Neon Tetra Care: A Complete Guide For 2023

Taking care of Neon Tetras doesn’t have to be a hassle! With the right tank size, water temperature, and other basics, you can enjoy watching your colorful little fishies swim around. 

In this article, we’ll learn how to make sure your Neon Tetras are as healthy and happy as can be with these tips for proper Neon Tetra care. So, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know!

NameNeon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
Cost$0.80 – $2.50 Per Fish
OriginSouth America (The Amazon Basin)
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan5-8 Years
Size1.5 Inches
Tank Size10 Gallons (Ideally Bigger)
FeedingFish Flakes, Live Food, Blanched Vegetables
Community Tank Yes
Tank LevelMid Level
PlantsJava Moss, Amazon Sword, Anubias, Java Fern, Hornwort
Tank MatesGuppies, Amano Shrimp, Cardinal Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Bristlenose Plecos, Common Corydoras
Breeding TypeEgg Layer

Table of Contents

Are Neon Tetras Easy To Keep?

Neon tetras are beautiful fish, however, they’re not as easy to care for as they once were. A lot of inbreeding has occurred which now makes them a lot more fragile. If you want to keep them, make sure you’re adding them to an established tank with stable water parameters.

In terms of maintenance, neon tetras require minimal effort. They eat flake food as well as frozen, freeze-dried, and live food, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting creative with their diet.

Neon tetra water parameters should be kept at a moderate level, ideally at temperatures between 72-78°F (22-27°C) and pH around 4-7.5. Make sure that the parameters aren’t fluctuating either, as this can stress them out.

Apart from regular tank cleaning and water testing, maintenance of neon tetras is relatively low because they do not produce an excessive amount of waste compared to some other fish. It is however recommended that weekly water changes of 15% – 20% should be done regularly to maintain stable levels that can promote good health for your neon tetras.

I also asked what other fish keepers thought about keeping neon tetras! And here’s what they had to say.

neon tetra community thoughts
neon tetra community thoughts 2
neon tetra community thoughts 3


Neon tetras are one of the most beautiful fish species you can add to your tank, with their long and slender bodies that appear to sparkle in the water. They are red and blue in color, however, you may also notice small bits of green depending on the light.

Their graceful movements through the water are due to their characteristic arch-shaped dorsal fin, and they look amazing in groups due to their hypnotic swimming patterns and vibrant colors. Neon tetras do require a larger tank so that they have enough space to school together and move around freely.

Neon Tetra Care Sheet

Continued Reading:


Neon tetras are small fish, typically growing to a maximum size of around 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long. 

The size of Neon Tetras is one of the factors that makes them a great choice for smaller aquariums. Because they are small, they require less space and can thrive in tanks as small as 10/15 gallons. This also means that they can be kept in community tanks with other small fish species as long as they are not aggressive or predatory


There are a few different behaviors you might notice in your neon tetras, here are a few of the main characteristics you should look for.

Schooling Behavior

One of the most distinctive behaviors you may notice in your neon tetras is their schooling behavior. In the wild, these fish form large schools to protect themselves from predators. So in an aquarium, your neon tetras will feel more comfortable and exhibit more natural behaviors if kept in a group. 

Active Swimmers

Neon tetras are also active swimmers and will often dart around the aquarium. They may also jump out of the water, so it’s important to keep the aquarium covered. To fully appreciate their active behaviors, it is recommended to provide ample swimming space for them.

Shy Behavior

When introduced to a new environment, neon tetras may be shy and hide among plants or decorations in the aquarium. This behavior is natural, and it is recommended to give them some time to acclimate to their new surroundings before expecting them to become more active. Once they have adjusted, they will begin to behave naturally.


Neon tetras are generally peaceful, but they may exhibit some aggression towards each other if they feel threatened or if there are not enough hiding places in the aquarium. Providing plenty of plants and decorations for them to hide in can help prevent aggression. It is also important to avoid keeping neon tetras with aggressive fish that may attack or bully them.

