Will Neon Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp?


While Neon Tetras are omnivores, it is unlikely that they will eat Cherry Shrimp. Neon Tetras only have a small mouth, and once the Cherry Shrimp gets to a specific size, the Neon Tetra will not be able even to get close to being able to eat them. The only Cherry Fish that a Neon Tetra may touch will be baby Cherry Shrimp.

We want to answer a few of the more burning questions related to Neon Tetras and Cherry Shrimp on this page.

Will Neon Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp?

While the bulk of a Neon Tetra’s diet is likely to be plant matter, they are omnivores, and this means that they are more than happy to eat other water-dwelling animals occasionally.

The problem with a Neon Tetra is that they have a small mouth, and they are small fish, after all. So, while Cherry Shrimp are a little bit on the smaller side, Neon Tetras will not be able to eat an adult-sized Cherry Shrimp, and they won’t even attempt to do it.

Neon Tetras will eat baby Cherry Shrimp. There are very few fish out there that won’t attempt to eat baby shrimp, and baby shrimp are tiny, but they provide a decent amount of food for a Neon Tetra.

If you have baby Cherry shrimp in an aquarium and some Neon Tetra fish in there, too, at least a few of those baby shrimp will end up in the Neon Tetra’s stomachs even if you take precautions to stop this from happening. 

Cherry shrimp and Neon Terta aquarium

How Can You Protect Baby Shrimp from Neon Tetra Fish?

You would think that the best way to prevent baby Cherry Shrimp from being a Neon Tetra’s meal would be to remove the baby shrimp from the tank, and the problem is that this is easier said than done.

People underestimate just how small baby shrimp are. You would have to be looking for them to find them. Until the baby shrimp get to a specific size, they are pretty much going to be invisible. By the time you have spotted them, we do not doubt many of the shrimplets will have already been eaten.

Even once you spot the babies, removing them from the tank and putting them elsewhere can be difficult. It is also a considerable amount of hassle, and most people probably will not want to go through the rigmarole of it all.

There are a couple of ways to protect the baby Cherry shrimp without removing them from the tank. However, you will have to remember that you will lose some of these shrimp to hungry fish no matter what you do.

Provide Hiding Spaces for the Shrimp

If you have shrimp in an aquarium, then you will want to ensure that they have places that they can hide. Hollowed-out driftwood, plants, etc., will all provide great hiding spaces for the Cherry Shrimp babies.

It is unlikely that the Neon Tetras will hunt down the baby shrimp. Like most fish that you find in community tanks, a Neon Tetra will be an opportunistic eater. Unless it is starving, it probably isn’t going to try and track down the shrimp. The only time it will bother to eat a baby shrimp is if said shrimp appears in front of them.

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Feed the Neon Tetras a Better Diet

When you have fish, please do not feed them a low-quality diet. If you feed them low-quality fish flakes, they will not get all of the nutrients they need. This means that they are more likely to try and track down some additional food to fill their bellies.

As we said before, Neon Tetras are tiny fish, which means they have small stomachs. If you fill them up with high-quality food, they won’t have any space left inside of them to tuck into that ‘all-you-can-eat Cherry Shrimp baby buffet.’

The same ‘technique’ can be used with other fish too. Feed them better diets, and they are less likely to attack one another. 

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Will Neon Tetras Chase Cherry Shrimp?

While Neon Tetras are unlikely to eat Cherry Shrimp, they may chase or attack them. This is if you are planning on breeding Neon Tetras.

If you are breeding Neon Tetras, they will lay their eggs near the bottom of the tank and in cover. This is where the Cherry Shrimp will be spending the vast majority of their time. 

Neon Tetras, just like other fish, are going to be highly protective of their eggs and their young. If the Cherry Shrimp get too close for comfort, the Neon Tetras may try and chase the Cherry Shrimp away. If that doesn’t seem to work, then the Neon Tetras probably won’t be opposed to attacking the Cherry Shrimp. While it may not kill the Cherry Shrimp, there is a good chance that they could end up injured.

If you have a bigger tank, which you should do if you are planning on breeding fish, then the chances of this will be minimal. The Neon Tetras will be trying to lay their eggs away from the areas where the Cherry Shrimp will spend most of their time. If a Cherry Shrimp does wander a little bit too close to the eggs, they will get the warning and won’t head anywhere close again.

Even if the Neon Tetras are not protecting eggs, they may hassle Cherry Shrimp. It could be a territorial thing, or it could just be part of a game for the Neon Tetras. It won’t last long. Cherry Shrimp aren’t going to be able to swim away from a Neon Tetra after all. It will just look like the Neon Tetra gets close to the Cherry Shrimp, pokes around a little bit, and the two of them will be on their merry way.

While the Neon Tetra will be unlikely to harm your Cherry Shrimp like this, it could cause the Cherry Shrimp a bit of stress. This is why it is so essential that your Cherry Shrimp have various places in the tank that they can hide to reduce the chances of this happening. 

Shrimp and neon tetra in community aquarium

Will Cherry Shrimp Harm Neon Tetras?

Cherry Shrimp will not be able to harm Neon Tetra fish.

Even if the Cherry Shrimp decided to get aggressive towards the Neon Tetra, the Neon Tetra would be able to swim away. The two of them do not spend that much time in the same part of the tank and Neon Tetras are also swift animals, and Cherry Shrimp are not.

There is a slight chance that the Cherry Shrimp could try to eat the eggs of the Neon Tetra. However, for the most part, those eggs will always be guarded, which means that the risk of even that happening will be pretty low.

If a Cherry Shrimp does try to harm a Neon Tetra, then you know that something is seriously wrong. Cherry Shrimp are meant to be relatively peaceful animals. If they are attacking other fish, it may be because they are not getting enough food or feel that different fish are hassling them a little bit too much. The latter can be dealt with by getting a bigger tank.

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Can Neon Tetras and Cherry Shrimp Share a Tank?

Both Neon Tetras and Cherry Shrimp have the exact water requirements for the most part. For these animals to thrive in the same environment then, the water will need to be as follows:

  • The water temperature should be between 72F and 75F
  • The water pH should be between 6 and 7.

You don’t have a lot of leeways to play about with the water balance here, and not if you want the two animals to thrive. So, if you plan to have both Neon Tetras and Cherry Shrimp in the same tank, you will need to ensure that you have proper control over everything.

Beyond this, the environment should be the same. This means plenty of natural plants can swim and hide between the shrimp and Neon Tetras. You will also need to have a decent amount of space. This is because Cherry Shrimp breed quickly, and Neon Tetras need all of that space to zip around the tank. Remember, Neon Tetras are incredibly active fish!

Conclusion

If you have Neon Tetras and Cherry Shrimp in the same tank, you don’t have to worry about the Cherry Shrimp being a snack. You also do not have to worry about the Neon Tetras becoming the victim of a Cherry Shrimp attack. The only time you will need to be concerned is if you are breeding either of these animals. They can both cause damage to the eggs and fry the other.

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