Should You Keep Shrimp And Honey Gourami In The Same Tank?

Honey gourami and shrimp can coexist in the same aquarium, though honey gourami might eat baby shrimplets, making them unsuitable for shrimp breeding tanks.

Honey gourami are one of my favorite fish, and it’s great to see their popularity increasing within the fish-keeping hobby.

I am also a huge fan of shrimp due to their algae-eating capabilities. The popularity of both Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp has risen significantly over the past few years.

As interest in these species grows, more people are asking about keeping honey gourami and shrimp together in the same tanks.

To address this, I decided to publish this article sharing my experiences of keeping various types of shrimp with my honey gourami, as much of the information I’ve seen on social media is incorrect.

Can You Keep Honey Gourami With Shrimp?

Keeping honey gourami and shrimp
A Honey Gourami With An Amano Shrimp

You can safely keep honey gourami with various shrimp types in the same aquarium without issue.

Honey gourami are one of the smaller fish from the gourami family, maxing out at around two inches in length, similar in size to a fully-grown Amano shrimp.

Even juvenile Amano shrimp are too large for a honey gourami to eat, and adult cherry shrimp and other types of Neocaridina are also too large.

I avoid keeping ghost shrimp in my tanks because whisker shrimp are often mistakenly sold as ghost shrimp, and they can prey on the fish in the tank.

For example, a recent Reddit thread described someone accidentally adding fish to a tank with whisker shrimp, thinking they were ghost shrimp, resulting in all the fish being eaten within 24 hours.

Therefore, I recommend against adding ghost shrimp to your honey gourami tank unless you are certain they are one of the safe species. However, Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp are safe to keep with honey gourami.

Keeping Honey Gourami With Amano Shrimp

Honey Gourami And Amano Shrimp
Honey Gourami And Amano Shrimp

Honey gourami and Amano shrimp can thrive in the same aquarium, as Amano shrimp are too large for honey gourami to eat.

In my 29-gallon (110-liter) community tank, honey gourami serve as the standout centerpiece fish, while Amano shrimp manage algae control.

As shown in the photo at the beginning of this section, one of my honey gourami occasionally shows mild interest in the Amano shrimp, but it never goes beyond a few taps with its ventral fins.

I believe this behavior is simply due to the personality of that particular honey gourami, as it is always exploring the tank and interacting with its environment.

Interestingly, the other honey gourami in the tank seems scared of the Amano shrimp, swimming away and hiding when the shrimp gets too close.

Since Amano shrimp reproduce in brackish water, you don’t have to worry about any offspring in your freshwater aquarium being eaten by your honey gourami.

Overall, Amano shrimp make excellent tank mates for honey gourami. Both species are peaceful, and the Amano shrimp are perfect for eating algae and leftover food in the tank, helping to maintain suitable water parameters.

Keeping Honey Gourami With Cherry Shrimp

Honey Gourami And Cherry Shrimp
Honey Gourami And Cherry Shrimp

You can safely keep adult cherry shrimp with honey gourami, as they are too large for the gourami to eat, though the gourami might eat shrimplets.

This also applies to most types of Neocaridina shrimp, which usually grow to just over an inch, making them too big for the small mouth of a honey gourami.

As shown in the photograph at the beginning of this section, my curious honey gourami likes to inspect the cherry shrimp in the tank but has never attempted to eat them.

Similarly, my other, calmer honey gourami, which seems to be scared of Amano shrimp, occasionally takes a close look at the cherry shrimp but has never shown any aggressive behavior.

The cherry shrimp in my community tank freely wander around and graze on various surfaces in full view of the honey gourami. Despite being easy targets, the honey gourami swims over them countless times each day without any incident.

Keeping Honey Gourami With Shrimplets

Keeping Honey Gourami With Shrimplets
Keeping Honey Gourami With Shrimplets

Honey gourami might eat baby shrimp in their aquarium, as their tiny size makes them easy prey for the gourami.

I would advise against keeping honey gourami in a tank where you are actively trying to breed shrimp, as they are likely to eat the baby shrimp, similar to their natural food source in the wild.

However, the photograph at the beginning of this section shows my honey gourami swimming past a baby cherry shrimp, giving it a quick glance, and then moving on without eating it.

This may be an exception rather than the norm, so if possible, move any baby shrimp to a safe grow-out tank until they are larger.

Setting Up Your Aquarium For Honey Gourami And Shrimp!

My Community Tank
My Community Tank

The key to keeping shrimp with any type of fish is to provide plenty of hiding spaces in the tank for the shrimp to use as needed.

In the photograph above, you can see my community tank, which includes plenty of plants, moss, rocks, and driftwood for the shrimp to hide in if necessary.

Java moss is particularly ideal for this type of tank, as it not only serves as a hiding spot for the shrimp but also provides a source of biofilm and algae for them to eat.

As I mentioned earlier, my shrimp don’t seem to be stressed by the fish in their tank and happily graze on algae and biofilm in the open all day long.

Amano Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp Grazing In My Tank
Amano Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp Grazing In My Tank

The photo above shows my cherry shrimp and amano shrimp on the driftwood in their tank feeding in full view of the honey gourami and nothing ever happens.

This happens every day without issue giving me confidence that my honey gourami are not eating the adult shrimp in their tank and I am confident that my readers will have the same experience in their own tanks.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, honey gourami and shrimp, especially Amano and cherry shrimp, can coexist in the same tank without issue.

While honey gourami are typically peaceful and won’t prey on adult shrimp, they may be inclined to consume baby shrimplets due to their small size and resemblance to the gourami’s natural food source in the wild.

You can try to provide ample hiding spaces within your tank, such as plants, moss, rocks, and driftwood, creating a serene and symbiotic environment for all.