Why Goldfish And Neon Tetras Can’t Live Together

Are goldfish and neon tetras suitable tank mates? Many aquarium owners may assume these two species can coexist in the same environment due to their peaceful nature and bright colors.

However, before making this decision, it’s important to understand the unique needs and requirements of each species. In this article, we’ll examine why goldfish and neon tetras may not be compatible tank mates.

We’ll explore the differences in their water temperature and pH level requirements, feeding habits, size and aggressiveness, and compatibility with other fish species

Can Goldfish And Neon Tetras Live Together?

Goldfish and neon tetras cant live together. The temperature requirements they both need are different, as well as this goldfish can grow too large and could potentially end up eating your neon tetras. And lastly, goldfish are also incredibly messy fish which can be harmful to your neon tetras.

(Just because goldfish and neon tetras can’t live together, don’t give up! There are so many other tank mates to choose from!)

Differences in Water Temperature Needs For Goldfish And Neon Tetras

One of the key factors to consider when determining if goldfish and neon tetras can coexist in the same tank is their water temperature needs. Goldfish are coldwater fish that prefer temperatures between 62°F – 74°F. In contrast, neon tetras are tropical fish that require warm water between 72-78°F.

Maintaining a consistent temperature within the tank is crucial for the health and well-being of both species. A significant temperature difference can stress and even harm fish.

For example, if the water temperature is too cold for neon tetras, they may become lethargic and more susceptible to disease. On the other hand, if the water temperature is too warm for goldfish, they may experience digestive issues and difficulty breathing.

It’s important to note that while goldfish can tolerate a wider range of temperatures than neon tetras, they still require a specific temperature range to thrive.

In a shared tank, it can be challenging to create an optimal temperature range for both species. As a result, it’s recommended to keep goldfish and neon tetras in separate tanks with appropriate temperature ranges.

pH Level Requirements For Goldfish And Neon Tetras

Another important consideration when it comes to keeping goldfish and neon tetras together is their pH level requirements. Goldfish can tolerate a wide range of pH levels, but they prefer slightly alkaline water with a pH of 6.5 – 7.5. Neon tetras, on the other hand, prefer soft, slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.0-8.0.

Significant fluctuations in pH levels can stress fish and make them more susceptible to illness. In a shared tank, it can be challenging to maintain an optimal pH level range for both species.

As a result, it’s recommended to keep goldfish and neon tetras in separate tanks with appropriate pH levels.

It’s also worth noting that other water parameters, such as ammonia and nitrate levels, can impact fish health. Regular testing and maintenance are necessary to ensure the water conditions in the tank are suitable for the species living there.

Feeding Habits In Goldfish And Neon Tetras

Goldfish are omnivorous and can eat a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and vegetables. They have a relatively slow digestive system and are known to produce a lot of waste, so it’s crucial to feed them in moderation and ensure any uneaten food is promptly removed.

Neon tetras are also omnivores, meaning they require a diet that includes both animal and plant-based protein. They can be fed a diet of high-quality flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.

Feeding goldfish and neon tetras together can be challenging as their dietary needs differ significantly. Goldfish may overeat and produce excess waste, while neon tetras may not get the necessary nutrition from the same diet.

Size and Aggressiveness

Goldfish are relatively large and can grow up to 12 inches in length. They are also known to be aggressive towards smaller tank mates, especially during feeding time. If they feel threatened or crowded, they may nip at the fins of other fish or chase them around the tank.

On the other hand, neon tetras are small and peaceful fish, growing only up to 1-2 inches in length. They are relatively timid and can become stressed in the presence of larger or more aggressive fish. In a tank with goldfish, neon tetras may become targets of aggression or even be eaten due to their small size.

The significant size and aggressiveness differences between goldfish and neon tetras make them incompatible tank mates. Goldfish require enough space to swim and thrive, which may be too much for neon tetras. At the same time, neon tetras may be too small and delicate to handle the sometimes boisterous nature of goldfish.

Neon Tetra And Goldfish Tank Mates That Work

While neon tetras and goldfish can’t live together, here are some tank mates that can live with them!

Goldfish Tank Mates

There are so many great tank mates to choose from when planning to add more species to your tank.

Some tank mates you can add include:

  1. Weather Loaches: These fish are coldwater fish and can tolerate the same temperature range as goldfish. They prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0-8.0 and are peaceful in temperament.
  2. Rosy Barbs: These fish are also coldwater fish and can tolerate a similar temperature range as goldfish. They prefer a pH between 6.5-7.5 and are peaceful and active in temperament.
  3. Hillstream Loaches: These fish are also coldwater fish that prefer a temperature range between 68-75°F. They prefer a neutral pH of 7.0 and are peaceful and active in temperament.
  4. Bristlenose Plecos: These fish are compatible with goldfish in terms of water temperature and pH. They prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.5-7.5 and a temperature range of 73°F-82°F. They are peaceful and can help clean up algae in the tank.
  5. White Cloud Mountain Minnows: These fish are coldwater fish that can tolerate temperatures between 64-72°F. They prefer a neutral pH between 6.0-8.0 and are peaceful and active in temperament.

It’s important to note that even though these fish are compatible with goldfish in terms of temperature and pH, it’s still important to monitor the tank carefully to ensure that all fish are getting enough food and aren’t showing signs of stress or aggression.

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Neon Tetras Tank Mates

As mentioned earlier, neon tetras are tropical fish that require warm water between 72-78°F and prefer soft, slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.0-7.0. They are small, peaceful fish and can be kept with other similar species. Here are five species of fish that can be kept with neon tetras:

  1. Guppies: Guppies are small, colorful fish that are compatible with neon tetras due to their similar size and peaceful nature. They also prefer the same water conditions, making them good tank mates.
  2. Corydoras: Corydoras are small, bottom-dwelling fish that can be kept with neon tetras. They prefer soft, slightly acidic water and are peaceful, making them a good fit for a community tank.
  3. Rasboras: Rasboras are small, peaceful fish that prefer similar water conditions to neon tetras. They can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fish.
  4. Cherry Barbs: Cherry barbs are a brightly colored fish that can be kept with neon tetras. They prefer warm water and slightly acidic water, making them compatible tank mates.
  5. Endler’s Livebearers: Endler’s livebearers are a small, brightly colored fish that can be kept with neon tetras. They prefer similar water conditions and are peaceful, making them a good fit for a community tank.

It’s important to note that even with compatible tank mates, it’s important to ensure that the tank is not overcrowded and that each species has enough space and resources to thrive.

Why Goldfish And Neon Tetras Can’t Live Together

Recap

In conclusion, as you can see it’s clear that these two species are not suitable tank mates.

Despite the initial appearance of being compatible due to their peaceful nature, the differences in their temperature and pH requirements, as well as their feeding habits and size, make it difficult for them to coexist in the same aquarium.

While goldfish can thrive with other coldwater fish of similar size and temperament, neon tetras are best kept with other small, peaceful fish such as guppies, corydoras, or rasboras.

It’s important to provide a suitable environment for each fish species to ensure their well-being. By doing so, fish owners can create a healthy and thriving aquarium that can be enjoyed for years to come.

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!

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