Neon Tetras

a close up of a neon tetra swimming in a darker aquarium

Welcome to the wonderful world of Neon Tetra! If you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for fish, then you’ve come to the right place. Neon Tetras are small, colorful fish that make a great addition to any home aquarium. They are one of the most popular fish among newer aquarium owners due to their hardiness and vibrant colors.

Neon Tetras are a peaceful fish that can be kept in groups of six or more. They prefer to live in warm, slightly acidic water with plenty of hiding places and plants. Neon Tetras are omnivores, so they will eat both plant and meat-based foods. They should be fed small amounts twice a day to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Neon Tetras are small fish that are typically kept in community tanks, although some hobbyists keep them individually. They are known for being peaceful and docile, and are generally considered to be good fish. Neon tetras are known for being friendly and easy to care for, making them a great option for first-time aquarium owners.

Neon Tetras are very hardy fish, and can survive in a range of temperatures. They won’t bother other fish in their tank. They are very easy to feed, and will eat a wide variety of foods.

Neon Tetras are very easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance. They are also very docile, and will tolerate a wide range of conditions. Neon tetras are among the most popular fish species sold at pet stores. They are a very interesting species, and enjoy swimming around in their tank. 

Neon Tetras are very friendly and sociable, and will adapt well to living in a community tank. They are also very tolerant of each other, and won’t fight over territory. They are very docile, and won’t cause problems for their owners.

You can add them to your tank right away, and they will adjust well to their new surroundings.

Neon Tetras are a great choice for first time pet owners because they are relatively easy to care for and don’t require too much maintenance. They can also be kept in smaller tanks, making them ideal for those with limited space. Additionally, they are very active fish that will bring life and color to any aquarium.

Overall, Neon Tetras make a great addition to any home aquarium. They are hardy, colorful fish that are easy to care for and will bring life and color to any tank. If you’re looking for a peaceful, low-maintenance pet, then the Neon Tetra is the perfect choice!

Neon Tetra Information

  • Average Length: 1 – 1.5 inches
  • Scale Colors: Blue, red, silver
  • Attention Needs: Low
  • Good Pet: Yes!
  • Safe with Children: Yes
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good with Other fish : yes as long as they’re peaceful species
  • Good with Other Neon Tetras: They enjoy living in groups
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Weight Gain: No
  • Health Concerns: Neon Tetra Disease and White Spot Disease
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: They live between 5 to 10 years

Physical Appearance Neon Tetra Fish

a close up of a neon tetra swimming near some aquatic plants

Neon Tetras are a popular fish because of their bright colors. The fish has a slender body and large eyes that cover the widest part of their head. The fish has a blue streak running from their eyes all through to their adipose fin. The adipose fin is a small round fin located between the tail fin and the dorsal fin.

The middle part of their body including their belly is covered by white/silver. Beyond their belly, Neon Tetras have a red stripe that runs all through to the caudal fin.

The bright colors are believed to help them locate each other in black waters which they love (black water is an environment where the water is murky and the visibility is reduced). It’s also not uncommon to see the Neon Tetras colors looking faded especially when they’re sleeping or feeling ill.

Temperament of Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras are very peaceful fish species that live in groups. They are great fish if you want to have many fish in a single tank. Although they are a community fish, you should be careful not to place them together with an aggressive fish that may try to eat them.

Tank Conditions

Neon Tetras are low maintenance fish and are ideal for first time fish owners. The first step towards keeping your pet happy and healthy is having a large tank that will give them lots of room for swimming and hiding. They should be kept in a tank that’s at least 10 gallons. If you have room for a larger tank then we highly recommend you go bigger.

Filtration is an important requirement in your aquarium because Tetras don’t react well to spikes in ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in the water. Make sure to place a mesh at the filter intakes of your filtration system. Neon Tetras are quite small and can get sucked up by the filters leading, especially if they’re running on a higher setting.

2 neon tetras swimming together with some aquatic plants in the background

Neon Tetras enjoy living in dark areas in the wild.  If you can create a dark place in their aquarium for them it will help them feel more at home. If this isn’t possible then dimming the lights, and adding a light timer to completely shut the lighting off while your family sleeps would be good too. Aquatic plants and other decorations can also help give the aquarium a dark look at the bottom of the tank. Driftwood is also good at making the water darker as tannins leach into the water.

