Neon Tetra care: the ultimate guide

There is various kind of Tetra fish variations in freshwater aquariums. Between them, The Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) fish has a special place. This article is basically for Neon Tetra’s care basics and a guide about how to care for Neon Tetra fish.

Neon Tetra is a small attractive fish from the Tetra family. This fish is native to South America. And has become one of the most popular aquarium fish for fish tank keepers.

This fish has a unique beauty in its colors. The white/silver, neon blue with red color gives this fish natural unique beauty.

Why you should have Neon Tetra in your fish tank?

First of all, This fish is really beautiful to have in an aquarium. If you are love to keep smaller fish types, Neon Tetra is a good choice for your aquarium.

They are not hard to find, Almost every country is selling neon tetras in aquariums stalls and shops. This is not very expensive in the price also.

This fish is very friendly, they will not any other fish in your aquarium. You can add a group of Neon Tetras into your fish tank without any trouble.

If you are having a planted tank or if you’re thinking to set up a planted aquarium, they are one of the best selection for your planted aquarium. This fish even look more beautiful and attractive for a planted background.

This Tetra fish no need a bigger size of fish tanks. They can add in normal and mid-size tanks. I will write more about the tank size and environment later in this article.

The basics details about Neon Tetras and Neon Tetra care

Under this topic, I am about writing some basic details about Neon Tetras and useful details for Neon Tetra’s care. If you about to have this fish, it’s nice to know about the basics of them.

As I write out before, Neon Tetras are a good fish if you are a beginner for aquariums. The main reason for that is when considering the care level for this fish, Neon Tetras are in the easy to care category.

When considering the temperament and behaviour of Neon Tetras, they are very peaceful. They do not harm any other fish in your fish tank.

As the main colors, they have Blue, Red, and kinds of silver color look in their bodies. These neon colors make them really attractive with proper lighting.

An adult Neon Tetra fish is growing about 1.5 inches. They love to live in groups mostly. Having a group of Neon Tetra fish will give an awesome look to your fish tank.

Neon Tetra fish

This fish is a smaller fish, But yet, this tetra has a better lifespan. They can live about 8 years but in an aquarium mostly they live around 5 years with a good environment and with good Neon Tetra care habits.

The Neon Tetra is originally from the Characidae fish family. I will continue the post with care details for fish and other important tips under the next heading. So please keep reading the post.

Important things you should know about Neon Tetra care

Whenever you are about keeping a fish, you should have a better knowledge of how to care for them. This is really important to care about.

This fish is none aggressive and a perfect community fish for your fish tank. So you must take care to add Neon Tetras in the tank with matching tank mates. They cannot live with aggressive fish or bigger fish types like carp fish.

Neon Tetras are living as a group. There should be at least 15 fish in your tank to make their life easier and healthy. Otherwise, they might get stress in your tank environment.

This fish should be kept in schools with at least 15 members.

This fish is taking the Omnivorous diet as their foods. This means that Neon Tetras will east both plant-based and meat-based foods. Giving a proper diet will keep this fish healthy.

Tank and Environment setup for Neon Tetras

As the tank setup, These fish need to have at least a 10-gallon size tank to live (for 15 fish). They are freshwater fish and love to live in planted setups.  Natural-looking tank backgrounds make their life easier and make them more attractive.

Same as planted setups, A setup with dwarf woods and stones kind of natural-looking environment is also good for this fish. Neon Tetras are originally found from rivers in the Amazon, So they love to live river kind natural environments.

Same as for other fish, You should care about your tank water condition to keep them healthy.

The immune system of this fish not designed to handle highly bacteria levels. They are good on black water and you should care for them to avoid having neon tetra disease.

This fish needs to have clean and clean water in your fish tank. Using biofilters is a good habit to do to keep clean water for this fish.

Biofiltration helps you to have clean water in your fish tank with a low bacteria count and this is a very plus point for your neon tetra fish.

The water temperature of their fish tank should be between 70°F to 81°F.

You should take care of the filter system of the tank also. But Since this Tetra fish producing very little bio loads as a smaller freshwater fish, A sponge kind smaller filter will be ok for them.

Best tank mates for Neon Tetras

When adding tank mates to a Neon Tetra tank, You should make sure that the fish you adding or the fish types already lives in the tank will not harm the normal behaviour of Neon Tetra fish.

So you should know about the best tanks mates for Neon Tetras. Here below in this paragraph, I will add a small list of freshwater fish that you can add the tank mates for Neon Tetra.

You should take care to avoid adding aggressive and large size fish types like Bettas, Discus fish, Carp fish, Bigger gourami types, Cichlids, etc.

Basically, when selecting a tank mate for Neon Tetras, you should make sure to choose smaller and none aggressive fish types. With those fish types, Neon Tetras can live peacefully and without any trouble.


By this article I have tried to cover some important details which every Neon Tetra fish keeper should know, I have categorized the details by two main headings as reasons to have Neon Tetras in your tank, The basics details about Neon Tetra fish and Important details of caring Neon Tetra fish.

Then under the Important details heading, I have created another two subheadings which describe the basics details about the tank and environment setup for this fish and the best tank mates you can add wit the Neon tetra fish.

With the headings and Subheading, I have separated all the detail for you to make it ready easy. So if you feel this article is useful, Please don’t forget to share it with your friends.

You can also share your thoughts about the article by adding a comment from the below section.

Read my other articles also. wish you to have happy aquarium times.

6 thoughts on “Neon Tetra care: the ultimate guide

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  • February 24, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Hi there! It’s great to see that you are trying to help beginners in the hobby with your guides, however, I would like to point out a few things in this particular article that are very inaccurate.

    Neon tetras ARE NOT A GOOD BEGINNER FISH. They are a fish native to water with extremely low bacteria counts (black water). Thus, their immune system is not designed to handle the high bacteria load of an uncycled, newly cycled or under filtered aquarium in the care of any level of hobbyist. They frequently contract “neon tetra disease” (which by the way, the tetra in the second image is a perfect example of; note the pale white underbelly, “S” curve of the blue stripe and downturned tail due to muscular damage causing a curved spine and the head down swimming position…this is a sick fish!!!) and succumb to a variety of very common bacterial infections found in every aquarium.

    They require incredibly clean water (think “crystal clear”) with very low bacterial counts, which can only be achieved with established/adequate biofiltration. This is not something most beginners understand nor have the patience to achieve.

    While neon tetras may be a nice splash of colour, inexpensive, easy to find, not aggressive with other fish, none of these things matter if the hobbyist does not understand the mechanisms that are key to keeping ANY fish healthy, especially sensitive black water species such as Neons.

    Neon tetras can be a rewarding fish to keep, but they are probably the #1 most killed fish in the hobby because of common misconceptions.

    • February 24, 2021 at 9:40 am

      Hi at first, thanks for reading the article adding a comment. I will update those things in the article and the image as well. I think you have pointed out some important things about the neon tetra and required updated that need to be in the article that useful when giving a good guiding to new people. I have updated the article and the image. Thanks again for helping me to share information with people.
      Keep in touch.

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