Neon Tetras: Quick Guide To Keeping These Peaceful Freshwater Aquarium Fish

Neon Tetra

What are the qualities that you look for when contemplating getting fish for your aquarium? Vibrant colors, peaceful temperament, and ease-of-care, right? All these qualities are found in Neon Tetras. It is a good choice for beginner pet fish keepers as it has simple dietary habits.

This fish is particularly known for its bright colors and energetic nature. Neon Tetras are community fish, so keeping them with other fish is not a problem at all. They do like to stay in groups of fish, as that leads them to be stress-free. 

Let’s take a look at this detailed guide about these wonderful fish. 

Ideal Habitat 

Neon Tetras are found in South America, including the regions of Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. The majority of them can be found in the Amazon River Basin. 

These areas are known for dark waters as the thick vegetation blocks daylight from entering the deep waters. Hence, the colorful fish can identify each other in the dark due to the glow of their colorful signatures.

Tank Size 

The smallest size of the tank that you can keep Neon Tetras in is 10 gallons. No less than this. However, since these Tetras prefer to stay in groups of at least 15, you should keep them in a tank that is at least 20 gallons. 

Small spaces can lead fish to be stressed, which can affect their health and overall lifespan. 

Tank Set-Up 

Temperature: Neon Tetras like moderately warm waters. Hence, keep the water temperature between 70 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. 

pH: Keep this between 7.0 and 6.0. They like acidic waters and not alkaline. 

Water hardness: They prefer soft water, so keep this parameter below 10 dGH. 

Plants: The more plants you keep, the more the Neon Tetras will feel like being in their natural habitat. They love dense vegetation in their tank. 

Decorations: You can keep rocks that vegetation can grow on as Neon Tetras will graze on it. They will also use hiding spots to sit back when they want to relieve stress. 

Tank Mates 

As mentioned above, Neon Tetras are very peaceful fish. However, their behavior changes in the mating season. Since they are calm fish overall, you can keep them with other non-aggressive fish. Below are a few options:

  1. Gouramis
  2. Barbs
  3. Small Catfish
  4. Dwarf Cichlids 
  5. Small Tetras
  6. Aquarium Snails
  7. Shrimp
  8. Danios
  9. Small Loaches
  10. Rasboras
  11. White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  12. Rice Fish

You should avoid keeping Bettas, Angelfish, and Cichlids with Neon Tetras. These are aggressive fish that can bully the Tetras. 

  • Can you keep Neon Tetras with other Neon Tetras?

Absolutely. Neon Tetras prefer being with fish of their type. You can keep them in schools of 15 or 20. 


Neon Tetras are omnivores. That’s a good thing as this increases the options of food items that you can feed to your Tetras. Let’s see what they like to eat.

  • Larvae
  • Algae
  • Blood Worm
  • Brine Shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Tubifex
  • Miniscule Invertebrates

Neon Tetras are open to food in any form, be it pellets, flakes, live, or frozen. 

Feeding routine: When Neon Tetras are young, you can feed them twice a day, but the quantity should be as much as they can finish in 3 minutes. As they grow up, you can feed them once a day but just as much as they can devour in 3 minutes. 


Cleaning: You should change 20% of their tank’s water every week. Once a month, you can do deep cleaning by changing the entire water, cleaning the walls of the tank, making sure the plants and rocks aren’t dirty. 

The cleaner you keep the tank for your fish, the better shot they have to live a long and healthy life. Dirty conditions not only increase the risk of disease but also increase the chances of Neon Tetras being stressed. 

To avoid any inconvenience, make sure to maintain a proper cleaning schedule. 


In short, Neon Tetras are a choice you won’t regret. Observing and understanding their lively nature is a pleasant treat for anyone who keeps them. 

Caring for them will make them feel loved, and you will form a bond with your fish, just like you do with other pets. 

Good luck with your journey of keeping Neon Tetras!

John Kilmerstone

I love keeping pet fish and receive a lot of joy and peace from watching these colorful creatures. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of pet fish. Discover how to care for and look after pet fish and amplify your satisfaction.

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