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Hi y'all!

Like the title says, I need a shrimp eater. My community tank (20 long) is set up pretty nicely, with half the tank pretty heavily planted— perhaps too much, since the cherry shrimp population has absolutely bloomed. I have two nerites, 2 otos, and 7 corys that munch on all the food, but the shrimp population has gotten big enough that they'll actually go straight for the food I set out for the corys. Daring little dudes.

I have a dwarf gourami who I had initially thought would help keep the shrimp in check. As it turns out, he either doesn't have a taste for shrimp, or dislikes swimming too far into the dense places the shrimp hang out.

I'm a little worried that the shrimp will start pushing the bioload at the rate they're going. As a result, if y'all have any advice for a fish (preferably small) to get on munching duty that fits my tank as described above, that would be great.

I'll be doing my own research as well— I considered an apistogramma but was worried with their bottom dwelling and aggression since the corys are rather playful— I figured they likely would not get along well. Additionally, as the bioload is the reason I am concerned in the first place, I would prefer a solitary fish, so barbs are out.

Any advice would be great.
 

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Not sure if it will fit your water parameters, but people have reported puffers absolutely destroying their shrimp.
 

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Those puffers'd probably also absolutely destroy the snails as well.

What type of corydoras do you have? Are you looking to keep the population in check, or just destroy it altogether?

From what I know, neons and corydoras will go after shrimplets. What may be happening, is that your shrimp have reached critical mass and therefore can produce more shrimplets than the fish can eat. Conversely, your fish might just be too lazy to eat the shrimplets.

Bettas are hit and miss when it comes to shrimp. Same with most anabantoids. Scarlet badis may be a good option. Cichlids in general also will go to town on shrimp.

However, my favorite option by far, is to just bag up 100 shrimp and sell them to your LFS so you can buy more stuff ;) .
 

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Those puffers'd probably also absolutely destroy the snails as well.

What type of corydoras do you have? Are you looking to keep the population in check, or just destroy it altogether?

From what I know, neons and corydoras will go after shrimplets. What may be happening, is that your shrimp have reached critical mass and therefore can produce more shrimplets than the fish can eat. Conversely, your fish might just be too lazy to eat the shrimplets.

Bettas are hit and miss when it comes to shrimp. Same with most anabantoids. Scarlet badis may be a good option. Cichlids in general also will go to town on shrimp.

However, my favorite option by far, is to just bag up 100 shrimp and sell them to your LFS so you can buy more stuff ;) .
They are sterbai corys! Lovely and entertaining but they don't bother with the shrimp either. I think it's due to the density of the plants. Neither they nor my dwarf gourami bother with the shrimp. A legion of various sized shrimp actually will steal the corys' food right in front of them...

I'd like to keep the population in check rather than get rid of them altogether.

Do you know of any very small cichlids that wouldn't be bothered by the cory shoal or my dwarf gourami? Thank you, by the way.
 

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It sounds like you're looking for South American dwarf cichlids. Apistogrammas are the most well known. But there are also rams (Mikrogeophagus), and Laetacara species that might work well. The only thing is that dwarf cichlids are going to decimate your shrimp population. Quite likely to extinction. It sounds like you want a fish that will manage the population. In that case, I'd consider a sparkling gourami (smaller than dwarf gouramis), or scarlet badis. They're small enough to slip through the vegetation, but won't eat all of the shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It sounds like you're looking for South American dwarf cichlids. Apistogrammas are the most well known. But there are also rams (Mikrogeophagus), and Laetacara species that might work well. The only thing is that dwarf cichlids are going to decimate your shrimp population. Quite likely to extinction. It sounds like you want a fish that will manage the population. In that case, I'd consider a sparkling gourami (smaller than dwarf gouramis), or scarlet badis. They're small enough to slip through the vegetation, but won't eat all of the shrimp.
Thank you for the advice! Good to know on the, uh, degree of success cichlids have. I'll definitely look into sparkling gouramis and scarlet badis. Would they be okay with my dwarf gourami? He isn't very aggressive at all, the most he does is occasionally flush the corys out from behind a plant if he wants to act tough, but I know that can be different when presented with other gouramis, and scarlet badis are known for being extremely timid. If you don't know that's okay, this is definitely a great starting point for further research on my end.
 

