Are Neon Tetras Tropical Fish: Create a Tropical Aquarium

Neon tetra fish are a must-have for every aquarist, especially those who love or are into aquarium decoration. This is because these fish do not need much space to live in, and can be easily kept in an aquarium of any size. These fish are a natural favorite to aquariums, as they are extremely hardy and adaptable. They can be purchased in a variety of colors, and most varieties will keep the same color throughout their life span.

If you’re wondering, are neon tetras tropical fish? Well, we are about to find that out now!

Are Neon Tetras Tropical Fish?

Yes, neon tetras are tropical fish. They are, in fact, quite adapted to the warmer water conditions prevalent in our aquariums. The type of fish popularity in America owes itself to the fact that these are among one of the most beautiful and hardy aquarium fish. The best thing about them is that they require less space than other tropical species, making them a perfect choice for beginners.

But still, they do require quite some attention. This is because these tropical fish need proper care, especially with different factors that can affect their health. They are not that difficult to raise, especially if the aquarium is well-stocked with live food. If kept inside an aquarium properly stocked with enough life-giving plants and algae, each generation produces much more offspring than the previous.

What Is the Best Temperature for Neon Tetras as Tropical Fish?

These fish are known to be adaptable, and they can thrive in environments with a wide range of temperatures but the best range would be from 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 76 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius). During the winter season, it might be a lot harder to maintain the desired temperatures for the aquarium. For most premium planted aquariums, however, it can still be easily achieved especially with a heater.

Where Do Neon Tetras Live in the Wild?

Neon tetras have an affinity for moving water, but they are widely adapted to a wide range of other aquatic conditions.

Creeks, rivers, and fast-flowing streams where nutrients and cool currents abound in the summertime — along with caves or dark areas on smaller bodies of water. Neon tetra habitats include lowlands or shallows near almost any flowing stream, roadside ditches, swampy areas, and ponds.

They can also be found in smaller bodies of water that are fed by a creek or river with stable conditions; most often laying just under the water’s surface. Ponds can be up to 5 feet deep on average, but they usually only extend 3 to 6 feet below the surface in shallower locations. Shallow areas such as stock tanks don’t offer much protection for fish because predators have very shallow depths where they hunt and lay eggs.

How to Create Tropical Environment for Neon Tetra?

The average lifespan for neon tetras is around two to three years but some can live up to 10 years. When considering caring for them, always remember that they are gentle animals that should be respected and handled with care at all times, especially when they are eating or spawning.

To ensure that they are fed properly, it is important to give them their own space in the tank. Neon tetras do not like being crowded and will become stressed when this happens. It is also recommended that you feed them once a day with live food or frozen foods that are easy for them to eat such as bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and insect larvae.

If you wish to keep neon tetras in a reef aquarium you can do so with them having their own little space in the main display. Keep in mind that they need around 30 gallons to live comfortably, preferably without any hiding places like rocks and caves where there is too much competition for food or light.

To create a tropical environment for neon tetras, you’ll need to follow the following general guidelines:


The breeding of tropical neon tetra fish consists of selecting a suitably sized containment tank. The most recommended fish tank size for neon tetras is the 20-gallon tank because these tropical fish will be more healthy with a spacious home where they can thrive. The aquarium must be well-lit, but not too bright. The light should come from a combination of the lights on the aquarium and the fluorescent tubes in the tank. This will ensure that neon tetras have plenty of lighting to support their metabolism.

Tropical Fish Foods

Tropical fish foods such as frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, and pellet food are the best choices for your neon tetras in the aquarium. The amount you prefer to feed them may vary depending on how many fish are in the tank. Flakes are better for young kids of neon tetra. Flakes are also ideal for adult neon tetra which often warrants higher proportions. Pellets or finely processed flakes could cover any specific requirement your fish has in terms of health.

Tank Mates

Tropical fish tanks need proper tank mates because neon tetra makes buddies with the other tropical water dwellers. This is why you want to avoid using any type of community aquarium for your neon tetras, especially those living in large freshwater aquariums or ponds. The extremely popular species that could be kept together with neon tetras include guppies, zebra danios, and dwarf gourami.


The choice for the substrate is not simple at all. When deciding on what to put in your aquarium, you have to consider the purpose of it which ideally would be either breeding, vigorous growth, or aquatic decorations. All of these purposes are even more important and should help decide upon the correct substrates that have been chosen. Some of the best substrates for neon tetras are sand, gravel, and even bare bottom will do.

Water Chemistry

Water chemistry for neon tetras is important to keep them healthy and performing optimally. The water should have a pH level of between 6.8 and 7.8 and water hardness of 2-10 dH, and contain less than 1% of total dissolved solids. The water hardness is measured in degrees of hydronium ion activity (dH) and refers to the same scale as used by your aquarium fish stores.


Neon tetras love hiding places such as rocks off tank’s walls. A few plants such as crypts or ferns will also work just fine. First, put all your plants in one locker to find which is most suitable for you and paint it green with verdant leaves on top of it; this means that it should have good light penetration. Based on the size of your tank and other plants, you can then put one rock in there to make it easy for them to access the light they need and get enough sunlight while swimming though this short section is a particularly important part of their habitat that permits feeding time.