Shrimp and Betta Fish – Can They Live Together?

Bettas are compatible with many aquatic pets, and they make for a colorful community tank. Knowing which species to couple up with bettas will spare your tank of aggression, injuries, and even death.

This page may contain affiliate links, which will earn us a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Shrimps are excellent tank cleaners, and they will actively scavenge for leftovers and algae in an aquarium. For the most part, shrimps and bettas will co-exist peacefully, although you should know the kinds of shrimps that will be good tank mates.

Shrimps are especially vulnerable during molting, where they shed their outer skin once a month and grow another one. Hiding spaces will allow the shrimp to shelter away as their shell hardens, as they can easily get stressed during this period. 

Can Cherry Shrimp Survive in a Betta Tank?

Betta fish will easily eat cherry shrimps, especially since the latter grows to around one inch or smaller.

You can try and give your cherry shrimp the best chances of survival in a betta tank by setting up your tank in a favorable way for both fish. To start, get a betta that has been raised in an aquarium with shrimp in the hopes that the betta will tolerate your cherry shrimp.

The most crucial factor is giving the shrimp many hiding places. Include plants like java moss and use driftwood and decorations to shelter your shrimp safely. Bettas love densely planted spaces too, and it makes them feel confident enough to swim in open areas.

Another thing to observe is the size of your aquarium. If the aquarium or betta jar is very small, betta fish will feel stressed, frustrated and very territorial and will attack other fish on impulse. Ten gallons is a good tank size to keep bettas and cherry shrimp together.

Some aquarists will add the cherry shrimp first and then the betta. The betta can feel protective of their territories and attract additional species.

If you add your shrimp in a tank with bettas, watch how the latter behaves and act accordingly. Your betta may keep chasing the cherry shrimp away no matter how much the shrimp hides.

The cherry shrimp will eat anything you give your bettas, in addition to any algae in your aquarium.

Amano Shrimp and Betta Fish

The amano shrimp are bigger than the cherry variety, although bettas can still chase them. They can reach over 2 inches in size, and the chances of getting eaten by bettas are quite low.

The amano shrimp is an ornamental variety named after the famed Japanese aquarist Takashi Amano, who praised them as a natural aquarium cleaner crew. Amano shrimp are coveted for their cleaning behavior since they will remove any algae in your tank.

These shrimps are a dull grey, and they will not seem to be a considerable threat to bettas as another brightly colored species would.

You will need to set up the aquarium in a way that is favorable for both species. You can keep three amano shrimp and one betta in a 5-gallon tank, although a bigger aquarium would be ideal.

Give your amano shrimp places to hide in the form of caves, tubes, plants, and driftwood. Bettas love planted tanks too and you can experiment with varieties like anacharis, hornwort, and Java moss. Do not keep large rocks at the bottom as they may trap the legs of the shrimp.

Amano shrimp loves to hide, and you can fail to spot them for several days. Their clear color can also conceal their activity, although they mostly forage around for algae. You also want to keep amano shrimp in groups of three to five to make them comfortable.

Amano shrimp and bettas will thrive in similar water conditions that include a temperature range of 76-82 °F.

Bamboo Shrimp and Betta Fish

Bettas and bamboo shrimp make a mismatched pair because the shrimp loves strong water flow in contrast to the weak currents in a betta tank.

The bamboo shrimp likes to swim through the water, and it filters the flow of water to get food. They congregate around the filter to get nearer to the current unlike other shrimps which forage on the tank’s bottom.

Ghost Shrimp and Betta Fish

Bettas and ghost shrimps can live together, but there is a high risk of the ghost shrimp being eaten. The ghost shrimp may have a transparent body, but the betta will easily find and eat them.

Some aquarists will add the ghost shrimp anyway to assess the temperament of bettas. Although bettas are quite aggressive, some individuals are more tolerant than others.

If you are going to keep ghost shrimps and bettas, you can minimize the risk of the former being eaten. Ensure that your aquarium is large enough for the two species by investing in a 10-gallon tank or larger.

Wild ghost shrimps are adapted to streams and rivers with crevices, caves, and fine sediment. Use caves, plants, and driftwood to mimic the shrimp’s natural habitat. Use a fine gravel or sand substrate to protect the shrimp’s body from injuries.

Ghost shrimps thrive in temperatures of 65-80 °F and bettas 76-80 °F. You will need to strike a sweet spot that will suit both species.

If your ghost shrimp comes up to eat your betta’s food, you may notice some aggression, which makes the tank inhospitable for your shrimp. Your tank should have enough algae to ensure that the shrimp is well-fed, and you can supplement it with algae wafers.

Will Shrimp Attack Betta Fish?

Shrimps are naturally peaceful, and apart from creating a pecking order among their own, they will stay clear of other tank mates.

Shrimps have, however, been known to eat betta fry, leaving many aquarists puzzled as to the whereabouts of young fish. Most shrimps will leave the fry alone, but you can keep the betta fry in their tank until they are large enough.

If you leave breeding bettas and shrimps in the same tank, ensure it is large and densely planted to give the fry a fighting chance, but I would recommend keeping betta fry with shrimp.


Shrimps and bettas can live peacefully, depending on the type of shrimp in your aquarium. You will have more luck with amano shrimps since they grow a bit bigger.

Bettas will readily feed on ghost and cherry shrimps, although you can reduce the risk of predation with lots of hiding spaces. Do not keep bamboo shrimps and bettas since they need different degrees of water flow.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *