Can Neon Tetra Live With Betta Fish: The Whys and Hows

Neon tetras are one of the most popular fish species in the freshwater aquarium hobby. They are generally peaceful and peaceful, making them great tank mates for other fish, invertebrates, and amphibians. Neon tetras also make good beginner fish because they are hardy and will not jump out of their tanks.

Now to the main question: can neon tetra live with betta fish? We are about to find out the answer in this article as well as the factors behind and instructions of how you can combine these two species in your aquarium.

Can Neon Tetra Live With Betta Fish?

Yes, neon tetras can live with betta fish. However, there are some mutual incompatibilities between the two species that are rooted in the fact that neither requires water conditions suited for their physical and behavioral needs, so it’s likely these two can never coexist without a lot of effort from you. A safe yet together tank environment means modifying the pH balance, temperature to match your aquarium parameters, and other related factors depending on what type of freshwater community works best for you.

What Are the Compatibility Factors of Neon Tetras and Betta Fish?

Under these factors, succeeding in the cooperation of your betta and neon tetra will require an agreeable aquarium environment that lets both have a comfortable life.

Water Conditions

Water conditions must be at neutral pH Level. Neon tetras are quite sensitive to sharp changes in water parameters (pH), so it starts from here.

Neon tetras don’t require warm water conditions but it helps them feel more comfortable in general as well as makes their living process easier to manage. Providing every invertebrate and algae-classed water will increase the chances of getting this species in aquariums with betta fish peacefully along since they’re more noticeable at lower temperatures than to a wild due to their unusual appearance.

Water Quality

Water quality must be maintained individually accordingly. Betta fish require soft, acidic waters that are ideally kept on unchanging temperature with slight variations (which is what happens naturally). This aspect shouldn’t be over-estimated, especially for live bearing species that need constant blending of eggs when breeding. When the water parameters in your tank aren’t taken into account during full cycling, chances are more ecological decay will occur with the ammonia and nitrite levels either rising, or you might end up purchasing an entire new tank to get rid of those damaging leftovers. Stability is important because these fish are delicate when it comes to water that may vary too much. Some species of the fish can be more sensitive to slightly increase temperatures such as making a bubble swimming surface for them, especially neon tetras, regularly boiling up and down at racy speeds could be potentially uncomfortable and you have to consider that.

Tank Parameters

80 gallons of minimum aquarium capacity is suggested for neon tetras while 55 gallons for the betta fish. Tank sizes are highly individualized, but other common parameters being taken into consideration by a variety of aquarists with thriving success include the following:


Lighting is addressed as under water lighting in general – LEDs can be more ideal and preferred application such as fluorescent lights and hoods to filter out specific wavelengths supported by fascinating backgrounds. Neon tetras are easy and easier to maintain with regular zooplankton feedings, but their special needs aren’t limited so it’s hard to determine the ideal tank size that would fit yours.

Water Hardness

Water hardness/pH is determined by a central reading and can be affected by the aquarist deciding to measure or use an acidic water conditioner for higher aggressive resistance whereas other processes are less obvious such as rainwater runoff, de-chlorination from chlorinated tap water. You’ll have to weigh all these factors up in order for you to find out what would work with your particular circumstances.


Diet speaks a lot regarding the difference of neon tetra and betta fish. Neon tetras are omnivores while bettas are carnivores. While neon tetras feed on live plants, bettas don’t. Betta fish need to consume a healthy diet, comprising live food and vitamin tablets. Live foods are fine choices such as worms which love betta caretakers because they have easy access along glass sides of their tank. Pellets you can purchase at pet stores are created with high-quality ingredients that include meats like shrimp and spirulina without salt or preservatives.

How to Introduce Tetras to a Betta Tank?

If you have never tried adding a tetra to your betta tank, then it is suggested that they be introduced at the same time. A single lost female or male might not survive in their “group” and will most likely get eaten quickly by the larger males but with an introduction towards one another, both are more likely to appreciate each other for swimming companionship as well as experiment with behavior adjustments like fin height movement during courtships.

If you are going to use the same type of fish as a first timer, then this would make adding two or more species easier. This can also be done using many different colored tetras at once which is an excellent way for beginners that want to provide colorful components in their betta tank without overloading it with too much neon/cichlid territory as these cichlids will consume everything in sight and could potentially even attack them. This will ensure you have nits interact and relay on your aquarium’s ecosystem properly despite problems with proper compatibility dynamics later in life.

What Are Other Tanks Mates for Bettas?

Fish that are good tank mates with neon tetras are also compatible with bettas most of the time.

The Comet Catfish is one of the best freshwater catfishes for betta fish because of its calm demeanor when compared to others, clown-like behavior around it’s tank mates, and spawning behavior along with its cool appearance. The Silverside goby could make a good addition for many species of freshwater fish because it doesn’t mind being added to small aquariums. In return, that’s what makes this easier and the compatibility is excellent although not ideal; plus it looks pretty cool too!

What Are Other Tanks Mates for Neon Tetras?

The two main fish suggested for an ideal choice to keep as a tank mate with neon tetras are pufferfish and guppy.

Puffers are easy going and peaceful by nature when it comes down to other fishes which includes smaller cichlids. This makes them incredibly friendly with neon tetras than most other types of fish would be in comparison, just because they will relate happily more on their own level.

Even though they are sociable by nature, pufferfish can be incredibly territorial when it comes down to their tank mates so therefore make sure to watch out for them but maybe adding another few of its own kind as well if possible is not a bad idea in the long run because this improves on any chances that you might get infected with an aggressive personality; especially since neon tetras are extremely shy and usually stay at the bottom of the tank.

Another easy-going fish to add in with the neon tetras would be a small guppy which is a popular aquarium pet, due to its incredibly friendly nature towards other newbie pets and even then they can coexist as long as there are no small fishes/shrimps around them (which means you shouldn’t put any tetras of certain species together unless it’s not their home colony). Although guppies do love to swim their on, they will definitely consider your fins with want to remain in the top levels of the fish tank which makes them a suitable choice for keeping alongside strongly sensitive neon tetras.