Do Neon Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Broadly speaking, neon tetras don’t eat adult shrimp. Nevertheless, they may try to consume a shrimp’s fry.

That being said, neon tetras and shrimp can live compatibly in a single tank. Issues may only arise if the shrimp breed.

In this case, your neon tetras may confuse the fry for food. Luckily, if the neon tetras inhabitants are well-fed, there’s a lesser likelihood of fry consumption.

Stick around to learn more about whether neon tetras eat shrimp or not.

Do Neon Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Neon tetras don’t usually eat shrimp. These tropical freshwater species have a peaceful and sometimes timid temperament.

They rarely resort to aggression, even when it comes to foreign species residing in the same tank. More often than not, it’s the neighbor that starts the fight.

Group of Neon Tetra

Factors to Consider When Grouping Shrimp with Neon Tetras

There’s a reason why neon tetras don’t have a taste for shrimp. Some factors include size differences and temperament.


The average adult neon tetras size is around 1.5 inches. Meanwhile, adult freshwater aquarium shrimp can reach approximately 1.2 to 1.6 inches in length, depending on their species.

With these sizes in mind, it’s easier to understand why neon tetras wouldn’t try to take a bite out of your shrimp.

Aside from that, neon tetras generally don’t go after any creature larger than its size. Plus, the shrimp isn’t a practical meal since it’ll barely fit its tiny mouth.


As a calm and peaceful addition to your tank, neon tetras rarely go looking for trouble. The only instance where they may act out is if the tank isn’t well-maintained.

That being so, a dirty tank could lead to a stressed neon tetra. This, in turn, could lead to some nipping on the shrimp out of frustration.

Food Availability

When it comes to feeding time, neon tetras don’t usually go for live prey, which makes their shrimp tankmate a safe companion. Nonetheless, if food supplies are low, they can become easily stressed.

Now, if there’s shrimp fry all over the tank, then there’s a high likelihood of your neon tetras scooping a few in its mouth.

Can Neon Tetras Live with Shrimp?

Neon tetras and shrimp make for adequate tankmates. None will bother the other.

Both creatures are considerably peaceful and docile. Aside from that, to maintain the peace, you have to make sure the neon tetras and shrimp are comfortable in their shared tank.

Luckily, the two freshwater creatures have similar temperature needs which range between 72 to 81 degrees F.

Apart from that, your neon tetras school count shouldn’t fall below six. If you house fewer tetras, then they’ll likely become more stressed.

Another good rule of thumb to follow is to keep one species of shrimp within each tank. If you add another species, they could crossbreed.

The fry product from this mix could potentially be much weaker.

What to do Before Housing Shrimp with Neon Tetras

If you’re looking to add some shrimp into the mix, there are ways to ensure its safety in your tank.

Add Hiding Places

Your shrimp will need lots of hiding spaces. It’ll make them feel much safer from their neighbors. Plus, the hiding areas will also shelter the shrimp from any harsh sunlight.

Shrimp are highly sensitive to any direct rays or sudden temperature raises from the heat. In terms of what to purchase, you can look for tunnels, driftwood, and some rocks.

You can additionally find them a nice cave if you have a lot of shrimp that need to hide. Having said that, your shrimp won’t be the only tank resident enjoying the hiding spaces.

The neon tetras will also swim their way around these spaces for resting, relaxing, as well as hiding from other aggressive species in the tank.

Don’t Leave Them Hungry

As a tank filled with a diverse set of species, leaving its occupants hungry is a recipe for disaster. Your neon tetras can turn to fin nipping.

Nevertheless, shrimp are considerably low maintenance when it comes to feeding times. They mostly consume whatever’s left from fish food, algae, and biofilm.

This is why lots of fish keepers like to own shrimp in their tanks. They basically clean off most waste and prevent ammonia spikes from occurring.

Now, if shrimp decide to roam around your neon tetras during feeding time, it could agitate them. Luckily, shrimp are typical bottom tank feeders, while neon tetras graze from the top, so there shouldn’t be much to worry about.

Consistently Filter the Tank

To make sure your community tank is well taken care of, you’ll need to periodically filtrate the water. Although your shrimp are doing a lot to help, it won’t be enough to purify the water completely.

You can install a sponge or intake guard filter. These will prevent any shrimp from getting too close to them.

Provide Plants

Similar to decor, plants will also act as hiding and shading spots for your shrimp and neon tetras. On top of that, live plants provide your tank with natural filtration as well as oxygenated water.

Subsequently, you can add a few pieces of java moss near the bottom of the tank. Additionally, you can frame your tank with some tall live or fake plants.

Neon Tetra in Front of Drift Wood

Other Tetras That Are Compatible with Shrimp

If you’re looking to add more tetras to your shrimp-filled tank, you can consider other species such as:

  • Rummy Noses Tetras
  • Glowlight Tetras
  • Black Neon Tetras

To Conclude

Do neon tetras eat shrimp? In short, no, neon tetras don’t typically consume shrimp. Neon tetras are relatively small one-inch fish that can barely fit a similarly sized shrimp in its tiny mouth.

Nevertheless, if the shrimp happen to give birth, then your neon tetras may happily nibble at some of the tiny fellows.

Apart from that, neon tetras and shrimp make great tank companions. As long as you keep the tank well-filtered, clean, and filled with hiding places, you’ll please both parties.