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Kribensis Cichlid and Shrimp: Not Your Best Tank Mates

Kribensis Cichlid and Shrimp: Not Your Best Tank Mates

Kribensis cichlids and shrimps (especially dwarf shrimp) are popular freshwater fish that can make any community tank stand out!

Both species love living in groups and have more or less the same requirements. This makes many fishkeepers think they can make amazing tank mates. But is this really true?

There are many things that determine whether two aquatic animals can live in the same tank, and not just similar living conditions. 

So, do kribensis cichlids and shrimp make suitable tank mates or not? Let’s find out!

Can Kribensis Cichlid and Shrimp Live Together?

Kribensis cichlids are dwarf cichlid species that prefer living in small groups. Most freshwater shrimp also love living in huge communities where they can feel safe.

Unfortunately, it isn’t recommended to keep kribensis cichlid and shrimp together

Even though they might seem like the perfect tank mates that will complement each other both in appearance and in lifestyle, they aren’t suitable for each other. The main reason is that kribensis fish pose a danger to tiny, helpless shrimp

Whether you’re talking about blue velvet shrimp or crystal red shrimp, all dwarf shrimp species have no way of defending themselves from temperamental kribensis. Even larger vampire shrimp might be in danger!

Territorial Dispute

The main reason why kribensis cannot stand shrimp in their tanks is that both animals are bottom-dwellers

Kribensis love to dig the substrate and burrow. This is one of their most notable behaviors. 

On the other hand, tiny shrimp aren’t great swimmers and they prefer living on the bottom of the tank. 

At the same time, both species love to hide in caves, holes, and other hiding spots. 

While kribensis cichlids are peaceful most of the time, they can become aggressive when they feel like someone is endangering their territory. 

Sure, tiny shrimp have no desire to take over the kribensis’ living space. However, the territorial cichlid won’t care too much about shrimp’s intentions. All they’ll want is to keep to the bottom to themselves. 

This will likely result in kribensis attacking the shrimp, which will stress out the tiny invertebrates. In the worst-case scenario, your shrimp might get killed.

Will Kribensis Eat Shrimp?

shrimps in aquarium

Kribensis cichlids are omnivores. They’ll eat both plant matter and meat. Most of the time, they aren’t picky eaters and will munch on anything they can get. 

Unfortunately, smaller shrimp might end up on your kribensis’ menu, especially if your cichlid is hungry. 

Due to their size, most adult shrimp will be safe from kribensis. However, baby shrimp are a whole different story. In fact, freshly hatched brine shrimp are the main part of the kribensis’ diet!

Even if you don’t plan on breeding your shrimp or if you own a 40-gallon breeder’s tank for these purposes, it’s better not to risk it.

Will Kribensis Eat Amano Shrimp?

Amano shrimp are among the most popular dwarf shrimp species. Chances are many would consider holding amano shrimp and kribensis together.

There are many reports of people keeping these two species without any issues whatsoever. Other fishkeepers have stated their kribensis have killed and eaten full-grown amano shrimp

I have never attempted to keep the two together, and, personally, I wouldn’t risk it. I think my amano shrimp would be hiding all day long in the presence of a larger, territorial fish.

If anything else, you can never fully control when your shrimp will have offspring. By doing this, you are risking all the babies.

Will Kribensis Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Cherry shrimp are another common shrimp that are kept due to their gorgeous looks. Their bright red colors would look amazingly with reddish kribensis females!

Unfortunately, most people who have attempted to keep the cherry shrimp together with kribensis cichlid have had their entire shrimp colonies killed. 

Cherry shrimp are friendly and peaceful and are no match to temperamental kribensis. In my opinion, this is one of the worst combinations you can get.

Are There Situations When the Two Might Be Together?

kribensis chichlid and shrimp

If you are really persistent, you might keep on insisting that there are certain situations in which you might be able to keep kribensis cichlid and shrimp together. 

Unfortunately, I do not think this is the case.

Shrimp are known to be food to larger carnivorous fish. While kribensis aren’t necessarily vicious, if they are hungry they won’t mind munching on any species of shrimp. 

While many people claim they have had their adult shrimp colonies live with kribensis for years, I think this is only possible until your kribensis is hungry enough. It is in kribensis cichlids’ instincts to eat smaller fish and other animals. 

Also, while you might provide your fish and shrimp with a large tank that will give them plenty of space to roam, this is also not a guarantee that the two will live peacefully. 

You can never know when the shrimp might decide to enter the kribensis’ hiding spot, or when the kribensis’ female might decide to change the cave she wants to lay eggs in. 

So, while there are things you can do to reduce the chances of things going wrongly, there is no way to fully eliminate the dangers.

The Bottom Line

While it is tempting to keep two colorful species together, sometimes not everything is about the looks. 

Kribensis cichlids and shrimp might look like a match made in heaven, but the truth is anything but. Tiny shrimp are in grave danger if left in the same tank as kribensis!

The temperament of fish and other aquarium pets is often much more important than whether the two have the same requirements. 

This is why it’s essential to stay educated about all characteristics of the animal you are planning to get.