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Plecos and shrimp


18 Mar 2019
Hi I have 2 bristlenose catfish plecos along with fish, I was wondering opinions on having some blue shrimp in there too. Will they have enough food in the tank for them both and as long as I give them tubes and stuff to hide in/under they should be reasonably safe with the fish
Tank details are helpful -

Shrimp “tubes” etc will need to be shrimp only accessible - not so easy as shrimp often seem to want “antennae room”

Pretty much fish will try if anything is edible ... I’ve seen relatively small fish kill adult shrimp - it may take a few “hits” vs gulping down shrimp whole, but some effort to immobilize shrimp and then dine at leisure (well, except for the descending horde of other interested parties)

Other times fish seem to pretty much ignore shrimp, even when fish are same species as above observed behaviour - but different group - once a Shrimp Hunter, always a Shrimp Hunter

Stressed shrimp will display more “prey” behaviour than established shrimp, so having a minimum of 10-12 adult shrimp, placing them in the tank first etc tends to improve shrimp success
Once shrimp colony reaches a certain population, it tends to carry on despite predation (imagine sturdy cherry shrimp types rather than OEBT etc)

If your intention is to see the shrimp out & about, this won’t happen unless fish display minimal interest

Useless anecdote:
Display tank with only shrimp (various species as part of display) for a couple months, shrimp were always visible, could also readily see babies about
Guppy trio added
Within a couple days, shrimp were much less visible and babies were no longer seen (though they may’ve been in rock crevices etc)
Shrimp still came out en masse for special (shrimp) food, but it really was no longer effective as a shrimp display tank
When tank was sold and shrimp caught, there were several (smaller species) favorites that were MIA

At no time, were guppies observed determinedly harassing/chasing shrimp - but they did approach and display interest (& I suspect did account for the MIA babies etc)
The tanks 105L I've got 3 platys, 3 black phantoms, 6 silver tip terra, 4 leopard danios, 2 bristlenose catfish and 6 guppies that had fry so moving them all to a new guppy tank soon
black phantoms

I have kept cherries with black phantoms, but have no experience with the other fish. Cory catfish, giant otos & L10a's excepted, the largest fish I keep with my cherries are a small group (5) of Hyphessobrycon bentosi which started taking shrimp when I fed red flake food. Now feed small granules and the betosi leave the shrimp alone.

I assume some predication but tank is 60 gals net and heavily planted. Shrimp can be seen working on plants and at feeding time stealing fish food. Never had shrimp shelters.

Small surface skimmer takes its toll, always has a few cherries in it when it is cleaned. Now rather careful when cleaning it.
Will they have enough food in the tank for them both

Cherry shrimp are detritus eaters more than algae eaters. In general cherry shrimp would eat pretty much anything that hits the tank,including fish poop as they're also constantly sifting the substrate. My bristlenose lived with shrimp and although he wouldn't eat the shrimp, he's a tough guy that can stand his ground for food with rather larger than him fish so I doubt it shrimp would have a chance with his wafer. Having said that, I wouldn't worry about competition as far the shrimp are concerned. Shrimp would always find something to eat but when food is not abundant, they don't breed as much.

I've kept corydoras, platies, bristlenose pleco, hillstream loaches with shrimp and the shrimp would not hide from any of those fish, neither have I seen any of these attacking the shrimp. They co-exist quite happily. If you have more aggressive fish, best is first to grow a colony for several months, then add the fish.

Also, shrimp are really brave when they're in numbers. If you only have a few shrimp, you may not see them. If you have hundreds, as I do, they're everywhere, even jumping on top of the fish and easily out-compete certain fish for food so one has to be careful if they have too many shrimp and not so pushy fish.
Cheers guys, think I'll try get some see how they work out with decent numbers