Commonly Asked Neon Tetra Questions

This article is an extension of our care guide for Neon Tetra species which will cover some of the common questions asked about these fish. The answers here on this page are brief and to the point; but in order to fully understand the needs of these fish we highly recommend reading our full comprehensive guide mentioned above.

You can use the table below to jump to the question you need an answer to.

Are Neon Tetras Cannibals?

No, neon tetras are not cannibals. Although they have been known to eat smaller fish fry or eggs; this includes their eggs and fry. It is usually more out of competition for food and space than an urge to consume its kind. 

Are Neon Tetras Fin Nippers?

No, Neon Tetras are not fin nippers. Fin nipping is a behavior where fish bite and nibble on the fins of other fish in the tank. Some fish usually do this to assert dominance or because they are stressed or bored. 

Neon Tetras have a reputation for being peaceful community fish that enjoy living together in groups rather than fighting each other for territory. These bright little beauties can bring life and energy into any tank while not showing any fin-nipping behaviors!

Are Neon Tetras Friendly?

Neon Tetras are friendly fish but they are shy and timid species that prefer to be left alone.

However, these fish are known for being very curious. When the tank environment is safe, they often come up to investigate when someone is near the tank.

This can be quite entertaining as they seem genuinely interested in seeing what’s going on with their owners! 

Are Neon Tetras Hardy?

No, neon tetras are coming from the wild and are used to clean low TDS waters in the amazon. When they are first introduced to a tank they might start to develop diseases or die if the water parameters are not in their favor.

However, these fish are very adaptable and will soon adapt to a tank environment. To help them with the process of adapting to a new tank we highly recommend reading our Neon Tetra care guide.

Are Neon Tetras Natural?

Yes, the neon colors of these fish are natural and are not man-made. Unlike Glofish species that are made in the lab, the neon tetra is a naturally occurring species that are coming from the Amazon river basin. 

Can Neon Tetras Eat Betta Food?

Yes, but should not be their main source of food. Neon Tetras should not eat just betta food as their main diet. Betta foods are high in protein and other nutrients that are good for carnivore species. Neon tetras on the other hand are omnivores and should receive a mix of different foods in their diet. Please read the Diet section of the Neon Tetra guide to learn more.

Can Neon Tetras Live In 5 Gallon Tanks?

Yes, neon tetras can live in a 5-gallon tank. But it should be noted that this size of the tank makes it difficult to maintain good water quality. 

It is recommended that no more than three or four neon tetras be kept in a 5-gallon tank with regular partial water changes and the use of an aquarium filter.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Bettas?

Yes, Neon Tetras can live with Bettas in the same aquarium. However, it is important to create a peaceful environment with plenty of hiding spots and adequate space for both species. When choosing tankmates for your Betta fish, you should always research compatibility before adding any new fish.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Glofish?

Yes, Neon Tetras and Glofish can live together. Glofish are genetically modified versions of Tetra species. So the two fish have similar requirements for water temperature, pH levels, and other environmental factors.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Guppies?

Yes, neon tetras can live with guppies. Neon tetras and guppies make good tank mates, especially if you keep them happy by providing them with their ideal living conditions.

In addition, neon tetras and guppies eat the same food, are peaceful fish, and require similar water parameters. But try to make the tank in favor of the neon tetras as neons are more fragile than guppies.

Make sure not to overcrowd your tank, guppies will breed so often and can easily overcrowd a tank. Also, note that you should have a minimum of six neon tetras in your tank for them to do well.

Do Neon Tetras Eat Snails?

No, neon tetras do not eat snails. Neon tetras are small, harmless, and peaceful fish that make good tank mates for your pet snails.

However, Neon tetras are omnivores that eat any small creatures that fit in their mouth. While they can’t eat adult snails, they can eat newly hatched snails when other food is not available. But since most baby snails stay at the bottom of the tank and hide in the cracks and crevices, your neons might be able to hunt them.

Do Neon Tetras Grow Fast?

Yes, neon tetras grow fast. Neon tetras are very small fish that take about one year to reach their full size. 

The majority of the neons sold in pet stores are already in adulthood or almost adults. So in a few months, you can expect them to become fully developed. 

They require good water quality, regular feedings with high-quality food, and plenty of clean, warm water to thrive and reach their full potential size.

Do Neon Tetras Lose Color At Night?

Yes, neon tetras lose color at night. Neon tetras typically lose their color at night or when they spend a lot of time in the dark. But once the lights turn back on, they will quickly start showing their colors.

