Can Betta Fish Eat Shrimp In a Tank: (The Shocking Truth!)

Can Betta Fish Eat Shrimp? Betta fish, or fighting fish, are famous pets due to their vibrant colors and low maintenance requirements. However, many betta fish owners are often concerned about their diet and whether they can be kept with other tankmates. One common question is whether betta fish can eat shrimp in a tank.

Shrimp are famous for tankmates in betta fish aquariums due to their small size and peaceful nature. However, betta fish are carnivorous and may see shrimp as a potential meal rather than a tankmate. While some bettas may coexist peacefully with shrimp, others may view them as food and harass or even attack them.

In this article, we will explore the compatibility of betta fish and shrimp in a tank, discussing the potential risks and benefits of keeping them together. We will also offer tips for betta fish owners who want to introduce shrimp into their aquarium and provide guidelines for ensuring the safety and well-being of both species. 

Can Betta Fish Eat Shrimp In Fish Tank?

Yes, hungry bettas can eat shrimp in a fish tank, but it is essential to monitor their behavior afterward. While Betta fish are known to be aggressive and territorial, they may not bother the shrimp if they are well-fed and have enough space to hide.

Setting Up a Betta Fish Tank

However, there is always a risk of the Betta attacking and eating the shrimp, especially if they are small or slow-moving. Introducing the shrimp to the tank first and observing the Betta’s reaction before adding more shrimp is recommended.

Additionally, considering the size of the tank and providing plenty of hiding spots and vegetation can help reduce the likelihood of aggression. Overall, Betta fish can coexist with shrimp in a tank, but careful consideration and observation are essential to ensure the safety and well-being of both species. 

Can Betta fish live with shrimp?

Yes, betta fish can typically live with shrimp. However, it’s important to note that bettas tend to be aggressive towards other fish and may see shrimp as food or a threat.

It’s essential to choose peaceful tank mates that won’t invade the Betta’s territory. When introducing shrimp to a tank with a betta, it’s important to create plenty of hiding spots and plants for the shrimp to seek refuge.

Additionally, it’s best to start with a larger and more established tank to give the shrimp a better chance of surviving.

Overall, betta fish can coexist with shrimp if the tank is correctly set up and the shrimp are introduced carefully. It’s always a good idea to monitor the Betta’s behavior towards the shrimp and be prepared to separate them if necessary. 

Do Bettas EAT Cherry Shrimp?

Yes, bettas are known to eat cherry shrimp. Bettas are predatory fish who are instinctive to hunt and consume small invertebrates.

While some bettas may coexist peacefully with cherry shrimp in an aquarium, many bettas see them as prey and will try to eat them if given the opportunity.

It’s essential to carefully monitor the behavior of your Betta if you decide to keep them together with cherry shrimp to ensure the safety of the shrimp. Providing plenty of hiding places and dense vegetation can help increase the chances of survival for the shrimp.

Factors for Successful Cherry Shrimp and Betta Fish Cohabitation

Cohabiting cherry dwarf shrimp and betta fish can be a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it’s not guaranteed success. Several key factors are crucial in creating a harmonious environment for both creatures. Here are some of the most important:

Tank Environment:

  • Size: Start with a larger tank, ideally 10 gallons or more. This provides ample space for both species to establish territories and minimizes encounters.
  • Scaping: Densely plant the tank with various plants, including fast-growing stem plants and carpeting plants like Java moss. These offer shrimp hiding places and grazing opportunities while keeping the Betta occupied and exploring higher levels.
  • Hardscapes: Add rocks, driftwood, and other decorations to create caves and crevices for shrimp to hide.
  • Water Parameters: Maintain stable water parameters within the preferred ranges for both Betta and shrimp. Aim for a pH of around 7 and a temperature between 72-78°F. Regular water changes are crucial for healthy water quality.

Shrimp Selection:

  • Species: Choose smaller, docile shrimp varieties like cherry or ghost shrimp. More giant shrimp are more likely to be seen as prey by bettas.
  • Quantity: Introduce a larger group of shrimp (10-20). This increases the chances of some surviving any predation attempts by the Betta.

Betta Temperament:

  • Individuality: Remember, every Betta has its own personality. Some are naturally more aggressive than others. Choose a betta with a history of peaceful cohabitation with shrimp,
  • Acclimation: Introduce the Betta last after the tank is well-established, and the shrimp have had time to settle in.

Remember: While these factors increase the chances of successful cohabitation, there’s always a risk that the Betta may prey on the shrimp. Be prepared to adjust your plans or separate the fish if necessary.

