Can Betta Fish Live With Shrimp? 4 Most Compatible Species

    Can betta fish live with shrimp

    Do you have a Betta fish? They’re a popular choice for fish keepers, but can Betta fish live with shrimp? After all, both are aquatic creatures, and they would make for an interesting (and pretty) addition to your tank.

    The short answer is yes, but there are some things you need to know before adding shrimp to your aquarium, such as which shrimp variety to choose.

    In this blog post, we’ll explore whether or not it’s possible for Betta fish and shrimp to live together in the same tank. So if you’re thinking about adding shrimp to your tank, keep reading – you won’t want to miss this!

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    Best Shrimp That Can Live With Betta Fish

    Betta fish live for quite a long time – and you might think that it’s a long time for them to spend all on their lonesome. There are certain shrimp species that will do well with Betta fish, so your beloved pet will have a companion.

    Here are the most popular choices.

    Amano Shrimp

    Amano shrimp

    Scientific name: Caridina multidentata
    Size: 1.5 – 2 inches
    Number Of Shrimps With Betta Per 5 Gallons: 3 – 5
    Lifespan: 2 – 3 years
    Temperature: 65 – 86°F (18 – 30°C)


    Amano shrimp are a type of freshwater shrimp that originates from Japan. They’re named after Takashi Amano, who is credited with popularizing them in the aquarium trade. Amano also founded the company Aqua Design Amano (ADA), which specializes in providing supplies for fishkeepers everywhere.

    Amano shrimp are a popular choice for Betta fish tanks, and for good reason. These small, hardy creatures are peaceful and easy to care for, making them an excellent addition to any community tank. This makes them a great tankmate for Betta fish.

    They’re also helpful in controlling algae growth. Amano shrimp typically grow to be about 2 inches long and are brown or translucent in color.

    Plus, they’re great at keeping things clean – Amano shrimp are known for their algae-eating habits, and will gladly munch on any unwanted algae in your tank. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance tankmate for your Betta fish, Amano shrimp are a great option.

    The only downside to amano shrimp is that they’re not as widely available as other shrimp species – but they make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium if you can find them.

    Also, it’s important to remember that Bettas eat Amano shrimp, so prepare plenty of hiding places and lots of swimming space.

    Cherry Shrimp

    Cherry shrimp

    Scientific name: Neocaridina denticulata
    Size: 1 – 2 inches
    Number Of Shrimps With Betta Per 5 Gallons: 3 – 5
    Lifespan: 2 – 3 years
    Temperature: 65 – 86°F (18 – 30°C)


    Cherry shrimp are a popular type of aquarium shrimp that are known for their bright red color. Female cherry shrimp are typically larger in size compared to males, and female cherry shrimps will also tend to have deeper coloration.

    They are part of the genus Neocaridina, which includes several other species of dwarf shrimp. Cherry shrimp are native to Taiwan and other parts of East Asia, and have been introduced to many other parts of the world. In the wild, they can be found in streams, rivers, and ponds. In captivity, they are often kept in freshwater aquariums.

    Cherry shrimp are easy to care for and make a good tankmate for Betta fish. They are peaceful and non-aggressive, and will not bother Betta fish or their eggs. Cherry shrimp also help to keep the aquarium clean by eating algae and other detritus.

    That said, cherry shrimp are not the best algae eaters, so don’t rely on them to keep your tank clean. They are also more delicate than other shrimp species, so they may not do well in a tank with high levels of nitrates or ammonia.

    Additionally, due to their color, they can be preyed upon by more aggressive Bettas.

    Bettas eat cherry shrimp – so if you’re thinking about adding cherry shrimp to your tank, make sure your Betta is not too aggressive and that your cherry shrimp has dense shrubbery to hide on. That said, cherry shrimp and Bettas still work in general.

    Red Cherry Shrimp

    Red cherry shrimp

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi ‘Red’
    Size: 1 – 2 inches
    Number Of Shrimps With Betta Per 5 Gallons: 3 – 5
    Lifespan: 2 – 3 years
    Temperature: 65 – 86°F (18 – 30°C)


    Red cherry shrimp are another great option if you want to have shrimps in your aquarium, especially if it’s a Betta fish aquarium.

    The red cherry shrimp is a color-graded variety of the cherry shrimp. There are many types of cherry shrimp, from the most common red cherry to yellows to blue dreams and black rose. Nevertheless, the red cherry shrimp, or RCS, is the hardiest of them all, making it ideal to add to a Betta tank.

    The red cherry shrimp is a hardy species, unlike some of their cousins, and doesn’t require a lot of care to thrive. They’re not violent or bothersome, and are reliable scavengers that will eat extra food, algae, and algae wafers.

