All You Need To Know About Neon Tetra Fish Care!

Written by Dennis

Neon Tetra Fish CareTropical fish hobbyists are highly concerned about the procedures of neon tetra fish care as this freshwater fish is one of their personal favorites.

And why not?

The beautiful color combination and attractive physic make them brilliantly conspecific.

I am also a die-hard fan of these Characin family fishes which are the natives to clear water and also backwater streams in eastern Peru, southeastern Colombia, western Brazil and the Solimoes River or the upper stretches of the Amazon River.

Caring for neon tetra is very effortless as they demand very little; although taking good care is mandatory to give them a long lifespan of 5-10 years.

Popular Attractive Breeds Of Neon Tetra:

The iridescent blue stripes that horizontally extend on both of the sides from the nose to the end of the adipose fin of the tetra make it stand separately from other fishes.

The name ‘tetra’ has been given to it because of its incredible teeth that are uniquely shaped. There are other attractive breeds of tetra which are also eagerly accepted by the aquarium hobbyists.

1) Black Neon Tetra:

Black neon tetra are usually native to the Paraguay basin of the southern Brazil that are non-aggressive in nature. The features that distinguish these fishes from other tetra are the two longitudinal stripes and two color bands over the eyes.

The white stripe above the black one extends from the neck region to the end of the adipose fin on both of the sides and the two color bands over the eyes are red above yellow.

2) Green Neon Tetra:

Green Tetra are freshwater fishes, native to the upper Orinoco and the South American Negro Rivers. These fishes are smaller and slimmer than other neons and have blue-green areas in the upper body and little red patches on the lower body. They can grow up to 3.5 cm.

3) Golden Neon Tetra:

 These opalescent fishes are born through selective breeding and the gold shine on their bodies make them distinctive from the other tetra. Though the typical blue and red shine are present, but the golden highlight has subdued them, which is why they are referred as gold neon tetra.

Knowing Their Natural Behavior -A Vital Part Of Tetra Fish Care:

For taking care of neon tetras it is crucial that you know about their natural behavior. These fishes are very social in nature and do not bother other fishes if kept in their proper schools.

You can keep at least 6 fishes in the group, more than that is preferable, as, in their natural habitat, they can be found in hundreds per group. If tetras are not kept in schools, then a lone neon may behave awkwardly and can even stop eating and start hiding every time.

The discoloring of them and lack of appetite is often caused by stress and loneliness. As these fishes are pleasant in nature, keeping aggressive mates in the aquarium is not recommended.

How Big Do Neon Tetras get?

Neon Tetras are tiny little fishes that are easy to pet in an aquarium. The adult tetras can grow up to a size of 1.5 inches or 4 cm.

Ideal Housing For Proper Neon Tetra Fish Care:

Proper housing is essential at any cost as it has a direct effect on the health of the fish. Neon Tetra fishes love shady locations and dense plants. So to decorate the aquarium don’t forget to put plastic trees in it; although check for the sharpness as it may result in scratching the scales of your fish.

Original underwater plants are preferred but you need to take care of them also, so you can use the plastic ones freely. Also keep some ceramic houses for hiding as those tiny fishes love to hide.

pH Level: Now comes the most important part which is the pH level of the water that should be kept between 6 – 7.5, however, for a 10 gallon aquarium 6.8 is optimum.

Climatic Condition: Temperature of the aquarium should be measured always as neon tetras are fond of the warm climate. Try to keep the temperature between 23 – 26 degree Celsius or 68 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Filter: Cleaning of the aquarium is essential for proper caring of the fishes so use a good quality filter which you can choose from our list of awesome canister filter. The filter will clear the water and keep it fresh so that it does not catch foul smell.

It is recommended to not use any chemical to clean the aquarium, using hot water will be enough.

What Do Neon Tetras Eat?

Feeding properly is an important step in your tetra fish care.

taking process. As the neon colored tetras have teeth they love to eat meats or live foods. But when neons are in the aquarium, it is always preferable to give them with a good mixture of frozen, packed and live foods.