By prioritizing a well-decorated, spacious tank, choosing compatible shrimp, and observing the Betta’s temperament, you can create a thriving aquarium environment for cherry shrimp and betta fish.

Can You Put Ghost Shrimp with Betta Fish?

It is generally not recommended to house ghost shrimp with betta fish. Betta fish are known for their aggressive behavior towards other fish, especially those with long, flowing fins like ghost shrimp.

The Betta may see the ghost shrimp as a threat and attack them, potentially causing harm or even death. Additionally, bettas are territorial and may not take kindly to sharing their space with other creatures.

While some aquarium enthusiasts have successfully housed ghost shrimp with bettas, monitoring their interactions closely and being prepared to separate them if necessary is essential. 

If you want the ghost shrimp to live peacefully with the betta fish:

  • It’s possible but not guaranteed. Bettas are known for their aggressive behavior, and they may see ghost shrimp as prey.
  • To increase the chances of success, ensure your tank is at least 10 gallons and heavily planted with hiding places for the shrimp.
  • Introduce the ghost shrimp to the tank before the betta fish, and start with a group of at least 10 shrimp.
  • Monitor the tank closely for signs of aggression, and be prepared to remove the shrimp if necessary.

What Shrimp Can Live With Betta?

Shrimp can make great tank mates for betta fish as long as certain conditions are met. It’s vital to choose peaceful shrimp species that are not aggressive towards bettas, such as ghost shrimp, amano shrimp, and cherry shrimp.

It’s also essential to provide plenty of hiding spots for the shrimp so they can escape the Betta’s attention if necessary. Additionally, it’s best to introduce the shrimp to the tank before the Betta so the Betta is less likely to see them as a threat.

It’s always a good idea to closely monitor the interactions between the Betta and the shrimp and be prepared to separate them if any aggression is observed. With the suitable species and proper tank setup, bettas and shrimp can coexist peacefully in the same aquarium.

Shrimp To Avoid Adding To A Betta Fish Tank

While some shrimp can happily coexist with bettas, others are too tempting for your finned friend to resist. Here’s a rundown of shrimp to avoid adding to your betta tank:

Size Matters:

  • Tiny Shrimp: Most bettas will see shrimp smaller than 1 inch, like crystal red shrimp or bumblebee shrimp, as a tasty snack.

Color Catches the Eye:

  • Brightly Colored Shrimp: Shrimp with vibrant colors like neon yellow or orange can trigger a betta’s predatory instincts. Opt for camouflaged species like Amano or bamboo shrimp instead.

Fragile Creatures:

  • Delicate Shrimp: Shrimp with long, flowing tails or fragile bodies, like a vampire or fantail shrimp, can easily be injured or even killed by a playful betta.

Species to Steer Clear Of:

  • Cherry Shrimp (with caution): While popular with bettas, some bettas will still view cherry shrimp as food. Consider a larger tank with plenty of hiding spaces for the shrimp if you want to try this combo.
  • Ghost Shrimp: Ghost shrimp are often marketed as betta-friendly, but many bettas will nibble on them. Plus, their lack of color makes them even more vulnerable.

Choosing suitable shrimp species and providing a well-decorated tank can increase the chances of your Betta and shrimp living together peacefully. But remember, always prioritize the safety and well-being of your aquatic friends!

Basics of Keeping Shrimp with Betta Fish

Shrimp can make an exciting and beneficial addition to a betta fish tank. When keeping shrimp with bettas, it is essential to ensure that the tank has plenty of hiding places and plant cover for the shrimp to feel secure.

It is also essential to choose shrimp species compatible with bettas, such as Cherry or Ghost shrimp, as they are less likely to be aggressive towards the Betta. It’s essential to monitor the Betta’s behavior and remove the shrimp if there are any signs of aggression.

Additionally, bettas are carnivorous and may prey on small shrimp, so it’s essential to provide a well-balanced diet and to supplement the shrimp’s diet with algae wafers and other shrimp food to ensure their health and well-being. Overall, keeping shrimp with bettas can be a rewarding experience when done correctly.

Tips Before Adding Shrimp to a Betta Tank

Before adding shrimp to a betta tank, remember a few tips. Firstly, ensuring the tank is large enough to accommodate both the Betta and the shrimp is essential.

A 10-gallon tank is typically recommended for this combination. Additionally, providing plenty of hiding spots for the shrimp is crucial, as bettas can be aggressive and may see the shrimp as food.