Nipping Behavior

Neon tetras have small mouths and may nip at the fins of other fish in the aquarium. This behavior is usually not harmful, but it can be annoying to other fish. Keeping neon tetras with other peaceful community fish can help prevent this behavior. 

Neon Tetras are active schooling fish, that are generally peaceful and non-aggressive. When aggression does occur, it’s normally because the tank is not big enough, or there aren’t enough hiding places.


In general, neon tetras can live up to around 5-8 years in captivity, but some have been known to live up to ten years with proper care. The lifespan of neon tetras can vary depending on various factors, including their environment, diet, and genetics.

The lifespan of neon tetras is significantly shorter in the wild, where they may only live up to one or two years.

Continued Reading: How Long Do Neon Tetras Live? (& How To Improve Their Lifespan)

Factors Affecting Neon Tetras’ Lifespan

The lifespan of neon tetras can be affected by several factors in the tank, the main factors to keep on top of are:

Water Quality

Neon tetras are sensitive to changes in water quality and require a well-maintained aquarium. Regular water changes and proper filtration can help ensure good water quality, which is essential for the health and longevity of neon tetras.


Neon tetras require a varied diet that includes high-quality fish food and live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larvae. A balanced diet is vital to ensuring that neon tetras receive the nutrients they need to stay healthy.


Neon tetras are social fish that thrive in groups, and they require ample swimming space and hiding places in the aquarium. Providing a suitable environment that mimics their natural habitat can help reduce stress and promote good health.


The lifespan of neon tetras can also be affected by genetics. Choosing healthy, fish from reputable breeders or pet stores can help ensure that your fish have the best chance of living a long and healthy life.

Tips for Ensuring Longevity

To ensure that your neon tetras live a long and healthy life, consider the following tips:

  • Maintain good water quality through regular water changes and proper filtration.
  • Provide a varied and balanced diet that includes high-quality fish food and live or frozen foods.
  • Create a suitable environment that provides ample swimming space and hiding places.
  • Avoid overcrowding and aggression by keeping neon tetras with peaceful community fish.
  • Observe your fish regularly and seek veterinary care if you notice any signs of illness or distress.

Water Parameters

Here are the ideal water parameters for neon tetras and tips on how to achieve and maintain them.

Tank Size10 Gallons Or Bigger


Neon tetras prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range between 4.0-7.5. Maintaining a stable pH level is essential for the health and well-being of your tetras. It’s important to avoid sudden changes in pH, which can be stressful for your fish.

Using an effective pH test kit like the API Master Test Kit can help you monitor the pH level in your aquarium.


The ideal temperature range for neon tetras is between 72-78°F (22-27°C). Keeping the water temperature within this range can help promote healthy growth and prevent stress-related illnesses.

Avoid sudden changes in water temperature, which can harm your fish. And use an aquarium thermometer and a heater to help maintain a consistent water temperature.

Water Hardness

Neon tetras prefer soft to moderately hard water, with a hardness range below 10 dGH, and a KH between 1-2. Maintaining a consistent water hardness can help reduce stress and promote healthy growth. You can use a water hardness test kit to monitor the hardness level in your aquarium.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for neon tetras is 10 gallons, however, 15 is recommended. Neon tetras are schooling fish, so it’s important to provide them with ample space. Larger tanks also provide higher water quality as more water volume reduces drastic fluctuations in water parameters.

If you plan to keep more than one species of fish in your aquarium, you will need to consider the needs of each species and choose a tank size that can accommodate everyone. Some general guidelines for stocking an aquarium are:

  • The rule of thumb when keeping fish is to allow at least 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water per inch (2.5 cm) of adult fish. (However, check the specific needs of each fish before purchasing.)

In addition to the size of the tank, you will also need to consider the shape and layout of the aquarium. Neon tetras are shoaling fish and prefer to be kept in groups of at least six individuals. 

What Do Neon Tetras Like In The Wild?

