Will Guppies Eat Shrimp? {Do You Need To Separate Them}

Cherry Shrimp and Guppies are two of the most popular species of aquarium fish, especially for beginner tank owners.

They are peaceful species that don’t require too much special attention, making them perfect for most tank setups. But can I keep cherry shrimp with guppies?

Will Guppies Eat Shrimp?

Yes, a guppy will eat shrimp as long as the shrimp is small enough to fit inside their mouth.  Typically they will not hunt out a shrimp but will try to eat one if it crosses their path.

Guppies will also try to eat shrimp if they are hungry or not because this treat is to good to give up in their eyes.

If you do plan to keep guppies with shrimp you should separate the shrimp until they have grown large enough for the guppies to not see them as food.

Typically shrimp will grow large enough to live with guppies after about 4 weeks.

Can You Keep Cherry Shrimp and Guppies Together?

Yes cherry shrimp and guppies can live together, but it will take a specific tank set up and some maintenance on your behalf. In this article, we have looked into the tendencies of each species and some measures you can take to ensure harmony in the tank.

So is it possible to keep these two peaceful species together, or will there be complications? Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward as a yes or a no. In theory, yes, they can be kept together, but it must be within the right conditions and circumstances.

Even though Guppies are peaceful creatures, they still find themselves higher on the food chain than Cherry Shrimp. As mentioned earlier, the Chery Shrimp are extremely defenseless and are prone to attack from most fish species.

Can I keep cherry shrimp with guppies?

Guppies will seize this opportunity when presented and have been known to attack Cherry Shrimp. While this won’t happen immediately, over a long period, you may notice your Cherry Shrimp population dwindle.

The picture above shows just how small Cherry Shrimp fry can be. As you can see, they would be an easy target for a Guppy.

YouTube video

Steps To Take To Increase Chances Of A Peaceful Tank

Even though Guppies may attack Cherry Shrimp, it is still possible to have these two species living together in harmony. Let’s take a look at some precautions we can take to increase the chances of a peaceful tank.

Introduce More Plants

One of the best things you can do for your Shrimp is to make sure they have enough cover and can hide properly from predators. Not only will the be more protected, but they will be much less stressed for not being out in the open all the time.

Watch The Ratio

Keep an eye on the ratio of Guppies to Cherry Shrimp. If the number of Guppies is too high compared to the Shrimp, then you will be increasing the chances of an attack. If you do plan keeping them together, later try and keep a higher number of Shrimp over Guppies.

Introduce The Shrimp First

It can help to introduce the Cherry Shrimp first so that they can become established in the tank. That way, they can become comfortable and understand where the best hiding spots are, then they have a much higher chance of survival.

Use Proper Shrimp Food

Guppies can be a ravenous species. If you use one type of food for all fish and expect the Shrimp to be able to clean up from the bottom, then they may become malnourished. This can lead them to leave their sheltered area and become vulnerable to attacks.

Will Guppies Eat Baby Shrimp?

Yes, Guppies and even guppy fry will eat baby shrimp.  In fact is it probably their favourite thing to eat.  Baby shrimp are also the perfect size for guppies to eat.

It is recommended to keep baby shrimp (shrimplets) in a seperate tank if you wish for them to survive.

If you can not put them in a seperate tank make sure there are lots of hiding places in the tank so they can hide from your guppies.

Cherry Shrimp FAQ

Similar to Guppies, Cherry Shrimp is also a wildly popular species of aquarium fish. They are particularly popular for beginner aquarists as they don’t require a lot of special care, and they are a relatively hardy species.

Cherry Shrimp are very peaceful too and won’t cause many problems for most other aquarium fish. They also provide several benefits to a tanks ecosystem, but the main one being their algae diet.

They will eat away at a lot of the algae in the tank and keep it a lot cleaner, making the aquarium owner’s life a lot easier.

The problem with Cherry Shrimp is how small and fragile they are. They are a relatively small species, growing up to 1.5 inches in length and are mostly defenseless to attackers.

If you have any bigger, more aggressive species of fish, then the chances are that the Cherry Shrimp will become food for them in pretty short order. In the wild, they mitigate this defenseless with a high breeding rate, similar to Guppies.

Recommended Shrimp Tank Mates

Listed below are the best tank mates for shrimp.

  • Cory Catfish
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Plecos (Small Ones)
  • Teras
  • Snails, Including, Mystery, Nerite, Malaysian, Ivory
  • Dwarf Gouramis

For a list of Plecos that stay small take a look at this article I wrote on them.

The best fish that can live with cherry shrimp include, Cory Catfish, Otocinclus Catfish, Plecos (Small Ones), Teras, Dwarf Gouramis.

How Big Do Shrimp Get?

An adult cherry shrimp will grow to around 4 cms if they are kept in ideal water conditions.

The ideal water conditions are

  • Temperature : Between 57–84 °F, Recommended 70 °F
  • pH Level : Between 6.5 – 8.0
  • Water Condition : Water must be very clean

How Long Do Shrimp Live For?

On average a shrimp will live for 1 – 2 years if they are kept in good conditions.  It is important to keep cherry shrimp in very clean water.

Bottom Line

So there you have it. Cherry Shrimp and Guppies can live in the same tank in harmony, but it will take some work and maintenance to achieve it. Even after all of your efforts, you may still find that your Guppies are eating the Shrimp.

The Cherry Shrimp are incredibly vulnerable and often find themselves to prey to any species that is bigger than themselves. If you do plan to keep them together, then keep in mind our tips for increasing the chance of a peaceful tank with both of them in.

Thanks for reading!


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind HelpUsFish.com. I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.