Do Tetras Eat Shrimp and Can They Live Together?

Yes, tetras will eat shrimp, unless the shrimp are too big and cannot be ingested by the tetra. If you have shrimp in your tank that you do not wish to be eaten by tetras, there are some measures to prevent this from happening.

Shrimps are typically introduced to aquariums to add a new dimension to the fish community, and also to help clean the tank. If they are going to get eaten, then there is not much point in adding them in the first place!

Do tetras eat shrimp?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of aquarium fish that enjoy eating shrimp, as they would do in the wild, which is certainly the case with some species of tetra.

The best way of preventing this from happening is by keeping non-aggressive tetras, such as neon tetras and rummy nose tetras as they will not eat your shrimp.

More aggressive species like black skirts and rainbow tetras will undoubtedly try and eat your aquarium shrimp.

Can Tetras Live With Shrimp? (How To Prevent Them Being Eaten)

Of course, tetras can live with shrimp, both of their natural habitats are incredibly similar, meaning that they require pretty much the same water pH, temperature, and general environment.

Tetras are omnivores, which means they will eat both animal and plant matter, which is unfortunate for shrimp as they are prey to most omnivores due to their low rankings in the food chain.

Tetras almost always will eat shrimp if they are housed in the same aquarium as them. There are, however, certain measures you can take and factors that will ensure the safety of your shrimp.

Size Difference

Tetras will pretty much eat anything they can realistically ingest, but they will typically not target larger creatures for food.

So, if you have large shrimp, your tetra will likely leave them alone. Most shrimp species will grow to around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length, which is half the size of most tetras, making them far less appealing to try and eat.

Tetra Food Availability

Tetras do not eat compulsively, they will only start looking for live prey when they are not being fed enough or not being fed correctly. Typically, well-fed and happy tetras will not go around hunting for the shrimp in your tank.

Can shrimp and tetras live together

By feeding your tetras a balanced and consistent diet, you will help prevent them from trying to eat your shrimp.

Additionally, by having a well-planted fish tank, with decor and other hiding spots, you should provide your shrimp with enough hiding places from tetras which will also alleviate the risk of them becoming a meal.

Tetra Temperament

The majority of tetra species are incredibly peaceful fish. They are nearly always calm and never usually attack their tank mates, with aggressive behavior only coming about as a result of being hungry or stressed out.

However, there are some more aggressive species of tetra, which are more likely to nip at shrimp and even try to eat them. Black skirt tetra and serpae tetra are considered to be aggressive.

Neon tetra and guppies usually make for compatible tank mates with shrimp if you are looking to add more fish to your community, the same applies with certain goldfish

Which Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Some species of tetra fish are far more aggressive than others, which is why there are some that are better suited to aquariums with shrimp than others are.

However, it is important to mention that it is not just tetras that have the compatibility problem, there are some aggressive and anti-social types of shrimp too! The following sections of this article highlight what tetras eat shrimp.

Do Neon Tetras Eat Shrimp?

No, neon tetras are incredibly peaceful fish, you will never see them chasing down or harassing other tank mates.

Funnily enough, it is usually the neon tetra that ends up being chased by more aggressive fish due to their small size and peaceful nature. Adult shrimp will certainly be safe residing in a tank with neon tetra.

Tetras and shrimp

Unfortunately, neon tetra do have somewhat of a reputation for eating baby shrimp and also shrimp eggs. This is because they will consider anything that can comfortably fit in their mouths as food, and this includes live creatures.

Due to their size, neon tetras will consider both eggs and baby shrimp as food. Fortunately, shrimp usually leave neon tetra eggs alone, meaning you won't have both neon tetras and shrimp eating each other's babies.

Despite this, neon tetras act as brilliant tank mates for adult shrimp or specifically large shrimp species. If you are looking into breeding your shrimp, it is certainly advised to do so in a separate breeding tank, away from other tank inhabitants, like the neon tetra.

Do Cardinal Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Yes, cardinal tetra will certainly eat most types of shrimp as they are carnivores, who typically eat invertebrates in the wild. Unfortunately, if you do keep cardinal tetras with your shrimp, expect to see your shrimp population diminish over a short space of time.

Even if your cardinal tetras are housed with large shrimp that they cannot eat, they will certainly attack the shrimp, causing damage and stress. The best thing to do is keep them in separate tanks, if this is not possible, try adding some plants and other hiding spots to your aquarium.

