Neon Tetras and Red Cherry Shrimp – Compatibility Guide

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Neon Tetras and Red Cherry Shrimp are two of the most common and popular choices for community tanks.

Neons display amazing shoaling behavior and offer a flash of color that brightens up any aquarium. Cherries meanwhile are fascinating, attractive invertebrates who breed easily and help as part of a clean-up crew in case your tank ever gets a little dirty.

But can they live together in the same tank? Read on to find out!

Getting redder by the day by Emilia Murray is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Can Cherry Shrimp live with Neon Tetras?

Cherry Shrimp can live with Neon Tetras as Neons are super peaceful and won’t see your shrimp as a snack. Even better, Neons don’t usually feed from the tank floor so anything they miss on the way down will be cleaned up by your ever-helpful Cherries.

Neons and Cherries also have similar tank requirements, as both like water around 75°F (24°C) or slightly lower. Neons like neutral pH while Red Cherry Shrimp will tolerate a slightly more alkaline level, while general hardness should be below 8dDH.

Both your Neon Tetras and your Cherries will appreciate lots of hiding space in case they feel threatened, so be sure to give them plants, rocks and other decorations to make them feel safe.

Read more: What Plants Do Neon Tetras Like? Tetra Planted Tank Ideas

Will Neon Tetras eat Cherry Shrimp?

Neon Tetras won’t eat Red Cherry Shrimp. They’re an extremely peaceful fish who feed in a very specific way, waiting for food to float down to the middle of the tank. They don’t feed at the surface or at the tank, and certainly won’t hunt Cherry Shrimp as they scuttle around the tank floor.

While there are other species of Tetra like the Diamond Tetra that will happily take a bite out of an unsuspecting shrimp, Neons are just too small and too placid to consider it.

Read more: Neon Tetra behavior guide

As mentioned above, however, you can make your Cherries feel even safer by having lots of hiding spots, which will also encourage breeding. Which brings me onto my next frequently asked question…

Will Neon Tetras eat Cherry Shrimp fry?

As peace-loving as Neon Tetras are, they have been known to eat baby Cherry Shrimp (or ‘fry’). These tiny shrimps are just too tempting and ideally sized as a snack for Neons, who are too small with their tiny mouths to even contemplate munching on an adult shrimp.

If you want to a) breed Cherry Shrimp and b) keep the babies alive, this again comes down to hiding spaces. Make sure your tank has lots of caves, rocks and other decorations where the Cherry Shrimp fry can hide out of sight and out of reach so they don’t get mistaken for a snack.

Again, live plants are ideal. The roots and leaves break up the lines of sight and make ideal shelter for baby Red Cherry Shrimp. Moss balls and moss patches attached to driftwood also provide a welcome haven from the eyes of your Neons.


It’s important to know that your fish, shrimp and other tank mates are compatible before throwing them all into the melting pot of a community tank. However, you couldn’t be safer with Neon Tetras and Red Cherry Shrimp.

Make sure your tank has plenty of live plants, rocks, caves and other decorations to help both species feel safe, and make sure your water parameters are suitable for your Neons and Cherries. Once you’ve ticked these boxes, sit back and enjoy the wealth of color on view in your aquarium!

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Featured image: Getting redder by the day by Emilia Murray is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

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