Can Betta Fish Live With Shrimp?

When we talk about shrimp and Betta fish – we usually mention them in the context of predators and food. Betta fish are carnivores and like to eat shrimp both when they are wild and when they are in an aquarium. 

Shrimp are an excellent source of protein and fiber that suit the digestion of Betta fish. 

However, believe it or not – certain types of shrimp can also be tank companions of Betta fish.

Why Choose Shrimp To Be Betta Fish Tank Mates?

As you probably know, Betta fish are not overly sociable. They don’t like their species either, and they rarely show welcome to other species. It is assumed that the reason for this is that the Bettas are originally from the tropics, where droughts are quite common, so fighting and intolerance towards other fish was the only way to survive. 

Betta Fish

Although they are very aggressive, people still love and want Bettas as pets, and try to provide them with the best possible conditions in the aquarium.

In addition to the size of the aquarium, water conditions and quality food –  Betta fish owners want their colorful pets to have company. This is not an easy task. And if you have no experience with Betta fish – you may be shocked at how many Betta fish are small beasts. Especially males.

It is very difficult, and to be honest, expensive and demanding to have an aquarium with Betta fish and other species. That is why most owners are looking for a simpler solution, and one of them is that Betta fish shares an aquarium with shrimp. Whether the companionship of Betta fish and shrimp will pass without bloody consequences primarily depends on the nature of Betta fish. There is no one hundred percent guarantee. 

Proper Tank Conditions For Shrimps

You cannot put just any shrimp in the aquarium. They must be those that are characterful and compatible with Betta fish. It is also important that the same parameters of water, plants, decorations, and food suit them. When we say compatible, we don’t mean that they are just as aggressive and selfish as Betta fish, but quite the opposite.

Proper Tank Conditions For Shrimps

Shrimp need to be calmer, not attacking or biting Betta, and preferably – to move closer to the bottom. That way, Betta will not get the impression that her territory is endangered and she will be peaceful. 

To ensure this you need a larger aquarium; a minimum of 10 gallons. It may seem too big to you, but trust us with Betta fish and it can be small. Only with a larger aquarium can you be sure that Betta will not attack shrimp. Then, you need the right plants. They support the composition of water. Java moss and java fern are ideal. If the pieces of the herb break off and fall to the bottom – the scampi will gladly eat it.

Additional decorations, such as castles and stone tunnels are always a good idea as both Bette and shrimp will have a place to rest and hide. What types of shrimp to add to your aquarium with Betta fish? 

Play it safe and choose the ones that experienced Betta fish connoisseurs swear by. The shrimp must be large enough that Betta cannot eat them or significantly injure them. So, choose one of the following types:

  • Shrimp spirit
  • Cherry shrimp ill
  • Amano shrimp.

All three species belong to the variety of shrimp scavengers, which means that they can eat everything that Betta fish and even plant remains. In addition to not being demanding, they will pick up all the excess food leftover from Betta fish. This is very important because otherwise, leftover food could pollute the water and endanger the health of Betta fish.

To make sure that the shrimp also eat enough, add a little more food when feeding the Betta fish. You can also add plant foods, which Betta is likely to avoid. Which is good news for shrimp.

5 Tips to Keep Bettas with Shrimp Successfully

Ghost Shrimp

When it comes to water temperature and acidity, Ghost shrimp matches the needs of Betta fish almost perfectly. The ideal temperature for them is between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH value of the water is 7. The water temperature in the aquarium for Betta fish must be between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit so they would fit perfectly. In addition, as their name suggests, ghost shrimp are withdrawn and somewhat solitary creatures. They are calm and do not attack, and most importantly, they do not endanger the Betta fish in any way. Betta will certainly register the shrimp, but she will not be provoked, so she will continue on her way.

Ghost Shrimp

You should not add more than 20 ghost shrimp. They reproduce quickly and easily and yes, Bette will be happy to eat Ghost shrimp cubs. Also, don’t add all 20 right away, but in groups of 4. Observe Betty’s behavior and if you see her getting nervous or starting to be aggressive towards them, don’t add more. 

Sometimes it is enough to insert only two pairs and they will continue to reproduce. However, be careful. Betta should not eat adult shrimp, but Betta is a capricious creature. Betta can attack the first round of shrimp attacks, and it is up to you to assess whether you want to continue with this company.

Cherry Shrimp

Similar to Ghost shrimp, the corresponding water  temperature is between 57 and 84 Fahrenheit, and the pH value is 6-8. This makes them an ideal Betta tank mate, at least in terms of water parameters. Cherry Shrimp are much smaller, especially males, which do not grow up to 1 inch. Females are larger and stronger in color. 

Cherry Shrimp

You can put them in a smaller aquarium because they are quite tiny. Much like Bette, they love a lot of plants and the best, Cherry Shrimp will keep the aquarium safe from algae. They will eat them all. In addition to algae, you can feed them meat, but primarily plant foods that you can buy in pet stores.

Since they are quite small, sour cherry shrimp could be found on the menu of Betta fish. Therefore, if you decide on this species – buy only females and the largest ones.

Amano Shrimp

They are quite large and if healthy and well fed they can grow up to 2 inches. They need a water temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are not particularly conspicuous and their color is generally slightly grayish. They are quite lonely, but also hardy, so they can live almost like Betta fish for 2-3 years. 

Amano Shrimp

They shouldn’t attack Betta fish, but the alpha male knows how to make a mess when it comes to food. Granted, he won’t touch Betta, but he could make a fuss. Like most shrimp, Amano loves plants. The more the better. Which means you’ll need an aquarium big enough. Minimum 10 gallons. Also, Amano like algae, but they still have to eat. Feed them meat pellets; let the food fall to the bottom of the aquarium and Amano will pick them all up.

One of the best reasons why Amano shrimps are ideal as Betta fish tank mates is that they are big enough so Betta won’t eat them, and they are calm enough and not overly curious to bother Betta or walk into their territory that could upset Betta the fish.


Although it sounds a bit unusual, yes, you can keep shrimp in the same aquarium as Betta fish. In addition to making the aquarium more attractive and lively – whichever species you choose – it will certainly keep the aquarium tidy, free of algae and excess food. 

Given that Betta fish are very awkward and unpredictable behavior – always, but always be careful. It is not easy to take care of such complex fish societies. So, give it a try and if you see that Betta doesn’t respond to the fish or that she eats and attacks shrimp, don’t force her. Maybe he’s a lonely character.