Neon Tetras Care Guide: Feeding,Breeding Tips

If you’re looking for new fish that are neon colored, neon tetras are one of the best for beginners.

Easy to care and maintain this fish is also stunning to watch when they are in your freshwater aquariums.

Today you will see how to care,feeding and breeding tips.

Neon Tetras Profile

Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
Life Span5-10 years
DietOmnivorous (flakes, small pellets, live or frozen foods)
SizeUp to 1.5 inches
CompatibilityCompatible with other small, non-aggressive fish
TemperamentCalm and schooling fish, prefer to be in groups

Neon Tetras Species and Types

Neon Tetras are popular freshwater fish known for their bright colors and lively behavior. Here’s a quick guide to their common types, differences between wild and domesticated varieties, and rare types.

Common Types of Neon Tetras

1.Standard Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)

Bright blue bodies and red tails, growing up to 1.5 inches. Ideal for community tanks.

2.Green Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon simulans)

Smaller, with a greenish-blue hue and less pronounced red stripe. Perfect for small tanks.

3.Black Neon Tetras (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)

Black horizontal stripe with a bright white stripe above, growing up to 1.6 inches. Hardy and adaptable.

Rare Neon Tetra Varieties

  • Diamond Head Neon Tetras:-Sparkling, diamond-like patches on their heads.
  • Longfin Neon Tetras:-Extended fins for a graceful appearance.
  • Gold Neon Tetras:-Subtle golden hue overlaying their blue and red coloration.

Best Neon Tetra Fish Tank for Beginners

Setting up a Neon Tetra fish tank is a rewarding experience, especially for beginners. Here’s a guide to creating the perfect environment for these vibrant fish and maintaining their health.

Tank Size

  • Minimum Size: 10 gallons
  • Why: Provides enough space for a small school of Neon Tetras and maintains stable water conditions.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature: 70-81°F (21-27°C)
  • pH Levels: 6.0-7.0
  • Hardness: 1-2 dGH
  • Importance: Stable water conditions are crucial for Neon Tetras’ health and well-being.

Filtration and Aeration

  • Filter Type: Sponge filter or internal filter
  • Why: Ensures clean water without creating strong currents that could stress the fish.
  • Aeration: Use an air pump to maintain oxygen levels.

Substrate and Decorations

  • Substrate: Fine gravel or sand
  • Decorations: Live plants, driftwood, and rocks
  • Why: Provides hiding spots and mimics their natural habitat, reducing stress and encouraging natural behaviors.


  • Type: LED aquarium lights
  • Why: Enhances the colors of Neon Tetras and supports plant growth. Ensure the light cycle mimics natural daylight (8-10 hours per day).

Water Maintenance

  • Regular Water Changes: 25% weekly
  • Testing Water Parameters: Regularly test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and hardness.
  • Why: Maintaining water quality is essential to prevent disease and promote a healthy environment.


  • Diet: High-quality flakes, small pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods (brine shrimp, daphnia)
  • Feeding Frequency: Twice a day, small amounts
  • Why: A varied diet ensures optimal health and vibrant colors.

Tank Mates

  • Suitable Companions: Other small, peaceful fish like guppies, mollies, and small catfish
  • Why: Neon Tetras thrive in a community tank with non-aggressive species.

Maintaining Neon Tetra Fish Health

  • Regular Observation: Check for signs of illness such as discoloration, spots, or unusual behavior.
  • Quarantine New Fish: Quarantine new fish for 2-4 weeks before adding them to the main tank.

Common Diseases

  • Neon Tetra Disease: Symptoms include color fading, cysts, and difficulty swimming. Prevention includes maintaining good water quality and avoiding overcrowding.
  • Ich (White Spot Disease): Symptoms include white spots on the body and fins. Treatment involves raising the water temperature gradually and using ich treatment.

Stress Reduction

  • Stable Environment: Keep water parameters consistent to reduce stress.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Ensure the tank is not overcrowded to provide enough space for each fish.
  • Compatible Tank Mates: Keep Neon Tetras with other small, peaceful fish.

Feeding Neon Tetra Fish Information Table

Food TypeDescriptionFrequencyPortion SizeBenefits
Flake FoodHigh-quality tropical fish flakesTwice dailySmall pinchBalanced diet, easy to digest
PelletsSmall, sinking pelletsOnce daily or alternateFew pellets per fishNutrient-rich, promotes growth
Live FoodsBrine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms1-2 times a weekSmall amount (few per fish)High protein, enhances natural hunting behavior
Frozen FoodsFrozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia1-2 times a weekSmall portion (thawed)Nutrient-dense, variety in diet
Freeze-Dried FoodsFreeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex wormsOccasionally (once a week)Small pinchConvenient, high in protein
Vegetable MatterFinely chopped spinach, peas (blanched)Occasionally (once a week)Small piecesProvides fiber, promotes digestive health

Breeding Neon Tetras Fish

Breeding Neon Tetras can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you successfully breed these vibrant fish.

