Do Plecos Eat Shrimp And Is It Safe To Have Both In The Same Aquarium?

Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by cmoarz

So you are planning on stocking a new tank, or intend on adding some additional fish or shrimp to an existing tank, and you need to know if plecos and shrimp are compatible tankmates.

Do plecos eat shrimp? Will the helpless shrimp be safe in the same tank as your plecos? You’ve come to the right place to get the answer!

Do Plecos Eat Shrimp?

Put your mind at ease, Plecos won’t eat shrimp or go after shrimp in any way. Your shrimp will have nothing to worry about in the way of predatory attacks and they will be quite safe in the presence of your plecos.

However, Just because there is no initial danger doesn’t mean the shrimp won’t feel the same way.

Plecos are lazy catfish (like most catfish) and really prefer to mind their own business and suck up algae and other food sources, But your shrimp might not see it that way.

Plecos are big, and shrimp don’t like big fish. In fact, many shrimp don’t even like big snails. Plecos are very messy eaters, and that combined with their size will drive your shrimp crazy.

Your shrimp may be hiding all the time (they aren’t nocturnal either) and be at a heightened level of stress for most of the time they are in the tank.

Now with that said, It doesn’t necessarily mean these two don’t make good tank mates.

The ideal setup here is to give your shrimp plenty of space to work with. They need a lot of cover in the form of thick plant growth (such as guppy grass) and many places they can skitter into and hide, such as small decorations plecos won’t fit in.

Your shrimp will feel much more at home if they have a thick overgrowth to hide and frolic in with other shrimp. You could even hang a no pleco allowed sign, you know, as a joke…

So, to recap, do plecos eat shrimp? No, they don’t. But you’ll want to give your shrimp plenty of space and hiding places or they may not feel right in the tank with your plecos!

Shrimp are very clever little creatures who deserve their share of real estate just as much as any other tankmate. If this isn’t possible, then please don’t keep these two together.

It’s just not worth the stress on your shrimp. The good news is that there are a lot of other compatible species so you’ll have no problem finding a great tankmate for your pleco!


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!