    Their attractive red colors, deeper than a regular Cherry Shrimp, is ideal for adding interest to your aquarium as well.

    However, they do suffer from the same problems as their cousins, because of their bright red colors, more aggressive Bettas can spot them easier, making them more appealing preys compared to camouflaged varieties.

    The general rule to remember is that Bettas eat cherry shrimp – and they eat red cherry shrimps just as much, if not more.

    If you’re thinking about adding Red Cherry Shrimps to your tank, make sure that they have a lot of hiding spaces and that your Betta has a mild temperament.

    Ghost Shrimp

    Ghost shrimp

    Scientific name: Palaemonetes paludosus
    Size: 1 – 2 inches
    Number Of Shrimps With Betta Per 5 Gallons: 3 – 5
    Lifespan: 2 – 3 years
    Temperature: 65 – 86°F (18 – 30°C)


    Ghost shrimp are one of the most popular shrimp for aquariums because they are so easy to care for and are very active. They are also excellent tankmates for Betta fish.

    Ghost shrimp are scavengers and will help to keep the tank clean. They are also very good at hiding and will often hang out in the plants. Ghost shrimp are very peaceful and will not bother the Betta fish.

    Aside from helping clean the tank, adding ghost shrimp to your aquarium will also create other food sources for particularly temperamental Bettas.

    Betta eat ghost shrimp that are still small. Luckily, ghost shrimps are cheap and easily attainable, and they don’t have bright coloration that makes them valuable for shows. Ghost shrimp babies are also plentiful and nutritious for Bettas.

    Ghost shrimps are also very easy to breed, and some pet stores keep them as feeder shrimps for carnivorous fish. There’s no telling how many ghost shrimp can come from a single colony, but they can balloon to big populations with the proper care.

    Ghost shrimp live for a long time as well, as long as two to three years with the proper water parameters. You can easily keep them as clean up crews that double as food sources for your hungry Betta.

    The only problem with ghost shrimp is that they are very delicate – even more so than most aquarium shrimps tend to be. They can be easily killed by chemicals in the water or by other tank mates.

    Nevertheless, the ghost shrimp is still a great addition to any stable tank.

    Shrimp To Avoid Adding To A Betta Fish Tank

    Now that we’ve covered some of the best freshwater shrimp species for Betta fish tanks, let’s take a look at a few that you’ll want to avoid.

    Bamboo Shrimp

    Macro shot of Freshwater Bamboo Shrimp. Atyopsis moluccensis.

    Scientific name: Atyopsis spinipes
    Size: 2 – 3 inches
    Number Of Shrimps With Betta Per 5 Gallons: None
    Lifespan: 1 – 2 years
    Temperature: 75 – 81°F (24 -27°C)


    The bamboo shrimp is a beautiful creature, and will certainly add interest to any freshwater aquarium.

    They have a beautiful, natural-looking wood-like pattern that helps them blend into their surroundings. However, once you spot them, you will find it difficult to walk away because of the interesting pattern that they have on their bodies.

    They have a thicker and stockier build compared to some varieties, which tends to be a bit on the slimmer side.

    However, bamboo shrimps aren’t the best shrimps to add to your Betta aquarium. This is because they’re largely filter feeders that need a lot of algae to survive – whereas you would want your Betta tank to be spotless and algae-free.

    They do eat algae wafers, but with their voracious appetite, they will likely end up competing with your Betta fish for food – which will expose them and make them more likely prey.

    They also tend to grow at least an inch bigger than red cherry shrimps, and will make them bigger targets for ill-tempered Bettas.

    Camel Shrimp

    Camel Shrimp (Rhynchcinetes durbanensis)

    Scientific name: Rhynchocinetes uritai
    Size: 1.5 inches
    Number Of Shrimps With Betta Per 5 Gallons: None
    Lifespan: 3 – 5 years
    Temperature: 64 – 77°F (17.7 – 25°C)


    The camel shrimp is another filter feeder that will compete with your Betta fish for food. Now, you need to do your research for this one – because camel shrimps are freshwater shrimps.

    They have a unique ornate markings on their body that seems to shine when the light hits them, and aside from that, they even have a unique “camel” shape that adds a lot of interest to their appearance. However, they’re not suitable to add to a Betta tank because you can’t raise them in freshwater.

    It might seem obvious for most aquarists, but beginners in the hobby might make this mistake, especially if they haven’t done their research.

    Bee Shrimp

    Red bee shrimp stay on grass or aquatic moss with dark and green background

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis
    Size: 1.5 inches
    Number Of Shrimps With Betta Per 5 Gallons: None
    Lifespan: 1 – years
    Temperature: 70 – 78 °F (21 – 26 °C)


    The bee shrimp is a species of shrimp that cover many different variations popular in the aquarium hobby. Some of the more popular types include the crystal red shrimp, cardina dragon blood, blue tiger, and more.

