10 Best Shrimp for a Betta Tank

Posted by on 08/14/2023


Betta fish are some of the most common freshwater species in the aquarium hobby. Whether you have a blue-colored betta, or the rare galaxy koi, there are plenty of ways to upgrade your aquarium to build a more well-rounded ecosystem.

While betta fish are known to be aggressive fish, it is possible to keep these fish in a community tank with other species, and some potential candidates include freshwater shrimp, African dwarf frogs, and more. In this post, we’re going to recommend 10 of the best shrimp to coexist with your betta fish.



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Know the Risks

Hobbyists will come across a wide variety of opinions online when keeping betta fish with shrimp. While we've successfully kept these two types of species in some of our tanks, hobbyists should be aware that bettas are predatory fish, and temperament does vary from fish to fish.

Before venturing into keeping shrimp with bettas, hobbyists should either have a well-planted tank or provide plenty of artificial hiding spots. The larger the tank, the less likely you'll notice aggressive behavior from your betta. You'll also want to have a backup plan in case you notice any predatory behavior from your betta fish. Hobbyists will often have a nano tank at the ready in case they need to relocate any of their shrimp.

Our Top 10

Now that you've learned the risks and have supplied plenty of hiding spots for your shrimp, here are 10 great options.

Amano Shrimp

Known for their algae-eating abilities and named after famous aquascaper Takashi Amano , amano shrimp are a favorite among freshwater hobbyists. These shrimp will munch on any available algae in the tank, and will even eat the notorious black beard algae.

Image of an Amano Shrimp
Joan Carles Juarez/Shutterstock.com
An Amano Shrimp

Red Cherry Shrimp

Perhaps the most common shrimp in the hobby is the Red Cherry Shrimp (scientific name: Neocaridina davidi.) These shrimp are graded - meaning the shrimp that show off the brightest colors are assigned a rating, with "AA" being one of the highest marks. Whether you're keeping low or high-grade red cherries, they are an excellent choice for a community tank.

Image of a Red Cherry Shrimp
ictheostega/Flickr
A Red Cherry Shrimp

Blue Dream Shrimp

One of the most popular red cherry color morphs is known as Blue Dream Shrimp. These shrimp have been crossbred with other color variations of Neocaridinia davidi to produce a deep blue coloration. These shrimp are commonly mistaken with blue velvet shrimp.

Image of a Blue Dream Shrimp
Serhii Shcherbyna/Shutterstock.com
A Blue Dream Shrimp perched on an aquatic plant

Green Jade Shrimp

Green Jade Shrimp have a green coloration that can function as a form of camouflage in a planted aquarium with a lot of foliage. These shrimp can demonstrate a lime green or forest green coloration, and high-grade versions of the species will show little translucency. 

Image of a Green Jade Shrimp
@natevanbonn8742
A Green Jade Shrimp

Orange Pumpkin Shrimp

Another common Neocaridina davidi color morph is known as the orange pumpkin, and this freshwater invert demonstrates a color that contrasts nicely with darker-colored aquarium substrates. 

Orange Pumpkins are typically easy to find and often go up for sale on our marketplace.

Image of an Orange Pumpkin Shrimp
SritanaN/Shutterstock.com
An Orange Pumpkin Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp

With an appearance similar to an Amano shrimp, ghost shrimp (scientific name: Palaemon paludosus) are native to the United States's Appalachian Mountains, and are known to be a bit more aggressive when compared to Neocardinia species. 

These shrimp can grow to be much larger than the other shrimp mentioned on this list, with adults reaching a full inch in size.

Image of a Ghost Shrimp
Shutterstock.com
Ghost shrimp, pictured, are much larger than Amano shrimp

Orange Rili (with caution)

Aquarists new to the hobby may mistake the translucent band on an Orange Rili to be a visual oddity rather than a sought-after feature, however, hobbyists have been cross-breeding shrimp to produce the unique clear band seen on the Orange Rili for decades.

Orange Rili shrimp are often more expensive when compared to more common Neocardinia color morphs such as the Red Cherry, and hobbyists should take caution before introducing these shrimp into a betta tank.

Image of an Orange Rili Shrimp
Atulbhats/Wikimedia Commons
An Orange Rili Shrimp

Crystal Red Shrimp (with caution)

Crystal Red Shrimp should only be cared for by experienced hobbyists, as these fish are highly sensitive to stress and imperfect water conditions. With a preference for soft water, you'll likely need to purchase or create your own RO/DI water just to sustain these shrimp. 

Hobbyists that are considering pairing these with a betta should have a backup plan in case signs of aggression are exhibited from the betta.

A Crystal Red Shrimp
Emilia Murray/Flickr
A Crystal Red Shrimp

Crystal Black Shrimp (with caution)

Crystal Blacks share identical care requirements as the related Crystal Reds and a similar recommendation follows. We strongly suggest having a well-established tank that you can transfer these shrimp into if you see signs of aggression from your betta fish. Plenty of hiding spots and a pristine environment will improve your odds of housing both of these species together.

Crystal Black Shrimp
DirkBlankenhaus/Wikimedia Commons
A Crystal Black Shrimp

Sulawesi Shrimp (with caution)

Native to Indonesia, Sulawesi Shrimp are hard to come by, and hobbyists should monitor the species for stress closely after adding them to a betta fish tank. Luckily for hobbyists, Sulawesi can live comfortably in hard water environments, but if aggressive signs are shown from the betta fish, they should be transferred into an established aquarium.

Sulawesi Shrimp
SritanaN/Shutterstock.com
Sulawesi Shrimp

Conclusion

As you can see, adding shrimp to a betta tank is something that should be done with caution. Providing a large aquarium with plenty of hiding spots will reduce the chances that you'll need to move your fish or shrimp into a tank of their own.

Now that we've covered some suitable options, do you plan on introducing these species in an aquarium? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to visit our marketplace where you may even find some of these unique inverts for sale.

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!