Live plants, rocks, and decorations can all serve as safe havens for the shrimp. It’s also important to closely monitor both the Betta and the shrimp after introduction to ensure they get along peacefully.

If any aggression is observed, it may be necessary to remove the shrimp to avoid harm. With proper preparation and attention, bettas and shrimp coexist harmoniously in the same tank. 

 Here are the essential basics of keeping shrimp with betta fish:


  • Not all bettas are shrimp-friendly. Some bettas will see shrimp as food, while others will coexist peacefully. Choosing a betta with a calm temperament and a history of living with shrimp is important.

Tank size

  • A larger tank will give both the Betta and the shrimp more space to roam and reduce the chances of aggression. A minimum of 10 gallons is recommended, but 15-20 gallons is ideal.

Water parameters

  • Bettas and shrimp prefer similar water parameters:Temperature: 70-80°F (21-27°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Ammonia and nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: Less than 20 ppm

Hiding places

  • Provide plenty of hiding places for the shrimp, such as driftwood, rocks, and live plants. This will help them feel secure and reduce the risk of being attacked by the Betta.

Shrimp species

  • Some shrimp species are more likely to survive with bettas than others. Choose hardier shrimp, such as cherry, ghost, or amano shrimp.

Can Betta Eat Shrimp as Fish Food?

Yes, bettas can eat shrimp as part of their diet. They can benefit from the protein and other nutrients found in shrimp. However, it’s important to note that not all shrimp are suitable for bettas.

It’s best to feed them small, unseasoned, and uncooked shrimp. This means avoiding large, seasoned, or cooked shrimp containing harmful additives or high sodium levels. Providing shrimp to bettas in moderation is essential, as too much protein can lead to health issues.

Additionally, for picky eaters bettas, introducing shrimp as a new food source can take time, so monitoring their reaction and adjusting accordingly is essential. When fed correctly, shrimp can be a healthy and beneficial addition to a betta’s diet. 

Can cherry shrimp and Betta fish live together?

Red cherry shrimp can coexist with betta fish but with caveats. Bettas are known for their territoriality and may snack on shrimp. To increase success, ensure ample hiding spots for shrimp-like plants and rocks, introduce the shrimp before the Betta, and choose a calm betta temperament.

Can bettas eat brine shrimp?

Can Betta fish eat brine shrimp? Yes, bettas can eat brine shrimp! It’s a nutritious treat they love. But, while occasional frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp is excellent, it should be something other than their staple diet. Bettas need a varied menu for optimal health. 

Can betta fish eat dried shrimp?

While bettas can technically eat dried shrimp, it could be better. Dried shrimp lacks essential nutrients and can be hard to digest, leading to constipation or bloating. Stick to high-quality betta pellets or occasional treats like freeze-dried brine shrimp for a healthier diet.

Can you feed betta fish shrimp?

Yes, you can feed shrimp to your Betta. Shrimp can be a nutritious addition to a betta’s diet and can be offered as a treat or part of a balanced diet.

What kind of shrimp can live with betta fish?

While bettas can be fin-nippers, calm shrimps like ghost shrimp or fast breeders like cherry shrimp can thrive with them! Dense planting and monitoring betta temperament are critical.

Can shrimp and betta fish coexist?

Yes, shrimp and bettas can coexist, but success depends on shrimp type (larger, like ghosts, are safer), calm betta temperament, and ample hiding spots for the shrimp, like plants and rocks.

Can bettas eat store bought shrimp?

Yes, bettas can eat store-bought shrimp. Frozen or freeze-dried shrimp, such as bloodworms or brine shrimp, are commonly available and can be fed to bettas as a nutritious supplement to their regular diet.

Does all shrimp eat algae?

While most shrimp are omnivores and nibble on algae, some specialize in it – Amano shrimp are famous algae-gobbling champs! However, not all shrimp rely on it as their primary food source.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the truth about whether betta fish can eat shrimp in a tank is finally revealed. While some bettas may display aggressive behavior towards shrimp, it ultimately depends on the individual fish’s temperament and the shrimp size. It’s essential to consider the compatibility of these aquatic creatures before introducing them together. Observing their interactions and providing ample hiding spots can promote a harmonious coexistence.

Remember, every betta fish is unique; not all will view shrimp as a tasty snack. So, if you’re considering adding shrimp to your Betta’s tank, closely monitor their behavior and ensure a safe environment for both species. Can betta fish eat shrimp? It’s a fascinating question with a nuanced answer that varies from fish to fish.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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