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Should You Keep A Bumblebee Goby With Shrimp?

As the popularity of keeping bumblebee gobies steadily increases within the fish keeping hobby the number of questions that we see each month about the suitable tank mates for the species are also increasing.

One thing that we have seen a sudden surge in people asking about is if you can keep a bumblebee goby with shrimp in the same aquarium and there is some contradictory information on social media regarding this so we decided to publish our own article going over the topic.

Due to the small size of a bumblebee goby, it is rare that they will be able to eat most adult shrimp but they can eat younger shrimp that are still small.

For the most part though, bumblebee gobies can usually be kept in an aquarium that also has shrimp in it with minimal problems unless you are specifically trying to breed your shrimp in the tank.

Just keep in mind that as with all things, there can be exceptions and a small number of bumblebee gobies may try to eat any shrimp in their tank no matter the size of the shrimp.

If the bumblebee goby is hungry then the chances of the fish trying to eat shrimp can also increase so always try to make sure that your bumblebee goby is well fed to keep the chances of it seeing your shrimp as food as low as possible.

Can Bumblebee Gobies And Shrimp Live Together?

A bumblebee goby can be kept in an aquarium that also contains shrimp with minimal problems and many people within the fish keeping community keep this combination in their aquarium.

The bumblebee goby makes a great display fish due to its bright colors and pattern while the shrimp serve as excellent members of the tanks clean up crew with the two species making a great team.

Traditionally, people would usually have kept a bumblebee goby in a tank with snails as their clean up grew to eat the algae and detritus due to their low price but shrimp have sky rocketed in their popularity over the last couple of years.

This is partly due to the brighter colored shrimp such as cherry shrimp falling in price while also becoming much easier to find for sale too.

Many people will opt to keep cherry shrimp, neon yellow shrimp or blue shrimp in their tank with a bumblebee goby as their bright colors can work well with the goby.

The neon yellow shrimp seems to be a very popular option within the fish keeping hobby for tanks with a bumblebee goby right now due to both animals being yellow and helping each other stand out too but keeping in mind that they only tend to do well in slightly brackish water.

Will A Bumblebee Goby Eat Shrimp In Its Tank?

A bumblebee goby may try to eat younger shrimp in its aquarium that are small enough for the goby to fit into its mouth to allow the fish to eat the shrimp.

The majority of adult shrimp species that can work well in the same tank as a bumblebee goby will usually be too large for the fish to eat though reducing the chance of your bumblebee goby seeing your shrimp as food.

As we covered earlier in the article, the hungrier your bumblebee goby is, the higher the chances become that it will go off and forage for food and potentially see its shrimp tank mates as a food source.

Making sure that you feed your bumblebee goby on a regular basis can easily be enough to discourage the chances of your bumblebee goby eating your shrimp.

We would not recommend that you keep a bumblebee goby in a tank where you are actively trying to breed your shrimp as it will eat younger, smaller shrimp.

You can try to add some shrimp hideout to your aquarium if you do want your shrimp to have a safe space away from your bumblebee goby but this is not essential in the vast majority of aquarium setups unless you are trying to breed your shrimp.

What Size Aquarium Should You Use To Keep Bumblebee Gobies With Shrimp?

You are able to keep a bumblebee goby with shrimp in a tank as small as fifteen gallons if needed but slightly larger tanks are usually the best option.

If you are a more experienced fish keeper then you may be able to use a ten gallon aquarium without having problems with your bumblebee goby trying to eat the shrimp in the tank too.

If you are only planning on keeping a small number of shrimp in your aquarium then you can often just stick with a ten gallon aquarium to help keep your costs low and the space requirement for the tank as small as possible.

Many people who do want to keep shrimp in their aquariums, especially shrimp that are bright colors tend to want to keep a large number of shrimp though so a fifteen gallon aquarium may be the best option for you.

If you are waiting to keep your bumblebee goby and shrimp in a community tank with various other fish species then a larger tank will definitely be required though.

If you are planning on integrating larger fish species into your community tank then you need to start thinking about adding a shrimp hideout to your aquarium as the larger fish may try to eat your shrimp.

What Can You Do To Prevent Your Bumblebee Goby Eating Your Shrimp?

The best way to prevent your bumblebee goby eating the shrimp in its aquarium is to make sure that you only put adult shrimp into the tank rather than shrimplets as the size of adult shrimp can make it difficult for a bumblebee goby to eat them.

There is a high chance of your bumblebee goby eating any shrimplets that hatch in your tank though so always use a separate aquarium if you want to breed your shrimp.

Putting live plants into your aquarium such as java moss can be another excellent way to prevent your bumblebee goby from eating all of the shimp in its aquarium if you do expect baby shrimp.

One of the better ways to increase the survival rate of your baby shrimp in an aquarium with a bumblebee goby is to make sure that you add multiple shrimp hideouts to your aquarium to let your shrimplets hide from the goby and avoid becoming a quick and easy meal for the fish.


That brings our article going over if you can keep a bumblebee goby with shrimp and both setups can work well. The majority of our readers who are not planning to keep any baby shrimp produced in their aquarium shouldn’t have any problems in the long run. Some of the shrimplets will manage to survive anyway so there will usually be no reason for you to replace the adult shrimp as they perish but the bumblebee goby will end up eating many of the shrimplets but the adult shrimp will be too big for the fish to eat.