There has been a huge increase in keeping shrimp tanks in recent years and more and more people are also choosing to add shrimp to their aquariums too.
This has caused there to be a huge spike in the number of questions that we have seen people asking about when it comes to shrimp in aquariums.
We have answered a number of other questions about keeping shrimp already but with many people also trying to get into breeding fish in their aquarium, we have noticed people asking if shrimp will eat fry in their tanks.
Due to there not being a any set answer due to their being so many variables involved, we wanted to just publish our own article going over the topic to try and make sure our readers understand the risks and best as possible.
Is It Normal For Shrimp To Eat Fry?
The quick answer to this is yes, it is perfectly normal for shrimp to eat fry in your aquarium. In fact, if you have a lot of fry in your tank then the shrimp will probably make up a decent portion of their diet.
Now, this might not be something that you want to hear but it is the truth and you need to be prepared for it if you are planning on breeding fish in your aquarium.
There are a number of reasons why shrimp like to eat fry though and the main one is because they are small and easy to catch.
This means that the shrimp can quickly snatch them up and get a good meal without having to expend too much energy.
Another reason why shrimp like to eat fry is because they are a good source of nutrients.
Fry contain a lot of protein and this is something that shrimp need in order to grow and develop properly.
So, if you have a lot of shrimp in your aquarium then they are going to be looking for any food source that they can find and this includes fry.
What Type Of Shrimp Will Eat Fry?
Most types of shrimp will eat fry if they have the chance but it is less common with neocaridina shrimp such as cherry shrimp, blue dream shrimp, and neon yellow shrimp due to their smaller size giving the shrimp smaller jaws making it harder to eat shrimp that are older than a couple of days.
Caridina shrimp such as ghost shrimp and amano shrimp tend to be far more likely to eat fry in their tanks due to their larger size with both ghost shrimp and amano shrimp being more aggressive and better suited to catching fish fry in their tanks too.
How Can I Protect My Fry From My Shrimp?
There are a couple of different things that you are able to try when looking to breed your fish to keep your fry as safe as possible to ensure that you have the highest yields possible for your breeding operation.
The best option when trying to breed fish is always going to be to use a dedicated breeding tank if possible.
This will allow you to keep all of your fry in one, safe place and not have to worry about them being eaten.
Another advantage of using a breeding tank is that it will give you more control over the environment and you can make sure that everything is just right for your fry to thrive.
This means that you can make sure that there are no potential predators for your fry in your breeding tank that will try to eat them.
This includes the parents of the fish as many people who are new to breeding fish often overlook the fact that many species of fish will eat their own fry if you give them the chance and in some cases, they may even eat the eggs that they have just laid too.
The other option is essentially the opposite of a breeding tank for your fish and this is to keep dedicated shrimp tanks.
A 1 gallon shrimp tank can be a good place to start but in our opinion, a 2 gallon shrimp tank is better as they are more forgiving when it comes to water parameters.
Due to having all of your shrimp in your shrimp tank, they are not near the fry and are unable to eat them helping to remove the risk completely.
The problem is that as we touched on above, the parents will often eat their own eggs and fry in many species of fish and then you have to factor in the tank mates in a community tank too so a large number of your fry can still end up being eaten.
Raised Breeding Grass!
Depending on your aquarium setup, you may have to integrate breeding grass in your aquarium as a place for your fry to hide from the shrimp.
You can’t place the breeding grass on the substrate of the tank or anywhere else where your shrimp will easily be able to get to so raising the breeding grass to a high area of your tank will be the best option.
Keep Your Fry Well Fed!
Keeping your fry as well fed as possible will help to spike their growth rate to help them get too large for your shrimp to eat.
The main problem with this is that people have is that they offer their fry unsuitable food that they are not able to eat due to their small jaws slowing their growth rate.
Try to stick to microworms if possible, vinegar eels can also work well for some fish species but they are small enough for your fry to eat in large quantities.
That means your fry will grow out of the eating range for your shrimp within a couple of days to help protect them from being eaten by your shrimp.