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Thank you for the advice! Good to know on the, uh, degree of success cichlids have. I'll definitely look into sparkling gouramis and scarlet badis. Would they be okay with my dwarf gourami? He isn't very aggressive at all, the most he does is occasionally flush the corys out from behind a plant if he wants to act tough, but I know that can be different when presented with other gouramis, and scarlet badis are known for being extremely timid. If you don't know that's okay, this is definitely a great starting point for further research on my end.
Hmmm...I think the scarlet badis and dwarf gourami would be okay. But I have no idea on the sparkling and the dwarf gourami. I'm leaning towards no simply because while the body plans are slightly similar, they aren't that similar. But I'd still check.

Oh! I'd also suggest doing a mass culling prior to buying any fish. Out of a colony of 1000 shrimp, I think maybe only 300-400 shrimp matched my high standards. So it might just be time for you to cull out any of the noncolorful shrimp.
 

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@ichthyogeek noted. Personally, I like to watch how the shrimp act and care less for their colors, so I probably won't do a cull. Aside from that, I'll definitely be able to research and figure out if either of those fish species will work out for me. Thank you so much for the starting point!
 

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@ichthyogeek noted. Personally, I like to watch how the shrimp act and care less for their colors, so I probably won't do a cull. Aside from that, I'll definitely be able to research and figure out if either of those fish species will work out for me. Thank you so much for the starting point!
Ah, one last thing: it might be worth it to start a small tank with a known shrimp eater. A pea puffer in a 5 gallon for example. Or a stinkpot turtle in a 20 gallon. Or really any of the more predatory catfish in their suitable tank sizes.
 

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Ah, one last thing: it might be worth it to start a small tank with a known shrimp eater. A pea puffer in a 5 gallon for example. Or a stinkpot turtle in a 20 gallon. Or really any of the more predatory catfish in their suitable tank sizes.
Oh man I'd absolutely love to run a pea puffer tank and just feed the little dude the excess shrimp from my main tank— but sadly I am limited on tank number by my lease. I'm already kind of pushing it with my two tanks so far (this one and a 5 gallon betta. I wonder if the betta would also appreciate shrimp snacks...). As it is, looking into the badis and the gourami you mentioned, I think I'll be looking around for a sparkling gourami. Thanks again!
 

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My paradise fish ate shrimps. With gusto. However I don't know if one would get along with your dwarf gourami. I used to have peppered cories with a paradise fish in a 20g and while he didn't harass the cories, the paradise fish out-competed them for food. But they have different personalities- I've heard some people had paradise fish that were very chill and didn't bother other fishes. Mine were fiesty. Worth a thought maybe.
 

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It sounds like you're looking for South American dwarf cichlids. Apistogrammas are the most well known. But there are also rams (Mikrogeophagus), and Laetacara species that might work well. The only thing is that dwarf cichlids are going to decimate your shrimp population. Quite likely to extinction. It sounds like you want a fish that will manage the population. In that case, I'd consider a sparkling gourami (smaller than dwarf gouramis), or scarlet badis. They're small enough to slip through the vegetation, but won't eat all of the shrimp.
Apistos might work like the Apistogramma agassizi, or Apistogramma cacatuoides but I've currently got Bolivian Rams Mikrogeophagus altispinosa, and have also kept German Blue Rams Mikrogeophagus ramirezi before and they did not bother the shrimp a bit.
 

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I had a trio of Peacock Gudgeon that kept my RCS population in check quite well. Didn't decimate it but kept growth to a net increase of only a couple a month.
 
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