Neon Tetra

The Neon Tetra is one of the most popular aquarium fish. It is a hardy and inexpensive fish and because of this is the perfect fish for beginner aquarists. A few of the bright, beautiful Neon Tetras will add colour as well as activity to the aquarium. Over 1.5 million Neon tetras are imported to the United States every month!


The Neon tetra has a spindle shaped body and a blunt nose, as do the other tetra fish. A shimmering blue line runs along each side of the tetra’s body, starting at the nose and ending at the adipose fin. The Neon tetra also has a red stripe that runs from its middle to the base of the caudal fin. The side over the blue stripe is a dark olive green. The belly is a shimmering silver and the anal fin is nearly transparent.

Keep an eye on colour

During the night, when the fish is resting in sheltered solitude, the sparkling colours will be turned off and the fish will look dim. If you quickly turn the lights of your aquarium on after a long period of complete darkness, you might not spot your Neon Tetras for a while. If your tetras colour continues to be dull even after some time in the light, your tetras might be sick or even stressed. You might also be feeding them an inadequate diet.

What fish do they get along with?

The Neon Tetra is a serene fish that fits into a community aquarium perfectly, along with other non-aggressive fish species of the same size. Neon tetras look stunning when mixed with other tetra fish. You can combine them with all species of fish and they will look equally as beautiful. Unfortunately, most tetra species aren’t as sturdy as the Neon tetras when it comes to water conditions. You shouldn’t combine Neon tetras with bigger fish that could prey on them, also steer clear of aggressive fish that will bully your poor tetras.

One is the loneliest number

The Neon Tetra is a shoaling fish and you should always keep at a minimum of five Neon Tetras together, even more if possible. A Neon Tetra that is alone will be stressed and spend most of its time hiding. The stress can also weaken its immune system and make it more vulnerable to diseases. A large group of Neon Tetras are also much more beautiful to watch in the aquarium and you will be able to see a much larger range of the behaviour of your Neon Tetras. When kept in a shoal, Neon tetras are lively, energetic fish and they will spend most of their time in the middle to lower layer of the aquarium. Neon Tetras are often known to group together with the closely related Cardinal Tetras.

Feeding these fish

Wild Neon Tetras are omnivores and they will feed on plant matter as well as on crustaceans, worms and small insects. They are not picky eaters in the aquarium and will accept most food types, including flake food, frozen food and freeze-dried food. Keep them on a varied diet to keep them healthy.




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