10 Best Nano Fish for a Shrimp Tank

Posted by on 12/19/2023

Shrimp tanks are a favorite among freshwater hobbyists for a reason. These small critters are an absolute joy to observe and can display a variety of different colors and patterns that will easily grab the attention of any passerby.

Due to the peaceful temperament of freshwater shrimp, hobbyists can pair them with freshwater fish, but not all fish are a perfect match. Since freshwater shrimp tend to be quite small, these invertebrates can easily be mistaken as a snack by most freshwater fish. In this post, we'll recommend 10 nano-sized fish for your shrimp tank, so that you can build the tank of your dreams.

What to Know Before Adding Fish to a Shrimp Tank

Even though many of the fish on the following list are known for their peaceful temperament, shrimp can be quite delicate, and juveniles will stress easily when fish roam throughout the water column. 

To set yourself up for success with this community setup, you'll want to provide plenty of hiding spots for your shrimp. Live aquatic plants are best, but even driftwood, and uniquely positioned rocks and stones, can provide a natural area of refuge for your tank inhabitants.

10 Best Nano Fish

Now that we've covered the fundamentals, let's dig into 10 of the best nano fish for a shrimp tank. Keep in mind, that there are dozens of different nano fish to choose from, but here are some of our favorites.

Medaka Ricefish

Named after their rice-like appearance, Ricefish are some of the most peaceful freshwater fish available. Their small size makes them an excellent candidate as a tank mate for freshwater shrimp, as they show virtually no aggression towards other tankmates. With a few different variants to choose from, Ricefish are a fantastic choice - and can even thrive in cold-water conditions!

Image of Ricefish
Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock.com

Ember Tetras

While some of the most commonly seen tetras in the hobby include cardinal tetras and neon green tetras, ember tetras are a unique alternative known for their orange coloration.

These fish are quite small, growing to be only about half an inch in length. Similar to Neon Greens, Ember's will color up once the aquarium lights turn on, so don't be surprised to see a dramatic color change throughout the day with these fish.

Amazon Frogbit
Ember Tetra

Blue Emperor Tetras

Emperor Tetras used to be much more commonly found in the aquarium hobby, thanks to popular aquarium magazines such as TFH, but nowadays they're much less common. Even more rare is the Blue Emperor Tetra, a line-bred color strain that displays a blue/purple shimmer throughout the fish's body.

These fish are significantly larger than Ember Tetras and are known to have quite an appetite. While they can co-exist peacefully with aquarium shrimp, be sure to have plenty of hiding spots in your tank. After all, tetras are related to the piranha!

Blue Emperor Tetra
Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock.com
The Blue Emperor Tetra

Celestial Pearl Danio

Native to Myanmar, Celestial Pearl Danios, often abbreviated as CPDs, are some of the most beautiful freshwater fish seen in the hobby. These fish are covered in iridescent speckles, which are outlined by their dark-colored body. 

Hobbyists interested in pursuing the species will be pleased to know that they can co-exist comfortably with freshwater shrimp, making them a great centerpiece fish.

Celestial Pearl Danio swimming in a group
A Celestial Pearl Danio (CPD)

Green Kubotai Rasboras

While Harlequin Rasboras and Chili's tend to steal the spotlight, the Green Kubotai is a rare rasbora fish with a lot to offer. The fish's small size makes it a great fish for a community tank, and hobbyists can leverage the fish's unique green color to create a fascinating aquascape. In a tank filled with cherry shrimp, the color combination can provide a tank with hues reminiscent of the holidays.

A Green Kubotai Rasbora fish
Rays Aquatics/Light Fish
A Green Kubotai Rasbora

Bumblebee Otos

Arguably the most rare fish on this list is the Bumblebee Oto. This newly discovered species shares the same size as the more common Otocinclus Vestitus but features a unique bumblebee-like color pattern.

If you can get your hands on one of these fish, you'll have no issues keeping them in a fish tank. Best of all, they're great algae eaters.

Bumblebee Otocinclus
The Bumblebee Otocinclus

Gold White Cloud Minnows

Hobbyists may already be familiar with White Cloud Minnows, but did you know there is a golden color strain as well? Gold White Cloud Minnows make a great addition to a freshwater shrimp tank but keep in mind these fish tend to be a bit more predatory. They are active fish, much more so than tetras, so foliage and hiding spots are a must if you plan on adding some of these to your shrimp tank.

Gold White Cloud Minnow
Andrej Jakubik/Shutterstock.com
Gold White Cloud Minnows

Orange Speckled Mickey Mouse Platy

Next on our list is the Orange Speckeld Mickey Mouse Platy, an orange-colored fish with markings that resemble Disney's famous Mickey Mouse. While platies and shrimp can co-exist, we recommend adding platies after your shrimp have had a few weeks to establish themselves. Combined with plenty of hiding spots, you shouldn't run into any issues keeping these fish with your favorite invertebrates.

Mickey Mouse Platy fish swimming
Elizabeth Oliva/Light Fish
An Orange Speckled Mickey Mouse Platy

Pygmy Cory

The Pygmy Cory is as peaceful and laid-back as it gets when it comes to freshwater fish. These small corydoras are perfect for a tank with shrimp, as they show virtually no aggression towards other tank inhabitants. 

While these fish aren't nearly as active as some of the other fish on this list, hobbyists will appreciate their adorable, puppy-like appearance.

Group of Pygmy Corydora fish
Kasama Kanpittaya/Shutterstock.com
Group of Pygmy Corydoras

Otocinclus vestitus

While we've already covered the rare, bumblebee oto, the more common Otocinclus vestitus is another great shrimp tank addition. These fish are constant foragers and are most commonly found munching on algae growing along the aquarium glass. Similar to the Pygmy Cory and Bumblebee Oto, this fish shows virtually zero signs of aggressive behavior.

An Otocinclus vestitus fish
Fremen/Wikimedia Commons
An Otocinclus vestitus fish


That wraps up our list of 10 excellent nano fish for a shrimp tank. Now that we've provided you with a few recommendations, which do you think you'll choose? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to visit our marketplace, where you can find some of these fish for sale directly from hobbyists like yourself!

Image of Miles Harrison

Miles Harrison

With over a decade of aquarium experience, Miles can be found writing about saltwater and freshwater aquariums. When he’s not writing about fish, you can find him going for a run or building websites, such as this one!