Bettas are loner fish. They’re as antisocial as they come. They are even known to fight their own reflection.
Bettas would rather have the entire tank to themselves. But a tank with just one betta fish looks somewhat drab, doesn’t it? Can you add some tankmates to the betta tank?
What about shrimps? Can shrimps live with bettas? Or would they make a gourmet meal for your frosty fish?
It is one of the most frequently asked questions here at Urban Fishkeeping.
So, I tried adding cherry shrimp to my betta tank. What was the result? Keep reading to know.
Can Shrimp Live With Betta?
Bettas are carnivores with a short temper. So adding a shrimp to your betta tank can go either way. It all boils down to your betta’s temperament and the tank’s layout. Some people have successfully kept amano, cherry, and ghost shrimp alongside betta, but I’d recommend getting a bamboo shrimp.
When I added my cherry shrimp to the betta tank, the betta immediately approached it for inspection. The shrimp was still as if it had turned to stone.
After a thorough probe that lasted for around 30 seconds, the betta swam away. The shrimp probably breathed a sigh of relief and sank to the bottom, where it remained for the entirety of the experiment.
Can Amano Shrimp Live With A Betta?
Amano shrimps are bigger than ghost shrimps and cherry shrimps. Therefore, they’re less prone to getting eaten by a betta fish. As long as the tank is big enough with enough hiding places and resources, amano shrimp can live with a betta.
You should know a couple of things before keeping amano shrimps and bettas together.
First, amano shrimps grow quite larger than other freshwater shrimps. They can grow over 2 inches in length. So, you’d need to get a bigger tank to begin with.
Second, they live long. While most shrimp species only live for a year or so, amanos can make it to their second or even third birthday.
Amanos aren’t exactly antisocial like bettas, but they keep to themselves most of the time. Thus, you can be assured the shrimp isn’t going to nag your betta.
Having said that, hobbyists report that amano shrimp get slightly aggressive during feeding. So the chances are that the shrimp might try to create a pecking order, which of course, won’t sit well with the betta.
Dispersing food evenly on all sides of the tank can help with this caveat.
Luckily, the water parameter requirements of an amano shrimp and a betta are quite similar. The temperature should fall between 70-80 degrees F, and the pH should be maintained between 6-7.
If you intend to house an amano shrimp and betta together, you must include plants and hideouts.
One of the reasons for that is that amanos shed their exoskeleton once a month, making them quite vulnerable during this period. Thus, they need some serious privacy as they regrow their shells.
Also, amanos primarily snack on algae. But by no means assume that algae should be their only food source. They should occasionally be treated with meaty, sinking food to ensure good nutrition.
As I said above, amanos grow pretty big for a freshwater shrimp. So, if you want to raise it alongside a betta, you’ll at least need a 10-gallon tank.
Will Betta Eat My Amano Shrimp?
Bettas are carnivores. Therefore, we cannot rule out the possibility that your betta won’t try to snack on amano. But since bettas are only an inch or so bigger than amanos, the chances of the latter being eaten are pretty slim.
Can Ghost Shrimp Live With A Betta?
Keeping a ghost shrimp alongside a betta can be dicey. Bettas are almost twice as big as ghost shrimps. If the tank is big enough and the resources aren’t scarce, they can live together in the same tank. However, note that bettas will readily snack on ghost shrimp babies.
Ghost shrimps grow around an inch and a half long. Bettas, on the other hand, reach up to 3 inches. So, your betta can gobble up your ghost shrimp if it wants.
However, in my experience of raising them together, the betta left the shrimp alone for the most part. The shrimp never meddled in the betta’s business either.
Ghost shrimps and bettas have identical needs when it comes to water parameters. The pH needs to be maintained in the 6-7 range, and the water temperature should be kept at around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
As it goes without saying, you need to ensure the tank is big enough and adorned with plants and little caves that will help your ghost shrimp molt in private.
Doing this will also increase their chances of survival.
Ghost shrimps eat algae, but you must regularly supplement their diet with aquatic plants, pellets, and larvae.
Lastly, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to raise ghost shrimps and bettas together.
First, ghost shrimps breed readily. So, if your tank is already near full capacity, you might want to reconsider your choice. But bettas quite readily eat ghost shrimp babies. So, it may not be that big of a problem.
Second, you should aim to house around 2 to 4 ghost shrimps. Ghost shrimps aren’t too social, but they are relieved in the company of their own kind.
If you add any more than 4 ghost shrimps, the tank can be populated with miniature ghost shrimps in no time.
Will Betta Eat My Ghost Shrimp?
I can’t answer this question with 100% certainty. The betta may or may not eat your ghost shrimp. Ghost shrimps are smaller than amanos. So, they’re more at risk of being eaten.
But as I said above, providing ample space, hideouts, and resources for all beings in the tank can keep your betta from eating the shrimp. I kept ghost shrimps in my betta tanks all the time and had no issue with anyone being eaten.
Can Cherry Shrimp Live With A Betta?
Cherry shrimps are smaller than amano and ghost shrimps. The female grows no bigger than 1.5 inches, whereas the male only reaches about 0.8-1 inch in length. Therefore, the betta may attempt to eat your cherry shrimp.
