Will My Killifish Eat Shrimp? | Complete Guide

When housing different fish species in the same fish tank, the most important question to ask yourself is whether they will get along. The case is the same when it comes to Killifish and Shrimp too. Do Killifish eat Shrimp? Do they get along? Let us find out!

The simple answer is Yes, most Killifish will eat Shrimp. However, this is possible simply because of the type of Killifish, the type of Shrimp, the ratio of one to the other present in the fish tank, and the fish tank conditions provided to them. Hence, if the types of both Killifish and Shrimp are chosen carefully so that one does not harm the other, the ratio of both present in the tank is adjusted, and the right tank conditions are set, then they could live together harmoniously.

Below, I have collected information regarding these key points to make an educated decision. As I am sure you want to keep beautiful, interesting creatures in your fish tank while keeping them safe!

Do All Killifish Eat Shrimp?

Although Killifish are notorious for eating anything that they can fit in their mouths, not all Killifish may take over your tank completely!

Hence, something noteworthy here is the size of the Killifish and the size of the Shrimp. Each species’ size plays a huge role in determining whether they will be compatible with each other. Hence, let us begin by first learning a bit more about Killifish and Shrimps.


Killifish are hardy fish with long and slender bodies. Most Killifish are 1-2 inches long, whereas some Killifish can grow up to 6 inches long.

They are also one of the most fascinating fish that exists due to their ability to survive and reproduce in unconditional environments. For instance, some species of Killifish can survive for months out of the water, whereas others can reproduce in ponds and streams that dry up for a chunk of the year.

Killifish also display territorial behavior, especially amongst the male Killifish. However, they are easy to take care of due to their tendencies to occupy only the top portion of the tank. This, in turn, allows for the other fish species in the tank, who reside in the lower portions of the tank, to have their space.

Related article: Easiest Fish To Breed- Beginner’s Guide

Moreover, Killifish like to feed on aquatic arthropods. Hence, their diet consists mainly of worms, insect larvae, and aquatic crustaceans, which includes Shrimps.

Related article: How to feed aquarium fish- Beginner’s guide

However, there are altogether 1270 species of Killifish. So, how likely is it that all of these different species of Killifish love to feast on Shrimps?

Related article: Killifish Profile- Learn more about Killifish.


Now, if you are thinking of adding something different to your fish tank, then freshwater aquarium Shrimp may be the way to go! On the other hand, freshwater Shrimp has now become very popular amongst aquarium hobbyists as algae eaters.

However, despite freshwater Shrimp remaining active in the tank, their small size is often what makes them fall prey to larger fish.

Hence, since an average male freshwater Shrimp only grows to around 1.5 inches while the average female grows to around 2 inches, their size is usually what determines their ability to stay safe in a fish tank.

However, it is important to note here that the size of a Shrimp can range from a few millimeters to 8 inches long! So, is it possible for a Killifish that is 6 inches long to eat a Shrimp that is 8 inches long? Let us find out!

Related article: Why is calcium important for your shrimps?

Killifish VS Shrimp

The harmonious existence of both Killifish and Shrimp in the fish tank is hence, decided mostly by their size.

It is easy to understand that due to the Killifish’s natural instincts of feeding on crustaceans, and the fact that most freshwater Shrimps are small, Killifish would feed on Shrimps.

However, there are some Shrimps that are a mere 2-3 inches long that are safe from Killifish! Examples of such Shrimps are Amano Shrimp, Singapore Flower/Bamboo Shrimp, Green Lace Filter Shrimp, and Vampire Shrimp, which are all between 2 and 3 inches long. And the reason for these specific Shrimp species being safe from Killifish is simply because of their slightly bigger size.

On the other hand, Clown Killifish is fairly less aggressive towards Shrimps compared to other Killifish species.

I have also provided you with a list of the most suitable tankmates for both Killifish and Shrimp below!

How to Keep Both Killifish and Shrimp in the Same Tank

With a better understanding of the characteristics of Killifish and Shrimps, let us move on to the next step.

Hence, below I have listed ways of ensuring that the Killifish and Shrimp are safe from each other.

