Siamese algae eaters make a great addition to your aquarium’s cleanup crew. These guys will scarf down just about anything you wouldn’t want in your tank, like algae, As would indicate by their namesake.
They eat more than just algae though, the thing’s like dead fish and insects will be no match for your slick silver cleanup crew.
But will they eat your shrimp?
The fact is, it depends on the size of the shrimp. Although docile for the most part, Siamese algae eaters are very aggressive eaters. They wouldn’t think twice about eating a small shrimp or a baby shrimp.
They are scavenger feeders, which is the reason they make a valuable addition to your cleanup crew. Unfortunately, those desired cleaning skills come with a downside, Which is they will eat just about anything that will fit in their mouth.
That’s not to say they can’t co-habitat with larger varieties of shrimp, but it’s important to separate baby’s before they have a chance to eat them because they will.
Anything bigger than they are should be considered ok with add in the tank with them, but you should also make sure you have a legit Siamese algae eater.
My Siamese algae eater is aggressive
The most common mistake people make is misidentifying these fish with their look-alike species, Chinese algae eaters, or flying fox algae eater. These varieties of algae eaters are very aggressive. The problem is they look so much alike each other, It’s hard to tell them apart unless you know exactly what you are looking for. The subtle signs, mannerisms, and physical details are what set these fish apart.
Aside from the occasional snack on a smaller animal, such as a shrimp, a true Siamese algae eater is docile and peaceful. They make ideal community-friendly fish and cleaners.
So if you notice that your SAE’s aren’t playing nice and peaceful with their community, it’s possible you don’t even have true SAE’s. These will tend to be more aggressive with larger fish and not just shrimp.
The bottom line is, yes your Siamese algae eaters will eat shrimp and baby shrimp if they are able to fit it in their mouths. Larger varieties of shrimp can and do co-habitat with SAE’s and you needn’t worry for their safety. Also, Siamese algae eaters will likely not eat your cardinals, for all of you who keep asking.