Although Neon Tetras are popular aquarium fish, it’s important to understand what they like in the wild to help them thrive in captivity. Let’s explore the natural habitat of neon tetras and discuss the conditions they prefer in their native environment.

Densely Planted Areas

Neon tetras prefer to live in densely planted areas with ample hiding spaces. In the wild, they can be found in streams, rivers, and floodplains shaded by overhanging trees and shrubs. They seek out areas with aquatic plants such as Amazon swords, Java ferns, and mosses. 

These plants provide the fish with cover from predators and a place to rest. Add live or artificial plants to your aquarium to create a natural environment that mimics their native habitat.

Shaded Areas

Neon tetras prefer shaded areas that are protected from direct sunlight. The trees that hang over the rivers they live in, help to keep the water shaded, making them feel more safe and secure.

To create similar conditions in your aquarium, provide plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, driftwood, or caves, to give your fish a sense of security and privacy.

Slow-Moving Water

Neon tetras are adapted to slow-moving water with a gentle current. In the wild, they live in streams and rivers with a slow to moderate flow. This type of water movement provides the fish with a natural environment to swim and forage in. They are not well adapted to fast-moving water, and this can cause stress and discomfort.

Soft and Acidic Water

Neon tetras prefer water that is soft and slightly acidic. In the wild, they live in areas with a pH between 4.0 and 7.5 and a water hardness of less than 10 dGH. This type of water chemistry allows neon tetras to thrive and breed. Hard water can be stressful for the fish and can also affect their health and well-being.

Natural Food Sources

Neon tetras feed on a variety of small invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, and worms. In the wild, they forage for food among the vegetation in the water. Providing live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp and daphnia, can mimic their natural diet. This can help to keep the fish healthy and happy in captivity.

How To Setup A Tank For Neon Tetras 

Setting up the perfect environment for neon tetras can be a little bit tricky. But don’t worry, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up a tank for neon tetras.

Step 1: Tank Size

Neon tetras are small fish, but they are also very active, so they need plenty of room to swim, preferably horizontal. A 10-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for a small school of neon tetras. If you plan on keeping more than six tetras, consider a larger tank of 15 gallons or more.

Fortunately, at this small size, you can get entire tanks that have everything need and are ready to go!

Fluval Flex Aquarium Kit, Black, 15 Gallon
  • Freshwater 15 gallon aquarium kit with bold curved front design

Step 2: Aquarium Equipment

You will need a filter, heater, thermometer, lighting, and substrate. A filter is essential for keeping the water clean and healthy, while a heater is needed to maintain a consistent water temperature of 72-78°F.

A thermometer is essential for monitoring the water temperature. Lighting is needed for the plants in the tank, and a substrate is needed for the plants to grow.

Remember, when you’re picking a heater, you should be looking for 5 watts per gallon of water, to ensure it’s heating your tank enough.

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater,100W Adjustable Fish Tahk Heater with 2 Suction Cups Free Thermometer Suitable for Marine Saltwater and Freshwater
  • ★100W aquarium heater is suitable for 10 to 20 gallons aquariums,Length – 9″,voltage 110-120V, power cord is 6ft, please choose the right wattage aquarium heater according to our size chart.

Step 3: Aquarium Decorations

Neon tetras like to have plenty of hiding places and areas to explore, so add some decorations to the tank. Live plants are a great addition as they provide hiding places and natural filtration. You can al

so add driftwood, rocks, and caves for the fish to hide in. Just make sure that any decorations you add to the tank are fish-safe and won’t leach chemicals into the water.

Step 4: Water Parameters

Neon tetras prefer soft, slightly acidic water with a pH between 4.0 and 7.5. The water temperature should be kept between 72-78°F. It is important to cycle the tank before adding any fish. 

Cycling the tank involves growing beneficial bacteria in the filter to break down harmful toxins in the water. This process can take up to 4-6 weeks. You can also use a water conditioner to remove chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals from tap water.

