As the popularity of keeping shrimp in various aquarium setups continues to increase, the number of questions that we see from people within the aquarium keeping hobby based around keeping shrimp also increases.
In addition to that, guppies are one of the most commonly kept freshwater fish species in the hobby so it was only natural for people to start asking about keeping guppies with shrimp.
There have been a number of people specifically reaching out about keeping ghost shrimp and guppies in the same tank recently so we have decided to publish this article going over the topic to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Now, with this particular combination, your goals for your aquarium will come into play and this will be a deciding factor in if you should keep guppies and ghost shrimp in the same tank or not.
We will explain the various advantages and disadvantages as we work our way through the article but our post on 9 tips for keeping shrimp in an aquarium may be worth skimming over if you do want to add shrimp to your tank.
Are Ghost Shrimp Aggressive?
The first thing that we need to get out of the way is that ghost shrimp are not an aggressive species of shrimp.
They are a very peaceful species of shrimp and will rarely bother other fish or invertebrates in the aquarium.
This is one of the reasons that they make such good additions to community tanks because they do not tend to pick fights.
You will find that they are a little more nippy when it comes to other shrimp in the aquarium but this is usually down to them trying to establish their place in the hierarchy and not because they are being aggressive for the sake of it.
With all of that being said, there is always going to be the odd shrimp that does not conform to the norms and you may find one or two that are a little more aggressive than most.
This is something that you will need to keep an eye on if it does happen but in our experience, it is very rare for ghost shrimp to be aggressive.
Are Guppies Aggressive?
Guppies are not an aggressive species of fish but they can be a little nippy.
This is something that you will need to keep an eye on if you do have them in the same tank as shrimp because they may nip at the shrimp which could cause problems.
Constant nipping from guppies can end up in the ghost shrimp in your tank ending up injured and losing appendages.
That said, if you do keep a male only guppy tank as a way to prevent your guppies breeding, the fish can have a higher than average aggression level.
This may cause some of your male guppies to be more aggressive to your ghost shrimp, especially if they are in an overstocked tank with minimal hides and cover.
Can You Keep Ghost Shrimp And Guppies In The Same Tank?
You can usually keep ghost shrimp and guppies in the same tank with minimal issues due to the passive nature of both species.
Although there may be outliers between the two that may cause problems in your tank, for the most part, ghost shrimp and guppies should work well together in most aquarium setups.
That said, there are a few things that you are able to do that we will go into in more detail later in the article to make the tank more harmonious.
These are usually based around making sure that your aquarium is large enough for your ghost shrimp and guppies while also having plenty of available cover for the fish too.
Will Ghost Shrimp Eat Guppies?
Ghost shrimp will usually not be able to eat a healthy guppy and the majority of guppies will simply swim away if a ghost shrimp tries anything.
The majority of fully grown ghost shrimp are usually around 1.5 inches long where as male guppies are also around 1.5 inches and female guppies can get as long as 2.5 inches.
This removes any potential size advantage that the ghost shrimp may have been able to have meaning that a healthy guppy should easily be able to swim away without issue.
Still, a sick guppy that is weak and not able to swim away or unable to move from the substrate in the tank may not be so lucky.
In this situation or if a guppy is actually dead and has sunk in your tank then your ghost shrimp may try to eat the fish.
Will Ghost Shrimp Eat Guppy Fry?
Ghost shrimp can and will eat guppy fry if they find them as the smaller size of the guppy fry is usually small enough for the ghost shrimp to eat them.
Catching the guppy fry is a totally different story though and a healthy, well fed guppy fry should easily be able to avoid a ghost shimp in most cases.
The issue is, most community tanks lack any suitable food for most species of fish fry so your guppy fry may be weak for the first few days due to a lack of food increasing the chances of your ghost shrimp being able to catch and eat them.
We covered this in more detail in our article going over if shrimp will eat fry in a tank but you can usually stop this by adding micro worms to your tank.
Microworms are one of the best food sources for guppy fry and can help to make sure that your fry avoids beat eaten in their first week and drastically increase their chances or survival.
On the flip side of that though, ghost shrimp can be a good way to control the guppy population in your aquarium as guppies really can breed at a rapid pace.
Will Guppies Eat Ghost Shrimp?
Guppies are not large enough to eat an adult ghost shrimp and even a juvenile ghost shrimp will usually be too large for your guppy to eat it.
