Neon tetras and ghost shrimp are both good beginner pets. They also tend to get along well in an aquarium. Because both species are so fragile, you should put a little extra care into setting up their aquarium.
The Neon Tetra
Neon tetras are popular aquarium fish. They do their best in soft, acidic water; avoid a pH of more than 6.5. Your neon tetras will happily take flake food, and they'll greedily scarf the occasional live or frozen treat. Neon tetras are schooling fish; they feel safest in groups of at least 10 fish. They also do their best in heavily planted tanks, as cover makes them feel safe and reduces stress.
Like the neon tetra, the ghost shrimp is small and peaceful. Ghost shrimp are scavengers that will eat anything. If you want to see something funny, try feeding differently colored fish flakes. Since ghost shrimp are mostly see-through, you can actually see the color of their most recent meal. Like the neon tetra, they feel safest in a heavily planted aquarium. They may even spawn for you; you'll see females carrying eggs tucked under the back half of their bodies.
Since neons and ghost shrimp have similar preferences, they work well in a tank. You will want to get a smaller tank (in the ballpark of 10 gallons) and plant it densely. You can mostly feed flake foods with the occasional treat. Combine ghost shrimp and neon tetras only with other small, peaceful fish, as anything aggressive or predatory can eat or bully these species easily.
Tankmates to Avoid
It's best to keep your neons and ghost shrimp with other small, peaceful fish. Ghost shrimp are frequently sold as "feeders," or food for larger fish, and neons are about the same size. So don't keep them with large, aggressive, or predatory fish like freshwater angelfish or other large cichlids.
You will also want to be careful of your water chemistry. Ghost shrimp are tolerant of a wide range of water conditions, but your neons are not. Neon tetras require soft, acidic water. Don't mix them with fish that require basic, hard water since you can't have both at once.
- Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Getty Images