Green Neon Tetra Care: Diet, Tank Mates & Tank Setup

If you’re wondering how to care for green neon tetras, then you’ve found the right article. In this article, not only will you find out how to care for green neon tetras, you’ll also learn how they act, how to set up a tank for them and much more!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Are Green Neon Tetras Easy To Keep?

Green neon tetras are easy to keep for beginner fishkeepers. As long as you’re providing them with nutritious food, keeping the water quality in the tank high, and making sure they’re not being stressed by other fish, you will have no problems with them!

Green Neon Tetras Appearance

Although green neon tetras are red, they are much less vibrant than other species of tetra, making their green coloration stand out. Since their green coloring makes them look neon-like, this is how they get their name. Green neon tetras, like many other species, have transparent, tiny, colorless fins.

Green Neon Tetras Size

When they are fully grown, most green neon tetras are about an inch long. Which makes them smaller than some of their close relatives.Oftentimes, their size can be affected by their genes as well as how well they’re cared for (especially during their developmental years). It can be challenging to distinguish differences in something so small. 

Green Neon Tetras Behavior

Green neon tetras don’t require much care regarding their behavior. Fish of this species tend to avoid disturbing the tank and are generally quiet. In the company of a more active or aggressive species, however, these small fish can become easily frightened. When observing their behavior, it is essential to remember that these fish swim in groups called “shoals.”

Good tank mates include platies, guppies, mollies, minnows, and snails. They will get along well with other tetras, such as neons, glowlights, rummy-noses, and cardinals. Adult dwarf shrimps and small danios could also live in the same tank.

Green Neon Tetras Lifespan

Green neon tetras can live for up to 3 years in ideal conditions. They live a little longer in the wild, but this is just an average number for captive tetras. You can help your fish live longer by ensuring good water conditions and a healthy, well-balanced diet over time.

Green Neon Tetras Water Parameters

Consistency is vital to keep in mind when dealing with green neon tetras and water parameters. Although these fish are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, they may be adversely affected by sudden changes in temperature, pH, or ammonia.

Green Neon Tetras pH

In the wild, green neon tetras prefer a moderately acidic environment with a pH between 3 and 6.5. Tank-bred species can adapt to a more neutral pH, although a pH of 5-6.5 is generally the best choice. 

Green Neon Tetras Temperature

The green neon tetra does well in a temperature range of 76.3-95.3 °F (25-35 °C), which is close to the temperature of its natural habitat. But you should try to stay between 75 and 81 °F (24 and 27 °C).

Green Neon Tetras Water Hardness

Green neon tetras should live in water with a hardness of 18-143 ppm/8 dH. They originate from extremely soft waters, so monitoring your mineral content is essential.

Green Neon Tetras Tank Size

The size of the tank you provide for your green neon tetras is crucial. The ideal size for a tank housing green neon Tetras is between 15 and 20 gallons. This way, they’ll have more room to swim in if the tank is larger.

Neon tetra in planted aquarium

What Do Green Neon Tetras Like In The Wild?

Green neon tetras are tiny, vivid freshwater fish that can be found in the wild in the Amazon Basin of South America. They are known to be shy fish because they prefer to swim in areas that are heavily vegetated and have many hiding spots in their native habitat. They forage for food in the water column, where they eat microscopic insects, crustaceans, and zooplankton. Green neon tetra has evolved to survive in a complex and diversified ecosystem that makes up most of their native habitat.

How To Setup A Tank For Green Neon Tetras?

Setting up an aquarium for a green neon tetra is less intimidating than it may appear! Once you understand the basics of creating a natural habitat environment for your green neon tetra, you can enjoy decorating your tank and watching your fish swim around their new home. 

Fortunately, there’s plenty of research to be done to replicate the natural habitat of the Tetra, such as water temperature, substrate depth, types of plants, and decorations you’ll use – once these elements all come together, making a suitable environment is much easier. Creating the perfect tank starts with knowing what your green neon tetra needs – so get informed and enjoy!

