Do Tetras Eat Shrimp? (Can Tetras Live With Shrimp?)

Image of tetras trying to eat shrimp

Many fish tank owners keep shrimp in their fish tanks to make the aquarium lively. These tiny creatures are also good at cleaning the tank. However, some aquarium fish like to eat shrimp. When you keep shrimp with such fish, there are chances for the shrimp to be eaten. Let us find out what happens when shrimp are kept with tetras. So, do tetras eat shrimp?

Yes, most tetras will eat shrimp. Unless the shrimp are too large to fit into a tetra’s mouth, the tetra will eat them. This risk is less when you keep the shrimp with peaceful tetras, like neon tetras and rummy noses. However, aggressive tetras, like black skirts and rainbows, can harm the shrimp.

Okay! Let’s now talk about this in greater detail.

Can Tetras Live With Shrimp?

If you look at the habitat requirements of tetras and shrimp, they are very similar. Both creatures prefer the same water pH, temperature, and hardness levels. So, they will be able to co-exist in the same environment.

However, when we consider compatibility, we should also look at their relative positions in the food chain.

Now, tetras are omnivores. They eat both animal and plant matter. Shrimp are lower down in the food chain and are perceived as prey by most omnivorous fish.

Given these conditions, we can conclude that tetras can and will most probably eat shrimp. So, you should consider the risk of your tetras harming any shrimp present in their tank.

Nonetheless, a few other factors also come into play. Let us find out what they are.

1. Size difference.

Tetras, like most fish, will snack on anything that fits their mouth. However, common household varieties will not chase or attack larger creatures for food.

If your shrimp are large, the tetra is less likely to trouble it. On average, most shrimp grow to be 1 inch long. This is almost half as big as most tetras kept in home aquariums. At this size, tetras will not find it too appealing.

2. The temperament of the tetra.

Most tetras kept are peaceful fish. They are calm and rarely attack any of their tank mates. They usually become aggressive only when stressed or hungry.

However, some species like black skirt tetras and serpae tetras are semi-aggressive. They are more likely to nip at shrimp. So, it is riskier to keep small invertebrates with these species than other peaceful tetras.

3. Availability of food and resources.

Tetras are not compulsive eaters. They usually look for live prey only when they do not get adequate food. Well-fed tetras will rarely trouble their tank mates.

If you feed your tetras well, they should leave your shrimp alone. When you keep both creatures in a well-planted tank, the shrimp will find enough hiding places to stay away from the fish. This will also reduce their risk of being caught and eaten.

Recommended Further Reading:

Different Types Of Tetras And Shrimps And Their Compatibility

We already mentioned that some tetras are more aggressive than others. Hence, some species are better suited for tanks with shrimp than others. Similarly, there are different types of shrimps as well. Tetras behave differently towards each of these types of shrimp. Let us explore this in closer detail.

Do Neon Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Neon tetras are very peaceful fish. They do not chase or harass other tankmates. In fact, it is usually the other way around. Due to their small size, neon tetras are targeted by large fish. So, they will not be a threat to adult shrimp.

However, we cannot say the same about baby shrimp or shrimp eggs. Neon tetras will consider anything that fits their mouth as food. It includes any small creature in its surroundings. Since baby shrimp and shrimp eggs are very tiny, neon tetras may perceive them as food. So, they may eat them.

Nevertheless, neon tetras are good tankmates for adult shrimp. However, if you wish to breed your shrimp population, it is better to separate the shrimp eggs and baby shrimp. You can introduce them into the common tank once they are too big for the neon tetra to eat.

Do Cardinal Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Cardinal tetras are primarily carnivorous. They feed on small invertebrates, insect larvae, and worms in the wild.

It is not safe to keep shrimp with cardinal tetras because the fish will most likely try to eat most types of shrimp. So, if you keep shrimp with cardinal tetras, you can expect to see the shrimp population dwindle over time.

The best way to keep your shrimp safe is to house them in a separate tank. However, if this is not possible, you can consider using a planted tank. Dense plants will give your shrimp enough hiding spots to stay away from the cardinal tetras.

Do Ember Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Ember tetras are too small to eat most varieties of shrimp. They will not attack or harm small or adult shrimp.

However, ember tetras will eat shrimp eggs and small shrimp babies. For this reason, ember tetras are sometimes used to control the population of certain types of shrimp, like the red cherry shrimp. The red cherry shrimp breeds profusely. So, you can use ember tetras to keep their population under check as this fish will snack on shrimp eggs and babies.

