Do Neon Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp? Here’s The Truth

A few months back, I wanted to add neon tetras to my cherry shrimp tank. At that time, I was worried if neon tetras would start eating my shrimps or not. I kept my cherry shrimp and neon tetras together in the same tank for a while now. Let me share my experience with you.

Do Neon Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp? Neon tetras don’t eat or pick a fight with adult cherry shrimps. However, they are omnivores, and they will eat small-sized cherry shrimp fries that can fit in their mouth easily. Taking some small preventive measures can save the baby shrimps from getting eaten.

In this article, I will discuss if you should keep your cherry shrimp and neon tetras together or not. I will also talk about the proper way to do it so that neon tetras won’t bother your cherry shrimp, especially the shrimp babies.

Can You Put Neon Tetras With Cherry Shrimps?

Yes, you can put neon tetras with cherry shrimps. Cherry shrimp and Neon tetras are not aggressive, and both are more or less similar in size. Also, they can survive in a similar environment.

I have kept cherry shrimps with neon tetras without any issues. However, if your tank has low vegetation and hiding places then your cherry shrimp fries might get eaten by neons.

If you are not a breeder, this should not be a problem. It will help you to control the shrimp population as cherry shrimp breed a lot.

From what I have learned over the years, there are a lot of things that you should check before deciding if a species of fish can live with other species of fish or invertebrates.

The environment is one of the major factors here. Also, the size matters a lot when it comes to choosing a tank mate for any fish.

Cherry Shrimps and Neon Tetras Can Live In The Same Tank For The Reasons Below:

1. Both Are Similar In Size:

The cherry shrimps and neon tetras are similar in size(1.5 inches). So, their mouth won’t get bigger than this to eat each other. However, as you already know, neon tetras could eat baby cherry shrimps if their size fits cherry shrimp’s mouth.

2. They Can Survive In Similar Tank Setups:

Cherry Shrimp and Neon Tetras can live in the same tank setup. For example, neon tetra requires an established tank to properly habitat, so does cherry shrimp.

You will need at least a 10 gallon-sized tank for neon tetras. On the other hand, at least a 5-gallon tank would be sufficient for cherry shrimp.

However, you should get a larger tank that is 20 gallons or more for better living conditions. In that way you can keep more tetras and cherry shrimp on the same tank.

You can put at least 40 shrimps and 15 tetras on a 20-gallon tank.

To provide them with the best living conditions, make sure your tank is heavily planted. You can consider driftwood and dark substrate for a more natural environment.

3. Water Requirements Are More or Less Same:

In the tank setup, you could keep the water pH level around 7 for both of them, and the water temperature should be 70 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Both Neon Tetras and Cherry Shrimps Are Polite in Nature:

Neon tetras and Cherry Shrimps are both community tank mates; they are non-aggressive and would not cause any harm to them. However, both neon tetras and cherry shrimps feel stressed and threatened if they are fewer in number.

Most of the time, neon tetras swim in the middle of the tank, spend their time in schooling, and feed on the top layer of water. In contrast, cherry shrimps stay at the bottom of the tank. SO, the chances of clashes between them are very low

5. They Feed on Different Layers of Water:

Cherry Shrimp and Neon tetras feed on different layers of water. So, the chances of stealing each other’s food or fighting over food are nearly zero.

From what I have seen, neon tetras always eat from the top of the tank. I always feed them those types of food that float on water.

On the other hand, cherry shrimps love to eat food that settles in the bottom. My cherry shrimp loves to scavenge on leftover tetra foods. So, they work as good cleaners, which makes a great tankmate for neon tetras.

Why Do Neon Tetras Eat Baby Cherry Shrimp?

Neon tetras are omnivorous, and they will eat anything you give them as long as the food fits in their mouth. Baby cherry shrimp or cherry shrimp fries are very small in size and can easily fit in the mouths of neon tetras. That’s why neon tetras eat baby cherry shrimps.

From my perspective, this is a good thing that helps me to keep the shrimp population in check. But if you want to grow your shrimp community size, you might not want that.

That’s why I have prepared some tips which will help you to save your shrimp fries from being eaten. Before going to that, let’s talk about if you should keep cherry shrimps and neon tetras in the same tank.

So, Should You Keep Neon Tetras with Cherry Shrimp?

