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Darters and Shrimp?

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#1 Warbadger

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  • Loudoun, VA

Posted 13 November 2021 - 08:06 PM

I've been running a native tank for the past year and the original plan was for a couple darters to add color and variety.  It's a 70 gallon tank at about 72 degrees, fully cycled with overkill levels of filtration, and has a nice strong current over some large stones and gravel bed. 


The complication?  Shrimp.  We have amano shrimp in the 1-1.5" range, red cherry shrimp of various sizes (actually breeding), and a couple 1.5" bamboo shrimp in the cleanup crew. My 3 year old loves his "lobsters".  The Redbelly dace, stonerollers, and spotfin/scarlet shiners have ignored them for the past 6 months, but darters are bottom predators so I've been holding off on those so far.


Does anyone have experience with banded or rainbow darters with shrimp?  I'd fully expect them to munch down the tiny newly spawned RCS, but am not sure how they'd do with the larger adults.

Edited by Warbadger, 13 November 2021 - 08:45 PM.

#2 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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  • Ohio

Posted 13 November 2021 - 10:39 PM

I have plenty of exp with rainbow darters, but none with the shrimp. However, the rainbows are lethal on snails and  very small fry fish. So it'd be my educated guess that they might kill the shrimp too.  I myself would try perhaps 3-4 shrimp in the tank and observe what happens. That's JMHO.


The Grumpy Old Man

#3 Warbadger

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  • Loudoun, VA

Posted 14 November 2021 - 09:33 AM

Can't really run a second tank at the moment and don't have any darters to experiment with, unfortunately.  I'd be willing to throw a few bucks at somebody willing to throw a couple amanos in with one and see what happens, though.

#4 JasonL

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  • Kentucky

Posted 14 November 2021 - 07:57 PM

I have found my darters make short work of any Mississippi grass shrimp I put in my aquarium.   They actively stalk them and most of them are eaten within 24 hrs.  Recall that micro crustaceans are a big part of their diet in the wild.


I wouldn’t chance it if you are attached to the shrimp.

#5 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 14 November 2021 - 08:08 PM

responded on your other thread... darters eat shrimp.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#6 Warbadger

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  • Loudoun, VA

Posted 14 November 2021 - 09:30 PM

Well, that answers that question, thank you!

#7 Warbadger

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  • Loudoun, VA

Posted 23 November 2022 - 06:18 PM

Update on this.  I added darters to the tank in January - 3 rainbow darters and 1 savanna darter.



The red cherry shrimp who escaped relocation got gobbled up, completely wiped out after a few weeks and I saw two get nabbed.  These were all under half an inch in size.

The 3 Bamboo shrimp were completely unmolested, even with darters hanging out in the same anubias bunch these shrimp preferred.  About 1.5-2 inches in size.

The 5 Amano shrimp were left alone, no deaths.  They mostly stick to the driftwood about a foot off the bottom during the day, but they still forage around the bottom from time to time without any issues.


Darters are doing great.  Also have satinfin shiners, scarlet shiners, mountain redbelly dace, and a central stoneroller in there.

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