Are Neon Tetras Hardy?

Are neon tetras hardy?

Yes, neon tetras are hardy fish. Yet, they take some time to adapt to new water conditions. During their first week in a new tank, neon tetras can feel a bit off-color.

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

What is the best tank for neon tetras?

  • Buy them a relatively large aquarium with at least 10 gallons of water
  • Cycle the tank prior to placing any fish in it
  • Cover the filter because the fish could be sucked into it
  • Get your aquarium planted
  • Monitor the pH level between 6.5-7.0
  • Place the tank in subdued lighting
  • Add some other fish with the neon tetras
  • Feed the fish twice or thrice daily

Water Chemistry

Water is the essence that either keeps the neon tetras healthy or endangers their lives. As we said, they are fragile creatures and can not cope with unstable water conditions. A cycled aquarium is a nice option to keep your neon tetras healthy. Be careful because the more ammonia there is in the water, the higher is the risk of fish to die. So, clean the water on regular weekly basis by nitration.  Always check the water chemistry because the water gets polluted easily after the feeding time. Of course the temperature of the water is an important issue that we can never ignore or overlook. It plays a big role to provide the neon tetras with a convenient atmosphere. Any unexpected changes in the temperature of the water could cause stress to the fish. As mentioned above, the water temperature in your neon tetra fish’s tank should be 70°F and 81°F with a pH level above 6.5 and a little below 7.0. Furthermore, we explained that neon tetra is a sociable creature that cannot stand swimming in a tank devoid of its own kind. Thus, you always have to put into consideration filling your tank with friendly neon tetras and maybe you can also choose some other smaller types of fish. Neon tetras swim in schools, so do not keep a neon tetra in isolation to prevent any risk of stress to the fish. Neon tetras that live alone hide and shy away every time someone approaches their tank. So, it is true that owning them as a pet could be a bit challenging, but it is not impossible. On the contrary, you will enjoy having them at home. It is a task that needs someone who is very patient and precise. You need to have an eye that can detect any strange behaviour, even though it might not be noticeable to anyone around you. Just know the fact that this type of fish is not as simple as it looks like; it requires effort and concentration to keep it alive and healthy.


If you are just waiting for your neon tetras to mate, then I believe you will never get the chance to see that. Neon tetras need a certain type of environment to mate. The females carry eggs in their bellies but no fertilization takes place in a tank filled with other fish. So, if you really cannot wait to see the neon tetra’s babies, you need to take a male and a female neon tetra and place them in a separate tank to give them space to mate without disturbance. Certainly, this is not just it. You need to filter the water consequently to remove any wastes and also take care of the water’s temperature to be suitable for the new baby neon tetras if their parents fish really succeed in mating. Then you need to place the tank in a dark place. The process of picking an adult male and female neon tetra is complicated, but it has to be aced in order to guarantee the chance of mating. After two days together, the tetras must spawn (deposit eggs). After the eggs hatch, remove the adult fish from the tank because there is a chance that they would eat their babies. Yes, that is a sad story, but it is true.

Tank enemies

Since neon tetras are small fish that are very vibrant, they tend to make a good prey for bigger fish that are attracted by their colors. You cannot really be sure that your neon tetras would not end up getting devoured by its tank mates even if the other types of fish are just slightly larger. If neon tetras feel threatened, they change themselves into transparent fish to hide away from their enemies. This might sound cool but if your fish would be feeling unsafe and uncomfortable at all times, they would always appear transparent and not in their sensational colors. They are very friendly fish but let that not hinder you from believing that they are sensitive and delicate.

Related questions

Can neon tetras live with a goldfish? This is impossible to happen; because both types of fish are extremely different and they require different water conditions.

Is it harder to take care of guppies or neon tetras? Guppies are harder to take care of, but both types of fish are good for beginners. Neon tetras love being accompanied with guppies since they are very peaceful and delicate fish.

What does a female neon tetra look like? A female neon tetra is curvier than a male fish. The belly of the female counterpart is larger.

What are the best tank mates for neon tetras? Any small fish that are peaceful and non-aggressive like Platies, Guppies, and Mollies would be great tank mates for medium-sized neon tetras.


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