Shrimps are always a good addition to aquariums as they add a different dimension to the activities you see within your tank and will also do a good job at cleaning it. Guppies and shrimp can live together but only when certain precautions have been put in place to keep the shrimp safe and out of harm's way.
Small invertebrates like shrimp are a great source of food for guppies and they enjoy eating them. However, you can avoid this by feeding your guppies enough other foods, keeping a lot of live plants for shrimp to hide in, limiting the number of guppies in your aquarium, or even expanding the size of your fish tank.
Do Guppies Eat Shrimp?
Guppies love eating shrimp and other crustaceans, with many guppy owners feeding them brine shrimp and ghost shrimp as treats due to the high quantity of protein found in them.
This, of course, does then make it challenging to keep shrimp as pets, especially if you do not follow the right precautions. If you don't, your shrimp population will diminish quickly!
Let's see what steps you need to take to minimize the possibility that they'll be eaten by your guppies!
Shrimp Protection 101 - How To Prevent Your Guppies From Eating Them
Shrimps struggle to defend themselves against guppies, making them easy prey for the quick swimming and agile guppies. Even if you are following all of the correct steps and taking the right measures, sometimes your guppies will still manage to find and eat some shrimp. However, these steps are really useful and will certainly improve the survivability of your pet shrimps.
Plenty of Live Plants
Hiding spots throughout your aquarium are key to the survival of your pet shrimp. The more live plants and other decorations, the better chance of your shrimp finding safe hiding spots from guppies. Plants that grow quickly and are big enough to produce plenty of hiding spots are great. You will want to look at getting plants such as java moss, guppy grass, and water wisteria.
Ideally, you will want to add the shrimp to your aquarium first so that they can establish hiding spots and get used to the tank before they have to avoid being eaten. Once your shrimp have formed a colony they will be more ready and comfortable for the introduction of guppies.
Limit the Number of Guppies
By limiting the number of hungry guppies in your tank you will massively reduce the amount of shrimp casualties. As a general rule, male guppies tend to be more aggressive than females, but when it comes to shrimp both sexes will eat just as many shrimp, they don't discriminate!
This is why you should reduce the number of guppies residing in your tank to maybe 4 or 6 in total. Yes, they are schooling fish and require being in groups but they will be just fine in smaller groups too.
Additionally, guppy fry will eat baby shrimp and even small shrimp, so, by reducing the guppy numbers you will limit the possibilities in your guppies' breeding too.
Enough Shrimp Food
Shrimp usually feed off leftover food and any scraps they can find on the bottom of the tank as they are bottom dwellers. Unfortunately, guppies have one heck of an appetite and will eat just about anything they can fit in their mouths, which often leads to nothing being left over for shrimp.
They can eat plant matter and algae, however, this is not sustainable for a fully nutritious diet and will certainly affect the growth of your shrimp. Weak and small shrimp are much more vulnerable to predatory fish as they will be much slower and lethargic, making them easier to catch.
Providing your shrimp with proper shrimp food and ensuring they eat it will grow bigger and stronger shrimps.
By having a larger aquarium you will limit the number of shrimp casualties due to there being more space to hide and establish a territory where your shrimp feel safe and secure.
Having a larger aquarium will also allow more plants to be added, which adds more hiding places, and also will allow you to feed your shrimp more regularly without the risk of their food being stolen.
Guppies are omnivores, requiring both plant and animal matter to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Typically in the wild guppies will feed on algae, insect larvae, invertebrates, small fish, and other crustaceans.
Aquarium Shrimp Benefits
By following the advice in this guide you will be reducing the chance of your shrimp being eaten by guppies, allowing them to both co-exist in harmony.
Funnily enough, despite trying to eat them, your guppies will actually benefit tremendously from having them in the same tank, so it is not really in their best interest to eat your shrimp, but try telling that to a guppy! Read on to learn why.
First off, shrimp will keep your tank clean, scavenging off leftover food and also aquarium algae, which usually cause the water quality to suffer if not constantly changed. By having shrimp feed on the waste in the water, the water quality will be well-maintained, which leads to far fewer diseases or illnesses for your fish.
Shrimps also come in an abundance of shapes, sizes, and bright colors, making for an awesome looking aquarium with a diverse set of tank mates. Not only this, but their general activities are pretty entertaining to watch too, scurrying around the bed of your tank and seemingly walking in water!
Now that we know shrimp and guppies can live together, regardless of a little extra work, let's answer some of the most popular questions on this topic.
Which Fish will not Eat Aquarium Shrimp?
Shrimp are capable of surviving in the same tank as many small fish, and some medium-sized fish. The problem is that you are never 100% safe from them being eaten, it can even happen unintentionally! Your shrimp will certainly be safer with peaceful, non-predatory fish, some of these include ember tetras, gouramis, and rasboras.
What Type of Shrimp can Survive with Guppies?
Big shrimp have a good chance of survival when it comes to living with guppies, whereas the smaller shrimp are much more vulnerable. Some of the larger shrimps that would do better with guppies are ghost shrimp, Amano shrimp, and bamboo shrimp.
Will My Guppies Eat My Baby Shrimp?
Yes, unfortunately, they will eat your baby shrimp a lot easier than adult shrimp too due to them being so small in size. Even baby guppies (guppy fry) will eat baby shrimp if they can fit them in their mouths.
How Many Guppies and Shrimp Can I Put in a 10 Gallon Tank?
It is usually advised to keep no more than 7 guppies in a 10-gallon tank, but if you want your shrimp to survive, try going with around 4 to 5 guppies and around 4 to 5 shrimp. If you want to add a larger shrimp species then look at adding 3 of them per 5 guppies.