10 Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates – List of Compatible Species
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Cherry shrimp make for a popular aquarium choice for several reasons.
- Hardiness and ability to adapt to pretty much any freshwater environment
- Impressive water temperature range, as cherry shrimps can remain comfortable at temperatures between 65 and 85 F
- The low space requirements, as you can add up to 5 shrimp per gallon
- Fast breeders, capable of multiplying fast, especially in optimal water conditions
- Easy going attitude, minimizing the risk of territorial conflicts
- An overwhelmingly cute presence
Cherry shrimp are also quite easy to care for, given that they are rather undemanding and easy to satisfy. The only problem you’ll be facing is finding adequate tank mates for them.
Cherry shrimp only grow up to 1.5 inches, and they are rather delicious. So, they will easily fall prey to most fish species interested in a quick protein snack.
Fortunately, I got you covered. Today, we will discuss the 10 best tank mates for the cherry shrimp in no particular order.
So, let’s get it going:
1. Ghost Shrimp
The ghost shrimp is pretty much almost like a cherry shrimp without the flashy colors. These invertebrates only grow up to 1.5 inches, prefer an omnivorous diet, and display scavenging behavior, mostly feeding on algae and residual food.
Just like cherry shrimp, they prefer heavily planted and decorated environments with a variety of hiding places.
These are ideal for use when they’re stressed, reproduce, or when undergoing molting, which is when they are more vulnerable and stressed.
As is natural, you should provide the ghost shrimp with a stable and clean environment, preferably with optimal water parameters. The ideal temperature sits between 72 and 82 °F.
- The ghost shrimp got its name from its translucent body, making it difficult to detect underwater, rendering the shrimp almost invisible to predators
- Due to their small size, ease of reproduction, and high-protein content, ghost shrimp are commonly used as feeder invertebrates for a variety of fish
- You need to use a low-power filter to prevent the shrimp from getting sucked in
- Ghost shrimp are extremely sensitive to copper, so using medication that contains copper can kill them
2. Amano Shrimp
The Amano shrimp is similar in appearance to the ghost shrimp, with a few notable exceptions.
The shrimp’s body isn’t entirely translucent but rather brown, with dark dots running across the entire body. The Amano shrimp is also slightly larger on average, peaking at 2 inches.
This shrimp is also notorious for its scavenging behavior and high adaptability to different environmental conditions. However, the Amano shrimp requires stable water parameters to thrive.
The ideal temperature range sits between 70 and 80 °F, which is pretty much standard for most tank shrimp.
- The Amano shrimp requires around 2 gallons of water, so you can only keep 5 shrimp in a 10-gallon tank
- Amano shrimp are the best at cleaning the tank of algae, often entering a feeding frenzy, during which food competition can grow fierce
- There are a lot of traders selling lookalike shrimp as Amano. You can only tell the difference by assessing their algae cleaning abilities; otherwise, they look pretty much identical
- Amano shrimps thrive in freshwater environments but require brackish water during the larvae stage
- These shrimps require heavily planted aquariums to feel comfortable and safe in their environment, otherwise, they will spend a lot of time hiding
3. Ember Tetra
Not many fish are compatible with cherry shrimp due to the latter’s great taste, small size, and amazing protein content.
Fortunately, ember tetras are almost perfect tank mates for these small shrimps. Ember tetras are even smaller than cherry shrimps, only reaching up to 1 inch in length as adults.
This allows you to stack quite a few in relatively small tanks.
Each ember tetra will be just fine with 1 gallon of water, so you can easily stack 20 tetras in a 20-25-gallon tank. The good news is that they won’t see cherry shrimp as prey since they are too big for the tetras to eat.
And they have no way of killing the shrimp. That being said, these fish will eat tiny invertebrates, which places cherry shrimp younglings at risk.
- Ember tetras are shoaling fish, so you need to keep them in larger groups, preferably a dozen or more
- These fish require heavily planted environments since it keeps them calm and secure
- Ember tetras are particularly sensitive to overfeeding since they will experience digestive problems when eating more than they should
- These fish are some of the most peaceful you can find, making them great additions to any shrimp-oriented tank
4. Endler Guppy
Guppies are already some of the most notorious fresh and brackish water fish you can find. They are adaptable, peaceful, extremely diverse in terms of coloring and patterns, and will reproduce like crazy in captivity.
