Large Ghost Shrimp Safe With Pygmy Corys?

Kyle Holmes

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I'm pretty new to keeping fish, but for about two months now I've been figuring out my tank setup mostly through trial and error.

I thought I did all my research after I saw a 2" ghost shrimp for sale at one of my favourite local pet stores. Everything I read indicated that ghost shrimp are totally safe with corys and that I shouldn't be worried, if anything I'd need to be more concerned for the shrimp.

So a week later (today) I went back and picked him up. He was alone in a tank with tons of fancy guppies, and there were several dead ones at the bottom but LOTS of alive and feisty ones as well. He was the only shrimp besides the feeders which they sell in units of ten (no exceptions, according to all the very aggressive signs about the feeders lol). And ten is way too many for what I've got going on.

I have a 10G 20" tank with 6 albino corys (3-4 are sterbai's, the rest I think are regular aneus), 6 pygmy corys and a female crowntail betta (also yes, I know I'm stocked pretty heavily stocked for a 10 gallon. I live in Hawaii and I'll be moving off island before the end of the year and my mom will be adopting the tank and all the fish, except 2-3 of the sterbai's which I'm taking with me, so at that point it'll be stocked correctly for her to manage, and for now I'm fine doing 40-50% water changes every couple days. So far my readings have remained stable)
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10-20

ANYWAY as I was acclimating him in his baggie I was trying to get a better look--it's kind of a freaky looking shrimp and it's easily 2-3 times larger than my pygmies. I'm really concerned that he's going to straight up eat them once he's out of the bag. The corys are fast but I've got one lazy pygmy that usually stays in one spot for several hours if he can, and one of the sterbai's is also completely blind (missing both his eyes, I think they were eaten by the guppies he was living with at the pet store). I started trying to do a little deeper research and I read some people talking about this.. macrobrachium shrimp? hunting down and killing their guppies. I'm now scared I got one of those and I don't know how to tell the difference. It was sold as "misc ghost opae" (opae being Hawaiian for shrimp) for $2.49. It's probably about 2" long or so, with eight legs as far as I can tell, tiny little pincers in front, and a long pointy snout. It also has really long whiskery antennas. The girl at the store said it might've been a donation. So now I'm wondering about those dead guppies in its tank after all.

image1_zpsl5msvdn7.jpg

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It's been acclimating in the bag for a couple hours now cuz I'm scared it's over for my pygmies once I let it out. I love all my corys and I really don't want to risk anyone getting hurt. I'm always especially cautious about the blind one. I know the pics are kind of fuzzy, but could someone tell me if I accidentally got the scary kind of shrimp? If it's at all risky to let it out, I won't.

Thanks so much! I'm super stressing out about this--I just rehomed some fish recently due to compatibility issues and I tried so hard to not make another mistake like that. ...oops

-Kyle
 

DoubleDutch

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Kyle Holmes said:
I'm pretty new to keeping fish, but for about two months now I've been figuring out my tank setup mostly through trial and error.

I thought I did all my research after I saw a 2" ghost shrimp for sale at one of my favourite local pet stores. Everything I read indicated that ghost shrimp are totally safe with corys and that I shouldn't be worried, if anything I'd need to be more concerned for the shrimp.

So a week later (today) I went back and picked him up. He was alone in a tank with tons of fancy guppies, and there were several dead ones at the bottom but LOTS of alive and feisty ones as well. He was the only shrimp besides the feeders which they sell in units of ten (no exceptions, according to all the very aggressive signs about the feeders lol). And ten is way too many for what I've got going on.

I have a 10G 20" tank with 6 albino corys (3-4 are sterbai's, the rest I think are regular aneus), 6 pygmy corys and a female crowntail betta (also yes, I know I'm stocked pretty heavily stocked for a 10 gallon. I live in Hawaii and I'll be moving off island before the end of the year and my mom will be adopting the tank and all the fish, except 2-3 of the sterbai's which I'm taking with me, so at that point it'll be stocked correctly for her to manage, and for now I'm fine doing 40-50% water changes every couple days. So far my readings have remained stable)
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10-20

ANYWAY as I was acclimating him in his baggie I was trying to get a better look--it's kind of a freaky looking shrimp and it's easily 2-3 times larger than my pygmies. I'm really concerned that he's going to straight up eat them once he's out of the bag. The corys are fast but I've got one lazy pygmy that usually stays in one spot for several hours if he can, and one of the sterbai's is also completely blind (missing both his eyes, I think they were eaten by the guppies he was living with at the pet store). I started trying to do a little deeper research and I read some people talking about this.. macrobrachium shrimp? hunting down and killing their guppies. I'm now scared I got one of those and I don't know how to tell the difference. It was sold as "misc ghost opae" (opae being Hawaiian for shrimp) for $2.49. It's probably about 2" long or so, with eight legs as far as I can tell, tiny little pincers in front, and a long pointy snout. It also has really long whiskery antennas. The girl at the store said it might've been a donation. So now I'm wondering about those dead guppies in its tank after all.

