Are Neon Tetras Easy to Keep?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Are neon tetras easy to keep?

The answer is yes but only as long as you know how to provide them with the right tank conditions. Also, bear in mind to buy a healthy number of tetras as they are shoaling fish. Other breeds of fish in your tank should be compatible with your neon tetras for a calm tank environment.

Let us now explore more about neon tetras and why they adapt to certain conditions only despite being hardy fish.

Neon Tetra Care – Dying Issue? Tank Mates? (Video)


Why is it too hard to keep tetras with other fish?

Neon tetras are really small and delicate. There is a great chance that larger fish would eat them if they are sharing the same tank. It can be a huge problem for you if you just add different species of fish in the same tank without having background information about the requirements of each fish type.

Bigger fish could bully neon tetras and attack them a lot. This would leave your neon tetra feel stressed and uncomfortable. Neon tetras are hardier than cardinal tetras but both of them get along in the same tank and they would not go attacking each other over food, for example.

So, maybe you need to choose carefully the different fish that you want to fill your tank with. A good choice of tankmates is all that matters to keep the neon tetras safe.

Also, the tank that you have might not be planted enough. The other fish might be okay with it, but neon tetras need to live in a place that resembles their original habitat since this relaxes them.

New fish would always be a source of stress for neon tetras that swim in schools and are not used to other types crowding them. So, at least choose the types of fish that are close enough to the tetras’ behaviors to avoid conflicts.

At times, some batches of neon tetras are extremely aggressive for unknown reasons when you first bring them from the pet store. So, when you place them in the tank, they attack other fish and a lot of them would be killed. It is crazy how contradictory this species’ character seems to be; usually so peaceful yet extremely dangerous when it comes to a tank filled with many fish.

How do you keep neon tetras as a beginner pet fish owner?

Once you set your mind on owning a neon tetra, you must already know that you would not be bringing back home only one fish. This is because neon tetras are shoaling species which swim in schools. Taking them out of their schools and isolating them would cause stress.

They easily feel lonely and depressed, so avoid the reasons that would make them feel so. They live in harmony with Glowlight and Cardinal tetra fish, so maybe you can place them all together in the same tank without having to worry about any sudden attacks.

Try as much as possible to make their tank look like their natural habitat. They love to swim among many plants and explore all around it. On doing this, you are one step closer to becoming a professional pet fish owner.

Place the tank in a dark place which does not have exposure to bright light because it scares the neon tetras away. Shade is what makes neon tetras comfortable and it also makes their scales look wonderful and captivating. Next, clean the tank regularly and monitor the water parameters.

Why is it somehow difficult for neon tetras to adapt quickly?

It is not easy for neon tetras to adapt easily to their news tanks because they live in fresh water in their natural habitats. They exist in African and American rivers. The majority of them live in streams, so of course, taking them away from their natural home would make it hard for them to cope with new conditions.

Thus, pet fish owners do their best to familiarize their neon tetras with their new tanks by making it look close enough to a river. This can be done by adding small rocks, a lot of plants, and pebble for the fish to feel homely.

Many beginners find this task very hard to carry out and they would rather buy another species of fish that is easier to handle.

We cannot undermine neon tetras or abhor them for their need for special treatment and care because these little guys are super interesting and their cheerful colors make them look extremely beautiful. They are worthy creatures! Once you know how to deal with them and take care of the water conditions, I promise you will never feel that this is stressful work!

Related questions

Is it better to keep tetras in large tanks? Tanks that are larger than 20 gallons would be perfect for neon tetras. This would give them enough room to swim freely and they will be less stressed. The tank would not feel crowded. But remember to keep the lid secured because neon tetras can jump out of the tanks.

Is it hard to breed neon tetras? Breeding neon tetras is an extremely difficult process unless you are a professional. It is hard to provide them with the convenient atmosphere which would help a male and a female neon tetra mate. Plus, separating the adults from the young neon tetras is another difficult task because the adults can eat their own babies. So you have to interfere immediately as soon as the eggs hatch.

Which are the most challenging tetras to keep? Some of the challenging tetras to keep are Cardinals, penguin tetras and emperors. They need very soft acidic water. So these tetras are not recommended for a beginner to own.

Check out the Interesting video I found here.

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