    They are characterized by a very interesting alternating pattern, with bright colors alternating with neutral stripes running down the length of its body.

    As a result, it’s an in-demand species for aquariums, particularly as show shrimps because of their allure.

    Aside from that, they’re also a hardy species, and can be kept even by new hobbyists. This means that they have roughly the same requirement as the other shrimps, such as a healthy diet and clean water.

    Nevertheless, this Betta fish and shrimp combo won’t work well. This is because their bright coloration makes them unsuited to add to a Betta fish tank – this species’ bright coloration and pattern makes them stand out even if they hide in the plants.

    Since Bettas are natural predators, they will gravitate towards easily-identifiable prey.

    How To Take Care Of Shrimp In A Betta Fish Tank

    Can male bettas live with shrimp

    As we’ve seen, some shrimp and Bettas are a good mix, while some are not.

    Now that you know what the best shrimps are to add as Betta tank mates, you might be wondering exactly how you can care for them – especially with a predator right in their midst.

    Thus, the section will serve as your quick and dirty guide to taking care of your new small friends.

    Care Requirements

    In this part, we’re going to discuss the basic care requirements that shrimps need to survive in your aquarium, such as diet, habitat, and water parameters.


    Shrimps are considered to be scavengers, meaning that shrimps generally eat anything that you offer them, be it fish food, meat, or soft fruits. You can even find them often grazing on the aquarium substrate, looking for food.

    They’re also pretty big algae eaters.

    Freshwater shrimps eat the most common types of algae, and some species like the bamboo shrimp are filter feeders that eat the microscopic diatoms and micro-organisms in the water.

    While shrimps eat practically everything, it’s not a good idea to overfeed them, or it will foul the water. Enough food to eat within two to three minutes, once or twice daily should be more than enough for their nutrition.

    Natural Habitat

    If you want your shrimps to thrive, you’ll want to give them a home that mimics their natural habitat. This will put them at ease and minimize stressors, allowing them to lead happy and healthy lives.

    Aquarium freshwater shrimps originally came from a wide variety of shrimps from across the world, with differing environments.

    However, in general, they tend to thrive in areas with lots of hiding spaces and cover that helps them hide in plain sight. You could simulate this with dense plants, plenty of hardwood, or strategically placed decorations.

    Cover is especially important if you’re keeping shrimps with Betta fishes, because Bettas eat shrimp.

    Water requirements

    Different species will have varying water requirements for them to thrive. Water acidity, temperature, and even quality can vary – however, a general rule of thumb is to keep ammonia and nitrites undetectable, with nitrate figures below 10 ppm.

    Always apply a water conditioner or de-chlorinator like Seachem Prime if you’re using water from the tap. Also, remember not to overfeed your Betta or shrimp so that you don’t foul up the water.

    Another basic rule to remember is to do your due diligence every time you buy a shrimp to ensure their new habitat will be good for them.

    Behavior And Temperament

    Shrimps make ideal tank mates for Betta because they have a very mild temperament. Being at the bottom of the food chain, shrimps both literally and figuratively won’t hurt a fly, and are thus good tank mates for territorial fishes such as Bettas.

    Most shrimps are also shy, especially if they’re just introduced to your tank.

    They will likely hide in the dense cover until they feel safe enough to come out, which could take hours to days. There even are some shrimps that will never come out of their hiding place.

    They might make great tank mates for your Betta, but the flip side is that they’re prone to be preyed upon.

    Thus, it’s essential that you prepare as much as you can before introducing your shrimps so that you won’t have problems later on. More tips about this can be found towards the end of this article.


    If you like having shrimps around, you might want to breed them. Multiplying the colony is also great if you’re keeping them as a source of food for other fishes, or even for your Betta. Nevertheless, it’s important to know how to breed these little critters.

    That said, the breeding difficulty for shrimps varies from species to species.

    Some species, such as red cherry shrimps, breed with virtually no assistance necessary from the aquarists. Bee shrimps are more difficult, although not impossible – because they need specific water parameters to breed.

    On the other hand, Amano shrimps are almost impossible to breed without a dedicated setup, as they require brackish water to propagate their offspring.

    Benefits Of Adding Shrimp To A Betta Fish Tank

    Now that you know which shrimp species are the best (and worst) choices for a Betta fish tank, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of adding shrimp to your aquarium.

