Whether you’re a freshwater tank owner or a fisherman, you’re probably wondering about the different creatures catfish eat. Specifically, will catfish eat shrimp? As a tank owner, you want compatible animals and appropriate feed for your catfish. As a fisherman, you want the best bait that will score you the next record-breaking catfish. So one could only wonder if catfish enjoyed not only this popular fishing bait but also a popular natural water filter in freshwater aquariums, shrimp.
So, will catfish eat shrimp? Overall, the answer is yes. Shrimp works as excellent fishing bait for catfish. With that being said, there are certain breeds that can live together harmoniously in an aquarium. It’s really about the breeds and the environment!
While catfish do enjoy shrimp snacks, they are not in their regular everyday diet. Catfish have to feel their way around the floor of bodies of water to eat. Some catfish get along with shrimp breeds nicely. Shrimp is similar to catfish in the way of both being bottom feeders. Later, review the best practices for catching catfish and the pros to using shrimp for catfish bait!
What Catfish Typically Eat
Catfish are nocturnal bottom feeders. Their favorite things to eat are typically:
- Aquatic plants
- Smaller fish
- Insect larvae
But in reality, they will eat anything they can find on the bottom of the water floor. Baits typically used to catch catfish are shrimp, worms, minnows, shad, stinkbait, and any leftovers you can find.
How Catfish Eat
Catfish hunt at night and use their barbels to detect food. Since they tend to live in murky waters, sight is useless. Their barbels help them taste and smell their surroundings until they track down something they like.
Once their barrels taste something they like, they bite down to catch it. Brightly colored things also attract catfish, because they are used to mainly seeing darkness.
Relationships Between Catfish and Shrimp
While shrimp is sometimes used as bait to catch channel, bullheads, and blue catfish, not all catfish eat shrimp. Some breeds of catfish that are typically home to freshwater tanks, can mingle with shrimp. Such as the cory catfish and any breed of shrimp. These tankmates can live harmoniously together for years if allowed and right conditions.
Breeds That Get Along
Cory catfish are safe to have around any shrimp. They are peaceful and non-aggressive catfish, so they wouldn’t hurt a fly. Cory catfish are one of the smallest breeds of catfish and probably would fit in best, in a tank with 6 or more of its own kind. They thrive in schools, so it’s best to keep them together.
Small glass catfish are usually safe around shrimp, but not once they are full grown. Once they are full-grown, they need to be separated from the shrimp or they could eat them. Octcinclus catfish are said to be the perfect tankmate with cherry shrimp, but these catfish are hard to keep alive due to their high maintenance tank conditions.
What Shrimp Eat
Freshwater shrimp are like catfish, scavengers, and bottom feeders. Shrimp enjoy eating algae, other dead shrimp and fish, and veggies and plants, any leftovers they can find. In a freshwater tank, it’s best to feel your shrimp algae, plants, worms, dead fish, snails, insects, or leftover fish food.
What Eats Shrimp
Most species of fish, octopi, crabs, sharks, dolphins, birds, and insects eat shrimp. Aside from species that are similar in size to shrimp, it might be hard to find a species that doesn’t. Various birds and insects also go after the freshwater shrimp. We discussed that the cory catfish and other breeds get along with shrimp. But in nature, shrimp are the ocean’s favorite snack.
Best Methods To Catch Catfish
Some of the best bait to use to catch catfish include; chicken liver, stink bait, nightcrawlers, shrimp, minnows, and shad. The best depth for catching catfish is about 15 to 20 feet deep. Catfish are most active at night and are nocturnal.
Catfish are attracted to bright colors being often blinded in darkness, so orange or red sticks out to them. Many have said that Cheetos can actually make great bait for catfish. They see the bright orange color and smell the cheesy powder, and go for it right away!
Pros To Using Shrimp As Catfish Bait
The first pro to using shrimp as catfish bait is accessibility. Shrimp is available to purchase anywhere, dead or alive.
The second pro to shrimp is price. While shrimp may be expensive, you can negotiate with fish markets for spoiled shrimp. Or even better, you can catch the shrimp yourself for essentially free.
The third pro is versatility, they can be used dead or alive, in any season. The fourth pro is effectiveness, especially for catfish.
Catfish typically go for shrimp and so do many other breeds of fish. Shrimp can guarantee you a successful day of fishing.
Conclusion – Will Catfish Eat Shrimp?
So yes, catfish will eat shrimp in most situations. If you’re interested in getting shrimp as a pet in a tank with catfish, definitely research breeds and needed commitment. Shrimp can be an excellent natural filtration system for your freshwater tank.
If you’re going fishing, shrimp maybe some of the best bait to buy. As well, catfish are easiest caught at night since that is when they hunt. If you’re looking to filter your pond and feed your channel or white catfish, shrimp may be a great addition.