Guppies and shrimp can live together when you take suitable precautions to keep the shrimp safe from guppies. Guppies like to eat small invertebrates like shrimp. However, you can prevent this by feeding the guppies well, using a planted tank, and limiting the number of guppies in the tank.
To understand the risk your shrimp will face in a tank with guppies, let us look at the feeding habits of the guppy fish.
Do Guppies Eat Shrimp?
Guppies like to eat smaller animals like shrimp.
Many fish owners treat their guppies with brine shrimp and ghost shrimp as occasional treats.
These crustaceans are good sources of protein for the fish, and they enjoy eating it.
So, it is a challenge to keep shrimp as pets with guppies.
If you do not feed your guppies well or take necessary precautions, the shrimp population in your tank will decrease.
However, there are a few ways in which you can create a safe environment for shrimp to survive and proliferate. Let us find out what they are.
How To Protect Your Shrimp From Being Eaten By Guppies?
Guppies are active swimmers while shrimp cannot defend themselves against guppies. So, they are easy prey for the fish.
Hence, there is no fail-safe option to prevent your shrimp from being eaten by guppies when both creatures live in the same aquarium.
Nevertheless, you can improve the chances of survival of your shrimp by taking the following precautions.
1. Include Plenty Of Aquatic Plants
A heavily planted tank will have hiding spots for your pet shrimp. It can access areas with dense aquatic plant growth where guppies cannot reach.
Create such an environment and help them stay away from the reach of the guppies in your tank.
Although you can use any plant, try to choose those with dense growth.
The plants should grow fast and have structures within which the shrimp can hide.
Java moss, guppy grass, and water wisteria are good choices as they are not poisonous to either species.
Now, introduce shrimp to the aquarium before the guppies when you set up your aquarium.
Give them enough time to become familiar with the surroundings and find hiding spots.
Once they establish their colony and figure out how to keep themselves safe, they will be better equipped to stay away from the fish. You can then add guppies to the tank.
2. Offer Enough Food For The Shrimp
Shrimp are bottom dwellers that eat leftover food. So, they will usually survive even when you do not feed them.
However, they will have a difficult time finding food when they live with guppies. Guppies are hungry fish that eat everything within sight.
So, they may not leave many scraps for the shrimp to eat.
While your shrimp will still sustain themselves on plant matter, lack of proper nutrition will affect their growth.
Weak and stunted shrimp are more vulnerable to predators. They will be slow and unable to hide when faced with danger.
To avoid this, give your shrimp enough nutrients for good growth. It will improve their chances of survival.
3. Limit The Number Of Guppies In The Tank
More guppies mean fewer chances of survival for the shrimp.
When there are more guppies to prey on your shrimp, they are in greater danger. It will cause the shrimp population to dwindle over time.
If you wish to establish a large colony of shrimp, limit the guppy population in the tank.
Always keep more shrimp than guppies to give the shrimp a better chance of survival.
Adult guppies will eat both adult and baby shrimp. Even guppy fry will eat small shrimp that fits their mouth.
So, baby shrimp have a smaller chance of surviving in a guppy tank. You may have to use a separate tank if you wish to breed shrimp.
Small shrimp are at greater risk of being hunted and eaten because of their size.
It is also advisable to keep pregnant female shrimp in a separate tank as they are slow and can be easily caught by guppies.
What Types of Shrimp Can Survive with Guppies?
Guppies will eat anything that fits their mouths, which includes small shrimp. Big shrimp have a smaller risk of being hunted and eaten by guppies.
You will have less trouble when you keep larger varieties of shrimp, like the ghost shrimp, Amano shrimp, and bamboo shrimp with guppies.
Due to their larger size, the guppies cannot eat them easily. However, the baby shrimp of these varieties will continue to be at risk around guppies.
If you want to keep them alive, separate the shrimp from the main tank till they are big enough. You can also improve their chances of survival by choosing small or medium size guppies for your tank.
Benefits of Keeping Shrimp with Guppies
With proper precautions, your shrimp and guppies can live together in the same tank. However, do not expect these two creatures to have a friendly relationship.
Nevertheless, your guppies will benefit from having shrimps in the same tank for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, aquarium shrimp will keep the tank clean.
They are scavengers that feed on leftover and decaying scraps of food. By cleaning up scraps, they prevent the water from getting polluted.
Adult shrimp will clean up algae, dead plants, and rotting animal parts in the water.
By eating unwanted debris and decaying matter, they maintain cleanliness and make the aquarium a better place for your fish.
Shrimp also offer endless hours of excitement to pet owners. They add beautiful colors to the aquarium.
Shrimp are lively creatures that actively explore their surroundings in search of food. It can be a joy to watch these pets swim or walk around in the water.
Take good care of them, and these quiet, low-maintenance pets will be a source of joy for you and the rest of their tank mates.