Can Dwarf Gourami Live With Cherry Shrimp?

Are you expanding your aquarium’s population? Do you want to get Dwarf Gourami and Cherry Shrimp? But are you confused about whether this is a good pairing? Don’t worry! We have all the answers you’re looking for. Keep reading to see can Dwarf Gourami live with Cherry Shrimp.

A Dwarf Gourami cannot live with Cherry Shrimp because it can quickly kill and eat the Cherry Shrimp. However, practically speaking, many people successfully keep their Dwarf Gourami in the same aquarium as Cherry Shrimp. 

How is this possible? And how can you do the same? We’ll tell you.

While some Dwarf Gourami fish are small and can’t eat Cherry Shrimp, others have a very high predatory instinct and can easily gulp your little Cherry Shrimp in a go. Some Gourami fish can be incredibly aggressive for their small size. Such aggressive Gourami, even when they can’t eat the Cherry Shrimp, will kill them before they have a chance to run away.

We want you to know that there are some ways to keep these two together while minimizing Cherry Shrimp’s risk. See how Dwarf Gourami and Cherry Shrimp can live together below.

The Dwarf Gourami A Bully?

If you are getting Dwarf Gourami for the first time, you must know a bit about their behavior and habits. A brief introduction to the Dwarf Gourami can help you understand your new family member better. Such information can also help you decide if you should invest in these and whether doing so can ruin your entire aquatic set up within minutes.

The Dwarf Gourami fish is relatively a small-sized Gourami, considered perfect for living in an aquarium. Other than its aesthetic looks, you might want it for your tank because you’ve been told in the pet shop that it’s a peaceful fish. We suggest you don’t believe everything you hear since not every Dwarf Gourami stays a friendly little Dwarf forever.

Generally, most of these Gourami members can quickly grow up to 2 inches. Once they achieve this size, the Gourami can become too aggressive. They can then gulp most shrimp and worms in one go. The worst part about the Gourami fish growing bigger is that it can turn out to be a bully if nothing else.

Many people have to buy a separate tank just for their Gourami fish. They have to do his because this fish would hurt and attack other animals in the aquarium, making it impossible to let them stay with other aquarium members.

However, some Dwarf Gourami family members are peaceful despite their growing size. When introduced to a tank for the first time, most of these will hide and stay hidden for days. If the tank already has bigger fish, the new Gourami would very quickly be intimidated and might not even come out to eat for a few days.

Once everyone has found its place, you’ll have to feed them once a day with worms or special feed. There’s no particular way of telling the peaceful apart from the bully Dwarf Gourami, for a fish keeper. 

You cannot say for sure if the intimidated Gourami that hides behind the plants on its first day in the tank would eat the Cherry Shrimp. There could be a chance that an aggressive streak hits, and it comes out all of a sudden one day and eat all those unfortunate shrimp within an hour.

Cherry Shrimp

female cherry shrimp
Female Cherry Shrimp

These little aquatic animals are fun to keep in almost every home tank and aquarium. Cherry Shrimp are peaceful, shy, and attractive. In a tank, they will mostly stay hidden beneath the plants and only come out when comfortable for mating.

Despite such shy behavior, Cherry Shrimp have a very high reproductive rate, and their population in a tank can quickly multiply. Cherry Shrimp do not have scales on their bodies. Their exoskeleton sheds as they grow. Such a body makes it easier for other fishes to eat and digest them, explaining why they hardly get the time to complete their lifespan of 2 – 2.5 years.

Tricks To Save Cherry Shrimp From The Dwarf Gourami 

Everything stated above explains why you should try keeping these two as far apart as possible. However, there could be a scenario where you have no choice but to keep your Dwarf Gourami and the Cherry Shrimp together. If that’s the case, here are some things you can do to trick the Dwarf Gourami and keep your Cherry Shrimp safe.

Before you apply these tricks in your tank, please be sure that these in no way guarantee longer life for the Cherry Shrimp. You can understand these as simple precautions that might save some members of the weaker species when they have no other option but to live with the big bad boy, i.e., the Dwarf Gourami.

Add Lots of plants

Cherry Shrimp Love Plants
Cherry Shrimp Love Plants

As stated above, the Cherry Shrimp spend most of their day hiding behind the plants. This means placing more plants in the tank can provide these shy creatures with more space to hide. This way, their chances of being caught by the Gourami are greatly reduced.

Lots of Cherry Shrimp

Even when no one has yet comprehended the logic behind it, many people claim that this trick works. If you have to keep your Gourami with the Cherry Shrimp, try to introduce a lot of Cherries to the tank. This can somehow intimidate the Dwarf Gourami, and they are less likely to eat these shrimp. On average, for each Dwarf Gourami you add to the tank, there should be at least 4 Cherry Shrimp.

Have a Big tank

Another way to ensure the distance between these two species is by keeping the tank spacious. This way, the shrimp won’t cross the Gourami’s path too much even when they are out of their plant bed. Even though this all is a game of chance and luck; it can help keep the shrimp safe.


My name is Jaap, and I am a passionate shrimp and fish enthusiast. I rediscovered my love for this hobby with my son and want to share our knowledge and tips with you on this aquarium blog. We cover topics such as setting up and maintaining an aquarium, feeding and breeding your shrimp and fish, and creating the perfect environment for them to thrive.

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