However, if your neon tetras lose their color in the daytime, they are most likely ill or stressed. Providing quality fish food will help keep your fish vibrant and healthy-looking regardless of the time of the day and lighting conditions. 

Do Neon Tetras Need An Air Pump?

No, neon tetras do not need an air pump. Neon tetras don’t need extra oxygen pumped into their tank and will still thrive without an air pump.

However, they need well-oxygenated water to stay healthy and happy. If your tank is overly stocked you should add an air pump to ensure they get enough oxygen. 

Do Neon Tetras Need Darkness?

Yes, neon tetras need darkness. Neon tetras need darkness to rest, and resting is very important for any living being. The darker their environment is at night, the better their quality of sleep will be. 

Neon tetras require 8 – 12 hours of aquarium light during the day, every day, and then another 8 – 12 hours of complete darkness.

Do Neon Tetras Need Light At Night?

No, neon tetras do not need light at night. Neon tetras require 8 – 12 hours of darkness to be able to rest without stress. 

Consider using an aquarium light with a timer to help you make sure your light goes off at a specific time of the day. In the wild, they experience natural cycles of day and night and they need a similar environment in a tank. 

This will help them maintain their healthy circadian rhythm as well as promote strong growth and proper behavior patterns.

How Many Neon Tetras Can I Put In A 10-Gallon Tank?

You can keep up to 10 neon tetras in a 10 gallon tank. Neon Tetras are active fish that prefer large groups and need space to swim freely. 10 of them is the maximum number of fish you can keep in a 10 gallon tank but it’s better to keep only 6 to make sure consistent water parameters. 

How Many Neon Tetras Per Gallon?

The ideal ratio for neon tetras is one fish per gallon. Neons are small fish and they can live in well-established tanks with no issues. 

But it’s best to keep 1 neon per two gallons of water. This allows them enough room to swim around without overcrowding the tank, which can lead to poor water conditions. 

How To Tell Neon Tetra Male Or Female?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between male and female Neon Tetras. Generally speaking, males tend to have a narrower body than females. Females are often rounder and have bold bodies.

What Is Neon Tetra Disease?

Neon Tetra Disease is an infectious disease that affects freshwater fish, particularly neon tetras. 

It is caused by a parasite called Pleistophora hyphessobryconis, which can cause severe physical deformities and ultimately lead to death in affected fish. 

Symptoms may include lethargy, loss of coloration in the fins and body, difficulty swimming, clamped fins, and discoloration of the eyes.

What Do Neon Tetra Eggs Look Like?

Neon tetra eggs are tiny, round, and semi-transparent. They measure approximately 1 mm in diameter and have a slightly yellowish tint. 

When freshly laid, the individual eggs may be difficult to see with the naked eye but can easily be seen when viewed under magnification. The eggs will often adhere together in clumps or clusters on plants or other objects in the aquarium.

Why Do Neon Tetras Chase Each Other?

Neon tetras will often chase each other as part of their natural behavior. This is most commonly seen when there are two or more males in the tank, as they may compete for dominance. It can also be a sign of courtship between a male and female, especially if spawning has been observed in the past.

Why Do Neon Tetras Die Easily?

Neon tetras die easily because they are easily stressed as they require specific living conditions. You can prevent your neon tetras from dying by keeping a minimum of six neon tetras in your fish tank.

You should also provide them with a proper diet and water quality. Our Neon Tetra care sheet will help you provide your fish with the best living conditions possible.

Why Are Neon Tetras Losing Color?

Neon tetras can lose color for a variety of reasons, including poor water quality, inadequate nutrition, and stress. 

Poor water quality can result from an accumulation of nitrates or other pollutants in the tank that is beyond what the fish can tolerate. 

Inadequate nutrition may occur if they are not getting enough high-quality food with adequate levels of vitamins and minerals. 

Stress is also common in aquariums due to overcrowding, aggressive tank mates, or sudden changes in temperature or pH level.

Will Neon Tetras Eat Baby Shrimp?

No, normally neon tetras will not eat baby shrimp. Baby shrimp are small that most fish will prey on but neon tetras’ mouths are so small that they will have a hard time eating shrimplets.

If you have a large school of neons in with shrimps, you might see a lower growth rate for your shrimp colony.

Will Neon Tetras School With Cardinals?

Sometimes they do, but they normally will not school together. Cardinals are larger and prefer to stay in a school with their kind. While it’s possible for them to school, it is best to keep these two different species separate.

Will Neon Tetras School With Ember Tetras?

Sometimes they do, but they normally will not school together. Ember Tetras mostly prefer to stay in a school with their kind but they can also school with neons. While it’s possible for them to school, it is best to keep these two species separate.

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