Setting Up the Breeding Tank

  • Tank Size: 5-10 gallons
  • Water Parameters: Temperature 75-80°F (24-27°C), pH Levels 5.0-6.0, Hardness 1-2 dGH
  • Lighting: Dim lighting, as Neon Tetras prefer to spawn in low light.
  • Substrate and Decorations: Use fine-leaved plants (like Java moss) or a spawning mop for the eggs to attach to. No substrate is needed for easy cleaning.

Selecting Breeding Pairs

  • Healthy Fish: Choose healthy, mature Neon Tetras (6-12 months old).
  • Gender Identification: Males have slimmer bodies and brighter colors, while females have rounder bodies, especially noticeable when carrying eggs.

Conditioning the Breeders

  • Diet: Feed the breeding pair high-quality live foods (brine shrimp, daphnia) for 1-2 weeks.
  • Environment: Keep the breeders in a separate tank with optimal water conditions.

Breeding Process

  • Introducing to Breeding Tank: Place the conditioned breeding pair in the breeding tank in the evening.
  • Spawning: Spawning usually occurs in the early morning. The female will scatter eggs among the plants, and the male will fertilize them.
  • Eggs: Neon Tetra eggs are adhesive and will stick to plants or spawning mop. Remove the adults after spawning to prevent them from eating the eggs.

Caring for the Eggs and Fry

  • Incubation: Eggs will hatch in about 24-36 hours.
  • Fry Care: The fry will be free-swimming after 3-4 days. Feed the fry infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food initially. Gradually introduce finely crushed flakes or baby brine shrimp as they grow.
  • Raising the Fry: Maintain excellent water quality with regular, small water changes. Monitor the fry’s growth and gradually introduce them to a larger tank as they grow. Transition them to a diet of finely crushed flakes and other appropriate foods as they grow.


How many neon tetras should be kept together?

Neon Tetras are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6 to ensure they feel secure and display natural behaviors.

Why are neon tetras hard to keep?

Neon Tetras require stable water conditions and can be sensitive to changes in water quality and temperature. They also need to be kept in groups and have specific dietary needs.

Can I keep 4 neon tetras?

It is not recommended. Neon Tetras should be kept in groups of at least 6 to ensure they are happy and healthy.

Do neon tetras need a heater?

Yes, Neon Tetras are tropical fish and need a heater to maintain a stable water temperature between 70-81°F (21-27°C).

Can I keep only 2 tetras?

No, keeping only 2 Neon Tetras can cause stress and health issues. They thrive in groups of 6 or more.

Can 5 neon tetras live together?

While 5 is better than 2 or 4, it is still recommended to keep at least 6 Neon Tetras together for optimal health and behavior.

Do neon tetras lay eggs?

Yes, Neon Tetras are egg scatterers. They lay eggs among plants or spawning mops in the aquarium.

Do neon tetras grow fast?

Neon Tetras grow at a moderate rate. They reach their full size of about 1.5 inches in a few months under optimal conditions.

How to make tetra fish happy?

Keep them in a clean, well-maintained tank with stable water parameters, provide a balanced diet, and ensure they are in a group of at least 6. Adding plants and decorations for hiding spots also helps.

Should I feed my tetras everyday?– 

Yes, feed your Neon Tetras small amounts twice a day. Ensure not to overfeed as it can lead to poor water quality.

Do neon tetras multiply?– 

Yes, with proper care and conditions, Neon Tetras can breed and multiply by laying eggs.

How to tell neon tetra gender?– 

Males are usually slimmer with brighter colors, while females are rounder, especially when carrying eggs.

Do tetra fish sleep?– 

Yes, Tetras do rest. They don’t sleep like mammals but will have periods of inactivity, usually during the night.

How do I know if my tetras are stressed?– 

Signs of stress in Tetras include loss of color, erratic swimming, hiding, loss of appetite, and clamped fins.

Do tetras need a filter?– 

Yes, a filter is necessary to maintain clean water and provide proper oxygenation in the tank.

How many flakes per fish?– 

Feed each Tetra a small pinch of flakes that they can consume in 2-3 minutes. Adjust the amount based on how much they eat.

Can neon tetras go without food?– 

Neon Tetras can survive without food for a few days, but it’s not recommended to leave them without food for more than 2-3 days as it can affect their health.

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