Will Neon Tetra Eat Baby Shrimps?

neon tetras and shrimps

Both Neon Tetras and aquarium shrimp are famous for their fragile, colorful, peaceful, and non-aggressive nature. They both are suitable for beginners as well as expert aquarists. So, some aquarists might want to keep them together in the same aquarium tank. However, there is a controversy on whether neon tetras eat shrimp, mainly the baby shrimp, or not.

Will neon tetras eat baby shrimp? Unfortunately, they do eat baby shrimp if they get the chance. So, the answer is yes. Though the neon tetra fish is unlikely to bother the adult shrimp, it will surely eat the small newborn shrimps thinking they are food. Also, there is a saying that if it fits in a fish mouth, it will try to eat it.

If you are keeping just shrimp and neon tetra together, and shrimps happen to breed in the one aquarium you have, then you need to be prepared beforehand. Otherwise, the newly hatched shrimp will be a good snack for neon tetras, and you will have no shrimps left in the end.

So, what should you do? Is it possible, or is there a way to keep baby shrimp alive together with neon tetras? Stay tuned because I might have the solutions for your concerns.

About Neon Tetras

Neon tetras are popular freshwater fish that have iridescent silvery-blue bodies with bright red stripes. They may only grow to be about 1 to 2 inches long and prefer to live & swim in groups in aquariums. That’s why they are also known as schooling fish, so buying several at once is best. They can live up to 5 years on average in the right condition aquarium.

Female neon tetras tend to have a larger abdomen than the males, and they do their best in slightly acidic water with a pH ranging from 5.0 to 7.0. Aquarium Neon Tetras are omnivorous and will accept many small foods such as brine shrimps, live or frozen treats, micro pellet food, and flake food. They prefer heavily planted tanks with low light areas to hide and feel safe.

Studies say that adult neon tetras eat their own eggs, so it is best to separate them after the female lays eggs.

Some related articles about neon tetras that you may like:

About Shrimps

Freshwater Aquarium shrimps are beautiful, amazing little creatures that are perfect for one to make the tank more lively. Available in different shapes, sizes, and colors, shrimps are more popular with people nowadays because they are cheaper and easier to maintain.

Learn more about How to Clean a Tetra Fish Tank? [Step-by-Step].

All shrimps are scavengers, meaning they feed on dead organic materials of all kinds. However, multiple studies say that they mainly feed on algae, biofilm, and detritus. So, they can also be an impressive cleaning crew in an aquarium.

Do Tetra Fish Eat Algae? – Should You Add Algae To Their Diet? Check out here!

Shrimp ranges in hardiness, so while some can be easy to care for, others need extreme maintenance or even hard to keep. With water chemistry and ph, precise requirements vary with the species.

You can get more information on ‘How to Increase the pH of Your Freshwater Aquarium’ here.

Dwarf shrimp relatively live for fewer years than other species of shrimp. Research says that every shrimp species reacts badly to the presence of metals in the water, mainly copper, which leads them to death. So, one should keep water in aquariums as metal-free and germ-free as possible, oxygen-rich, and partial cleaning for shrimps to thrive. Shrimp also prefers densely planted tanks to feel safer.

Does a neon tetra aquarium need an air pump to remain oxygenated? Get the information here.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Shrimps?

Fortunately, neon tetras go fine with some species of shrimps though there are no universal compatibility tables for neon tetras and shrimps.

The general rule for shrimps is they should not be kept together with aggressive, large, and territorial fish. Since neon tetras are known for peaceful, small, and non-aggressive fish, they are unlikely to bother adult shrimps. Shrimps and neon tetras both can adapt well in the same aquarium if provided with proper care, temperament, and maintenance.

Shrimp with the same size as regular size full-grown or slightly larger than neon tetras do much better living together. These shrimps include- Red cherry shrimp, Amano shrimp, ghost shrimp, bumblebee shrimp, snowball shrimp, etc.

Other tankmates for neon tetras explained:

What About Neon Tetras With Baby Shrimps?

Neon tetras tend to eat whatever they can fit in their mouths. Since baby shrimps are so small, neon tetra will certainly eat them. Moreover, this will stress the adult shrimps also, which later can lead to a shorter lifespan. So, people often find it hard to keep neon tetras and shrimp together.

Learn about The Lifespan of Neon Tetra. How Long Does a Neon Tetra Live For?

While some aquarists have managed to keep baby shrimp alive even while kept together with neon tetras but the sad truth you have to accept is that if it works for them, then it does not mean it will precisely work for you also.

Nonetheless, if you are willing to take your chances, there are ways you can try or consider to increase the survival rate of baby shrimp. They are as follows-

Tips For Keeping Baby Shrimps Alive Together With Neon Tetras

Here are some points that tend to work in increasing the survival rate of baby shrimps, and they are:

Aquarium Size

The larger the size of the aquarium, the more comfortable it will be for the coexistence of neon tetras and shrimps. In a reduced environment or small aquarium, even the peaceful fish can be aggressive and harm both adult shrimp & its baby. So, aquariums not less than 10 gallons are preferable to keep neon tetras and shrimp together. Do not overpopulate the tank.

Get an idea about Best Tank Size For Keeping Neon Tetra and How Many Neon Tetras Per Gallon Of Water | Different Gallon Tanks?

Hiding Places

The main thing you should consider! Aquarium shrimps are inoffensive and cannot protect themselves from fish or even neon tetras. Moreover, newborn shrimplets will be prone to be eaten without hiding places.

What to do?

If your shrimps happen to breed, then your aquarium should be heavily planted and have adequate hiding spaces. In that way, you can give some baby shrimplets more chances to survive. You can use plants like Java Moss, Anubias Petite, Java Fern, bucephalandra, water lettuce, etc. Caves, tubes, driftwood, decoration, e.t.c are also better to place in an aquarium.

Some of the best ones are mentioned in the articles below:

Note: In nature, shrimps camouflage from predators by imitating the surroundings. But, Shrimp breeders took away this defense mechanism in aquarium shrimps making adults, as well as baby shrimps, shine like a beacon for the fish. So they need to have lots of hiding places to get away from unwanted attention and to feel safe, especially when they are molting and breeding.

Feeding Neon Tetras

If you are feeding your neon tetras well, chances are they might not feel hungry or look at baby shrimplets as if they are food. But if you are used to feeding your neon tetras with cheap, dry food once a day, then be prepared for the fact that they are going to try eating the shrimps at some point. And even more gradually.

On the other hand, shrimps feed on dead organic materials and so you may not have to worry about everyday feeding. However, for neon tetras, regular well-feeding is necessary. Otherwise, they will be hungry soon and might start harming shrimps. But, the more you feed your neon tetras, the more you will need to look after your tank.

About neon tetra and food:

In Conclusion

Neon tetras and same sized adult shrimps can live well together under proper environmental balance or right conditions of the tank.

Yes, neon tetras do eat baby shrimps. Positively, this looks better for the control of shrimps from being overpopulated in an aquarium. But, negatively, there will be no baby shrimps left at the end and more stress on adult shrimps. Also, sooner death of shrimps!

However, with a proper size aquarium, hiding spots, and dense planting, it seems to be possible for some baby shrimplets to thrive even with the presence of neon tetras.

Shrimps can live more happily without the presence of any fish, though.

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