How To Easily Keep Guppies With Shrimp!

Are you worried about keeping guppies and shrimp together in the same tank?

Many aquarium enthusiasts share this concern, fearing that guppies might harm their shrimp.

Adding plenty of hiding spots to your tank creates a harmonious environment for both species and I have never seen a guppy eat a shrimp in my aquariums.

In this article, I’ll share practical tips from my experience of successfully maintaining guppies and shrimp in three different tanks.

Compatibility

Keeping Guppies With Shrimp
Keeping Guppies With Shrimp

Guppies and shrimp are compatible tank mates and it’s easy to create an environment where they thrive.

There is plenty of overlap in the water parameters for guppies and Neocaridina shrimp, making them an ideal combination.

Neocaridina shrimp, known as cherry shrimp, come in various colors, allowing you to choose ones that complement your guppies.

Guppies spend most of their time in the upper third of the aquarium near the surface, while shrimp typically graze lower in the tank, helping to keep the two apart.

Guppy Swimming Area
Guppy Swimming Area

In my photograph, the red line marks the top third of my tank to show where the guppies usually swim. The guppies are usually above the line, while the shrimp are below it.

Although my guppies occasionally swim below the line, it’s rare, and they generally leave the shrimp alone even when they get close.

Tank Setup

Guppies With Shrimp

The key to successfully keeping guppies and shrimp in the same aquarium is providing plenty of hiding spots, ideally using live plants.

Hiding spots offer your shrimp a safe place to molt, escape your guppies, relax, and avoid predators.

Suitable hiding spots include:

  • Live Plants
  • Rocks
  • Driftwood
  • Shrimp Tubes
  • Aquarium Decorations
  • Ceramic Pots

Live Plants

Adding live plants to your aquarium offers several benefits for both guppies and shrimp such as:

  • Hiding Spots
  • Natural Water Filtration
  • Food Sources
  • Oxygenation

A few live plants can significantly boost your chances of successfully keeping guppies and shrimp together.

My articles on the best plants for shrimp tanks and guppy tanks provide specific recommendations, but my table below highlights the plants I would use.

NameTypeGrowthCareLocation
Java MossMossMediumEasyHardscape
Bolbitis HeduelotiiRhizomeSlowEasyBackground
Limnophila SessilifloraStemVery FastEasyBackground
Amazon FrogbitFloaterMediumEasySurface
SalviniaFloaterMediumEasySurface
Red Root FloatersFloaterMediumEasySurface
CryptocoryneRosulateMediumEasyVarious
Java FernRhizomeSlowEasyBackground
AnubiasRhizomeSlowEasyVarious
Rotala RotundifoliaStemFastEasyBackground
The Best Plants For A Shrimp Tank

Tank Size

Larger tanks provide more space, decreasing the likelihood of guppies and shrimp encountering each other.

You don’t need a massive tank; anything over 10 US gallons (38 liters) is sufficient.

My smallest tank housing guppies and shrimp is just 12 US gallons (45 liters).

Water Parameters

Guppies, Neocaridina shrimp, and Amano shrimp can all thrive in water temperatures ranging from 65-80°F (18.5-27°C), with the middle of that range being ideal.

Maintain a still to low water flow in your tank, as none of these species prefer moderate or high flow.

Aim for a pH level of 7.0-8.0, which is suitable for guppies, Neocaridina, and Amano shrimp.

A gH of 8-10 and a kH of 4-8 should keep all three species happy and provide the necessary minerals for successful shrimp molting.

Beneficial bacteria colonies in your filter and live plants should keep ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, while nitrates should be kept below 20 ppm through plant absorption and regular water changes.

Regular partial water changes can help manage TDS and gH build-up, preventing potential issues for your guppies and shrimp.

Here’s a quick recap.

ParameterRange
Water Temperature65-80°F (18.5-27°C)
FlowStill-Low
pH7.0-8.0
gH8-10
kH4-8
Ammonia0ppm
Nitrite0ppm
Nitrate<20ppm

Male Vs Female Guppies

I only keep male guppies, which are half the size of females. Their smaller mouths make it more difficult for them to eat shrimp.

Most reputable pet stores can identify male and female guppies for you, but my article on distinguishing male and female guppies can also help.

Species Selection

Guppies With Shrimp In My Tank
Guppies With Shrimp In My Tank

Species selection is crucial, as some types of shrimp may struggle in water parameters ideal for guppies.

Certain guppy strains are easier to care for than others, so research the strains you are interested in.

Choose The Right Guppies

Cheap mutt guppies are often hardy, easy to care for, and colorful, making them an excellent choice for beginners.

While the fancy guppies types attract many hobbyists, they can suffer from health problems due to inbreeding.

Finding a local guppy breeder with similar tap water can help acclimate your guppies to your tank.

Local breeders often maintain healthy fancy guppy colonies and offer fish at lower prices.

Social media platforms and the Band app are great resources for finding guppy breeders in your area.

Choose The Right Shrimp

A Cherry Shrimp On My Rotala

Neocaridina shrimp and guppies are a perfect match due to their overlapping water parameter requirements.

This simplifies care since there’s no need to adjust water parameters to keep both species happy.

Another advantage of Neocaridina shrimp is their vibrant colors, making them excellent ornamental display shrimp.

Currently, Neocaridina shrimp are available in these colors:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White

This wide range of colors makes it easy to find the perfect shrimp to complement your guppies.

An Amano Shrimp On A Crypt

I keep Amano shrimp in my tanks for their algae-eating abilities, and they also get along well with guppies.

Amano shrimp are transparent and are primarily used for their algae control rather than for their appearance.

Just two or three Amano shrimp can effectively keep your tank free from soft algae, making them a valuable addition.

Avoid keeping Taiwan Bee shrimp in guppy tanks because they have significantly different water parameter requirements, making it challenging to maintain both species together.

Feeding Strategies

Guppies typically feed at the water’s surface, while shrimp graze on food lower in the tank.

This allows you to add fish food without the two species coming into direct contact.

Target feeding your shrimp is important and I regularly add algae wafers and snowflake shrimp food to my tanks.

Both foods quickly sink to the substrate, rarely attracting the guppies, allowing the shrimp to feed in peace.