That being said, guppies aren’t exactly the best tank mates for cherry shrimp. That’s because most guppies will grow up to 2.5 inches, which will often be 3 times as large as a cherry shrimp. And guppies love small shrimps for all the wrong reasons.
The difference with Endler guppies is that they are rather tiny. The largest Endler guppy won’t exceed 1.8 inches in size, but they will rather remain around 1 inch on average.
This will prevent them from seeing cherry shrimp as viable meals, which you can’t really say about the shrimp fry. These are small enough for the endless to eat them, so beware!
Other than that, Endler guppies are peaceful creatures that prefer to live in larger groups and require little care to thrive.
Keep them with non-aggressive tank mates and provide adequate living conditions and they will grow and multiply fast.
- While endler guppies belong to the Poecilia genus, they aren’t real guppies but related to them
- There is a variety of Endler guppies, including red scarlet, cobra, red chest, rainbow Endler guppy, and many others
- Endler guppies cannot live alone, so you always need to keep them in groups of at least 6 individuals
5. Nerite Snail
Nerite snails are the best addition to most tanks, pretty much regardless of the fish species already present. This, of course, eliminates fish like cichlids and other aggressive and large species off the list.
Nerite snails are very peaceful and base their food preferences on environmental organic matter, primarily algae.
So, they are quite effective at cleaning their environment, making them a useful addition to a tank filled with messy fish.
The good thing about nerite snails is that they don’t really care about their environmental setup that much. Their only concern is sticking to the substrate and slowly moving from one place to another in search of food.
They won’t interact with your shrimp as they pose no danger to one another.
- When it comes to space, consider 1 nerite snail per 5 gallons of water, considering you also have several other tank inhabitants, including shrimp and fish
- Keeping too many snails in the same environment will create food competition, leading some snails to starve
- Since snails and shrimps inhabit the same area of the tank, their food interests will naturally overlap
- Despite being herbivorous, nerite snails won’t eat live plants, which is why so many aquarists prefer this species over more invasive ones
6. Pygmy Corydoras
These fish are probably the best choice for a shrimp tank for several reasons. The most noticeable one is the fish’s size.
Pygmy Corydoras will rarely reach 1 inch in size, which means they will pose no threat to your cherry shrimp. They are also very peaceful and friendly to all tank inhabitants and will spend most of their time in the tank’s upper area.
This means that they will rarely interact with your bottom-dwelling shrimp. Especially if your shrimps have a lot of hiding places and live in a heavily planted aquarium, which pygmy Corydoras also enjoy.
These fish can live up to 3 years in optimal environmental conditions and thrives in groups of at least 10-12 individuals. The fact that they enjoy tropical water conditions and feel-at-home aquariums filled with plants are additional benefits.
Keep their water at temperatures between 72 and 80 F and ensure their system’s stability in the long run, and they will thrive.
- Since pygmy Corydoras don’t require much space, they are perfect for both small and large aquariums, depending on how many fish you have
- Don’t pair them with aggressive or large fish species since the latter can easily eat them
- Due to a scarcity of tiny fish species in the aquarium world, most aquarists will pair pygmy Corydoras with various snail and shrimp species
- As omnivorous fish, they will eat a variety of plant and animal-based foods, including brine shrimp. This is ironic given the circumstances.
- These fish will pose no threat to your shrimp since cherry shrimps will often outgrow them anyway
7. Harlequin Rasboras
These fish are some of the friendliest, most adaptable, and most peaceful tank creatures you can get.
They will grow up to 2 inches which qualifies them as compatible tank mates for your shrimp. Although capable of growing twice the size of your cherry shrimp, they will pose no danger to your shrimp population.
These small fish will stick to their own and rarely express any aggressive behavior, if ever. They like to live in schools of at least 6 individuals, so make sure you provide them with adequate environmental conditions.