The temperatures of the water should be kept between 75 and 80 °F. It’s important to have an aquarium thermometer to be able to monitor the temperature. 

Neon Tetras do well in slightly acidic waters with pH ranging from t 6.0 to 6.5. The tank water should be below 10 dGH and have a dKH of 1-2 dKH. You’ll be able to test the levels your tank water is at with a water testing kit.

Tank Maintenance

Your fish tank should be cleaned regularly to prevent the accumulation of contaminants. About 25 percent of the water should be replaced every other week. As you change the water, make sure not to exceed the 25 percent threshold because drastic changes in water could kill your fish from shock. 

Neon Tetras don’t release a lot of bio waste like the Goldfish. A sophisticated filtration system is not usually needed if they are your only fish. A simple sponge filtration won’t have a problem maintaining a healthy habitat for your Neon Tetras.

Best Tank Mates for Neon Tetras

They like to stay in a large pack and will rarely move around alone in their tank. Neon Tetras are small, and because they’re so small a lot can fit comfortably into most aquariums.

Health Issues

Just like other fish species, Neon Tetras are susceptible to certain illnesses.

Neon Tetra Disease

Neon tetra disease (also known as ‘NTD’) is an infectious fish disease caused by a parasite called Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. This parasite can be found in most freshwater aquariums and has the ability to infect neon tetras, as well as other species of fish. Neon tetra disease causes damage to their fins, eyes, skin, and internal organs, leading to death if it’s not treated properly.

Symptoms of Neon Tetra Disease

The most common symptom of NTD is the loss of color in the fish. Their skin will become pale, white, or gray and their fins can look frayed or tattered. Other symptoms include:

  • Bulging eyes
  • Difficulty swimming
  • Rapid breathing
  • Clamped fins
  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss

In severe cases, the fish can die from internal organ damage.

White Spot Disease

Ich Disease, also known as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or white spot disease, is a common parasitic disease that affects many species of freshwater fish. It’s caused by tiny parasites that attach themselves to the surface of a fish’s skin and gills and feed on them. These parasites appear on your fish as white spots on their body and fins, resulting in distress and discomfort.

The best way to prevent Ich Disease is to maintain a clean and healthy aquarium environment. This means ensuring that temperature, pH, hardness, and other levels remain within the correct range for the fish species being kept. Careful tank mate selection is also important; some fish are more susceptible to Ich than others. If a fish is already infected, quarantine them in a separate tank.

The Attention Needs of Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras have been a favorite pet for beginner aquarists for many years because they don’t have high attention needs. They grow to about an inch long and will comfortably fit in most beginner aquariums.

a pile of colorful fish flakes

Because Neon Tetras aren’t heavy eaters, most beginners can handle their feeding needs. They can also survive in varied temperature and water conditions.

Feeding Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras are omnivores and will eat almost anything fed to them.  Many owners love them because they aren’t picky eaters. They enjoy commercial flakes, frozen foods, and some live foods. When buying commercial pellets or flakes for your fish, ensure that their food contains about 40 percent protein content.  

Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia make the best frozen foods and these are available in most pet stores. Black worms and fruit flies make a good choice for live foods whenever you want to give your pet a treat.

When you feed your fish, only give them what they can eat within 20 – 30 seconds. It’s recommended that they be fed 2 to 3 times a day. 

Related Questions:

Can I keep Neon Tetra with Other Fish?

Neon Tetras are a community fish that love swimming in the middle part of the aquarium. The least number of Neon Tetras you should have in a tank is 6 so that your fish remain healthy and active. If there is only one Neon Tetra in the tank, it will become lonely and might even die from stress.

If you plan on having other species in the same tank, ensure that the other fish are peaceful and are not likely to eat your Neon Tetra.

Why Would Neon Tetras Stay at the Bottom of the Aquarium?

Neon Tetras are a shoaling fish that enjoys swimming in groups and will swim mostly in the middle of their tank. If you find your fish staying at the bottom of the tank, it may be a sign of illness. They should be examined and consider moving them to another tank. Changing the water can solve the problem if the illness is as a result of contaminated water in their tank.

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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.