Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Other Fish?

Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Other Fish?

If you’re a fish enthusiast or considering adding cherry shrimp to your aquarium, you may wonder if these cute little crustaceans have an appetite for their tank mates. While cherry shrimp are generally peaceful and non-aggressive, it’s important to understand their behavior and dietary preferences to ensure a harmonious aquarium environment.

The Diet of Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp are primarily herbivorous and feed on algae, biofilm, and detritus in their natural habitat. In an aquarium setting, they are known as excellent algae eaters and are often introduced to help control algae growth. They will eagerly graze on various types of algae, including green spot algae, hair algae, and brush algae.

Additionally, cherry shrimp are omnivorous, which means they also consume a variety of small organisms and organic matter. They will happily devour decaying plant material, dead leaves, and uneaten fish food that sinks to the bottom of the tank. Their diet is diverse and includes bacteria, fungi, and small invertebrates they come across.

Will Cherry Shrimp Eat Other Fish?

Now, here’s the burning question: will cherry shrimp nibble on their finned tank mates? Rest assured, cherry shrimp are generally peaceful and unlikely to prey on or harm other fish. They have small and non-aggressive mouths that are better suited for scavenging and grazing rather than hunting or attacking.

However, it is worth noting that in rare cases, cherry shrimp may attempt to eat newborn or weak fish fry. This behavior is not typical and usually occurs only if the cherry shrimp are hungry and there is a lack of available food sources in the aquarium. To minimize the chances of this happening, it is recommended to provide ample hiding spots and dense vegetation to give the fish fry a safe place to retreat.

Tank Compatibility for Cherry Shrimp and Fish

Cherry shrimp can coexist peacefully with various fish species in a well-maintained aquarium. However, it is essential to choose tank mates that are compatible with their small size and non-aggressive nature. Tank mates that might pose a threat to cherry shrimp include larger, predatory fish or those known for nipping at invertebrates.

To ensure a harmonious community, consider these fish species that are generally compatible with cherry shrimp:

  • Small and peaceful fish, such as neon tetras, endlers, guppies, and rasboras.
  • Bottom-dwelling fish that occupy different areas of the tank, such as corydoras catfish or otocinclus.
  • Slow-moving and non-aggressive species, like bettas or dwarf gouramis (with caution and careful observation).

Before introducing any new fish to the aquarium, it’s always a good idea to research their compatibility with cherry shrimp and consult with knowledgeable aquarium experts or local fish stores.


In conclusion, cherry shrimp mainly feed on algae, biofilm, and detritus, making them excellent additions to an aquarium for controlling algae growth. While they are generally peaceful and non-aggressive, they may occasionally attempt to nibble on weak or newborn fish fry if hungry. However, providing sufficient hiding spots and dense vegetation can minimize the chances of this behavior occurring.

When choosing tank mates for cherry shrimp, it’s important to select fish species that are compatible with their docile nature. Small, peaceful fish and bottom-dwelling species are generally safe options. Remember, each aquarium setup is unique, and careful observation is key to maintaining a harmonious community. Happy shrimp keeping!