Can Cherry Shrimp Live With Guppies: All You Need to Know!


A quick guide for finding out if you can keep Cherry Shrimp with Guppies. 

Whenever you plan to keep any specific guppy fish or other species in a tank, it becomes necessary to understand whether one can coexist with another. For instance, if you plan to keep a cherry shrimp with guppies, you need to know some things. This article will help you understand those things in detail! 

To start by answering your question, cherry shrimp can live and coexist with guppies. However, it would be best to be cautious as guppies consider cherry shrimp as their food when they are small. Before you put them together, there are specific instructions and precautions you need to follow. 

Read on to know everything about cherry shrimp and guppies. 

Is It Possible to Keep Cherry Shrimp With Guppies in the Same Tank?

You can keep cherry shrimp with guppies. Guppies are peaceful fish and won’t attack adult shrimp, but they will eat shrimp fry when given a chance. 

If you love to see your freshwater tank full of beautiful community fish and other water creatures, then you might have thought about putting cherry shrimp with guppies in the same tank. 

As guppies are on the upper level of the food chain and cherry shrimp on the lower level, there is a possibility that a guppy might feed on cherry shrimp. But they will usually leave adult shrimp alone.

Cherry shrimp are pretty peaceful creatures with almost no defense mechanism. It could leave them vulnerable to the attacks of guppies as well as other more aggressive fish.

If you wish to avoid this from happening, there are certain precautions that you can take to so that your cherry shrimp and guppies can thrive in harmony. 

I’ll be discussing these steps in the coming sections! 

Is It Possible to Keep Baby Cherry Shrimp With Guppies? 

You might think that if we can keep cherry shrimp with guppies, is it possible to keep baby cherry shrimp in the same tank too? 

Unfortunately, guppies will eat shrimp fry. Baby cherry shrimp are tiny in size, making them seem more like prey. The chances of your guppy fish eating the baby cherry shrimp can get extremely high unless you provide the shrimp with lots of places to hide! 

If you make sure you have lots of plants and moss in your aquarium, enough of your shrimp fry will survive to have your shrimp colony grow.

If you want maximum growth of your shrimp colony, it is always a good idea to keep the shrimp fry in a separate tank or only with guppy fry. This helps make sure that your baby cherry shrimp grow up without a guppy eating it!

When Can You Keep Cherry Shrimp With Guppies? 

So, now when can you keep red cherry shrimp with some guppies in the same tank? 

As mentioned above, baby cherry shrimp is small in size and hence, vulnerable to the attacks of guppies. Therefore, if you plan to keep cherry shrimp with guppies, they need to be more significant. 

Usually, cherry shrimp attain a good-enough size once they are four weeks old. During this time, you can consider putting them in the same water tank as guppies. 

Essential Steps You Need to Follow to Keep Cherry Shrimp and Guppies Together 

If you plan to keep cherry shrimp and guppies in the same aquarium tank, you must follow the below-mentioned steps to maintain harmony and peace. 

Step 1: Start By Putting the Cherry Shrimp First 

When your aquarium or water tank is cycled, you first need to introduce cherry shrimp to the aquarium. 

The reason is simple. By introducing cherry shrimp first, you’re allowing them to establish and form a proper colony. Moreover, it also gives time for the cherry shrimp fry to grow to coexist with the guppies. 

Step 2: Provide Proper Amount of Cover 

Keep in mind that your cherry shrimp might have to hide from guppies in the form of defense. So it becomes essential you provide the proper amount of coverage to them. 

To do this, you can use various plants and mosses that can help your cherry shrimp hide from the guppies. 

aquarium plants for shrimp

Driftwood and rocks will also help your shrimp find a hiding spot when needed.

Several plants and mosses can be used for this purpose. For instance, you can go for water wisteria, guppy grass, Java fern or moss, or even dwarf lily. These can look good in the aquarium tank and can also do the job of protecting your cherry shrimp. 

home made PVC tube shrimp hiding spots

So, consider getting some excellent aquarium plant cover for your cherry shrimp! 

Step 3: Feeding Cherry Shrimp Correctly 

Whenever you put the fish food in the tank, all of it is taken by the guppies. The only thing left for cherry shrimp is the leftovers of the dead/decaying matter. 

Don’t worry; cherry shrimp can survive on leftovers. Cherry shrimp can easily feed on what they scavenge in your aquaria, like algae and biofilm. You can also supplement their diet with shrimp food. 

When the shrimp gets the proper amount of food, they can become healthier. This can make the shrimp’s movements swifter and so allow them to hide behind the covers rapidly. 

Step 4: Consider the Shrimp to Guppies Ratio 

It would be best if you always had fewer guppies in comparison to cherry shrimp. If there are more guppies in the tank, they can have their scavenger hunt for the cherry shrimp fry and hunt them all down. Make sure that there aren’t too many guppies compared to cherry shrimp. 

You can also try keeping more cherry shrimp than guppies to balance out everything and keep the shrimp safe, but don’t make too big of a deal about it; balancing shrimp and guppy numbers can be challenging; they are both prolific breeders. 

Step 5: Breed Shrimp in Separate Tank 

You need to do it in a separate tank if you are planning to breed shrimp. 

As mentioned above, baby shrimp are highly susceptible to being eaten away by guppies. 

If you want to minimize shrimp fry deaths, the solution is simple! You can keep the dwarf shrimp in another tank for breeding. Once the baby cherry shrimp is born, wait for about four weeks and transfer it to the tank, or till it is big enough not to get eaten. 

Which Fish Can Live With Cherry Shrimp in Harmony? 

If the whole process of keeping cherry shrimp and guppies together in harmony seems too tiring and unsure, you can choose another aquarium buddy with cherry shrimp too. Go for small fish. Most freshwater fish tend to eat everything that fits in their mouth so go for smaller fish. 

Stay away from more territorial fish, like cichlids, and larger fish like gouramies and angelfish. The same goes for molly fish. They are similar to guppies, but they are usually bigger fish with larger mouths.

Some of the water creatures that can live in harmony with cherry shrimp and are also guppy tank mates include: 

  • Otocinclus Catfish 

Otocinclus catfish can prove to be a fantastic tank mate for your cherry shrimp. This fish is a bottom-feeder and likes to keep in its own company. It definitely won’t bother your cherry shrimp. 

  • Snails 

If not a fish, you can also consider keeping snails in the tank. Snails are again bottom-feeders and won’t cause any harm to dwarf shrimp. 

However, the only cause of concern here is that snails tend to reproduce quite rapidly. Their numbers might go out of control if there is an abundance of food available. 

how to get rid of snails in a shrimp tank

If you don’t want a large colony of snails, get a nerite snail or a few. They can’t reproduce in freshwater.

  • Rasboras (Small-Sized) 

Small-sized rasboras are also great for your cherry shrimp. They are a peaceful community fish and won’t cause any trouble to the cherry shrimp either. Ensure that you go for small-sized rasboras only and not larger ones. 

Other aquarium creatures that can blend well with cherry shrimp include Corydoras Catfish, kuhli loach, Small-Sized Tetras, and White Mountain Cloud Minnows. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, keeping cherry shrimp with guppies is possible, but it is a risk. Additionally, I have mentioned a few steps above that you need to follow to keep the cherry shrimp safe! 

But, if it seems like too much of a hassle, you can always consider pairing up cherry shrimp with other marine creatures that I’ve included above.

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