Whether you are a new aquarium hobbyist or a veteran, it is important to know what fish and critters can live as tank mates. This is because putting together the wrong fish and critters in the same tank can lead to disastrous consequences. One of the critters or one of the fish could eat its tank mates as dinner.
Many aquarium hobbyists keep Betta fish as they are some of the most popular aquarium fish to keep. If you are one of them, then this post is for you. This is because in it I am going to share with you important information about keeping betta fish with shrimp.
So Can Betta Fish and Shrimp Live in the Same Tank?
While betta fish aka Siamese fighting fish are known to be pretty aggressive, they actually have no problem living with different types of shrimp. Many experienced aquarists host them together in medium-sized tanks and they live happily and independently without negatively affecting each other.
The Best Environment for Keeping Betta Fish and Shrimp Together
If you keep betta fish and shrimp in the wrong environment chances are that the fish will attack the shrimp. Because as mentioned, the fish is very aggressive and also territorial.
The best tank environment for betta fish and shrimp is one with plenty of hiding spots. The hiding spots will allow your shrimp to hide when being chased or if they feel threatened. The best hiding spots are those created by aquatic plants. So if you do not have aquatic plants, please grow them. Aquatic plants while not only create hiding spots for your shrimp but also become food for them. This is because shrimps like feeding on fallen plant matter.
You can also create hiding spots by gluing rocks together to form caves. If you choose to glue rocks together, make sure both the rocks and the glue are aquarium-friendly.
The easiest way to create hiding spots is to buy decorations with hiding spots from Amazon or your local pet store. Examples of such decorations include sunken pirate ship models with holes and spaces inside them and partially opened miniature treasure chests.
In addition to adding hiding spots, you better make sure that the tank is big enough. You should not keep betta fish and any other fish or critter in a space that feels confined. This will make them go crazy and increase their likelihood of attacking their tank mates.
The smallest tank size you can use to host one betta fish and shrimp is a 10-gallon tank.
What Do You Need To Feed Your Shrimp
If you already have betta fish in your tank then you most probably know what they eat. Moreover, there is plenty of information available online about what betta fish eat or prefer to eat. However, there isn’t much information about what shrimp eat.
Most aquarium shrimp species are scavengers. They eat whatever they find including leftover fish food, fallen plant parts, and algae. However, the fact that they are scavengers should not mean you ignore them when buying food for your betta fish. You should buy shrimp food from your pet store to feed them several times during the week to keep them healthy.
Shrimp Species that You Can Host In Your Betta Fish Tank
As I mentioned earlier in this post, shrimp can live harmoniously with betta fish in the same tank. However, there are specific species of shrimp that are known to be most compatible with betta fish. They are cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp, and ghost shrimp.
Betta Fish and Cherry Shrimp
Can betta fish live with cherry shrimp? Of course, they can. You just have to create the perfect environment for the fish and the critter to live harmoniously.
Cherry shrimp are bright red and smaller than other shrimp. Females grow 1-inch tall, while the males are quite small. Because of their size, you should not keep male cherry shrimp with your betta fish. Because the fish could see them as dinner. Fortunately, not many pet stores sell male cherry shrimp.
Cherry shrimp prefer somewhat neutral pH and have a wide temperature range. This is the same case with betta fish. Therefore, you do not really need to do much to ensure your betta fish and cherry shrimp thrive in the same environment.
Cherry shrimp prefer living in a group. A group of five is not bad but a group of ten is ideal. If you have a 10-gallon tank, you should keep no more than one betta and ten shrimp in it. If you keep two betta fish and more than ten shrimp in it, the place will be cramped.
Cherry shrimp are attractive to look at because of their bright red hue. They are also known to be algae eating machines. While they will always find algae to feed on in your tank, you should not just let them feed on algae alone. You should buy them shrimp pet food and feed them pieces of the veggies you eat.
Is there a possibility that a betta fish can attack a cherry shrimp? Yes, there is. However, betta fish (especially female betta fish) are not known to attack cherry shrimp.
Betta Fish and Ghost Shrimp
Can betta fish live with ghost shrimp? Absolutely! In this case, you also have to create the perfect environment for the fish and the shrimp to live together peacefully.
In my opinion, ghost shrimp are the perfect tank mates for betta fish. There are three reasons why I say this. First, they are fascinating to look at because of their transparent appearance. Second, they grow as big as 1.5 inches making them too big to look like dinner for betta fish. Lastly, they prefer to keep to themselves. Therefore, betta fish are unlikely to consider them as a threat to their territory.
Ghost shrimp, like cherry shrimp, prefer a neutral temperature. They can survive in any temperature between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. So you won’t find it difficult to host them in the same tank as betta fish because betta fish also prefer a neutral temperature and thrive at around 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
The only problem with ghost shrimp is that they breed very rapidly. However, your betta fish will probably keep their population in check by sampling the babies for dinner.
Like cherry shrimp, ghost shrimp prefer being kept in groups. The ideal number of ghost shrimp for most tank sizes is five. Anything more than five and you could end up with a ghost shrimp problem.
Is there a possibility that a betta fish can attack a ghost shrimp? Yes, there is. However, it will only eat the babies and it is unlikely to disturb or attack ghost shrimp unless in very special circumstances e.g. it is not given sufficient food.
Betta Fish and Amano Shrimp
Can betta fish live with Amano shrimp? You bet! Amano shrimp are bigger than ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp. They can grow as big as 2 inches and, therefore, your betta fish is unlikely to consider them as food. Amano shrimp is also grey in color and, therefore, unlikely to attract the interest of your betta fish. They are probably the shrimp that betta fish are least likely to attack or eat.
Amano shrimp largely avoid interacting with fish or other critters. They keep to themselves. However, while they may not disturb your betta, they could fight over food in the first few days and this could stress your betta and make him or her aggressive. However, after two or three days, your Amano shrimp will not fight because the pecking order will be established and everybody else in the shrimp group will be toeing the line.
Amano shrimp will thrive in the same temperature and pH range you keep your betta. So there is no need to make any adjustments if you want to introduce them to your betta tank.
A group of five Amano shrimp in a 10-gallon tank is ideal. They will not be too many to be bothersome or too few to be lonely.
Is there a possibility that a betta fish can attack Amano shrimp? It is very unlikely because of the size of Amano shrimp.
Betta fish can live harmoniously with shrimp as long as the conditions are right. The best way to keep betta fish with shrimp is in a big tank that is planted and has decorations.
Because the fact that the tank is big will reduce the likelihood of the betta attacking the shrimp and the fact that the tank is planted will provide the shrimp with hiding spaces in case they feel threatened. The best shrimp to keep with betta fish are ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp, and Amano shrimp. In my opinion, the ghost shrimp is the perfect tank mate for betta fish.