View attachment 436713
View attachment 436714

It's been acclimating in the bag for a couple hours now cuz I'm scared it's over for my pygmies once I let it out. I love all my corys and I really don't want to risk anyone getting hurt. I'm always especially cautious about the blind one. I know the pics are kind of fuzzy, but could someone tell me if I accidentally got the scary kind of shrimp? If it's at all risky to let it out, I won't.

Thanks so much! I'm super stressing out about this--I just rehomed some fish recently due to compatibility issues and I tried so hard to not make another mistake like that. ...oops

-Kyle
It will be safe Kyle. Corys don't eat or hunt living shrimp.
 
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Kyle Holmes

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I'm worried about the shrimp eating my pygmy corys though, since it's about 3x larger than they are

The more I look around the more I'm thinking I got a "whisker shrimp" and that I should just take it back
 

DoubleDutch

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Owww hahahaha misunderstood.
Don't know this type of shrimp. Sorry.
Kyle Holmes said:
I'm worried about the shrimp eating my pygmy corys though, since it's about 3x larger than they are

The more I look around the more I'm thinking I got a "whisker shrimp" and that I should just take it back
 
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Kyle Holmes

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I decided it's not worth the risk, just because I had a really hard time finding pygmy corys in the first place and I don't want to lose even one.

Right now the scary shrimp is in my old betta bowl (maybe 2.5 gal?) cuz I felt bad for him being in the bag for so long. Will the shrimp be okay in the small bowl for a few days? I want to try to give him to a friend with an overpopulated guppy tank.
 

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Shrimp, and all invertebrates, are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, so as long as you do small partial water changes every few days it should be fine. Here's the thing; that doesnt look like a ghost shrimp. The body shape isn't quite right, nor are the eyes. Any chance you can post some more pictures of it? To me, it seems to resemble an amano more, but I'm not sure about that.
 
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Kyle Holmes

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It's hard to get clear undistorted photos from the side because the bowl is round but I got a clear one from above.
Last night its eyes were really dark black but today from above they look more yellow.
It's pretty translucent, all the google image results of amanos seem to have more colour and defined markings? But mine does seem to have the same kind of fat body shape.

It also doesn't seem to have large claws like the macrobrachium, just really tiny v-shaped pincers. I also measured it and it's about 4.5cm. It has 8 long legs in front and a bunch of tiny ones under its abdomen/tail area.

Sorry, am having trouble as I didn't realise photobucket wasn't allowing 3rd party hosting anymore. Weird that those first two pics showed up.

LYqJ3Hm.jpg

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ZmTrQAu.jpg
 

Kyleena696

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It doesn't resemble a ghost shrimp to me as it seems to be missing the orange spots on its tail and the banding on the antennae. Also, it's pincers look huge compared to my ghost shrimp and it just doesn't look right overall. Maybe a whisker shrimp?
 

Rtessy

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Sorry I didn't see this earlier. I agree with the above, I'm going to have to take back the amano possibility. It's definitely not a ghost shrimp though, and I'm sorry but I don't actually know quite what it is
 
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Kyle Holmes

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I’ve named him Sneakers and he now is living in a 3.5 gallon tank with a young and very aggressive betta. His pincers have definitely gotten bigger since I took these and now there are red bands below the pincers.
 

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I know it sounds blunt but 3.5 gallons is too small for a betta and 10 gallons is too small for corydoras (it's fine for pygmies though)
 

scarface

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3.5 gallons is fine for a betta. I actually keep mine in less than that.

I'm pretty sure that's a Whisker shrimp based on the pincers. I think you had a right to be worried.
 
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Kyle Holmes

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The larger corys are going to go into a bigger tank for sure—this is sort of a temporary setup as I’m living on an island and will be moving to the mainland in a few months. When my mom takes the 10 gallon it’s going to be stocked with only Pygmy corys, ember tetras, and a dwarf gourami. The albino corys, the betta and Sneakers are all coming with me when I move.

If Sneakers really is a whisker shrimp is it going to be best to have him completely alone in the tank when he gets bigger? Right now I’m not too worried about him being in with the betta cuz she’s super aggressive and he seems to know better than to go after her.

I’m starting to see the little tiny fuzzies on his pincers, so I have a feeling he’s still young.
Is there any fish that can safely be kept with an adult whisker shrimp, or will everything either be prey or a predator to it?

Also fwiw the 3.5 is totally temporary just so I could safely house Sneakers for the time being. After moving he’s probably going to end up getting his own 5 gallon plant tank or something. Unless he can have friends, then they’d get something larger.
 
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