Do Ember Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Ember tetras are one of the smallest tetra species, which makes them safe for most shrimp. They will not attack and eat small or adult shrimp, however, they do enjoy snacking on shrimp eggs and small shrimp babies.

Sometimes, ember tetras are actually used for population control when it comes to small invertebrates mass-breeding, for example, the red cherry shrimp.

Do Serpae Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Serpae tetra are incredibly aggressive tetras and will certainly attack and bully shrimp as well as other small creatures residing in your tank.

They will even go as far as to nip the fins of larger fish and will harass slow-moving fish and small creatures they consider to be prey.

It is certainly not advised to keep these tetras with shrimp as they will cause a lot of stress for them.

If you can keep them both in separate tanks, this is the option to go for, but if not, try and populate your tank with as many hiding spots in the way live plants and decor as possible.

Do Black Skirt Tetras Eat Shrimp?

The black skirt tetra is considered to be a semi-aggressive fish, typically attacking smaller inhabitants.

Most shrimp species are not safe residing in the same tank as black skirt tetras due to their size. Keeping shrimp such as cherry shrimp, ghost shrimp, or any other small shrimp species will likely result in them becoming a meal for a black skirt tetra.

Do tetras eat shrimp?

If you have a black skirt tetra, the best option is to keep armano shrimp and shrimp of a similar size as they are too big to be consumed by black skirts. As mentioned previously, you should certainly have as many hiding spots in your tank as possible, this will reduce the chance of your shrimp being eaten and reduce stress amoung them.

Do Rummy Nose Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Not only do rummy nose tetra have an amusing name, but they are also peaceful and small fish, typically meaning they will leave your large shrimp alone. However, they will certainly not ignore the small shrimp or shrimp eggs, so, try and keep them away from baby shrimp and also eggs.

Do Congo Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Congo tetra are brilliant additions to fish communities, as they tend to live in total harmony with other fish, not so much with shrimp though. Congos, like most other tetra species, will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths, meaning that small shrimp species are in serious danger.

A planted and well-decorated tank with plenty of hiding spots is your best method of alleviating this problem. Be careful, however, as these congo tetras will also eat baby shrimp and eggs.

Which Shrimp Are Eaten By Tetras?

Tetras are omnivores, meaning that no shrimp will be truly safe when housed with them. There are, however, some varieties that have a much larger risk of being eaten than others, mainly down to size and speed. In some cases, even the larger shrimps can be harmed and eaten, although, this is far less likely, especially if you take the required measurements to keep them safe.

Do Tetras Eat Brine Shrimp?

Brine shrimp are typically used as fish food, but they are sometimes used as aquarium additions too, making for good pets. Most forms of brine shrimp are happily accepted by pretty much all tetras, such as frozen or live forms. Brine shrimp are a brilliant source of protein for tetras and also their fry.

A lot of hobbyists will breed brine shrimp for the sole purpose of using them as a good source for tetras and other types of fish as they are packed with nutrition.

Do Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Cherry shrimp are beautiful, appearing in a variety of different colors, ranging from red, yellow, orange, and even brown. They can grow up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in length and are incredibly popular amongst hobbyists. They are active and fun shrimp, and also help with cleaning your tank by eating leftover food and algae.

Most species of tetra will not bother cherry shrimp due to their sheer size, however, the more aggressive species will attack them. These shrimp are pretty intelligent and will discover good hiding places upon arrival in your tank, making them far less susceptible to being attacked and eaten.

Do Tetras Eat Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp are freshwater shrimp that sport completely transparent bodies. Their tail showcases a large yellow/orange spot and they are typically used for fish food but can be a welcomed addition to any marine community. You certainly can house them in the same tank as tetras, but they could be eaten depending on their size and the tetra's size.

Ghost shrimp

These shrimp are usually not bothered by neon tetras or rummy nose tetra, but the more aggressive species of tetra will certainly chase them around your tank and try to eat them. Pregnant ghost shrimp are larger than normal, but that isn't to say that they won't become a meal, and once they have laid their eggs, make sure they are protected.


So, to conclude, tetras will eat shrimp if they are small enough to be eaten and bullied. However, there are many tetra species that will leave your shrimp alone due to their peaceful nature.

The best thing to do before purchasing any shrimp or tetra is to check the compatibility with both creatures, and if it is likely your shrimp will be eaten either create many hiding spots, keep them in a separate tank, or avoid including them in your tank altogether.