Can Neon Tetras and Guppies Live Together?

Neon tetras and guppies were designed by nature to live in the same ecosystem. These two species make a great pair as long as there are similarities in the conditions in their habitat and their differences meet halfway. In this article, we are going to find out what those similarities are as well as give you the most important details to remember if you are planning to put neon tetras and guppies together.

Can Neon Tetras and Guppies Live Together?

Yes, neon tetras and guppies can live together in the same aquarium provided there are some similarities in their habitat. Neon tetras need a lot of plants to survive, so you will want to make sure that the tank of your neon tetras and guppies has ample plant life. Guppies also like to swim around in small groups, so be sure to provide them with the appropriate number of neon tetras as tankmates.

Both guppies and neon tetras also love to lay around in shallow water, so be sure to keep the habitat clean. When you are ready for your new pets to meet one another, put them next door into common tanks that have plants or rocks. This will make their first encounter more natural and help them bond before they go deeper into community life together.

What Are the Compatibility Factors of Neon Tetras and Guppies?

Water Levels

Both of these species place an eye for life on the condition of high and low water levels. On average, aquariums with minimal to no fluctuations in their water level will be a perfect home for neon tetras and guppies; however, both types require waters that regularly fluctuate between very hard (additional minerals or CO2) or soft (less hardness) conditions. This is because neon tetras are a tropical group that requires changing temperatures and water levels. Contrary, guppies prefer softer water conditions (approximately 7 – 10 dH).


The temperature of the water affects how long neon tetras and guppies can survive. Fortunately, the temperature that these two species require is not far from each other. The best temperature for neon tetras is between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius) while the ideal temperature for guppies is between 74 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius). In short, as long as you keep the relative temperatures in your aquarium in respect to the requirements of guppies, then you’re all good. If your tank is below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the neon tetras will “freeze” at this low temperature we suggest you keep the water a little warmer.

Habitat And Tank Requirements

Neon tetras and guppies both inhabit aquatic habitats but in different ways. Neon tetras are found in slow-moving, clear lakes while guppies reside in fast-moving streams and rivers. The habitat requirements of these fish species do not affect their compatibility as they live together just fine.

Tank Size

Neon tetras and guppies often swim near their kind and have similar needs when it comes to aquarium size. Both neon tetras and guppies require at least a 10-gallon tank which is the minimum recommended tank size. Just keep in mind that the bigger you go with these fish – thus increasing water volume or raising submersible pumps for re-circulation – the larger the size of the tank that you should consider.


Neon tetras and guppies together in a tank can be fed the same type of food. A good diet for them can include pellets, flake food, and frozen foods such as bloodworms or brine shrimp.

Tank Setup

As neon tetras and guppies grow bigger, they will need several many different swimming areas within their tank; therefore, it is important to provide separate hiding places for them to get undisturbed. This makes their tank more interesting and adorable. On the other hand, it creates a safer environment for the two species of fish; therefore, avoiding unwanted injury or damage can be acquired when two of these live in an aquarium with plants.


Heavy lighting will provide neon tetras and guppies in these situations with a better environment to have some success. A strong about of light is recommended for the lighting needs of an aquarium tank that contains these couple types together.

Schooling Fishes

Both neon tetras and guppies are considered schooling fish. They should be kept in groups of at least six individuals because they get along well with others and will defend their territory. Neon tetras get along well with other tropical fish but can become territorial with other community fish – so it is important to have enough space for them all.

Water Chemistry

The proper balance of pH and hardness for the home of your guppies and neon tetras should be maintained within specific ranges. This is best achieved through regular water changes, or by adding small amounts of aquarium salts and buffers every few weeks. These additions will help balance out exact levels that your pet may need as it adapts to its new environment.

What Other Tankmates Are Suitable for Neon Tetras and Guppies?

  • Goldfish: The goldfish is a beautiful and easy-to-maintain freshwater aquarium fish. They will eat small shrimps, corals, invertebrates, krill and they can be trained as tankmates for both neon tetras and guppies. They are available from 1/2″ to 3″, typically 2-3 inches long. The only diet for them is frozen or live foods such as shopping-bought food for your neon tetra guppies.
  • Bettas, Cories, Zebra Danios: These wild-caught fishes will tolerate neon tetras but as always, be careful when adding any new fish to your tank; they might not get along well with each other.
  • Barbs, Cardinals: The cardinal tetra belongs to the bigger family of fish such as gouramis and livebearers. They do well with neon tetras and guppies!