Skip to Content

Should You Keep Killifish And Shrimp In The Same Tank?

Due to the bright colors, range of patterns, and ease of care, the popularity of killifish is rapidly increasing and although all species of killifish are not beginner friendly, many of them are.

With shrimp also seeing an increase in their popularity within the fish keeping hobby right now, we are also seeing a number of people asking about keeping killifish and shrimp in the same aquarium.

Some species of killifish such as a clown killifish do tend to be perfectly fine in an aquarium with various species of shrimp and many of the other smaller types of killifish will also be fine.

Some of the larger species of killifish such as Blue Gularis that can grow to over five inches in length can and will eat shrimp in their aquariums.

Most species of killifish do tend to be less than two inches in length when fully grown though decreasing the chances of them trying to eat the shrimp in your tank.

Still, even some of the more aggressive smaller species of killifish will try to eat the shrimp in their tank if they are hungry or bored.

Will Killifish Eat Shrimp In Their Tank?

All killifish are carnivores so they will naturally forage for sources of food in their tank and usually, try to eat it.

A general rule for killifish seems to be that if they can fit something in their mouth, they will try to eat it and you can use this to your advantage by only adding shrimp to a killifish tank that are larger than the killifish jaws.

As we touched on above, something like an adult blue gularis killifish will eat huge numbers of shrimp in their tank with little to no mercy.

Multiple blue gularis killifish in a tank can easily forage out all of the shrimp in their tank and eat them within days due to the fish being so active when it comes to hunting for food.

The vast majority of our readers will be looking to keep something like a clown killifish that is generally safe to in a tank with shrimp.

Something like a least killifish can be hit and miss as they do tend to get large enough to eat some species of shrimp but many least killifish wont actually eat the shrimp in their tank, especially if they are well fed.

Golden wonder killifish are usually a bad choice in a shrimp tank as most of them will go off and forage for food in their tank. An adult golden wonder killifish can easily eat most types of shrimp that may be added to their tank so always keep this in mind.

Lampeye killifish will usually only grow to around 1.5 inches in length when fully grown and although this is usually too small to actually eat shrimp in their tank, they can pick at shrimp. This constant harassment from the killifish can stress the shrimp out and cause them other issues in the future.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Improve The Survival Rate Shrimp With Killifish?

There are a number of shrimp hides and places that you can add to your killifish and shrimp tank for the shrimp to escape too.

This is important as it will give the shrimp a place to go when they feel threatened by the killifish in their tank and allow the shrimp to destress and stay safe.

We feel that cholla wood is one of the better options to use in your tank when it comes to a shrimp hide.

Not only does it offer a safe place for shrimp to hide in a tank that has larger killifish in that may try to eat the shrimp but it also allows algae to grow on the wood too.

The shrimp can then feed on the cholla wood in their tank while hiding away from the killifish. This is a great way for you to provide some extra food for your shrimp while also giving them somewhere safe to go in their tank.

You can also use things like plants in your killifish and shrimp tank too and we feel that java ferns are some of the best options to use. Java fern allows your shrimp to hide away from killifish while also being able to graze on the java fern too.

Many people also use ceramic tubes as a shrimp hide too. Provided that the tubes are aquarium safe, these can work well but you will have to make sure that you are using aquarium safe ceramic tubes!

Algae tends not to grow as well on ceramic tubes as it does on cholla wood hides too making them our primary recommendation for a shrimp hide to protect your shrimp from being eaten by killifish.

You should also make sure that you are feeding your killifish well but be sure not to overfeeding them. This will help to ensure that the killifish in your tank are not constantly looking for food and trying to eat anything that they can fit in their mouth, including your precious shrimp!

What Type Of Killifish Is The Best For A Tank With Shrimp?

In our opinion, clown killifish are the best type of killifish to use in an aquarium with shrimp in it. Not only are clown killifish so small that they won’t eat shrimp in their tank but they tend not to harrass the shrimp in their tank by picking at them or nipping them either.

Most other small types of killifish can also work well in an aquarium with shrimp too but we always recommend that you do your research before adding any killifish to a tank with shrimp.

You should also make sure that the killifish are not too big for your aquarium as this can cause issues with water quality and filtration in your tank.

This is the main reason that we always recommend the smaller species of killifish as they tend to be better safer for your shrimp while also being better suited to the smaller, cheaper, easier to maintain aquarium sizes too.

The General Rule Of Working Our If Your Killifish Can Live With Shrimp!

The general rule of deciding if a killifish can live with shrimp is to look at the maximum, fully grown length of the killifish species and shrimp species. Provided your killifish is less than double the length of your shrimp, it is unlikely that the killifish will be able to eat the shrimp.

As we mentioned earlier in the article though, something like a Lampeye killifish are not large enough to actually eat your shrimp but they can harrass the shrimp. You have to keep things like that in mind too and many people over look this so you do need to go off and research the specific type of killifish that you want to keep in your tank.