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I plan to keep about 4 yo-yo loaches and a few shoals of schooling fish (neon tetras, danios, mollies, and maybe more smaller fish) in my tank.

I heard that ghost shrimp eat small fish.

What type of shrimp is best to keep in my proposed freshwater aquarium set-up?

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Amano shrimp are good tank mates for community fish. They'll ignore your fish altogether. And they eat algae 24x7, which never hurts. Amano shrimp require brackish water for breeding, so won't breed in most tanks. This also makes them difficult to find.

Cherry shrimp (and their color varieties) will also be no threat to your fish. But, they are very small, so aggressive fish (barbs, for example) may go after them. They breed quite easily and rapidly, so if you want more of them make sure you have plenty of hiding places for the young shrimp. Cherry shrimp are also algae eaters, though being so small you'll need huge quantities of them to have an real impact if algae controll is a goal.

Really, for most shrimp in tanks, the issue isn't if they are a danger to the fish, but if the fish will be a danger to the shrimps. Even larger shrimp may find their extremities and tails the target of nipping. The tetras shouldn't be a problem for the shrimp, but the loaches may go after them.

Edit: One heads up about shrimp (and most aquarium invertebrates, actually). A lot of medications and chemicals you might use in a tank are poisonous to them. So once they are in there, you'll need to be extra careful with what you put into the tank, and check that it is safe for shrimp.

  • I'd even add that certain medications like copper are so toxic at the levels to treat a tank, that the tank can remain toxic to them indefinitely after treatment. – Jestep Feb 2 '16 at 2:48
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The key word you used was Loaches.

Any shrimp you put in that tank are immediately an expensive fancy dinner. Loaches will flip them and rip them out of their shells just like they were snails. Loaches and invertebrates just don't mix.

Mollies will eat all but the largest shrimp as well. I've had this experience personally as I watched one devour my red crystals.

  • I kind of disagree with Justin, since I've had my 55-gallon community tank for quite awhile and my dalmatian mollies have left the ghost shrimp I have well alone. Of course, the tank's heavily planted and I added the shrimp first to give them a chance to find all the nicest hidey holes....But I digress. – user7467 Jun 25 '16 at 18:50
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I made the mistake of keeping Kouli Loaches in a 55 gal heavily planted tank with Amano shrimp. I added several shrimp 3 times and they would just disappear. I thought they were just finding good hiding places until late one night I was watching and one of my loaches attacked and ate an Amano shrimp. They might be compatible at first until the loaches grow large enough to eat the shrimp.

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I prefer ghost shrimp. You can get a load of them (depending on tank size) and they're pretty much clear so it's cool to watch food and stuff go throughtheir system. They are cheap (49c a shrimp at Petsmart) and can get pretty big and eat all extra food, algae and dead fish.plus I never see them get near my other fish(keep far away from predator fish)

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I actually have 4 Yoyo loaches, two cory dorus (SP) and 5 cherry shrimp. So far, for the past 3 months, my shrimp have been fine so far. My tank is heavily planted with moss and various other plants which obviously helps. Also, my Yoyo's are well fed and there are plenty of pest snails to keep them happy - shrimp can move pretty fast when they want to so its easier for them to eat the snails than chase the shrimp. Good luck

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