Can Corydoras Live With Cherry Shrimp?

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Corydoras are omnivorous bottom dwellers that can grow up to 4 inches. Cherry shrimp are crustaceans that can only reach 1 to 1 and ¼ for the most part.

Corydoras are also known to consume any organic matter they can find in the sand, including live creatures like…you know, shrimp.

Given these interesting facts, can you make the marriage between Corydoras and cherry shrimp work? Let’s see!

Will Corydoras Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Yes, they absolutely will. This being said, the answer depends on several aspects, such as:

  • The fish’s size – Some corydoras breeds can only reach 1-2 inches. In this case, a 1-inch shrimp is too large for the catfish to consume. Especially since the fish has no means to kill or impair an adult shrimp. These fish feed through suction, and if the shrimp doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit.
  • The fish’s diet – Well-fed fish are less likely to attack the shrimp, especially since the small crustaceans are more work to consume.
  • The layout – Corydoras can’t eat what they can’t find. A lush ecosystem should provide your cherry shrimp with plenty of escape routes.

Generally speaking, though, a medium-sized Corydoras will definitely consume a medium-sized shrimp.

So, how do you make it work then, and can you? Yes, you can; allow me to detail!

How to Keep Cherry Shrimp with Corydoras?

You need a combination of methods to accommodate both species safely. These include:

Use Lots of Live Plants

Cherry shrimp thrive in heavily planted ecosystems. They will use the live plants around them for cover and will often cower behind them when threatened.

They will also use them as a distraction to dart towards darker and safer areas, increasing their survivability considerably.

Live plants are also great for keeping the habitat fresh and more well-oxygenated. This will benefit catfish and shrimps alike.

Feed Corys Well

Corydoras’ main feeding behavior consists of sifting sand through their gills. This allows them to separate the sand from all the organic matter that the catfish can use as nutrition.

Naturally, the catfish can’t meet its nutritional needs this way; not in a closed ecosystem like the aquarium.

So, you need to complement the fish’s diet with sinking pellets, live food, veggies, and other food items that your catfish enjoys eating.

This will not only keep the catfish healthy and happy but will also diminish its shrimp-killing tendencies. It’s difficult to go hunting with a full belly.

Have Many Shrimp

This is the popular and standard meat-cannon strategy. If your Corydoras simply have a sweet tooth for cherry shrimp, consider overwhelming them.

In other words, accept the losses and add more shrimp to the environment; more than your fish can consume.

This will allow the shrimp population to grow and remain stable despite the losses they endure along the way.

This is clearly a more cynical approach, but at this point, you should cling to whatever works. And this works.

Keep Them in a Big Tank

The larger the tank is, the higher the shrimps’ survival rate. Corydoras can only cover so much ground, providing the shrimps with the necessary space to establish their own living quarters.

The catfish’s incursions may disturb their livelihood occasionally, but your shrimp should do far better in a larger tank.

The extra space will also provide the necessary room for extra plants, decorations, and rocky caves that the shrimps can use for hiding.

Test Water Parameters

Corydoras are more likely to attack shrimps in poor water conditions. This is due to a mix of stress and irritability that will transform the catfish into danger for smaller shrimps.

Good water conditions are necessary to prevent such issues and keep your fish and shrimps in good health.

Clean the tank every few days, depending on the circumstances, vacuum the substrate, and eliminate algae deposits, detritus, or whatever else might alter the water chemistry.

What Other Fish Can Live with Cherry Shrimp?

When looking for the best cherry shrimp tankmates, you need to consider 2 potential types of fish: herbivorous fish and small and peaceful ones.

Some compatible fish species in this sense include:

  • Otocinclus catfish – The adult otocinclus only grows up to 2 inches and prefers an algae-based diet. It has no interest in cherry shrimp and makes for the perfect tankmate. These fish are easy to keep and require around 10 gallons per group to thrive. Clean their habitat often to prevent health problems and offer them a balanced and nutritious diet for optimal nutrient intake.
  • Neon tetras – These nano fish rarely grow above 1 inch and won’t typically bother your cherry shrimp. That being said, neon tetras are very energetic and curious omnivores. They might attack and eat baby shrimp, given that they are small enough for the fish to swallow them. So, neon tetras might not be the wisest choice if you’re breeding your shrimps in the main tank.
  • Chili rasboras – These schooling fish won’t grow past 0.8 inches. Combine this with their peaceful demeanor and friendly behavior, and you can see why this species is perfect for the task. Keep your chili rasboras in a lush ecosystem with clean waters and stable temperatures, and they will thrive.
  • Endler’s guppies – This breed only grows up to 1 inch and delivers exquisite and peaceful specimens with a variety of colors and patterns. Endler’s guppies are peaceful but require to live in a group to prevent territorial behavior. 10 gallons should be enough for a group of 6.

Other viable tankmates include Kuhli loach, clown killifish, pencil fish, Amano shrimps, and even a variety of aquarium snails.

Will Corydoras Get Along with Amano Shrimp?

Whatever applies to the cherry shrimp applies to the Amano shrimp as well. Corydoras won’t bother adult Amano shrimps, given that they can grow up to 2 inches, but they can eat their shrimplets.

If you want to keep them safe, house them in separate environments until the small shrimp grow large enough to take care of themselves.

We’ve already discussed the other strategies you can employ to mitigate any potential violence between Corydoras and shrimps.


Corydoras are peaceful animals that will tolerate a wide range of tank mates. This includes the cherry shrimp, even though the 2 species aren’t exactly on the same branch in the food chain.

Remember, crustaceans are food for Corydoras, as the catfish can consume smaller shrimps if given the opportunity.

Follow my instructions and adopt some of my strategies to keep your shrimps safe and create a stable and charming community setup.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.

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