API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, White, Single, Multi-colored
  • Contains one (1) API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, including 7 bottles of testing solutions, 1 color card and 4 tubes with cap

Step 5: Adding Neon Tetras

It is best to add your Neon tetras in small groups of 6-8 fish to reduce stress. Acclimate the fish to the new tank by floating the bag in the tank for 15-20 minutes to equalize the temperature. Then, slowly add some of the tank water to the bag to acclimate the fish to the new water chemistry. After 30 minutes, release the fish into the tank.

Step 6: Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy tank for neon tetras involves regular water changes, feeding, and monitoring. Perform weekly water changes of 10-20% to keep the water clean and healthy. Feed the fish a high-quality flake or pellet food, and supplement their diet with live or frozen foods. Monitor the water temperature and pH regularly, and adjust as necessary.

Males Vs Females

If you’re wondering how to tell the difference between male and female neon tetras, then look for the following:

Body Shape and Size

The first difference between male and female neon tetras is their body shape and size. Male neon tetras are generally slimmer and more streamlined than females. They also have a more elongated body shape. Female neon tetras, on the other hand, have a rounder and more plump body shape, particularly when they are carrying eggs.


The second difference between male and female neon tetras is their color. While male and female neon tetras look similar in terms of their overall colors, there are some subtle differences. Male neon tetras tend to have a brighter and more vibrant blue stripe on their bodies, while females have a slightly duller blue stripe. 

Additionally, male neon tetras often have a slimmer red stripe running below the blue stripe, while females may have a wider red stripe.

Fin Shape and Size

The other feature that can help differentiate the sexes is dorsal fin shape: male dorsal fins feature pointed tips, while those of females are jagged-looking with more visible ‘hooks’ along its edges. 

This feature may only appear visible during courtship though so won’t always provide an accurate read for identifying gender – especially if you don’t keep multiple neon tetras together in one tank!


The final difference between male and female neon tetras is their behavior. Male neon tetras are generally more active and aggressive than females, particularly during breeding season. They may chase and nip at other fish in the tank, including female neon tetras. Female neon tetras, on the other hand, are usually more docile and peaceful.

To determine the sex of a neon tetra, you will need to look closely at the fish’s body shape, coloration, and fin shape. It can be difficult to tell the difference between young male and female neon tetras. However, as they mature, the differences between male and female neon tetras become more apparent.

So in short, to tell the difference between male and female neon tetras, males will be slimmer and more streamlined, they’re generally brighter in color, and they’ll have longer fins, and they’ll act more aggressive in general.


In order to ensure optimal health for your neon tetras, it is important to provide them with a varied diet that meets all of their nutritional needs.

Feeding Frequency

Neon tetras should be fed daily – ideally twice a day – and in small amounts as overfeeding them can lead to obesity, swim bladder disease, and other health problems; use high-quality flakes or pellets specifically designed for small tropical fish like neon tetras. 

Flakes and Pellets

In captivity, the best diet for Neon Tetras is a combination of high-quality flake or pellet food and live or frozen foods. You can feed them flakes or pellets that are specifically formulated for small tropical fish, such as TetraMin Tropical Flakes or Hikari Micro Pellets. These foods should make up the bulk of their diet.

Live Foods

Live foods such as brine shrimp or mosquito larvae are also great additions to the diet of neon tetras as they give them natural prey that they would encounter in their wild habitat. However, live food should only make up around 10% of their overall diet, so don’t overdo it!

Frozen Foods

Frozen foods make good alternatives when live food isn’t available; select options such as krill, daphnia, or artemia which are all highly nutritious fish foods that contain essential fatty acids & proteins. 

When purchasing frozen packages, be sure to check expiration dates and store them properly – this type of food should always be thawed before feeding your neon tetras too, not fed directly from the package!