Related Further Reading:

Do Serpae Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Serpae tetras are aggressive tetras. They will attack and bully all tiny creatures in their surroundings. They are also notorious for their fin-nipping tendencies. They will relentlessly trouble slow-moving fish and small creatures that they perceive as prey.

Given their general behavior, it is not wise to keep shrimp with serpae tetras. Their presence can cause a lot of stress to the small creature.

If you have no other option, ensure that the tank has a lot of plants. Although it will not prevent serape tetras from getting to the shrimp, the shrimp have a better chance of survival. They can hide in the bushy undergrowth and stay out of sight.

Do Black Skirt Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Black skirt tetras are semi-aggressive fish. They attack smaller inhabitants of their tanks. Most types of shrimp are unsafe in the same tank as black skirt tetras as the tetras will treat them as food.

If you keep cherry shrimp, ghost shrimp, or any small shrimp in the same tank, they will most likely be devoured. Larger varieties like Armano shrimp that will not easily fit in a black skirt’s mouth have a better chance of survival.

Shrimp have a better chance of survival in tanks with dense plant cover that will let them hide safely.

Do Rummy Nose Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Rummy nose tetras are small tetras. Due to their size, they will not usually bother large shrimp.

However, this fish will not ignore small shrimp and eggs that fit their mouths. If they can catch the shrimp, consider them gone.

Related Further Reading:

Do Congo Tetras Eat Shrimp?

Congo tetras are generally considered to be suitable for community tanks. However, their behavior around other fish is different from how they behave towards shrimp in the same tank.

Congo tetras will eat anything that fits their mouths. So, small varieties of shrimp will be in danger. The congo tetras may chase them and catch them.

A planted tank will reduce this problem to a significant extent. However, the shrimp will be very vulnerable during molting when it is weak. Congo tetras will also snack on juvenile and baby shrimp that it can catch.

Which Shrimp Do Tetras Prefer To Catch?

Since tetras are omnivorous fish, no shrimp is entirely safe in their presence. Nonetheless, some varieties have a greater risk of getting caught due to their smaller size and speed.

Although the other shrimps can also be devoured or harmed, they may survive when you take suitable precautions. So, let us find out which types of shrimp are better off in a tetra tank.

Do Tetras Eat Brine Shrimp?

Brine shrimp are commonly grown as fish food. However, they can make good pets too. These shrimp look very delicate because of their translucent wafting legs and long antennae.

Tetras are very fond of brine shrimp. They will happily accept it in fresh or frozen form. Most varieties of tetras, including neon tetras, will eat brine shrimp. Brine shrimp is a good source of protein for neon tetra fry. They are usually fed freshly hatched brine shrimp.

Fish hobbyists even raise brine shrimp as food for their tetras because it is a good source of nutrition, and the fish enjoy its taste.

Related Further Reading:

Do Tetras Eat Ghost Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp, or glass shrimp, are freshwater shrimp with transparent glass-like bodies. They have a yellow or orange spot in their tail. Although they are usually used as food for fish, they can also be a lively addition to a fish tank.

You can keep tetras and ghost shrimp in the same tank. However, there is a chance that the tetras will eat the ghost shrimp if they fit their mouths.

Small tetras like neon tetras and rummy noses will not usually bother ghost shrimp. However, the more aggressive varieties like black skirt tetras and serpae tetras may chase them around as food.

Do Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Cherry shrimp come in a variety of colors like red, yellow, orange, and brown. They can grow up to 4 cm long and are very popular as pets. These shrimps are very popular as household pets as they are very active and exciting little creatures. They also do a good job of eating up leftover food and algae to keep the tank clean.

Certain varieties of tetras will not bother cherry shrimp. However, the aggressive and territorial tetras will attack them. Larger tetras are generally more attracted to cherry shrimp than the smaller varieties.

Nevertheless, cherry shrimp are very good at finding good hiding spots and concealing themselves from predators. So, they will be fine in tanks with plenty of plant cover and wood. Java moss is a good, hardy plant that will allow cherry shrimp to hide well from tetras and other fish.

Interesting Further Reading:

Do Neon Tetras Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Neon tetras generally avoid interacting with cherry shrimp. However, it also depends on the tank conditions. If the tetra gets too close to the cherry shrimp, it may try to eat it. Although the shrimp may manage to get away, it can cause immense stress to the smaller creature.

Neon tetras will eat any baby cherry shrimp they find. Since small cherry shrimp are slow and easy to catch, they will be in danger. However, once they grow to their adult size, the fish will not be too interested in it.