Do Guppies Eat Shrimp?

If the guppies and shrimp aren’t being cared for properly and placed in an environment that doesn’t satisfy their needs, then, unfortunately, guppies can eat the shrimp. 

Not all creatures of water can live in the same habitat. Sometimes, placing two different species in one aquarium can cause more harm than good.

So, would placing guppies and shrimp together cause harm? Do guppies eat shrimp?

Guppies and shrimp can co-exist in the same habitat. However, before you go ahead and place them together, you must take some precautions in order to prevent the guppies from feeding on the shrimps.

Do Guppies Eat Shrimp?

Guppies are omnivores, which means they feed on both meat and plants. This includes shrimp, seeing as shrimps are lower on the food chain than guppies.

To add, they eat way more than the average species of fish. Guppies can sometimes even eat their own babies!

With that in mind, for your guppies and shrimp to co-exist, you must ensure that your guppies are well-fed.

Luckily, there are many ways to decrease the likelihood of the guppies eating the shrimp.

Red Shrimp on Plant

How to Stop Guppies From Eating Shrimp?

The good news is that guppies are a relatively peaceful species of fish. So, it’s not that difficult to stop them from eating the shrimps in your tank.

All that’s needed is attention to certain factors, which are:

  • The habitat
  • The food
  • The ratio

Taking these factors into consideration doesn’t necessarily mean the guppies will never eat the shrimp, though. A few will be eaten, but much more won’t be because of these factors.

The Habitat

Guppies and shrimp are commonly found in freshwater rivers, but numerous species of shrimp can live in both salt and freshwater. Additionally, both guppies and shrimp prefer environments with many hiding spots in the form of plants or rocks.

Now that we’ve got the similarities down, let’s get to the differences!

Shrimp will commonly be found at the bottom of the tank on the “seafloor” while guppies prefer swimming around in the middle or at the top of the tank.

This is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

An advantage because it limits contact between guppies and shrimp. A disadvantage because the food does not get to the shrimp frequently since it’s eaten by guppies before it reaches the bottom. We’ll tackle the whole food dilemma in the next section.

The key to creating the ideal habitat for both species is filling it up with plants such as different types of moss, ferns, and grass. This increases the number of hiding spots for shrimps so they can hide from guppies.

The Food

A huge misconception about keeping shrimp and guppies together is that the shrimp population decreases only because the guppies ate them. Another reason behind the population decrease could be that the shrimp are starving to death.

As we said before, a huge disadvantage of guppies commonly swimming around at the top or middle of the tank and the shrimp being at the bottom is that the shrimp don’t get enough food.

Shrimp are scavengers, meaning they survive off of leftovers as well as plant matter. The main problem here is that guppies don’t leave leftovers!

The shrimp will survive off of plant matter, or biofilm, but this won’t provide enough nutrients to outrun their predators, which will make the shrimp weaker.

This is why it’s important to make sure your shrimp are getting enough food.

A good tip is to spread the food throughout the tank to make sure both the guppies and shrimp get access to it.

Three Guppies Swimming Towards the Left in Front of Plants and Black Backgroundinvertebrates

The Ratio

What happens when the predator outnumbers the prey in an ecosystem? The prey goes extinct!

The unfortunate reality is that guppies can and will eat shrimp. That’s why placing more guppies in the tank than shrimp is a recipe for disaster.

Not only will this increase competition between the guppies, making them more hostile, but the shrimp population will decrease much faster.

The perfect ratio for shrimp to guppies is 3:1. This ensures there’s plenty of shrimp so you don’t need to worry about the population decreasing quickly.

Another thing to avoid is placing baby shrimp or smaller shrimp in the tank with guppies. Doing so makes the shrimp easier to hunt and eat. The best thing to do is place only fully grown adult shrimp into the tank.

Can the Shrimp Breed With Guppies Around?

If you want to breed shrimp, then it’s probably best not to place them with guppies. Not only do baby shrimp make for easy prey for guppies, but so do pregnant shrimp.

It’s not impossible for shrimps to breed when there are guppies around. However, once they do, it’s advised to move the babies to another tank. Give them time to fully grow before you attempt to put them back in with the guppies. Otherwise, the baby shrimp will be eaten by the guppies.

With all of that being said, with extra care and attention, you can breed shrimp in a tank that has guppies, but it’s best to breed them in a separate tank.

In Summary

Most species can co-exist if you place them in the right environment. If all the species have all the resources they need to survive, then everyone will be happy! The same applies to guppies and shrimp.

All you need to do is pay extra attention to whether or not your guppies’ needs are met. If they are, then you don’t need to worry about them eating your shrimp.

It’s also important that you provide your shrimps with plenty of hiding spots and to ensure that they’re well-fed so that they don’t starve, seeing as guppies don’t leave any leftovers.

Keep in mind that it’s not about protecting the shrimp from the guppies but rather about giving the shrimp the right resources to protect themselves from the guppies!