Freeze-Dried Food

And of course, you can also try feeding your tetras freeze-dried food as well! Just remember that when you’re feeding your neon tetras freeze dried food that you’re making sure you’re soaking them in some tank water beforehand to allow them to expand and not disrupt your tetras digestive system.

Some great freeze-dried options for you tetras are daphnia and bloodworms.

Vitamin Supplements

In addition to providing a well-rounded diet, vitamin supplements are also recommended for any aquarium containing neon tetras – especially if you’re keeping a mixed community tank with different species. 

Vitamin C is particularly beneficial but look out for combination formulas containing multiple vitamins; the target dosage should hopefully be included on the package, so refer back there before administering any new supplement into the water column.

Your neon tetras diet should be made up in majority with high quality fish flakes. However, 10% of their diet should be live food for entertainment, and you can also provide them with frozen or freeze-dried food as well.

Tetra 16106 Min Tropical Flakes, Nutritionally Balanced Fish Food, 7.06-Ounce
  • TROPICAL FORMULATION: Highly digestible ingredients for use as staple food for your top- and mid-feeding tropical fish.

Tank Mates 

It can be beneficial to add other species into the tank to provide additional color and dynamic interactions in your neon tetra tank. Here we take a look at five great tank mates that pair well with neon tetras!


guppy care sheet

Guppies are colorful and active fish that will fit well in the tank Neon Tetras. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and their lively swimming patterns can add a lot of activity to the aquarium. They are easy to care for and prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding places. Guppies can also breed quickly, which can provide a food source for other fish in your tank

Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp Care Sheet

Amano Shrimp are peaceful and fascinating invertebrates that can make great tank mates for Neon Tetras. They are easy to care for and are excellent at keeping the tank clean by eating algae and other debris. They are active and fun to watch, and their unique appearance can add an interesting element to the aquarium.

Cardinal Tetras

Cardinal Tetra Care Sheet

Cardinal Tetras are similar in size and appearance to Neon Tetras and make excellent tank mates. They have a vibrant red coloration on their lower body, and their upper body is a deep blue-green. They are peaceful and social, making them great additions to a community aquarium. Like Neon Tetras, they prefer soft, slightly acidic water and a well-planted tank.

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasbora Care Sheet

Harlequin Rasboras are small, colorful, easy-maintenance fish and ideal for beginner aquarists. Their orange and black coloration adds a striking contrast to the blue and red hues of Neon Tetras. They prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of swimming space.

Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos Care Sheet

These small suckermouth catfish rarely reach more than 6 inches in length but still require a lot of space as they like to explore and graze across rocks & substrate surfaces during the day. They also enjoy sharing tanks with neon tetra as long as there are enough hiding spots (such as caves) provided for them.

Corydoras Catfish

Common Corydoras Care Sheet

Corydoras are another type of catfish belonging that do great in tanks with neon tetras. Just like other bottom dwellers, they’ll spend most of their time foraging around the bottom of your tank looking for food, and they’ll rarely disturb your tetras!!


To create a natural and healthy environment for your Neon Tetras, it’s important to include live plants in their aquarium. So, let’s explore some of the best plants for Neon Tetras.

Java Moss 

Java Moss is a popular and easy-to-care-for plant that is perfect for a Neon Tetras aquarium. It has a soft and fluffy texture and can be used to create a natural-looking carpet or a backdrop for other plants. Neon Tetras also love to swim and hide in Java Moss, making it an ideal plant for their aquarium.

Amazon Sword

Amazon Sword is a large and robust plant that can add a lot of visual interest to a Neon Tetras aquarium. It has long, narrow leaves that can grow up to 20 inches long, providing plenty of hiding places for the fish. Amazon Sword prefers moderate to high lighting and nutrient-rich substrate.

Large Amazon Bleheri Sword 18-24 inches Tall | Live Freshwater Aquatic Plant
  • Easy live aquarium plant specie for any freshwater aquarium


Anubias is a slow-growing and hardy plant that can add a lot of texture to a Neon Tetras aquarium. It has broad, thick leaves that are resistant to damage from the fish. Anubias can be attached to rocks or driftwood, which will definitely make your aquarium even more attractive. 

