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A lot of hobbyists keep Cherry Shrimp with fish, such as Guppies. But this is confusing since you’ve also heard that Guppies eat Cherry Shrimp. Let’s sort out the truth right now, once and for all.
Yes, Guppies will eat both Cherry Shrimp and their young. They are voracious eaters and will feast on Shrimp as long as they can fit them in their mouths.
This is especially true for a tank with a big population of Guppies. They may prey on Shrimp as long as they are small enough and they can see and target them.
And that’s the cold-hearted truth. But don’t give up on this combo yet. We have more facts to show you.
Can You Keep Cherry Shrimp With Guppies?
Let us examine the possibilities for the Cherry Shrimp-Guppy aquarium. There are many things that they have in common.
When it comes to tank requirements and temperament, Cherry Shrimp and Guppies are compatible. They are both peaceful species. In this regard, they can be tank mates in a community aquarium but you have to observe some conditions to make it work.
Cherry Shrimp will even eat algae in a Guppy tank, so keeping them together helps keep the tank clean in a way. It’s practical and inexpensive since Cherry Shrimp aren’t pricey at all.
Here are the optimal water conditions for a Cherry Shrimp tank with Guppies:
|pH||6.5 to 8.0|
|Temperature||74 to 82°F (23 to 27°C)|
|Nitrates||< 20 ppm|
Any substrate will do, but most hobbyists choose to spend a little more and use eco-complete substrate. You can also use Shrimp substrate as this is healthy for them.
Because the Shrimp are so small, a sponge filter would be the right filter type for this tank. Cherry Shrimp don’t make a lot of waste, anyway, and Guppies make only a moderate amount. Along with a steady weekly maintenance cleaning schedule, you shouldn’t have any problems with ammonia or nitrites.
Keep the water flow low so that the Shrimp— even the babies— won’t have a hard time hiding from the fish. Both Guppies and Shrimp are small and don’t need a lot of water flow.
Given the number of Guppies and Cherry Shrimp, you will need a minimum tank size of 20 to 29-gallons for a school of Guppies and a group of Shrimp. That already includes extra space for future babies, as we know both species will eventually multiply. Being livebearers, it’s only a matter of time before those Guppies produce fry.
When it comes to tank shape, choose a long one rather than a tall one as Guppies love to swim. The horizontal shape will give them space to play and explore, as well as provide Cherry Shrimp their territory by the plants.
Tips To Keep Cherry Shrimp With Guppies?
Knowing now that Guppies will eat Shrimp, but at the same time they have compatible water parameters, is it still okay if we push through with this combination?
Yes, Cherry Shrimp can live safely with Guppies as long as certain conditions are met. These include lots of hiding places for the Shrimp to hide in and enough nourishment so they don’t have to compete with the Guppies for food.
Take note of these guidelines which will help you keep these two species together successfully:
Tip #1: Give The Cherry Shrimp Enough Cover
Provide a lot of moss for the Cherry Shrimp and their babies to hide in. Lots of plants and ornaments as hiding places will ensure their survival in a tank full of Guppies. Otherwise, they will become targets for the fish to eat.
Some easy-to-maintain plants for the Cherry Shrimp-Guppy tank are Java Moss, Guppy Grass, and Cabomba. The denser the foliage, the better. You can even try some driftwood, logs, and rocks.
Tip #2: Establish The Cherry Shrimp Colony First
After providing plants and hiding places for the Cherry Shrimp, it’s better to introduce them to the tank first before you bring in the Guppies. Let the Cherry Shrimp get used to their surroundings and find their territories for a more comfortable community tank.
Tip #3: Give The Cherry Shrimp Enough Food
Guppies are fast swimmers and voracious eaters. If you rely on leftover Guppy food for the Cherry Shrimp to eat, there won’t be enough left and your invertebrates will starve.
One thing you can do is feed the Shrimp food that’s just for them so the Guppies won’t consume it. An example of this is leaf litter. Shrimp love eating decaying leaves such as mulberry, banana, guava, nettle, and even Indian Almond leaves. They like decaying leaves because this is where biofilm grows, which is a big part of their diet.
There are also specifically designed Shrimp pellets you can buy from your fish store.
When the Cherry Shrimp have enough food to eat, they’ll thrive even in hiding. Soon, you’ll be seeing them reproduce— a sure sign of healthy Shrimp.
A word of warning, though: don’t overfeed either of these species. Feeding them too much might lead to constipation and serious diseases in the long run. At the same time, too much leftover food will pollute your water. A tiny amount twice a day for each species will suffice. Remove uneaten food from the tank.
Tip #4: Give The Cherry Shrimp Stable Water Parameters
This is probably the most important factor in keeping Cherry Shrimps healthy as they are sensitive to fluctuations in the quality of tank water. The higher grade of Shrimp you have, the more sensitive they are to changes.
In this regard, tip #1 becomes extra important. Plants not only give the Cherry Shrimp cover from predators, but they also help stabilize water parameters by providing biological filtration.
Tip #5: Try The Smaller Guppies
Going with the smaller Endler Guppies or Panda Guppies will help avoid losing Shrimp. They have smaller mouths and would less likely be pecking at your Shrimp.
Tip #6: Keep A Complete Guppy School With The Correct Male-to-female Ratio
Remember though, that no matter what variety of Guppies you use, they will still need a complete school so they’ll be happy and stress-free.
Keep at least 6 fish with a ratio of 1 male for every 2 to 3 females. Having less than that will either make them too shy or too aggressive towards each other and towards their tank mates. If you have a complete school, the chances of them eating Cherry Shrimp are lower.
At the same time, you should have more Cherry Shrimp than Guppies so they can’t be outnumbered. In a 29-gallon tank, you can keep as much as 8 to 15 Cherry Shrimp with a school of 6 to 8 Guppies.
We’ve established that Guppies and Cherry Shrimp can live together in one tank as long as you follow certain conditions to keep both species healthy.
Shrimp are very sensitive to water parameters so the biggest key in successfully keeping them is keeping those parameters stable. Guppies are more resilient so they would have to be the ones to adjust if necessary.
Now, if you’re looking into breeding Cherry Shrimp, we advise that you set up a Shrimp-only tank especially if you’re selling them for profit. This will give you the highest rate of success.