Are Neon Tetras Hardy: Why and Tankmates to Consider

Neon tetras are a unique species of freshwater fish that can be found in the Amazon. They are small, colorful and sometimes territorial creatures, making them an appealing addition to any tank. They are so distinctive that they have even inspired an entire subculture: neon tetras are affectionately known as “nana” fish because of their diminutive size.

In this article, we are going to find out if neon tetras are hardy, as well as discuss the most significant details that you need to know when keeping this kind of fish.

Are Neon Tetras Hardy?

Neon tetras fall into the hardy fish category. That is, if you can keep their tank clean and properly planted. If not, they may spoil rather quickly in your aquarium basket because of their simple bad habits like constantly eating algae. Neon tetras can be kept in aquariums with tanks less than 50 gallons. However, if you are keeping more than one of these unique fish together in a smaller tank, it would only make sense to get them all their own individual chambers.

Photo showing a tropical, freshwater fish tank filled with neon tetras (Paracheirodon innesi). This species, popular with fish hobbiyists due to its iridescent colouring, is native to the South American countries of Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

Why Are Neon Tetras Hardy?

Neon tetras are hardy because this species is defined by its ability to adapt readily to changing environmental factors. It does not matter what type of water your tank has, the tetras can make it work for them because they are able to survive in a wide range of conditions. Additionally, neon tetras have mouthparts that constantly grow and evolve according to how their environment changes so they can adjust accordingly should any complications come up with their mouths while eating.

Some types of neon tetras also have some unique traits that you should know about before diving into a tank to bring home. Rarely, they tend to fade and die from stress, like dying in the sun or getting sick when treated harshly. For example, darkening their fins could be an indication of sickness within them (this is different for every fish). Another thing you should keep in mind with neon tetra’s is that they tend to overpopulate in a small tank. They are also incredibly messy fish and can easily make their own mess for decoration, along with water wood waste or anything else that is inside the aquarium. Keeping them isolated from other breeds of fish will help ensure they stay well fed.

What Are Good Tank Mates for Hardy Neon Tetras?

Neon tetras are easy to keep with other fish that meet their requirements. Among the most popular types of fish with which to keep a neon tetra, besides their relatively peaceful nature, are guppies. The two can live quite happily together without any problems except not being compatible for breeding or fighting among each other (they will calmly and peaceably co-exist but nearly always choose to breed in separate tanks).

If neon tetras are kept together with smaller types of fish like guppies then, on one hand, all the male colors should be visible against a background of female colors: greenish-black and yellow in males; stripes as well as spots tinged blue/green or golden in females. The colors of the male are even more vivid if the tank is designed to provide fertile substrate so that he has better chances at hatching eggs; on another hand these males may be threatened by potential larger and tougher rivals. For therefore neon tetras should only be kept with fish below up t 13 cm (5 inches).

Other choices for tank mates include medium to large sized open water fish like koi carp, albino peacock bass, goldfish or guppies because they offer protection against predatory juvenile cichlids and allow suitable hiding places for neon tetras.

Cardinal Tetra in aqua

What Are Bad Tank Mates for Hardy Neon Tetras?

Neon tetras thrive best under a variety of well-behaved community fish. Fish that are equally wary, such as rare fishes and plecos can cause stress in neon tetra’s fragile behavior.

If you are going to keep other fish in your tank, it is important that the fish themselves do not eat neon tetras. These fish will happily consume any of their tankmates who have a more expensive taste! In general, raising baby cichlids with them utilizes little space: towards this end, all juvenile cichlids will eat neon tetras too. In time, your tank may have a good balance of fish you want as well as others that are suitable for the environment; although if you happen to add unnecessary difficult fish into the tank such as swordtails with sharp teeth or any other large predatory fishes, they can harm your newly introduced neon tetras!

Avoid adding other fish that are large, robust, and fast swimming because they will not give your neon tetras room to breath in the aquarium which can lead to suffocation. It’s also recommended for tank mates with no caution already due to their behavior that you choose females so as not to get fin rot on her body.

Also keep in mind to avoid other active adventurers such as white cloud mountain minnows or guppies because they will likely eat the neon tetra if treated harshly enough.

Paracheirodon axelrodi with beautiful background

Which Tank Is Best for Hardy Neon Tetras?

The best tank for neon tetras is one close to the natural conditions they come from like a slightly larger breeder aquarium that also has plants and live rocks. For landscaping purposes you should pick aqua scape plants that allow enough room for swimming. If you have plants near your tank, be sure that their roots don’t show through the water’s surface so they won’t harm your fish either. To keep your neon tetras healthy, addition of aquarium plants is really recommended as it will also provide a natural cover that helps reduce any potential aggression from bigger fish or larger invertebrates like shrimp and other crustaceans for the young ones. It prevents ammonia levels in the water, which can harm sensitive bioluminescent animals like them by increasing nitrate levels when left unchecked during their growth stages.

Trees are also an excellent addition to the tank due to their medicinal qualities as a source of food and shelter, some ornamental fish such as large clown loaches also offer beneficial cover for neon tetras in case they have too much air space or feel threatened by larger ornamentals around themselves.

In their natural habitats neon tetras live in fast flowing, rocky or sandy waters with steeply sloping sides which also offer cover spots for swimming. They should be provided with such a habitat at home too. A cave decoration can also help them feel more at home, but be sure to maintain these decorations because otherwise it could become an ideal trap! If you decide your treatment lacks enough space in your current tank, consider investing in a freshwater planted community aquarium or raise the temperature of your established freshwater aquarium up to.

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