SubstrateSource Anubias Live Aquarium Plants – Potted Freshwater Plant for Fish Tanks, Terrariums – Beginner Friendly Low Light (Nana, 1 Pot)
  • Anubias Nana is one of the most popular aquatic plants loved by both beginners and experts alike, and will instantly give your aquarium, paludarium, or terrarium a lush and natural appearance.

Java Fern 

Java Fern is another hardy and easy-to-care-for plant that can thrive in a Neon Tetras aquarium. It has long, thin leaves that can grow up to 10 inches long, providing plenty of hiding places for the fish. Java Fern can be attached to rocks or driftwood, making it an excellent choice for aquascaping. 

Java Fern Bare Root | Microsorum Pteropus – Low Light Freshwater Aquarium Plant
  • Provide natural resting and hiding places for your smaller fish and invertebrates


Hornwort is a fast-growing and oxygenating plant that can add a lot of visual interest to a Neon Tetras aquarium. It has long, thin, and delicate leaves that can provide a natural-looking background or a hiding place for the fish.

Hornwort can float freely or be anchored to the substrate, which can add beauty to your tank.

Hornwort Live Aquarium Plant Live Pond Plant (A Bundle of 4 Plants/Stems)
  • PERFECT ADDITION FOR AQUARIUM: The natural and vibrant hornwort bunches are an ideal addition for your aquarium. This aquarium plant adds to the beauty of your aquarium and makes it more visually appealing.


Breeding Neon Tetras can be a rewarding and challenging experience, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be a successful and enjoyable endeavor. So let’s explore the breeding process of Neon Tetras and provide some tips for successful breeding.

Setting up the Breeding Tank

First things first, you’ll need a separate breeding tank. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be too big, just around 10 gallons will do. Make sure the pH is between 6.5 and 7.0, the temperature is between 75°F-76°F, and the water hardness is between 4 and 8 dGH. 

The tank should be heavily planted with fine-leaved plants like Java Moss and have a breeding cone or mesh to encourage breeding. Think of it like a romantic getaway for your Neon Tetras.

Selecting the Breeding Pair

Now, it’s time to choose your breeding pair. You want to choose a healthy and compatible pair that’s displaying some breeding behaviors like chasing and courting. Male Neon Tetras are smaller and have a brighter blue color, while females are slightly larger and have a more rounded belly. If you’re lucky, they’ll hit it off and start doing their little dance.

Conditioning the Breeding Pair

Before breeding, the pair needs to be conditioned with high-quality food. Live or frozen food like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia are great options. Feed them twice a day for two weeks and watch them bulk up like little bodybuilders.


Once the breeding pair is ready, they will display breeding behaviors such as chasing, courting, and displaying vibrant colors. The female Neon Tetra will lay around 60 to 120 eggs on the fine-leaved plants or breeding cone. The eggs will hatch in around 24 to 36 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming after another 24 to 36 hours.

Raising the Fry

After the fry becomes free-swimming, feed them with infusoria or liquid fry food for the first week. Afterward, they can be fed with newly hatched brine shrimp or crushed flakes. The breeding tank should have a sponge filter or air stone to provide gentle water movement and ensure adequate oxygen levels.

Maintaining Water Quality

Maintaining water quality is crucial for the health and survival of the breeding pair and their fry. Daily water changes of around 10 to 20 percent should be performed to ensure that the water is free from ammonia and nitrite.

In short, to breed neon tetras, find good breeding pairs that are ready to mate, add them to a densely planted tank, and condition them to breed by feeding them high quality live foods. Then just wait for the female tetra to lay eggs.

Common Diseases 

Neon Tetras are one of the most popular freshwater fish due to their vibrant colors and peaceful nature. However, these tiny fish are not immune to diseases. Here are the 5 common diseases that can affect your Neon Tetras.