I experimented by placing a cherry shrimp in my betta tank, and I didn’t run into any problems. The betta was curious and inspected around, but that’s about it.
Having said that, things could have gone south at any moment.
The water pH for cherry shrimp should be between 6.5-8, and the temperature should be maintained between 57-84 degrees F. These conditions perfectly overlap with what a betta fish ideally needs.
Cherry shrimps are super hardy and tolerant compared to other shrimp varieties. Thus, they make excellent beginner shrimps. They also breed readily and are adept at hiding from predators.
If you want to keep cherry shrimps and bettas together, I’d advise getting a big tank so they don’t run into each other time and again.
Also, don’t forget to add plenty of plants that will serve as a source of food and refuge for your shrimp at the same time.
Will Betta Eat My Cherry Shrimp?
Matter of fact, any fish bigger than a cherry shrimp can potentially eat it. In addition to the miniature size, their bright colors make them an easy target.
Although my betta didn’t eat cherry shrimp during my experiment, I’d recommend erring on the side of caution.
Can Blue Shrimp Live With A Betta?
Blue shrimps grow about 1-1.5 inches long. At max, they will reach 2 inches. They can live with a betta in a big tank with plenty of hiding places. However, if the resources are scarce and your betta is furious, it can very well try to eat the blue shrimp.
During my research, I came across several hobbyists who reported that their blue shrimps were gobbled whole by bettas. So, unless you’re okay with your shrimp going MIA, I’d recommend not housing blue shrimp and a betta together.
But if you’re willing to take the risk, consider having a sizable tank with multiple hiding spots. The hiding spots are crucial for the shrimp to hide when it’s molting.
Also, blue shrimps breed quite rapidly as long as the water parameters are right. So if you’re serious about raising blue shrimps, you might want to relocate the baby shrimps as soon as they’re born.
Otherwise, your betta would have a ball snacking on the little babies.
Will Betta Eat My Blue Shrimp?
Yes, there’s a good chance that blue shrimp will be eaten by a betta. At least, that’s what several people on the forums reported. So, I’d recommend keeping the shrimp and the betta separate.
How To Keep Betta And Shrimp In The Same Tank?
Keeping bettas and shrimp in the same tank is tricky but not impossible. Getting a bigger fish tank, adding plenty of plants, and creating hideouts for the shrimps to safely molt are essential.
Get A Big Tank
Bettas and shrimps are often subjected to nano tanks where they barely have space to turn around. Now imagine what would happen when you keep a carnivore betta and a much smaller shrimp in a small, congested space.
The betta will most likely eat the shrimp.
To ensure the shrimp has a chance at life, you must get a tank big enough for each of the beings to claim their own space and create a tiny territory.
While many people have had success keeping bettas and shrimps in tanks sized 5 gallons, I’d recommend at least getting a 10-gallon tank for the shrimp’s safety.
Add Hiding Places
As you already know, bettas aren’t friendly fish. Shrimps aren’t social butterflies either. So both parties could benefit from having a spot to hide when going gets tough.
Moreover, shrimps molt frequently to grow. They shed their exoskeleton and develop a new one. And they’re very vulnerable during this ‘molting’ period.
Your betta can seize the opportunity and try to eat the shrimp.
Thus, shrimps need hiding places more than bettas. For them, it’s a life-and-death situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind Of Shrimp Can Live With Bettas?
Bamboo shrimp, also known as wood shrimp, make excellent tankmates for a betta. Native to Southeast Asia, these freshwater shrimps are docile and easy-going.
These shrimps grow around 3 inches long. So, the risk of your betta gorging on your shrimp is fairly low.
You can, of course, keep amano shrimps, ghost shrimps, and cherry shrimps alongside a betta. But there’s always a chance that the shrimp will turn into a gourmet meal for the betta.
Will My Betta Eat My Shrimp?
The answer to this question differs from one betta to another. Whether the betta will eat your shrimp or not depends on the betta’s temperament, availability of food in the tank, and the size of the tank.
At the end of the day, bettas are carnivore fish who will make an attempt to eat anything they can fit in their mouth.
Can Betta Fish Eat Baby Shrimp?
Yes, bettas can eat baby shrimp. They love it. If you plan on raising baby shrimps, you’ll need to rehome them in a ‘betta-free’ tank.
How Many Ghost Shrimps Can You Have In A 5-Gallon Tank With A Betta?
I’d recommend adding no more than 1 betta and 2 ghost shrimps in a 5-gallon tank. Even then, you need to stay on top of the water parameters at all times.
Final Words: Can Shrimp Live With Betta?
Your betta would love to be the only fish in the tank. But it can live with shrimps. Having said that, there’s a good chance that the betta will eat up your shrimp.
For my experiment, I added cherry shrimp to the betta fish tank, and the shrimp didn’t die. The fish was inquisitive at first but left the shrimp alone.
People have had success keeping amano, ghost, and cherry shrimps alongside betta. But many have also reported that the betta gobbled up the shrimp.
So, it can go either way. At the end of the day, it all boils down to betta’s temperament.
If you want to raise shrimp and betta together, I’d recommend getting a bamboo shrimp.