  • Start with a sandy base that is light in color. This way the colors of the fish will stand out more. If you want to put them in a tank with other fish, the other fish should also like a sandy bottom so that they don’t get upset.
  • Give the tank a light with a medium amount of brightness. Green Neon Tetras have duller, darker colors when it’s dark, but when the sun comes back out, their colors get brighter again. This is to help them avoid being eaten at night.
  • Try to spread this light out by using natural plants. Look for plants, like moss and ferns, that can survive in a green neon tetra tank. If bigger fish are in the tank, rocks or driftwood can be put in to give the tetras places to hide. You can also put some leaves in the aquarium to make it look more natural. Remember to leave space between the rocks so the fish can swim freely and not feel crowded.
  • Keep the flow of water low to medium. Green neon tetras are native to calm rivers. Therefore, any rapids in your aquarium’s water will put a significant amount of strain on your fish.

Green Neon Tetras Male Vs. Female

Green neon tetras are mostly the same color, and both males and females look similar. But the size of these fish is the most reliable way to tell if they are male or female. The males are smaller than the females, and the females tend to look rounder and more bulbous, especially when they are full of eggs during the spawning season.

Green Neon Tetras Diet

Green neon tetras eat a variety of foods. In the wild, green neon tetras eat small crustaceans, insects, zooplankton, and plants. Keep your fish happy and healthy by simulating their natural diet as closely as possible in their aquarium.

Green neon tetras will consume flakes or freeze-dried foods if you crush them. We suggest feeding live and frozen daphnia, mosquito larvae, and bloodworms to the tetra to make its diet more varied and complete. Since the green neon tetra is a very voracious species, you must be careful not to overfeed them. Give your fish food twice daily, but only enough for them to eat in a few minutes.

Green Neon Tetras Tank Mates 

Since they are calm and don’t cause any problems, you can keep them with other fish that are similar to them. 

When looking for the best tank mates, the size of the possible tank mate should always be the most important thing to consider. Most invertebrates, like snails and shrimp, are harmless, so green neon tetras will not pay much attention to them.

Green Neon Tetras Plants

It’s best to give your green neon tetras both open swimming space and lots of plants to hide behind. When they feel safe, they’ll go to school together in open areas. When they don’t feel safe, they’ll run into plants.

They like tall plants like Ludwigia repens, Brazilian pennywort (which can also be used as a floating plant), vallisneria, cabomba, or Cryptocoryne wendtii.Green Neon tetras also like floating plants like frogbit, dwarf water lettuce, and red river floaters. They enjoy exploring the roots that extend below the surface.

Live plants also help eliminate nitrates from your water, which is a nice bonus. So they are both useful and pretty. If you don’t like natural plants, you can use tall fake plants instead.

Green Neon Tetras Breeding

Breeding green neon tetras is a long, difficult, and time-consuming process. Many aquarists tried but failed to breed them. 

As an example of how it works, a female tetra usually lays about 130 eggs that hatch in about a day. To fertilize her eggs, the male must constantly follow her around. Conditions like low light levels, low pH, high temperatures, and so on are required for this to happen.

After the eggs hatch, the adults must be removed to prevent them from devouring the eggs, and the lights must be turned off because the eggs are light-sensitive. Breeding green neon tetras is a lot of work because the adults have certain needs, and the young have even more specific needs.

Green Neon Tetras Common Diseases

These green neon tetras are a rare and delicate species in the aquarium industry. So, chances are your fish were caught in the wild. They’re more prone to stress and tank infections. Your green neon tetras will be healthier if you know how to treat common diseases like the ones below.


The parasite that causes ich often grow in places with unstable water conditions and changing temperatures. Ich is most easily recognized by white spots all over the fish’s body, clamped fins, loss of appetite, and constant gasping. 

Ich needs to be treated with both medicine and a change in the water parameters in the tank. The parasite can be killed with Malachite Green, aquarium salt, and copper sulfate.