Choosing the Right Size of Killifish and Shrimp

As discussed earlier, the best way to keep your Shrimp safe is to keep the Shrimp species that are bigger than the Killifish. If your Shrimp has the advantage of being bigger, then the chances are very low that your Killifish will attempt to attack your Shrimp.

Nonetheless, if you have Shrimp fry living in the same tank, then it is best to just invest in a different tank. This way, you will be able to separate the Shrimp from the Killifish and let them grow on their own first.

Related article: How to set up a fry tank- Beginner’s guide

However, if you are interested in keeping smaller Shrimp species in the same tank as your Killifish, then the next four suggestions may help you in doing so!

Densely Planted Tank

By adding an abundance of plants in your fish tank, you can rest assured that most of your Shrimp will be safe from your Killifish. The best plants you can install in your tank for this purpose are mosses. I would suggest you try Marimo mosses, which are completely natural and bigger in size!

If such dense plants populate your tank, then it will allow your Shrimp, especially the fry, a place to hide. This will increase the chances of the fry actually surviving into adulthood!

Provide Killifish with Enough Food

This is a simple solution yet important to note. For instance, if you provide your Killifish with sufficient food, chances of them attacking your Shrimp to eat will be much less. Hence, the following are the foods that your Killifish would require to stay content.

Add More Shrimps

Now many may not have thought of this tactic. However, keeping more Shrimp in the fish tank may make your Killifish feel outnumbered. This way, the majority of your Shrimp will be safe from your Killifish.

Since this is not an optimal solution to ensure your Shrimps’ safety, the next suggestion may be more viable!

Remove Some Shrimp to a Breeding Tank

The first thing you need to accept is that it is natural for bigger aquatic species to attack smaller ones. Hence, it should come as no surprise to you if your Killifish starts displaying its predatory behavior towards Shrimps.

However, one last solution to this issue may be to remove some of the Shrimp to a breeding tank. By doing this, you will be able to replace the Shrimps that have fallen prey to your Killifish. Again, this may seem harsh to you, but it is the natural way of things.

Most Suitable Tankmates for Killifish?

A noteworthy thing when it comes to searching for the most suitable tankmates for Killifish is that they are good community fish, on two conditions. One, their tankmates should also be small and peaceful fish. Two, their tankmates should share the same ideal water parameters as required by Killifish.

Hence, the following list consists of the most suitable tankmates for Killifish.

Additionally, keep the lighting in the tank somewhat subdued since the fish mentioned above do not require too much light. However, do remember that an abundance of plants in the tank is required to keep these fishes’ stress levels under control. Therefore, lighting in the tank should be given priority too, for the plants to survive.

Finally, one last word of caution is to install a lid on your fish tank. This is important, as Killifish are infamous for being excellent jumpers!

Related article: Why do I need a lid for my fish tank?

Most Suitable Tankmates for Shrimps?

If you want to keep Shrimps in your tank, then your Shrimps’ safety should be given utmost importance. This can easily be done by installing an abundance of plants in your tank so that they have plenty of places to hide from their predator.

Moreover, the following are the fish species that will be the ideal tankmates for your Shrimps.

  • Catfish (Cory and Otocinclus)

Related article: How many Otocinclus catfish to keep in 10 gallons of water?

Final Words

Hence, when placing Shrimps and Killifish in the same tank, the first thing to note is their sizes. If the Shrimps are bigger than Killifish, then the chances of Shrimps being in danger is much less.

Moreover, if the tank is densely planted, this will allow the Shrimps to find plenty of spots to hide away from the Killifish. Additionally, providing enough food for the Killifish, increasing the number of Shrimps in the tank, and placing some of the Shrimps into a breeding tank for their multiplication, can also be solutions to this issue.

Then, after taking some of these necessary steps, all you need to do is watch your Killifish and Shrimps live in peace! You will be able to protect the Killifish from eating Shrimp.

Related Artice:

  1. Beginners Guide To Red Cherry Shrimp
  2. Beginners Guide To Amano Shrimp
  3. Breeding Red Cherry Shrimp

Image Source: Flickr account, Fishes of North Carolina, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncfishes/17200082636/