These include enough space (20-30 gallons for 20-25 fish) for aquatic plants, but not too many to hinder their swimming pattern and stable water parameters.
Harlequin rasboras prefer the same water conditions as the cherry shrimp, making them perfect tank partners.
- Harlequin rasboras require a darker substrate since their replicates their natural conditions
- Harlequin rasboras live in darker waters in the wild, which are the result of dead organic matter and an overaccumulation of humic acid
- Breeding these fish in captivity is rather difficult since they require special environmental conditions. These conditions include a proper male-to-female ratio (at least 2 females for each male), higher temperatures of up to 80 F, pristine water conditions, and nutritious foods with a higher protein content
8. Otocinclus Catfish
This catfish species is the best option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance fish that could pretty much take care of itself.
This is a herbivorous species that will share space with your cherry shrimp. Don’t worry, it’s unlikely that any fighting or competition will ensue, despite sharing the same feeding ground.
This catfish is small, only growing up to 2 inches at most, and is peaceful and friendly with all tank inhabitants.
It will mostly feed on algae, grazing near the substrate and changing location when the food in one area is insufficient.
Otocinclus catfish are rather shy, preferring to stay out of sight and avoid interaction with other tank inhabitants, which makes them perfect picks for a shrimp tank.
Just make sure you provide both the cherry shrimp and the Otocinclus catfish with a lot of hiding places, whether they consist of plants, rocks, tunnels, or other decorative elements.
- This catfish will do just fine in a 10-gallon tank, provided the group is no larger than 5-6 individuals
- Otocinclus catfish have adapted to cleaning up algae deposits, but you should also complement their diet with algae wafers and green vegetables
- Otocinclus catfish are rather sensitive to poor tank conditions and improper diets since these factors leave them vulnerable to a variety of diseases
9. Pearl Danio
Pearl danios grow up to 2 inches as adults, prefer water temperatures between 64 and 74 °F, are easy to care for, and come with a peaceful and friendly attitude.
These characteristics already make this species compatible with a variety of peaceful and small tank mates, including cherry shrimp.
Socially, these fish display schooling behavior, so they need each other’s company to remain peaceful, calm, and healthy.
Consider forming medium-to-large groups of at least 7-8 members in a 15-20-gallon tank. You may need to adjust the tank’s size depending on the environmental layout, how many shrimps you have, and whether there are other fish species around as well.
- Pearl Danios can adapt to a variety of temperature ranges and will even remain comfortable in unheated tanks
- Male Pearl danios display a more vivid coloring when there’s at least one female present around them
- Pearl danios are extremely easy to keep and breed, making them a successful tank fish species
10. Boraras Brigittae
You may know these fish by their most trivial name, the Chili Rasboras. These red/ping fish can live up to 8 years in optimal living conditions and will mostly remain in the neighborhood of 0.7-0.8 inches.
Consider yourself lucky if any of your rasboras will reach 1 inch in size.
These schooling fish will spend a lot of their time investigating their environment, so you better provide them with a lot of hiding areas, plants, and various tank decorations.
Fortunately, despite their curious nature, they’re not aggressive towards other tank inhabitants, especially since their size isn’t really helping them in this sense. So, they make for quite ideal tank partners for your cherry shrimps, provided you ensure optimal living conditions for both.
- Chili Rasboras are sensitive to drastic fluctuations in their water conditions, so they require stable water parameters to remain healthy long-term
- The fry won’t eat anything during the first 24 hours of hatching; their diet will primarily consist of the egg yolk they were born from
- Chili Rasboras are considered micro predators due to their predilection towards actively hunting worms, insects, and a variety of tiny protein sources
These options are by no means exhaustive. You can find a variety of other tank mates for your cherry shrimp, even among those that rank as incompatible.
In most cases, you can make it work so long as you provide your shrimps with enough hiding places and a varied environmental layout.
As a golden rule, make sure your shrimps’ tank mates don’t outsize them by much and don’t rank as natural shrimp predators.
Other than that, your shrimps will adapt to any environment, with your help, of course.