During colonization of new habitats, the sequence of arrival among species is in many cases determined by chance. Priority effects imply that differences in arrival time may lead to long-lasting differences in species dominance. To evaluate the importance of priority effects, we performed a community assembly experiment, manipulating the inoculation order of three large cladoceran zooplankton species. The inoculation treatments were crossed with a predation treatment to test whether the presence of a predator (larvae of the phantom midge Chaoborus) results in changes in the strength of species sorting and priority effects. Our results clearly demonstrate priority effects, but also that the presence of a predator impacts both community assembly and the strength of priority effects. In the predation-free treatments, communities were dominated by either Daphnia magna or Daphnia obtusa, depending on the species arrival sequence. Whenever D. obtusa was inoculated after D. magna, the species displayed negative growth. In the presence of Chaoborus predation, the communities were generally dominated by the third species, Simocephalus vetulus. Here, the growth of D. magna was negative when the species was inoculated as second or third. Overall, our results underscore the importance of both priority effects and species sorting during community assembly.