Neon Tetra Disease

Neon Tetra Disease (NTD) is a highly contagious and fatal disease caused by a parasitic microsporidian, Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. It causes a loss of color, a bent spine, and a swollen abdomen. Unfortunately, there is no cure for NTD, and infected fish must be euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.


Ich, also known as white spot disease, is a common disease among freshwater fish, including Neon Tetras. It is caused by a parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Symptoms include white spots on the body, clamped fins, and lethargy. Treatment involves raising the temperature of the water and adding medication to kill the parasite.

Fin Rot

Fin Rot is a bacterial infection that affects the fins and tail of fish. It is caused by a variety of bacteria, including Aeromonas and Pseudomonas. Symptoms include frayed or discolored fins and tails, as well as lethargy. To treat fin rot, remove any affected fish and use antibiotics.


Columnaris is a bacterial infection that affects the skin and gills of fish. It is caused by a variety of bacteria, including Flavobacterium columnare. Symptoms include white patches on the skin, frayed fins, and lethargy. Treatment involves removing any infected fish and treating the tank with antibiotics.

Velvet Disease

Velvet Disease, also known as Rust Disease or Gold Dust Disease, is caused by a parasitic protozoan called Piscinoodinium pillulare. Symptoms include a yellow or gold dust-like appearance on the skin, lethargy, and labored breathing. Treatment involves raising the temperature of the water and adding medication to kill the parasite.

How Many Neon Tetras Can You Keep Together?

Neon Tetras are social fish that thrive in groups, and it’s recommended to keep them in a school of at least six individuals. However, the number of Neon Tetras you can keep together depends on the size of your aquarium and the other fish species in the tank.

As a general rule, it’s recommended to have at least one gallon of water per inch of fish. Since Neon Tetras are small, growing to only around 1.5 inches in length, you can keep a relatively large number of them together in a properly sized tank. 

For example, a 20-gallon tank can accommodate a school of 10-12 Neon Tetras, while a 40-gallon tank can fit a larger school of 20-25 fish.

It’s important to note that overcrowding your tank can lead to stress, aggression, and disease among your fish. So, while it may be tempting to add more Neon Tetras to your tank, it’s important to ensure that you’re not exceeding the recommended stocking levels.

Consider the other fish species in your tank when determining how many Neon Tetras to keep. Some fish, such as aggressive or territorial species, may not be suitable tank mates for Neon Tetras and can cause stress or harm to them. It’s important to research and choose compatible tank mates to ensure a peaceful and healthy community in your aquarium.

Facts About Neon Tetras 

  • Neon Tetras are a member of the Characidae family and are closely related to other popular freshwater fish species, such as Piranhas and Tetras.
  • Neon Tetras have been a popular aquarium fish since the 1930s and have since become one of the most popular freshwater fish species in the hobby due to their striking colors and peaceful nature.
  • The bright neon blue stripe that runs along their body is actually a result of a layer of reflective cells called iridophores.
  • The vibrant red stripe on Neon Tetras’  body only extends halfway, from their tail to their dorsal fin.
  • Neon Tetras are shoaling fish, which means they prefer to live in groups of six or more and will become stressed and unhappy if kept alone.
Neon Tetra Care_ A Complete Guide For 2023


Here are some common questions people have about their neon tetras!

How Can You Tell If A Neon Tetra Is Pregnant?

Neon tetras don’t get pregnant, but they carry eggs. You can tell if a neon tetra is carrying eggs by looking for signs such as enlarged abdomen, and darkening of her midsection.

Are Neon Tetras Livebeareres?

Neon tetras are not livebearers – they lay their eggs externally and do not give birth to live young.

Do Neon Tetras Need A Heater?

Neon tetras do need a heater in order to thrive – an aquarium heater should be used to maintain the ideal temperature range between 72-78°F (20-23°C).

Can Neon Tetras Live With Bettas?

