Can Pleco And Shrimp Live Together? + Top 7 Must-Know Tips!

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Finding the perfect pairings for your aquarium environment is important. As many of us aquarists have learned the hard way, some species have a tendency to fight and eventually eat each other. With that in mind, can Pleco and Shrimp live together?

Actually, yes! Pleco and Shrimp can get along, provided that you are feeding them regularly and enough. The Shrimp won’t even eat Pleco eggs, unless they are already rotten, and carnivorous Plecos are often fine with leaving the Shrimp alone when there is already enough food in their environment. 

Read on to find out more on this topic and also the top 7 tips to house both of these tank species together!

Will Plecos Eat Shrimp?


Plecos are omnivores but when it comes to Shrimp, they will often leave them alone if there are enough other types of food available. Your aquarium won’t produce enough algae on its own, so supplementing with algae wafers will help to ensure that the Shrimp don’t start looking more tempting.

Some Plecos will eat Shrimp, especially babies, but in a food-rich environment this is not as common.

If you are housing them with a prolific Shrimp species, such as Cherry Shrimps, then the occasional 1 or 2 Shrimp that does get gobbled might even escape your notice,

So, while they technically MIGHT and sometimes DO eat Shrimp, it varies from Pleco to Pleco and they may often be housed together and actually get along – except for the occasional, unlucky baby Shrimp from time to time.

Recommended Read: Will Plecos Eat Fry?

Will Shrimp Eat Plecos Eggs?

The Shrimp, on the other hand, are certainly not a threat to the Plecos, but what about their vulnerable eggs? Well, on that subject, we have some very good news.

Shrimp will leave healthy Pleco eggs alone, so if you see them trying to devour eggs, then this means the eggs are already dead and rotting!

It’s one of the nice things about Shrimp. As scavengers, they tend to take care of rotting plants, eggs, and other little food tidbits that fall down into the colorful gravel at the bottom of the tank. So, if you want to keep them with Plecos, it’s fine, even in breeding tanks!

Read Related: Do Shrimp Eat Fish Poop?

Best Pleco For Shrimp Tank

Bristlenose Plecos are going to be the best bet for a Pleco and Shrimp tank setup, with Cherry Shrimp being an excellent pairing for the Bristlenoses.

As the Bristlenose Pleco are technically herbivores, they will eat any ready supplies of algae or algae wafers and veggies like spinach, lettuce, or zucchini. Some will, of course, eat the occasional baby shrimp, although for these rare Plecos you can often add in bloodworms so that they can eat them instead.

Clown Plecos are also a good choice, as they are not very aggressive at all and like the Bristlenoses, they tend to focus on algae and other foods and leave the Shrimp alone. As an added bonus, while Bristlenose Plecos will eventually eat snails, Clown Pecos will generally leave them alone, so this is a good thing to consider.

As far as the type of Shrimp to house with Plecos, Cherry Shrimp are recommended because they are fairly prolific, so if one of two of your Plecos DOES get a taste for the occasional Shrimp, then the impact will still be very minor. The Plecos the shrimp will eat algae and dead plant materials, keeping the tank sparkly and clean.

Now that we’ve established that they can live together, it’s also essential to learn about the other species that can live with Pleco or Shrimp so that you decide on the final combination of fish you’d like to have in the tank.

Other Compatible Tank Mates For Plecos

Below you’ll find a list of compatible tank mates for your Plecos. Keep in mind that there are definitely other tank mates that will work, this is just a brief list to help you get started:

  • Arowanas
  • African Butterflyfish
  • Danios
  • Glass Catfish
  • Neon Tetras
  • Pencilfish
  • Tiger Barbs

Other Compatible Tank Mates For Shrimps

As far as preferred tankmates for Shrimp, we’ll use Cherry Shrimp for this example to keep things simple. Here are some good tank mates that are known to play well with Cherry Shrimp:

  • Amano Shrimp
  • Endler Guppies
  • Neon Tetras
  • Pygmy Corydoras

Related Read: Can Cory Catfish And Shrimp Live Together?

Top 7 Tips To Consider While Housing Plecos With Shrimp

If you’re looking to house Plecos and shrimp together in the same tank, here are my top 7 tips to keep in mind:

1. Consider the size:

Make sure your tank is big enough to accommodate both Plecos and shrimp. Plecos can grow quite large, so keep this in mind when choosing the size of your tank.

2. Know your species:

Not all Plecos and shrimp will necessarily play nicely together. Research the specific species you have to determine if they are compatible.

3. Create hiding spots:

Both Plecos and shrimp need places to hide. Provide plenty of caves, rocks, and plants to give them a sense of security.

4. Offer a variety of foods:

Plecos and shrimp have different dietary needs, so make sure you offer a variety of foods to keep everyone happy and well-fed.

5. Keep water quality in check:

Water quality is of utmost importance for both Plecos and shrimp. Regular water changes and proper filtration will help maintain a healthy environment for both.

6. Monitor aggression:

While Plecos are generally peaceful, they can become territorial at times. Keep an eye on them to ensure they are not bullying the shrimp.

7. Avoid keeping too many tank species together:

Don’t overstock your tank. Keeping too many Plecos and shrimp together can lead to increased aggression and poor water quality.

By following these tips, you’ll create a harmonious and healthy environment for your Plecos and shrimp to coexist and thrive in!

Wrapping Up

In short, Pleco and Shrimp generally do get along, as the Plecos are usually peaceful and it’s quite rare that one will gobble up a scavenging shrimp in its path.

We recommend going with Cherry Shrimp to help ensure that you’ll have plenty of Pleco and Shrimp happily coexisting, as these lovely Neocardinas are both prolific and quite beautiful to look at. Neon Tetras may be housed with both and they should get along nicely, too!

Finally, if you want to add a snail, don’t forget that a Bristlenose will likely eat it, but a Clown Pleco will probably leave it alone. Now that you have the facts you need to get started, we hope that your new aquatic environment is as peaceful, lively, and as beautiful as you are hoping it will be!