Guppy Fish and Cherry Shrimp – Can you Keep Them in Same Aquarium?


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In this article, I will highlight whether guppies and shrimp can be placed in the same aquarium or not.

When you’re choosing fish or invertebrates for your aquarium, it is important to understand which species can coexist together and which ones cannot. The common question which people often ask is whether guppy fish and cherry shrimp can go together. You need to keep in mind that you have to look at the natural behavior of each species, which you are adding together.

Can you Keep Guppy Fish and Cherry Shrimp in Same Tank?

The short answer to this question is yes, guppies and shrimp can be placed in the same aquarium. However, you need to understand that shrimps are in the food chain for guppies albeit a bit lower down the line. In simple terms, guppies eat shrimp including the cherry shrimp species. That is why you will have to take a few precautions in order to ensure that both can coexist.

If you do not take these precautions, chances are the shrimp population will decrease drastically a few months down the line. Below you can find all the steps you need to follow in order to keep guppies and shrimp together in the same tank.

Put the shrimp first

Once your aquarium is cycled, you can start adding live stock. You have to add the cherry shrimp first. You have to give them enough time to establish their colony. When you are able to do that, it will be easy for you to have a thriving population of cherry shrimp. This will also give time to the baby shrimp to grow.

Adult guppies as well guppy fry can easily consume baby cherry shrimp.

Include plenty of moss and plants

Irrespective of the number of shrimps or the guppies present, it is important to provide proper coverage to the cherry shrimp. You can add plants as well as moss to the tank. This will ensure that the cherry shrimps always have plenty of cover and are able to protect themselves from the guppies. Some of the plant/moss types which you can include in your tank are:

  • Java moss
  • Java fern
  • Dwarf lily
  • Guppy grass
  • Water wisteria

You can easily pick from these plant types. All of them will provide plenty of hiding options for the shrimps. This will allow them to stay out of sight of the guppy fish. As a result, they will be able to survive in the same tank without any problem.

Provide the right food to cherry shrimp

Most people think that the cherry shrimp will be able to easily consume the leftover food. The problem is that when you have guppies around, most of the leftover food will not reach the bottom of the tank. Cherry shrimp will hardly get any food.

Sure enough, they can survive on the decaying plant matter and biofilm but their growth will be stunted. When you opt for proper shrimp food, you can provide them with an ample quantity of food and nutrients. This will ensure that they are swift and their growth is normal. As a result, they will be swift to move around and they will be able to hide actively from the guppies as well. Many people think that food and coexistence are not related but the truth is that they are.

Maintain the ratio of guppies and shrimp

You need to always work towards maintaining the proper ratio of guppies and shrimp. If the number of guppies is much higher, mostly likely the cherry shrimp will get hunted down.

Also, adult guppies are much more efficient when it comes to hunting shrimps.

If you want to keep guppies with cherry shrimp you have to limit the number of guppy fish in your tank.

Breed the shrimps in a guppy aquarium

Breeding shrimp in the same tank with guppies is almost impossible. You will never be able to grow the shrimp population. You need to understand that female and baby shrimp are the most vulnerable in the shrimp colony. If you want to breed the shrimps, it is not a good idea to add them to the tank along with the guppies.

In such a case, irrespective of the cover which you provide, baby shrimps and female shrimps can get eaten by guppies.

If you do not want to breed shrimp, just want to enjoy them along with your guppies, you can keep only male or female shrimp.

In case, you want to breed shrimps, it is a good idea to do so in a separate tank altogether. This will allow plenty of time and space for the baby shrimps to grow into adult ones. Thereafter, you can transfer them to the aquarium containing guppy fish.

I heard that some people have had positive experiences when breeding cherry shrimps in the same aquarium with guppy fish. In my opinion, the likelihood of the cherry shrimps getting eaten is much higher for the baby shrimps as well as for pregnant cherry shrimps.


Out of all these precautions, giving them more than enough cover is pretty important. If you do not give them a high amount of cover, the cherry shrimps will always be under a lot of stress as a predator will be doing the rounds always. That is why the amount of cover which you provide should be more than adequate for the entire colony.

Under normal circumstances, the guppies will ignore the cherry shrimp as long as they stay hidden. They can easily coexist if you follow the precautions which I have highlighted above. This will allow you to have guppies in your tank and also gain the benefit of having cherry shrimps which can clean up the tank and eliminate the algae from the tank.

So, if you’re planning on keeping guppy fish and cherry shrimp in the same aquarium, it is important to follow the few precautions which I have highlighted above. Sure enough, you can keep them together but only when you are ready to follow the precautions which I have mentioned above. This will ensure that they can easily coexist for a long period of time without the cherry shrimp getting hunted down.

Updated: October 25, 2021

Questions & Answers

  1. Alain

    I’ve seen videos where people were able to breed shrimps with guppys , so is possible. if you think is impssible probably is luck of experience. apart from that I enjoyed your article.

    1. avatar

      Hey, thanks for your feedback. I’ve tried many times in the past to breed shrimp together with guppies. I’ve added tons of hiding space for the shrimp, but never had an explosion in their population. If you are breeding shrimp and guppies for fun, it will work, but to make shrimp and guppy breeding profitable, you need to provide each specie with their own space. I’m sure there are people out there who can make this work, but I was unable to do it successfully.

  2. Jasmine

    Hey there, Cory from Aquarium co-op seems to do very well breeding both guppies and red cherry shrimp in the same tanks. He’s a huge guppy fan, and often shows videos with guppies, fry, and many shrimp including babies in his videos. He has even recommended breeding them in the same tank! The key in his tanks seems to be the fact that there’s usually a large ball of plant in there. A good place for both guppy fry and baby shrimp to hide. Well worth checking out! He has some beautiful fish and thriving tanks.

    1. avatar

      Hey Jasmine! I saw his video on Youtube. I’ve learned a lot of good things from his channel.

  3. I had 10 rcs and 4 guppies in my heavily planted 30L aquarium. 2 months later the guppies multiplied to 16 and the shrimp to probably around 50. I have never seen adult guppy to try and eat their own babies or the baby shrimp, which I was actually kind of hoping for in order to have balance, because now I need to get rid of at least 60% of the livestock…

    1. avatar

      This is impressive. You might be able to sell off the cherry shrimp pretty quickly, because they are in high demand. If you have some beautiful and rare guppies, you can sell them too for reasonable price.
      If you don’t get rid of your excess live stock, the tank will balance itself sooner or later, but probably you don’t want nature take over completely.

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