Skip to Content

Should You Keep Ghost Shrimp With Cherry Shrimp?

After publishing our article going over how to setup a no filter shrimp tank we noticed just how popular the various species of shrimp are right now within the fish keeping hobby and noticed a spike in the number of people asking various questions about keeping shrimp in their tanks.

We do see a range of questions but a commonly asked on that is often controversial is if you should keep ghost shrimp with cherry shrimp or not so we wanted to share our own thoughts on the topic.

In larger tanks, you can usually keep ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp together with minimal issues but ghost shrimp are larger and tend to be more aggressive for shrimp and they will attack and eat cherry shrimp in smaller tanks.

This is why keeping ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp is somewhat controversial as the combination doesn’t work well in all tank setups.

Ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp tend to fill the same job within an aquarium of being the algae, detritus, and discarded food eater in the tank so the two are interchangeable.

Most people will opt for ghost shrimp in a tank where the fish are more likely to eat the shrimp as ghost shrimp tend to be harder for fish to see or cherry shrimp in a shrimp friendly tank as their bright red colors offer more viewing pleasure to the tank keeper.

Can Cherry Shrimp Be Kept With Ghost Shrimp?

Cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp can be kept in the same aquarium and it has been done plenty of times without issue to prove that it can be done.

You do usually need a larger tank to keep cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp in the same tank though as the additional size of the tank can help to reduce the chances of your ghost shrimp fighting or eating your cherry shrimp.

One thing that is becoming increasingly popular is to set up a cheap 1 gallon shrimp tank with more and more people within the fish keeping community running shrimp only tanks these days.

If you are looking for a way to keep cherry shrimp in a tank that is totally free from potential predators then a shrimp only tank can be an excellent option due to their cheap price tag, low maintenance nature, and fact that cherry shrimp can thrive in them.

If you are running a larger aquarium tank that is at least 30 gallons in size then you may be able to add ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp to the same tank.

Just keep in mind that tank decorations and live plants can take up a large amount of real estate in the tank so you may need even larger tanks than this to keep the two shrimp species together without issue.

Can Cherry Shrimp Breed And Ghost Shrimp Breed?

Even though ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp are both shrimp that look similar, they are not able to breed with each other due to ghost shrimp being from the Palaemonetes genus and cherry shrimp being from the Neocaridina genus.

This means that they have a different number of chromosomes to reproduce preventing the two from being able to produce offspring if kept in the same tank.

Shrimp breeding is very popular right now after the purple cherry shrimp line has been produced with demand being high and the shrimp fetching a high price tag.

As we covered in our article on breeding yellow shrimp with cherry shrimp though, even if you do pair up different shrimp species from the same genus that can breed, it is surprisingly difficult to get new colors consistently.

A large amount of effort went into developing the red, yellow, and blue shrimp lines to ensure that they are able to produce offspring of the same color.

Trying to breed between shrimp species will almost always result in wild type shrimp being produced with their natural colors rather than their bright, unique colors so it is usually a waste of time and money for the majority of people to try breed different species of shrimp.

Will Ghost Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp Be Aggressive To Each Other?

Cherry shrimp are usually passive and will not be aggressive to their tank mates but ghost shrimp can be hit and miss with some ghost shrimp being aggressive to other ghost shrimp and other tank mates while others will be passive and not attack anything.

The size of your aquarium, amount of available food, and other water parameters will all come into play when trying to work out how your ghost shrimp will behave.

In our experience, the majority of people saying that they are having problems with their ghost shrimp attacking their cherry shrimp do tend to have smaller aquariums.

Making sure that you have plenty of shrimp hiding places can be a good idea to make sure that you don’t end up having these same problems but even then, if a cherry shrimp can get into something, so can a ghost shrimp.

Our advice would be to try and get a larger aquarium is possible or just stick to a single species of shrimp to prevent problems with aggression.

Technically both cherry shrimp and neon yellow shrimp are the same species and are more peaceful with each other but they will end up breeding and producing normal colored shrimp where as sticking to just neon yellow or cherry shrimp will prevent this from happening.

Don’t Ghost Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp Serve The Same Purpose In An Aquarium?

Both ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp are usually used for the exact same tasks within an aquarium with their main jobs being to eat detritus and discarded fish food but both can be used as algae eaters too but there are usually better options for an algae eater.

Due to filling the same job role in a tank and the fact that ghost shrimp will usually be aggressive to cherry shrimp, we would recommend that you choose to go with either ghost shrimp OR cherry shrimp in your tank rather than both.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, most people who have predatory fish in their tank that may eat their shrimp will usually opt to go with ghost shrimp due to their translucent color making them more difficult to see.

Even though cherry shrimp can be good at hiding in some tank setups, predatory fish will still usually find and eat them much easier than they will with ghost shrimp.

Many people will setup a tank that is based around being a community tank for viewing pleasure with as many different colored fish as possible being added to the tank.

This is when people will often opt for cherry shrimp over ghost shrimp due to their brighter colors and they can work very well provided that your tank is free from any potential predators for them.

Is It Worth Keeping Ghost Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp In The Same Tank?

For the most part, there are more disadvantages than advantages of trying to keep ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp in the same tank.

Although it can be done, there is always the risk of the ghost shrimp starting to eat your cherry shrimp so just focus on keeping a single species of in your tank.

The majority of people will probably not notice any difference between keeping only ghost shrimp or only cherry shrimp in their aquarium anyway when it comes to the amount of detritus that they consume.

Both species are great options and have their own advantages and disadvantages that we covered earlier in the article for when people should lean more toward ghost shrimp or lean more towards cherry shrimp.

Keep in mind that there are also amano shrimp, neon yellow shrimp, blue shrimp, and a couple of other options that you have available too if you do choose to keep a single species of shrimp in your tank instead of trying to add both ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp.

Most perform just as well as each other in the majority of common tank conditions with prices often being pretty close to what you would pay for either type of shrimp in most areas too.


That brings our article going over if you should mix ghost shrimp with cherry shrimp or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand why we recommend you stick to a single species of shrimp. You definitely can keep both ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp in the same tank and there are plenty of people who do it with there being videos and photographs on social media showing other people doing it but ghost shrimp have a high chance of eventually eating your cherry shrimp making it not worth the effort in our opinion.