Do Neon Tetras Eat Shrimp? {Can They Live Together?}

Do you want to keep shrimp and neon tetras in the same tank? Are you wondering do neon tetras eat shrimp?

Surely neon tetras are to small to eat shrimp??

Or are they ?

Do Neon Tetra Eat Shrimp?

Yes, neon tetras will eat baby shrimp or brine shrimp. They will not eat adult shrimp and they can live peacefully together in a large enough tank with plenty of hiding places.

Neon tetras will eat anything small enough that fit in their mouths. brine shrimp for example, is a great addition to their omnivore diet.

If you want shrimp and neon tetras to live together, this is also possible.

My Neon Tetras are Eating Shrimp. Is This a Good Thing?

Shrimp will multiply in your aquarium and the overpopulation can be controlled by your neon tetras. Once the shrimp are adult size, the neon tetras will not be able to fit them into their mouths.

Shrimp adds protein to the diet of neon tetras. Feeding neon tetra flakes or pellets twice a day is fine, but they may get bored of the same food. They are curious in nature and they will attempt to nibble or eat anything small enough in their tank.

Baby shrimp will become a tasty snack for neon tetras. They will stop the overpopulation of shrimp in your tank, but the threat of killing them off rises. It’s good to feed your neon tetra brine shrimp or allow them to eat baby shrimp to a limit.

Balancing the diet of neon tetras and preventing the overpopulation of your shrimp is a delicate task.

How Do I Stop My Neon Tetras From Eating My Shrimp?

Most dwarf shrimp species grow to a size that is similar to a neon tetra. If your shrimp is 7/10th of an inch and your neon tetras are 1-2 inches, feasting on them will not be an option.

Here are some tips to prevent your smaller shrimps from being eaten by neon tetras:

  • Add more hiding spaces.
  • Feed your neon tetras well.
  • Make sure your tank is large enough. 
  • Separate the baby shrimp.

Do Shrimp Hide from Neon Tetras?

Shrimp and neon tetras both enjoy hiding
spaces. They will hide from each other sometimes if the option is available. Hiding creates comfort and a break from light sources. Offer both of them hiding spaces and they will get along much better.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Java Moss
  • Driftwood
  • Plants with long stems
  • Plastic plants
  • Algae
  • Rocks
  • Decorative tunnels
  • PVC pipes

Are My Neon Tetra Eating Shrimp Because They Don’t Like What I’m Feeding Them?

If your neon tetras have plenty of food sources available to them, they are less likely to harass or feed off baby shrimp. Neon tetras are not considered aggressive fish compared to many other species. They just love to nibble on anything that fit into their mouth.

Allow them to eat plant matter and vary their diet with proteins that are frozen, freeze dried or flakes and pellets. Fish and humans don’t want to get stuck eating the same thing all the time. Feed your neon tetras twice a day to keep them satiated.

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Is My Tank Large Enough For Shrimp and Neon Tetras To Live Together?

This is important because if your tank is too small, both shrimps and neon tetras will be stressed. A stressed neon tetra is more likely to harass or nip at adult shrimp. They will also consume the baby shrimp which prevents the overcrowding of an already small tank.

A 10 gallon tank will suffice for about 4-6 neon tetras and 2-4 shrimp. Once their eggs hatch, the tank will become cramped. Neon tetras will help you out with the overpopulation of shrimp if you don’t want to remove them.

Should I Separate Baby Shrimp So My Neon Tetras Won’t Eat Them?

If you want to grow a shrimp colony, separating the baby shrimp is a good idea. A second tank that allows for your baby shrimp to grow large enough to be reintroduced to your tank with neon tetras works well.

Once the baby shrimp grow to about half an inch in size, it’s more than safe to put them back in your main tank. Neon tetras will be curious and slightly territorial with new tankmates. You may notice the shrimp being nipped at.

The opposite is also true. Neon tetras may shy away or hide from the larger shrimp once they’ve been put back in your tank. They may investigate or chase them, but adequate hiding spaces will benefit both species.

Why Should I Keep Shrimp With Neon Tetras?

Plenty of fish keepers enjoy the presence of shrimp in their tank for cleaning purposes. These bottom feeders help to maintain your tank in several ways. Here are some examples:

Aquarium shrimp help control:

  • Ammonia levels
  • Overgrowth of plants.
  • Debris
  • Fish Waste

Neon tetras will not be interested in eating shrimp over half an inch in size. If the tank is large enough, neon tetras will not be aggressive and peaceful coexistence will be observed.

Neon tetras and shrimp enjoy similar water parameters. Maintaining a PH balance between 5-0-7.0 will keep both species healthy. They both thrive in tanks that contain plants as well to help keep the water ideal.

Which Types of Shrimp Are Best To Keep With Neon Tetras?

The size is more important than the species of shrimp. If the shrimp grow to about half an inch or larger, there should be no issues of neon tetras trying to eat them.

If you notice neon tetras chasing, attacking or nipping at adult shrimp, consider a larger tank, isolating the shrimp or more hiding places.

The following dwarf shrimp are a few examples for peaceful tankmates for your neon tetras:

  • Amano Shrimp
  • Cherry Shrimp
  • Caradina Shrimp
  • Bamboo Shrimp
  • Ghost Shrimp


Neon Tetras and Shrimp can live together in a spacious tank with plenty of hiding places. Neon tetras will eat shrimp if you feed it to them in small sizes.

Baby shrimp can also be eaten by neon tetras, but adult shrimp in your tank are safer because they are too large for neon tetras to fit into their mouths. It’s common to find them both living and thriving in the same tank.

We hope the information in this article helps you understand more about keeping shrimp and neon tetras together.

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.