Dwarf gouramis are usually peaceful but look upon smaller species as a food source. So, will they eat shrimp?
Yes, dwarf gouramis do eat shrimp. They usually eat shrimp that fit in their mouth. That’s why small-sized shrimp, such as dwarf and cherry shrimp, are easy prey for dwarf gouramis. However, large-sized shrimp, such as Amano, bamboo, and vampire shrimp, are usually safe to keep with dwarf gouramis.
Let’s now understand how to protect shrimp from dwarf gouramis.
How To Stop Dwarf Gouramis From Eating Shrimp?
Housing dwarf gouramis and shrimp in the same tank can be a challenge.
Dwarf gouramis, in all likelihood, will attack and try to eat tiny shrimp that fit in their mouth.
Hence, keeping shrimp alive in a dwarf gourami tank can be a daunting task.
The best way to stop dwarf gouramis from eating shrimp is to keep them away from the reach of dwarf gouramis.
You can do this in a few ways.
Given below are six ways to stop dwarf gouramis from eating shrimp.
1. Get A Large Tank
Investing in a large tank is an excellent way to stop dwarf gouramis from eating shrimp.
Dwarf gouramis usually occupy the top and mid-level of the tank, in contrast to shrimp which are bottom-dwellers.
A large tank will ensure that shrimp won’t cross the path of dwarf gouramis.
It will also ensure that enough space is available for the shrimp to distance themselves from the dwarf gouramis.
The bigger the tank, the lesser the chances of dwarf gouramis attacking the shrimp.
If the tank is small, dwarf gouramis can constantly see the shrimp. So the chances of them attacking the shrimp will be high.
2. Provide Ample Hiding Places
Providing ample hiding places is a must for shrimp, specifically when you’re housing them with dwarf gouramis who can eat them.
Shrimp are most vulnerable when they molt.
Hiding places will allow the shrimp to stay away from the dwarf gouramis until their shell hardens.
You can provide hiding places in the form of caves, decorations, trinkets, driftwood, plants, aquatic moss, etc., for the shrimp to seek refuge.
You can even strategically space out the plants for the shrimp to breed and live peacefully.
3. Feed Dwarf Gouramis Adequately
Adequately feeding the dwarf gouramis is another way to protect the shrimp.
Dwarf gouramis aren’t picky eaters and enjoy a variety of food.
Dwarf gouramis can become aggressive if the food is scarce.
So you can feed dwarf gouramis sufficient food twice a day to reduce their cravings and desire to swim down the tank to hunt shrimp.
Well-fed dwarf gouramis will usually not hunt shrimp or look upon them as a food source until they come near them.
Feeding adequate food to dwarf gouramis can prevent aggression and keep them calm, thus making them less hostile toward shrimp.
Recommended: Why Can’t Dwarf Gouramis Live Alone?
4. Keep Large-Sized Shrimp
Dwarf gouramis eat anything that fits in their mouth.
Hence, housing large-sized shrimp is another way to protect them from dwarf gouramis.
The bigger the shrimp, the higher the chances of survival.
Shrimp such as Amano, vampire, and bamboo shrimp are safe from dwarf gouramis due to their large size.
On the contrary, small-sized shrimp such as cherry shrimp, dwarf shrimp, or shrimp fry have a hard time living alongside dwarf gouramis.
Their size is an open invitation for the dwarf gouramis to snack on them.
5. Introduce Dwarf Gouramis To Shrimp Tank
Dwarf gouramis get territorial if any of the tankmates invade their territory.
So it’s advisable to introduce young dwarf gouramis to a shrimp tank.
This will allow the shrimp to establish their territory without fearing attacks from other fish.
The newly introduced dwarf gouramis will also try to first acclimatize to the new environment.
Dwarf gouramis won’t get aggressive in an unfamiliar environment and will not look upon shrimp as a food source.
6. Add Lots Of Shrimp
Some aquarists have found a new way of protecting shrimp from dwarf gouramis by introducing a lot of shrimp to the tank.
Aquarists found that their dwarf gouramis got intimidated and did not attack the shrimp in a large group.
However, there is no guarantee that this trick will work.
It depends upon the individual dwarf gourami’s temperament.
Moreover, it can also create undue stress on the dwarf gouramis, which is not good for their health.
Which Shrimp Are Safe With Dwarf Gouramis?
Dwarf gouramis are peaceful and shy fish. They usually don’t bother their tankmates.
Shrimp are also docile and of similar temperament.
Apart from creating a pecking order among themselves, they usually don’t trouble other fish.
They’re also excellent tank cleaners as they consume the uneaten food and algae from the aquarium.
The only problem with shrimp is their size. Due to their tiny size, the chances of dwarf gouramis hunting shrimp are high.
Hence, the tiny shrimp that can easily fit in dwarf gouramis’ mouths are not safe with them.
But not all shrimp are tiny. Some shrimp outgrow the dwarf gouramis’ mouth and are usually safe with them.
Given below are the most popular shrimp that are safe with dwarf gouramis:
- Amano shrimp,
- Ghost shrimp, and
- Bamboo shrimp.
While Amano and bamboo shrimp can grow up to 2 to 3 inches when fully grown, ghost shrimp are comparatively smaller and grow only up to 2 inches.
However, they can hide easily due to their transparent appearance. So aquarists prefer to keep ghost shrimp with dwarf gouramis.
Will dwarf gouramis eat cherry shrimp?
Dwarf gouramis will eat cherry shrimp. Cherry shrimp are tiny and usually not bigger than 1.5 inches (3.8 cm).
Due to their tiny size, they’re easy prey for dwarf gouramis.
Besides, dwarf gouramis can even venture to the tank’s bottom if they develop a taste for cherry shrimp.
Will dwarf gouramis eat ghost shrimp?
Ghost shrimp are a little bigger than cherry shrimp, so the chances of dwarf gouramis eating them are less.
However, dwarf gouramis can eat ghost shrimp fry as they can easily fit in their mouth.
Dwarf gouramis can also try to eat ghost shrimp if they’re starving.
Will dwarf gouramis eat Amano shrimp?
Amano shrimp are one of the largest shrimp species.
Dwarf gouramis are unlikely to eat Amano shrimp due to their large size.
Will dwarf gouramis eat brine shrimp?
Brine shrimp are a favorite food of dwarf gouramis and are often fed to them as an occasional treat.
Besides, brine shrimp are tiny and can easily fit in dwarf gouramis’ mouths.
Hence, adult dwarf gouramis are most likely to chase the newly hatched brine shrimp and devour them.
Will dwarf gouramis eat shrimp fry?
Yes, dwarf gouramis will eat shrimp fry. Dwarf gouramis will eat anything that fits in their mouth.
Shrimp fry are easy prey for dwarf gouramis due to their tiny size.
They can only survive if there is ample hiding space in the tank and they’re out of dwarf gouramis’ sight.