Neon Fish Food Types:

  • Live Foods: You can get the live foods like brine shrimp, micro-worms, fruit flies etc. from the pet shop or from the wild. Make sure they are free from parasites.
  • Prepared Foods: The New Life Spectrum Small Fish formula is a balanced diet food, which you can give your fishes for better health and longer lifespan.
  • Tetra Color Bits: Several color bits are available in the market which is a balanced diet and complete food, help in enhancing the color of the tetra fishes. These bits are also advantageous in feeding as they take the time to reach the bottom of the aquarium, ensuring proper feeding of the fishes.
  • Frozen Foods: The frozen foods need to be thawed and broken into little pieces before feeding.
  • Freeze-dried Foods: After exposing to the normal temperature, you can feed the freeze-dried foods within 5 – 6 minutes. Bloodworms and mosquito larvae are the favorites of the tetra fishes.

Feeding Technique For Proper Neon Tetra Fish Care:

Neon Tetra Fish Caring procedures involve, the proper feeding technique, as feeding plays an important role in the health conditions of the fishes. These fishes prefer to swim in the middle area of the aquarium hence do not even look if their food is lying at the bottom.

So, I will strongly recommend you to feed only that amount of food which your tetra fishes can eat in less than 3 minutes. Large quantities of feeding are useless as most of the food will get waste and increase the junk level of the aquarium.

How To Breed Neon Tetra And Take Care ?

The rainy season is the best weather for breeding neon tetras, though if your tetras started to habituate with the environment of the aquarium then you can easily breed them anytime while keeping the correct ambiance.

For mating the male and female tetras you need to keep them in the same tank in the preferred temperature but make sure the aquarium is enough shady. They love dark areas for mating.

You can differentiate between the male and female by their different shapes, as males are slimmer and females are plumper and rounder. Breeding neons may feel exciting as once you get it the right way, you can breed them frequently for more tetras.

 How To Separate The Neon Tetra Eggs?

When the female is ready to spawn, you need to prepare a separate tank with clean water. Do not forget to mix some old water from the previous tank. Now when the tetra eggs are fertilized by the male, the adults must be separated to the new tank unless they will be happy enough to eat them.

How To Care For Young Tetras?

The eggs will hatch within 24 hours and now you need to feed them. The young tetras are very small in size hence should be fed something they can easily digest.

You can feed them infusoria for the first couple of days and then when they start growing, feeding baby brine shrimp will be a great choice.

Taking Care Of Neon Tetra From Diseases:

Common diseases that can affect your tetra fishes are the Ick and Fin rot. Neon tetra disease is also another type of deadly disease that scientists have found in the tetra fishes.

Some of the tetra disease symptoms include:

  • Discoloration
  • Instability
  • Lumps on the body.
  • Appearance of cysts.
  • Bent Spine
  • Bloating
  • Irregular swimming

Prevention And Caring For Tetras :

To prevent your fishes from such diseases, it is always recommended to clean the fish tank properly. A poorly maintained aquarium will easily become the hub of diseases. That is why any harmful environment should be prevented by good filtration.

Remedy: In case your fish looks like ill, then, unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do as scientists have yet not found any cure. But to prevent other fishes from getting effected, you can quarantine the sick fish.


1) Why do my neon tetras keep dying?

Ans> It may be because of the poor hygiene of the aquarium or any newly added fish that is affected with a disease.

2) What temp do neon tetras like?

Ans> Temperatures in the aquarium should be kept between 68 – 78 degree Fahrenheit.

 3) Why my neon tetra losing color?

Ans> Discoloration can be either caused by disease or poor balance diet. Start feeding your tetras with tetra color bits.

4) What is the best food for neon tetras?

Ans> Tetras are omnivorous in nature, hence they prefer live foods like brine shrimp, small-worms, fruit flies etc.

5) What fish can live with neon tetras?

Ans> Tetras are social in nature so you can keep them in groups for better neon tetra fish care. However, platys, guppies, and mollies can be great friends.


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