Neon tetras can live with bettas, but it is important to provide enough space for all fish to swim freely without conflict or aggression. The ideal ratio is one male betta per five neon tetras, and always make sure that there are plenty of hiding spots available for both species in your tank.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Goldfish?

Neon Tetras are tropical fish that require warmer water temperatures than Goldfish, which are cold-water fish. Therefore, it is not recommended to keep Neon Tetras with Goldfish as they have different temperature requirements and may not be compatible in the same aquarium.

What Fish Can Live With Neon Tetras And Guppies?

Some of the fish that can live with neon tetras and guppies include other small peaceful fish like danios, mollies, platies, swordtails and tetra fish.

What Can Live With Neon Tetras?

Other animals that can live with neon tetras include algae eating snails, shrimp and African dwarf frogs.

What Big Fish Can Live With Neon Tetras?

The best big fish to pair with neon tetras are peaceful giants like certain species of pleco. Keeping in mind that their tank size requirements should be met, these larger species can make great companions for neon tetras.

What Shrimp Can Live With Neon Tetras?

Shrimp such as Amano shrimp, ghost shrimp, and cherry shrimp are also suitable companions. It is important to remember that these small fish and shrimp should be kept in a school to provide safety in numbers. 

What Small Fish Can Live With Neon Tetras?

Small and peaceful species such as cherry barbs, hatchetfish, and white cloud mountain minnows can make good tankmates for neon tetras. 

Can Angelfish Live With Neon Tetras?

Angelfish are tropical fish, but they prefer slightly warmer temperatures than Neon Tetras. Additionally, Angelfish can grow to be quite large, and they may see Neon Tetras as potential prey, especially if they are small. Therefore, it is not recommended to keep Angelfish with Neon Tetras.

Can Guppies Live With Neon Tetras?

Guppies are also tropical fish, and they have similar temperature and water parameter requirements as Neon Tetras. Guppies are generally peaceful and make good tank mates for Neon Tetras.

Can Goldfish Live With Neon Tetras?

Goldfish, on the other hand, are cold-water fish that prefer cooler water temperatures than Neon Tetras. Additionally, Goldfish can grow quite large, and they produce a lot of waste, which can make it difficult to maintain good water quality for Neon Tetras. Therefore, it is not recommended to keep Goldfish with Neon Tetras.

Can Tiger Barbs Live With Neon Tetras?

Tiger Barbs are known to be nippy and aggressive towards other fish, especially those with long fins or bright colors like Neon Tetras. While some people have had success keeping them together, it is generally not recommended to keep Tiger Barbs with Neon Tetras as they may harass and injure them.

Can Mollies Live With Neon Tetras?

Mollies are peaceful fish that can coexist well with Neon Tetras. They have similar temperature and water parameter requirements, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes.

Can Zebra Danios Live With Neon Tetras?

Zebra Danios are another peaceful fish that can make good tank mates for Neon Tetras. They are similar in size and temperament, and they prefer similar water conditions.

Can Dwarf Gouramis Live With Neon Tetras?

Dwarf Gouramis are peaceful fish that can make good tank mates for Neon Tetras. They have similar temperature and water parameter requirements, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes.

Can Shrimp Live With Neon Tetras?

Shrimp can also make good tank mates for Neon Tetras, especially small species like cherry shrimp or ghost shrimp. However, it is important to make sure that the shrimp are not seen as food by larger fish in the tank, and to provide plenty of hiding places and vegetation for the shrimp to feel safe.

Can Clownfish Live With Neon Tetras?

Clownfish are saltwater fish that require very different water conditions than Neon Tetras. Therefore, it is not recommended to keep clownfish with Neon Tetras as they have different temperature, salinity, and pH requirements.


With the right knowledge and a few simple steps, you can ensure your Neon Tetras have a long and happy life. Following these basic tips for proper Neon Tetra care will keep your fish healthy and help them thrive. So, don’t forget to give them the special attention they need—your Neon Tetras will be thanking you in no time!