A number of different types of tetra are becoming increasingly popular within the fish keeping hobby right now and although the neon tetra is the most common, the ember tetra and cardinal tetra are both seeing spikes in their popularity right now too.
This coupled with the fact that more and more people are keeping shrimp only tanks or adding shrimp to their community tanks has resulted in a number of questions about keeping ghost shrimp and tetras in the same tank being asked recently.
Now, this is not a straight forward yes or not answer as you have to try and factor in a few different things as well as the goals that you have for your tank so we wanted to publish a dedicated article on the topic.
Can You Keep Tetras With Ghost Shrimp?
In many tank setups, you can safely keep all types of tetra in the same tank as ghost shrimp without having any problems between the two.
This is due to the maximum length of most tetras being around 1.5 inches where as the maximum length of adult ghost shrimp is also around 1.5 inches with some being able to get to 2 inches.
This can make it more difficult for a ghost shrimp to be able to grab a healthy tetra and harm it but a large, 2 inch ghost shrimp will probably be able to grab and eat a weak or injured tetra.
This is largely just natural selection and the circle of life taking part in your aquarium tank and most people will allow it.
That said though, if your tetra does have a problem and you are trying to treat it with something like Melafix then moving the tetra to a quarantine tank may be the best option.
Will Tetras Eat Baby Ghost Shrimp?
An adult tetra can easily eat baby ghost shrimp or ghost shrimp shrimplets due to the size of the younger shrimp being small enough to fit into your tetra’s mouth.
The shrimp won’t stay small for long though and they will quickly outgrow the size of your tetra’s bite range.
This does post a problem if you are actively looking to breed your ghost shrimp in the tank though as all species of tetra usually need to be kept in a school of at least six fish meaning they are able to eat a large number of baby ghost shrimp with ease.
If you are specifically looking to breed your ghost shrimp in your tanks then tetras can be a bad tank mate.
You should ideally be looking to use a 1 gallon shrimp tank or even a 2 gallon shrimp tank to breed your ghost shrimp as they are cheap, easy to use and offer the baby shrimp a safe place to grow without the risk of being eaten by your tetras.
Can Ghost Shrimp Eat Tetras?
A fully grown ghost shrimp is large enough to grab and eat a sick or injured tetra with ease. There is also a good chance that a healthy ghost shrimp will often be able to cat and eat tetra fry and eat them too.
If you are looking to breed your tetras in your tank then you have to factor in that your ghost shrimp will probably eat the eggs of your tetras.
This can put a serious dent in your tetra yields when trying to breed the fish.
On the flipside of that though, you can sometimes use this to your advantage as a method of population control in your tank.
The number of tetra eggs that your ghost shrimp can eat as well as the number of tetra fry that they will eat can keep the tetra population in check in your tank with minimal effort being needed on your part.
This is one of the more common problems that people new to keeping tetras in their tank end up having issues with, a rapidly expanding tetra population but thankfully, ghost shrimp can help control it.
How Can I Stop My Tetras Eating My Ghost Shrimp?
The best way to protect your baby ghost shrimp from being eaten by your tetras is to try and keep them in a shrimp only breeding tank.
Second to that, you can try ceramic shrimp hides or plants to offer cover for the baby shrimp but in the majority of cases, the small size of your tetras will let them follow the baby shrimp wherever they go with minimal issues.