Can Corydoras Live With Shrimp? - "Corydoras pygmaeus" by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Can Corydoras Live With Shrimp? - "Corydoras pygmaeus" by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


In the vast and vibrant world of aquariums, creating a harmonious community tank is akin to painting a living, breathing masterpiece. Among the myriad of choices for tank inhabitants, two species stand out for their peaceful nature and ecological benefits: the industrious corydoras catfish and the enchanting aquarium shrimp. Naturally, aquarists often wonder, can corydoras live with shrimp in a shared tank environment? This intriguing possibility has captivated the hearts of aquarists worldwide, sparking discussions and experiments in the quest for the perfect aquatic harmony.

About Corydoras and Shrimp

First up, let’s talk about corydoras, affectionately known as “cory cats” to their fans. These little bottom-dwellers are the epitome of cuteness mixed with utility. With their armored bodies and playful antics, corydoras come in a variety of species, each boasting different patterns and colors. They’re not just pretty faces, though; these catfish are a clean-up crew’s dream, tirelessly sifting through the substrate to snack on leftover food and detritus.

Now, shifting our gaze to the more diminutive, yet equally fascinating world of aquarium shrimp. These tiny invertebrates are like living jewels, adding splashes of color and life to any tank. From the vibrant cherry shrimp to the enigmatic ghost shrimp, there’s a type of shrimp to match every aquarist’s taste. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, shrimp play a crucial role in maintaining a clean and healthy aquarium environment, much like their corydoras counterparts.

Together, corydoras and shrimp form an unstoppable team of aquatic cleaners, all the while providing endless entertainment with their unique behaviors and interactions. It’s no wonder they’ve captured the hearts of aquarium hobbyists around the globe. Whether you’re setting up your first tank or you’re a seasoned pro, the addition of these friendly and fascinating creatures can bring a new level of joy and balance to your aquatic ecosystem. So, let’s dive deeper and get to know these popular aquarium inhabitants even better!

Aquarium Setup

So can corydoras live with shrimp? Diving into the world of corydoras and shrimp, it’s crucial to create an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat. This ensures their health, happiness, and maybe even a bit of breeding magic. So, let’s break down the ideal water parameters and tank requirements to make your aquatic friends feel right at home.

Ideal Water Parameters

Corydoras Catfish:

  • Temperature: They enjoy slightly warmer waters, typically between 72°F to 79°F (22°C to 26°C).
  • pH Level: Aim for a pH range of 6.0 to 7.8, leaning towards the neutral to slightly acidic side.

Aquarium Shrimp:

  • Temperature: Shrimp are quite adaptable, but most species thrive in temperatures between 68°F to 78°F (20°C to 26°C).
  • pH Level: They prefer slightly acidic to neutral water, with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5.

Tank Setup Considerations

Tank Size: Starting with a tank size, a 20-gallon setup (80 liters) is a great starting point for both species. This size offers ample space for them to explore, forage, and most importantly, establish territories without overcrowding. Remember, more water also means more stability in water parameters, which is crucial for the wellbeing of your aquatic pets.


  • Corydoras: A soft, sandy substrate is ideal for these bottom dwellers. Their barbels (whiskers) are quite sensitive, and a soft substrate prevents them from getting damaged as they forage for food.
  • Shrimp: They aren’t as picky, but small-grained gravel or sand works well, especially when it’s dark-colored. It not only provides a good contrast to show off their colors but also offers an excellent surface for beneficial bacteria to colonize and for shrimp to graze on biofilm.

Plants and Decor: Plants are not just decorations; they’re crucial for a healthy aquarium ecosystem. Live plants help oxygenate the water, absorb nitrates, and provide hiding spots for both shrimp and corydoras. Java moss, Anubias, and Java fern are excellent choices as they’re hardy and offer great cover. Driftwood and caves are also appreciated, giving your tank inhabitants cozy spots to hide and explore.

Creating the perfect tank setup is more than just a science; it’s an art that reflects the love and care you have for your aquatic buddies. By closely mimicking their natural environments, you’re not just giving them a home—you’re giving them a sanctuary. With the right water parameters and tank considerations, your corydoras and shrimp will not only survive but thrive, bringing life and joy to your piece of the underwater world.

Can Corydoras Live With Shrimp? - "Corydoras pygmaeus" by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Can Corydoras Live With Shrimp? – “Corydoras pygmaeus” by Joel Carnat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

So, Can Corydoras Live with Shrimp?

So, can corydoras live with shrimp? Absolutely! Corydoras and shrimp can make great tank mates under the right conditions. This pairing is popular among aquarium enthusiasts for several good reasons:

  • Temperament: Both corydoras and shrimp are peaceful, non-aggressive species. Corydoras are bottom dwellers and tend to mind their own business, while shrimp are more inclined to explore the tank, graze on algae, and scavenge for food. This peaceful nature makes them compatible for living together.
  • Environmental Needs: Their environmental and water parameter requirements overlap significantly, making it easier to create a habitat that suits both species well. Both enjoy similar temperatures, pH levels, and water hardness, as discussed earlier.
  • Complementary Behaviors: Corydoras and shrimp both play roles in keeping the tank clean. Corydoras sift through the substrate, eating leftover food and detritus, while shrimp are excellent at cleaning up algae and biofilm on plants and decorations. Together, they can help maintain a cleaner and healthier aquarium.
  • Size and Safety: While there’s always a small risk of very small or young shrimp being eaten by larger fish, corydoras generally pose little threat to adult shrimp due to their peaceful nature and mouth size. It’s still important to provide plenty of hiding spots and dense plant cover so shrimp can escape to safety if they feel threatened or stressed.
  • Dietary Compatibility: Both species are not overly competitive eaters and can be fed a similar diet. Sinking pellets, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables, along with occasional meaty foods, will keep both your corydoras and shrimp well-fed without outcompeting each other.

To ensure a harmonious tank, it’s crucial to:

  • Monitor: Keep an eye on interactions, especially during the initial introduction period.
  • Provide Hiding Spaces: Lots of plants, driftwood, and caves allow shrimp to hide and feel secure.
  • Maintain Water Quality: Regular water changes and monitoring ensure the environment stays healthy for both species.


Our exploration into whether corydoras can live with shrimp uncovers a world where peaceful coexistence is not only possible but beneficial. The key to success lies in understanding and catering to the needs of both species, from the water parameters and tank setup to ensuring a diet that satisfies all. With the right conditions, corydoras and shrimp can form a dynamic duo, each playing a crucial role in the ecosystem of your tank. This partnership not only keeps the tank cleaner but also adds a fascinating layer of natural behavior and interaction for the aquarist to observe. So, whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or just starting out, consider the delightful possibility of having corydoras and shrimp together in your aquatic community. In the serene underwater realm of your aquarium, these creatures can thrive side by side, offering endless fascination and a slice of nature’s tranquility.