sky, but rather the mountain in China in which they were first discovered – the White Cloud Mountain. They used to be known as a “poor man’s tetra” due to the coppery stripe that runs lengthwise along its body and the fact they have a similar body shape. These types of fish are not actually tropical fish, although they are often labeled as such, due to the way they do so well in tropical aquariums. These types of freshwater fish are ideal for keeping with shrimp – they are peaceful, happy enough to eat flake food and leave most of your shrimp well alone.

Pygmy Cory

Although Pygmy Cories are not hunters, they are still omnivores. Therefore, if baby shrimp are tiny and fit in the mouth of pygmies, there is always a chance that they will try to snack on them. Does it happen very often? No, it is not. First of all, Pygmy Cories put their heads deep into the sand and stumble along with half-blind eyes closed. Second, shrimplets that are 1 – 2 weeks old will be too big for them to eat. Make sure if you feed that there is enough bottom pellets so they do not interfere with your shrimp.

Chili Rasbora

Chili rasboras do well with other small, peaceful fish and shrimp. Anything that’s not going to eat it, enjoys softer, acidic water, and doesn’t like a ton of water movement is a good match. This makes them perfect companions for your shrimp tank. You can add a school of between 6 and 8.

Now if you got this far: Comment on the Facebook Page where you found this the fish you have kept successfully with your shrimp and then we will add it to this list. We will do a random draw on the comments and the winner will receive a prize from us. Post should be in the following format : Add Celestial Pearl Danio . Garnale Garden your one stop shrimp shop ! We only supply the highest quality shrimp, fish and aquarium products from our online shop in South Africa.

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