Can Ghost Shrimp Live With Guppies?


One of my aquariums had guppies in it. But, I wanted to get some shrimp as well, because I thought they looked cool. So, I did some research and put together this helpful article to explain whether ghost shrimp can live with guppies.

So, can ghost shrimp live with guppies? Adult ghost shrimp are too large to be eaten by a guppy. Ghost shrimp are also good at fleeing from guppies, and the guppies will lose interest. Don’t put ghost shrimp that are smaller than your guppies in the same tank, or they can catch and eat them. 

However, other types of fish can eat your ghost shrimp, and it is crucial to know whether ghost shrimp will eat baby guppies. So, below I will answer these questions and other helpful tips about having ghost shrimps in your aquarium.

Can guppies and ghost shrimp live together?

Although ghost shrimp and guppies can live together, there are certain instances where it is not a good idea. For example, if your guppies are bigger than your ghost shrimp. 

In the case that guppies will eat your ghost shrimp because they are omnivorous. Meaning they eat both plant matter and animal matter.

Guppies are small, so they are generally prey for larger animals. But, when hungry, they get desperate and will turn on anything they can catch and eat. So, it is crucial, when you are keeping guppies and ghost shrimp in the same tank, to make sure they are well fed.

Ghost shrimp are omnivores but mostly eat algae or plant-based shrimp food, depending on what you give them. So, it isn’t a concern that the ghost shrimp will eat your guppies even if they are tiny. 

However, they protect their food supplies aggressively, and if a small guppy venture too close, they might get killed accidentally. Guppies are naturally curious and will approach ghost shrimp. 

But, ghost shrimp are naturally wary and flee from any fish that approaches even if the ghost shrimp is bigger than them. So, it is unlikely that your ghost shrimp will eat your guppies, even baby ones.

The habitat of ghost shrimp versus guppies

Ghost ShrimpGuppies
Can Live in brackish waterYesYes
Water speedSlowSlow
Water temperature65 °F to 85 °F
(18 °C to 29 °C)
72° to 78°F
(22 °C to 25.5 °C)
DietOmnivoresOmnivores

Data from Vivofish.com and Guppyexpert.com

Guppies and ghost shrimp are both freshwater creatures, and they don’t survive in saltwater. But guppies can live in brackish water. Brackish water is water that is between salty and freshwater. In the wild guppies don’t like fast-moving water, because they are so small. 

So, it would be best if you didn’t put them in larger aquariums with waterfalls and other features. Ghost shrimp are almost identical in their habitat needs. 

Some authors have argued that ghost shrimp don’t mind fast-flowing water. But this is not the case. According to Vivofish, who has a lot of aquarium experience, ghost shrimp prefer slow-moving water. Ghost shrimp also do well in brackish water.

Guppies have a narrower temperature range where they can live comfortably to ghost shrimp. If your aquarium is mainly for Ghost shrimp, you should consider keeping the temperature in a smaller range, closer to those the range guppies like. 

So, the main differences between the environment which ghost shrimp and guppies like are:

  • Guppies have a narrower temperature range
  • Ghost shrimp are omnivores but mostly eat plant based food, whereas guppies are true omnivores

Do guppies and ghost shrimp compete for territory?

Guppies are naturally curious and swim around the tank, poking and nibbling on anything they find interesting. But, ghost shrimp, on the other hand, are skittish and avoid confrontation. 

Even if a fish is bigger than them, this appears to be a natural adaptation because, in the wild, there are small fish that can eat the ghost shrimp. 

Guppies don’t eat ghost shrimps bigger than them, though, based on the experience of people who have kept them.

They naturally live side by side and don’t disturb each other too much. Occasionally a guppy will swim up to a ghost shrimp, and the ghost shrimp will hide under an ornament or corner.

In the wild, the ghost shrimp would run away entirely. But, because of the tank’s confines, the ghost shrimp will hide, and the guppy swims away. It is a game they play with each other.

Ghost shrimp are bottom feeders. So, they hang out at the bottom of the tank most of the time. An added advantage of them is that they clean out the bottom of the tank. 

Which means you don’t have to change out the gravel as often. Guppies swim around in the entire space of the tank. This means they live harmoniously with one another and don’t compete for space.

How do you introduce ghost shrimp into a tank with guppies?

For a tank that already has guppies in it, you can transfer your ghost shrimp directly into it without any worries. When adding ghost shrink to your aquarium, you want to ensure that the ghost shrimp’s water is at the same temperature. 

You can do this by putting your ghost shrimp in a plastic bag filled with water. Then, put the plastic bag full of water in the tank. Leave it for about 30 to 45 mins to even out the temperature. 

Just be aware that ghost shrimp tend to jump a lot when they get the chance. So, watch out when you open the bag and use your net to transfer them into your tank. You may have also noticed that they are challenging to catch with a fishnet because of this fact.

Related questions

Can ghost shrimp kill other fish?

Ghost shrimp aren’t aggressive but they are feeders of opportunity. They like to walk and swim around feeding on algae, and hide when another fish approaches them. So, ghost shrimp usually do not kill other fish.

Do ghost shrimp eat fish poop?

Ghost shrimp will only eat fish poop when it has broken down into a biofilm. This decay happens over time as it decomposes. Decomposed, it feeds algae and other plants that in term ghost shrimp feed of. 

So, ghost shrimp do eat fish poop. But, indirectly, when the fish poop has decomposed and has been used as food by plants and algae.

Will ghost shrimp kill each other?

Ghost shrimp compete for food sources such as algae. But, they retain a pecking order. Meaning, the larger and more aggressive ghost shrimp will scare off the smaller and less feisty ghost shrimp. 

However, they don’t kill each other when this happens. The ghost shrimp will chase each other away. As long as there is enough food and they don’t starve. The amount of ghost shrimp in a natural environment will even out based on how much food there is for them to eat. So, if you put too many ghost shrimp in one tank, you will have to give them more algae or shrimp food to keep them all alive.

Conclusion

Ghost shrimp and guppies can live together harmoniously. Both species like fresh to brackish water, the same average temperature, and don’t attack each other. Ghost shrimp are skittish and usually only eat plant matter, guppies are omnivores. For this reason, you should be careful with baby ghost shrimp and guppies because guppies will eat them.

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