Neon Tetras Disease

Neon tetra disease, which is common in this species and has no known cure, is the biggest threat to the health of your green neon tetra. Neon tetra disease can be spread by live food and diseased fish. Neon tetra disease can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other bacterial and parasitic infections. 

Even so, fish with this disease show the following signs:

  • Restlessness – In the early stages, infected fish will become restless and change how they swim. This is easier to see in groups of fish or in fish that are moving around. You’ll also see that your fish swim in strange ways.
  • Hiding – When your fish get sick, they will run away and hide in plants or caves. As they try to regain their energy after being sick, they will spend less time with other fish. Also, fish that have been infected will have trouble swimming around the tank.
  • Dull Colors – Neon tetras that are sick will also start to lose their color. They will look pale, meaning the neon disease has attacked the muscle tissue. But your fish might not have neon tetra disease just because they are losing color. When fish are upset, they often get pale.
  • White bumps – As the disease worsens, sick neon tetras get white cysts and bumps. After the parasite attacks the intestine wall, it moves to the muscles, which causes cysts to form. The cysts could also get lumpy.
  • Fish’s Spine Is Curved – Over time, a sick fish’s muscles and other parts break down. At this point, the straight blue line on your neon tetras will start to curve into an “S.” The tail of the fish will also curve down.
  • Secondary infections – Also, your fish will get other infections, like getting fat and having their fins rot. Neon tetra disease weakens a fish’s immune system, making it more likely to get other diseases.

How Many Green Neon Tetras Can You Keep Together?

Green neon tetras should always be kept with others. Try to get at least six, but if you have room in your aquarium, they will be happier in larger groups. These fish naturally form schools, or groups, and swim around the tank together. This power in numbers gives them confidence near other tank residents.

Stress can shorten the lifespan of a lone green neon tetra. Keeping a big group is a good idea because it shows off their colors and behaviors.


Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about caring for green neon tetras

Green Neon Tetra vs. Neon Tetra

Green neon tetras and neon tetras are both popular freshwater fish often compared to each other. Both species are tetras with brilliant colors and similar body shapes. But there are a few things that make them different. Neon tetras have a brilliant red stripe down their bodies, while green neons are bright green and blue. Also, green neon tetras are a little bigger than neon tetras. 

How Many Green Neon Tetras Can You Put in A 10-Gallon Tank?

In a 10-gallon fish tank, you can typically keep 6–7 green neon tetras. More than this can cause overcrowding which results in poor water quality and stress in your fish.

Should Water Be Soft or Hard for Green Neon Tetras?

The hardness range for green neon tetras is between 1-4 GH. Green neon tetras thrive in soft water but can survive in medium-hard water with high quality.

How to Tell if Your Green Neon Tetra Is Male or Female?

Both male and female green neon tetras look alike. Their size is the best indicator of their gender. And believe it or not the males are smaller than females.

Is Feeding a Green Neon Tetra Once a Day Okay?

Green neon tetra should be fed food twice a day, and when you’re feeding them make sure you’re not adding too much food to their tank at once. Give them the quantity of food they can eat in two minutes.

Do Green Neon Tetras School?

No, they are not schooling fish. Both in the wild and in aquariums, green neon tetras have been observed to form “shoals”. Shoaling is a biological activity for many fish species since it protects them from predators and aids in food discovery. This behavior can be encouraged in an aquarium by keeping them in groups of at least six fish.

What’s the Best Food for Green Neon Tetras?

Green neon tetras are omnivores. They can get by on almost any food source they come across, however, you should feed them high-quality fish flakes as well as live food when possible. 


Green Neon Tetras are stunning fish that can brighten up any tank. They’re not the most finicky when it comes to caring, but to ensure they thrive, you need to give them an environment that resembles their native habitat as precisely as you can. They also prefer living in groups which makes them very social fish if you have enough space in your tank for them to explore. 

Getting the right food and compatible tank mates for your green neon tetras is also going to be beneficial for their health! Just remember any tank mates you plan on adding before you add them! After all, these gorgeous green fish will give you years of entertainment with proper care!

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