Yes, you should keep neon tetras with cherry shrimp if you have a large tank of around 20 gallons and it’s heavily planted. 

In a large heavily planted tank, cherry shrimp would be on the middle water column, and cherry shrimp would on the bottom of the tank.

If you would like to breed your cherry shrimp, you should not keep them with neon tetras as cherry shrimp gives 20 – 25 fries at a time. Now, if you keep them together, only 8 – 10 cherry shrimp babies might live.

You should keep cherry shrimps grown with neon tetras, and as they are community tank mates, they won’t harm each other.

Unless you are keeping neon tetras or shrimps for breeding purposes, you can keep neon tetras with shrimps, especially cherry shrimps.

5 Tips To Protect Your Cherry Shrimp Fries From Neon Tetra in the Same Tank:

Tip 1: Introduce More and More Hiding Places:

If you cherry shrimp fries swim openly and you have tetras around, definitely those shrimp fries are going to be eaten by them. 

If your aquarium has very few hiding places, chances are only a few of the fries will survive. But if you have a lot of hiding places the rate of survival of the cherry fries increases a lot.

So, make sure there are tons of hiding places everywhere. Shrimp fries love to stay hidden. They don’t come out easily. So, having several hiding places ensures their survival.

Tip 2: Increase The Number of Plants or Vegetations:

Heavily planted aquarium to protect cherry shrimp fries

As I have noted earlier, a shrimp usually gives around 20 fries at a time. If you want all of them to thrive, you can either set up a separate tank for the shrimps or make your existing tank heavily planted.

From what I have seen over the years is that, if the tank is heavily planted the survival rate of shrimp fries are above 90%. In a heavily planted tank, your tetras won’t find the shrimp fries very easily and won’t be able to feed on them.

Tip 3: Keep The Tetras Well Feed:

If you feed your neon tetras from time to time, they will not look elsewhere to find food. This will give your cherry shrimp fries a better chance to thrive.

Many aquarists suggest feeding neon tetras one time a day. But I feed my fish 2-3 times a day in small quantities, and from my experience, this really works.

Tip 4: Make sure the Tank size Is Bigger:

Make sure you have a large tank that is at least 20 gallons or more.

Large tanks will have more space for your neon tetras and more place to hide for your cherry shrimp fries.

Thus, neon tetras won’t be harmful for cherry shrimp babies.

Related Questions

Will My Fish Eat My Cherry Shrimp?

Generally, most aquarium fish that have a mouth big enough to eat a cherry shrimp will eat your cherry shrimp.

Some common aquarium fishes which are known for eating cherry shrimp are:

  • Goldfish
  • Angelfish
  • Cichlids
  • Gourami
  • Betta

Will Tetra Eat Baby Shrimp?

Yes, Tetras are omnivorous fish, and they will eat baby shrimps if the shrimps can fit on their mouth.

However, if the shrimp babies grow bigger than the mouth of the tetras, then tetras won’t bother them.

What Fish Will Not Eat Shrimp?

Most livebearers and small varieties of tetras will not eat shrimp. If you are concerned about fish eating your shrimp, put smaller fish with your shrimp that have a small mouth (small enough so that your shrimp will not fit).

What fish Can I Keep With Cherry Shrimp?

You can keep a lot of small community fishes with cherry shrimps.

I have successfully kept cherry shrimps with the following fishes:

  • Platies
  • Guppies
  • Neon Tetras
  • Endlers
  • Swordtails
  • Mollies

Will Glowlight Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Glowlight tetras won’t eat cherry shrimp if they are similar in size. However, tetras can eat baby cherry shrimps as long as they fit in the tetra’s mouth.

You should be cautious to keep them together if you have baby cherry shrimps; better to keep them separated.

Final Thoughts:

There you go! I have shared all my experiences regarding neon tetra and cherry shrimp compatibility and tried to answer if neon tetras will eat your beautiful cherry shrimp or not.

Neon tetras usually won’t bother your cherry shrimps. That’s what my experience says. However, every fish is different, and every environment is different.

That’s why it’s normal to worry a little before introducing a new fish to other species.

As long as you are not keeping cherry fish for breeding purposes professionally, you can keep neon tetras with cherry shrimp. If you want lots of baby shrimps to grow, just introduce some hiding places.

I hope this article was helpful. Thanks for reading!

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Asif Iqbal

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