Now, many people who are thinking of keeping ghost shrimp and guppies in the same tank only ask about if their guppies are able to eat their ghost shrimp or not but this is not the only think you have to pay attention to.
Just because your guppies are usually not able to eat an adult ghost shrimp it does not mean that they are not able to harm them.
Some guppies, usually males, may harass the ghost shrimp in their tank and end up damaging the appendages of your guppy and causing it serious harm.
It is usually the antenna that receives most of the attention from curious guppies but the pereiopods and pleopods (legs) can also end up being nipped and pulled off.
Will Guppies Eat Ghost Shrimp Shrimplets?
Guppies will try to eat ghost shrimp shrimplets (baby shrimp) if they get the chance to, sometimes in large numbers so it is usually not recommended to keep guppies with ghost shrimp in a tank you are trying to breed your shrimp in.
If you are specifically looking to breed your ghost shrimp then we would recommend a 1 gallon shrimp tank, a 2 gallon shrimp tank or a walstad shrimp tank as they tend to be better options and free from predators.
Our article on caring for a berried shrimp may also be worth reading too if you are wanting to increase the yields of your shrimplets too.
Just like with the ghost shrimp eating guppy fry, if you are wanting to control the population of your ghost shrimp in your tank due to them breeding so much then guppies can eat enough shrimplets to maintain a healthy ghost shrimp population.
What Tank Size Do You Need For A Ghost Shrimp And Guppy Tank?
Due to your guppies and ghost shrimps occupying different levels of your aquarium for most of the day, we would just recommend that you size your tank by the requirements of your guppies.
Now, there really are a large number of different tank setups that you are able to use with your guppies.
For example, a guppy can live alone in a small tank with some shrimp to keep it company and this allows you to use a smaller tank for your setup but we would still usually recommend a 3 gallon tank if possible.
You then have the 5 gallon tank with three guppies that seems to be the most common beginner tank setup.
From there you have the 10 and 20 gallon tank setups with six and twelve guppies respectively.
We would then usually recommend that you stock the tank with your ghost shrimp by going with one ghost shrimp per two gallons of water.
For example, say you have a 10 gallon tank with six guppies in, you would have five ghost shrimp.
If you have a 20 gallon tank with twelve guppies in, you would have ten ghost shrimp in there with your guppies and so on.
Just remember that your bioload on your tank can be high, especially if you have no live plants in there so you will need to do partial water changes of between 15% and 20% water once per week if possible.
Should You Add Shrimp Hides To A Ghost Shrimp And Guppy Tank?
Although your guppies are not usually able to eat any ghost shrimp in their tank, we would still recommend that you add shrimp hides and live plants to your tank if possible.
The shrimp hides offer a place for your shrimp to get away from your guppies to allow them hide away if your guppies are harassing them and picking at their antenna, pereiopods or pleopods.
Live plants are another great addition and we always recommend that our readers try to add live plants to their tank if possible.
Not only do live plants help to offer your shrimp hiding places but they also help to offer your guppies hiding places and sight breaks to help prevent fin nipping and chasing between your guppies too.
Live plants can also help to maintain water parameters in your tank too with relative ease helping to reduce the amount of tank maintenance required on your part when running your tank.
Although shrimp hides and live plants are not essential for a tank with ghost shrimp and guppies in them, we really would recommend that you add them to your tank if possible.
What Water Parameters Does A Ghost Shrimp And Guppy Tank Require?
There are a number of core water parameters that you really should be trying to keep within the recommended bracket for both your ghost shrimp and guppies.
Thankfully, there are a number of water parameters that cross over with each other for the two species helping to make it easy to keep the two in the same tank with minimal issues.
Ideally, we would recommend that you try to stick to the parameters listed below:-
- Water Temperature 74-80F.
- pH Level 7-8.
- Sand Substrate.
- 8-10 hours of moderate lighting.
- No to low water flow but moderate water flow can work.
- Ammonia and nitrate levels 0 ppm.
- Nitrate levels under 20ppm.
We hope that this article has helped you to better understand what is needed in order to set up and maintain a healthy ghost shrimp population in a tank with guppies.
As we mentioned, for the most part, adult guppies and adult ghost shrimp will not try to eat each other but there are a few things you can do to help improve your tank minimal effort as covered in our article above.