    • Shrimp helps to keep the tank clean. One of the biggest benefits of adding shrimp is that they help clean even a big fish tank. Shrimp are natural scavengers and will help to keep your tank free of algae and other debris, and they also coexist peacefully with any other fish species that might be in the tank.
    • Shrimp are a source of food for Betta fish. Shrimp can be a source of food for your Betta fish. If you have a larger Betta fish, you may want to consider adding a few shrimp to the tank for them to snack on. If you manage to get them to spawn, baby shrimp are also excellent sources of nutrition for your Betta or any other tropical fish that you might have.
    • Shrimp adds interest to the tank. Shrimp are a great addition to any aquarium because they add interest and variety. Betta fish are often the star of the show, but shrimp can be a great addition to your tank.

    Can Betta Fish Eat Shrimp?

    Can Betta fish eat shrimp

    As mentioned in other blog posts, Betta fish have voracious appetites. So, the big question is – do Betta fish eat shrimp?

    The answer is yes, they can. But it’s important to remember that not all Betta fish will eat shrimp. Some Bettas will leave them alone and some may even view them as a potential friend.

    If you’re thinking about adding shrimp to your Betta fish tank, it’s a good idea to prepare beforehand. Make sure that there are plenty of hiding places for the shrimp. Many fish keepers add grass to their tanks so that the shrimp will have someplace to hide when they’re eating.

    You should also consider getting a larger shrimp. Betta fish are known to eat smaller shrimp, so it’s best to get a larger shrimp that is at least 2 inches in length.

    You should also keep an eye on your Betta fish when they’re first introduced to the shrimp. If you see any signs of aggression, it’s best to remove the shrimp from the tank.

    Can A Shrimp Kill A Betta Fish?

    Shrimp are not known to be aggressive. That said, it’s not unheard of to hear stories of shrimp attacking a sick or dying Betta fish. They can’t eat the entire Betta, per se, but they can cause damage to their tail and fins. Unless the shrimp are very large, healthy Bettas should be completely safe from them.

    Do Shrimp Eat Algae In A Betta Fish Tank?

    While shrimp do eat algae, they are not the most efficient algae eaters. If you’re looking for a shrimp that can help to keep your tank clean, you’re better off with a different species.

    Can Multiple Shrimp Species Live In A Betta Fish Tank?

    Multiple shrimp species can live in a Betta fish tank. However, it’s essential to do your research before adding any new shrimp to your tank. Some shrimp species are known to be aggressive, so you’ll want to avoid these.

    It’s also important to make sure that the shrimp you’re adding are of a similar size to avoid any potential complications.

    One of the best combinations is the cherry shrimp and the Amano shrimp. These two species are known to be peaceful and can coexist without any problems. However, remember that Bettas eat Amano shrimp and cherry shrimps in equal measure, so keep that in mind.

    How to Keep Your Shrimps Safe in Your Betta Tank

    Red cherry shrimp

    Shrimps are interesting and beautiful creatures that can add beauty and personality to your Betta fish tank. However, keeping them safe might be quite a chore – although not all siamese fighting fish eat shrimps, it’s best to be careful and prepare.

    Thus, you need to know how to keep your shrimps safe in your Betta tank, which you can do with the following tips.

    • Have plenty of hiding spaces. One of the primary things you must prepare for is to add plenty of places to hide for your shrimp. Live plants are the best for this, as your Betta wouldn’t chase them to dense vegetation, but this cover could also be a variety of nooks and crannies or decorations.
    • Keep your Betta well-fed with a healthy diet. If your Betta is well-fed with high-quality fish food, they are much less likely to look at your freshwater shrimps as an additional food source. Make sure your Betta is fed with a balanced diet of high-quality dry and live food.
    • Don’t let your Betta get bored. Siamese fighting fish are incredibly intelligent, and they can get bored if they don’t get enough stimulation – at which point, they might just start attacking their shrimp friends just to have a bit of fun. Prevent this by planting lots of live plants or giving them plenty of things they can interact with.
    • Gauge your Betta’s temperament beforehand. It might not be possible for all Betta fish tank owners, but whenever possible, try to see if your Betta fish is an aggressive one. Bettas have their own temperaments, and knowing yours will help you know what to expect.
    • Add shrimp to long-finned Bettas. Tiny shrimps are ideal companions for slow-moving, long-finned fancy Bettas. This is because these fishes swim very slowly, giving the nimbler shrimps more chances to run away themselves.


    Adding shrimp to your Betta fish tank can be a great way to add interest and variety.

    Shrimp and Bettas pair well together, both visually, ecologically, and functionally. However, it’s essential to do your research beforehand and to ensure that you’re adding the right shrimp species – some shrimp and Bettas species just don’t mesh well.

    If you can do that, you’ll be sure to have a happy and healthy tank for both your shrimp and your Betta fish!

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