Can Siamese Algae Eaters Live with Shrimp? A Comprehensive Guide to Aquarium Compatibility

Aquarists are always on the lookout for ways to improve their underwater havens, and combining different species in the same tank can be a delight. But how do you know which creatures will coexist peacefully and which will spend their days looking for a fight? Today, we’re diving into the world of aquarium compatibility and answering a burning question: Can Siamese Algae Eaters live with shrimp?

The simple answer, you’ll be happy to know, is a resounding yes! Siamese Algae Eaters and shrimp can be tank mates, given the right conditions. That said, some factors need to be considered so both species remain happy and healthy. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to maintain a harmonious underwater community.

Go ahead, keep reading, and discover how to create the perfect aquatic home for these fascinating creatures!

Siamese Algae Eaters: A quick introduction

Siamese Algae Eaters (SAEs), scientifically known as Crossocheilus oblongus, are one of the most popular and effective algae-eliminating fish in the aquarium hobby. These freshwater fish are native to Southeast Asia, more specifically, the Mekong basin, the Chao Phraya River, and the Malayan Peninsula.

Physical appearance

The SAE sports a sleek, elongated body with a grayish-silver hue, a black stripe that runs horizontally from its nose to its tail, and small, discreet fins. Adult SAEs usually reach a length of 5 to 6 inches.

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Lifespan and habitat

Quieter and more peaceful than other types of algae eaters like the Chinese Algae Eater, SAEs have a lifespan of around 10 years. They thrive in planted tanks with hiding spots and gentle water movement that resembles their natural habitat.

Diet and algae control

SAEs are famous for their voracious appetite for various algae types, including the dreaded black beard algae. Aside from algae, they’ll happily munch on algae wafers, pellets, vegetables, and bloodworms.

Shrimp: A snapshot of these tiny aquatic creatures

Now that we know more about SAEs let’s dive into the equally fascinating world of shrimp. These small crustaceans come in diverse shapes and colors, with popular species including Red Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, and Ghost Shrimp.


Aquarium shrimp are typically 1 to 2 inches in length and are known for their algae-eating abilities, enhancing an aquarium’s water quality while also adding an extra element of life and color.

Housing and habitat

Shrimp require a stable environment with clean, adequately filtered water and plenty of hiding spots. Live plants, rocks, and decorations are essential to provide shelter and help them feel safe.

The compatibility breakdown: SAEs and shrimp

While SAEs and shrimp can coexist, it’s important to remember that they share a love for algae. With that said, it’s essential to provide enough food for both species.

Tank size and conditions

When combining SAEs and shrimp, a tank of 20 gallons or larger should be adequate. Ensure the water temperature is between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and has a pH of 6 to 8. Maintain stable water parameters and provide hiding spots for both the SAEs and shrimp.

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Introducing SAEs and shrimp: A step-by-step guide

  1. Begin by setting up the tank with the appropriate conditions, as previously mentioned.
  2. Introduce the shrimp first and allow them a few weeks to establish themselves.
  3. Finally, add the SAE, preferably a young one, to the tank.

Compatibility with other species

Both SAEs and shrimp can coexist with other gentle, small, and peaceful fish such as tetras, guppies, and rasboras. Avoid aggressive or significantly larger tank mates, as they may pose a threat to both the SAE and shrimp.

Relevant FAQs

  • Can SAEs live with other algae-eating fish?
    • Yes, SAEs can coexist with other algae eaters, like plecos or otocinclus, in larger tanks.
  • Will Siamese Algae Eaters nip at fins of other fish?
    • SAEs are generally peaceful; however, larger and older SAEs may occasionally seek out other small fish to nip fins or cause stress.
  • How to minimize potential conflicts between SAEs and shrimp?
    • Ensure there’s ample food and hiding places for both species, and avoid overcrowding.
  • Can SAEs live in cold water?
    • No, SAEs are tropical fish and require water temperatures between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • What are some good tank mates for shrimp other than SAEs?
    • Non-aggressive fish such as tetras, guppies, rasboras, and other peaceful community fish can be great tank mates for shrimp.

In conclusion, Siamese Algae Eaters and shrimp can live together harmoniously, provided their needs are met and tank conditions are properly maintained. By taking care of their environment and ensuring there’s enough food and shelter for both species, you’ll create an aquarium ecosystem that both SAEs and shrimp will thrive in. Happy fishkeeping!

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