7 Tips for Keeping Neon Tetras in an Aquarium


Today, I’m going to be giving you guys the 7 tips for keeping neon tetras in an aquarium. So this is going to be a video basically giving you 7 things that I really wish I knew when I was beginner about these guys. There’re some really useful tips.

Today, I’m going to go a bit more in-depth on them and give you some little pieces of knowledge that I’ve got about caring for them and some things that I’ve noticed over the past 7 years of keeping fish.

How To Keep Neon Tetras in An Aquarium

Keep The Aquarium A Little Bit Dark

dark auqrium

Number 1 is going to be to keep the aquarium a little bit dark. Neon tetras are black water fish. They love it to be full of tannins and they really like it to be peed here. So, they come from the Amazon and a lot of the streams and the Amazon are full of muddy water. We call that black water, so they like it to be very, very soft. Basically, black water is just tea water. The reason they have that beautiful blue line is because they’ve adapted to those black water scenarios.

So, they are schooling fish, they’re going to go around your aquarium and they’re going to stay all together like a big school. They need that big blue line to let each other know where they are in the water. Basically, they’re not going to like very intense light. So, I recommend not keeping this huge LED light to keep it very light transient and keep it very mellow and they’re going to really enjoy that.

So, if you want to know a couple of extra bonus tips, I definitely recommend adding a couple of these to your aquarium. These guys are Indian Armen. These are a leaf. That’s going to release a lot of talents to your aquarium and they’re going to be super beneficial to neon tetras, and that’s for a few reasons. So these guys will lower the pH a little bit which doesn’t really matter.

Basically, these guys are going to also act as an antifungal. So, if you guys get some new neon tetras, add a couple of these to your aquarium. They’re going to absolutely thank you for it because they’re going to help them a lot and they’re also going to add laurel leaf to the down to the bottom aquarium and, in my opinion, it makes a really cool display when it has lots of decaying, leaves lit up, and they’re going to absolutely love it.

It’s going to tear up the water and it’s going to turn it into like more of a blackwater style of a chrome which they’re going to absolutely love. So, my first tip is to make sure that the aquarium isn’t too bright. They love dark water and it’s going to be really beneficial if you keep them in dark water.

Keep A Lower pH

brilliant tetra

So, my second tip is going to be to keep them in a lower pH. So, these guys are one of the most common fish in the entire aquarium hobby and that’s for a few reasons. They’re going to be cheap and they’re also going to be super easy to take care of. But I made this list to basically graduate you guys from keeping them like in okay conditions and give them the best conditions possible. So, giving them a lower pH is going to be a lot more beneficial than it would be if you gave them in harder pH.

So, I’m not going to live mine and mostly kept at about 7.8, which is very high, but that’s just the tap water in my area. So, I do a lot of lowering the pH and stuff like that to get them into breeding conditions, and some are normally kept from about 6.5 to a 7.8, which is the super high range, but they can’t always fluctuating and I’m just using that method to breed them, but I recommend keeping them under 7 and they’re going to do really well.

So, they love that kind of lower acidic water which they’re going to get in the black water streams and the Amazon and stuff like that they can absolutely thank you for if you start to keep them in very low pHs. This is obviously not a necessity. If you can consistently give them a low pH, it’s going to be really beneficial. I wouldn’t recommend doing like any pH lowering if you can’t continuously keep it like a boy or, if you’re not going to use some natural remedies to lower it.

If you are going to start adding any of that pH lowering stuff, definitely don’t try and do this. Its’s not going to be absolutely necessary and it might like shock your fish. If you start to do this, because obviously these guys are very prone to very sudden water changes and stuff like that, so make sure to keep your aquarium as consistent as possible. But if you guys have the opportunity to keep the pH a little bit lower, I’d definitely do it.

Keep Them In Schools


Tip number 3 is going to be to keep them in schools of over eight. So far too often I see people picking these guys up because they just want to add something to their aquarium because they look super sick. Obviously, they’re really cool-looking and I can see why a lot of people get tempted to add them to their aquarium. But these guys are schooling fish and they do go a bit weird when they’re not in schools of like over 8.

So, I don’t recommend keeping about eight of these guys. It’s like the perfect amount to see in a school, this cattle look pretty small actually as a school you’ll notice not that many fish. It’s kind of a theme for me where it only makes sense to keep them in schools of eight, because otherwise, just going to stress them out and they’re going to be in the wild, and they’re going to be normally in schools of like a hundred. If you keep them in schools of under eight, they’re going to go obviously a little bit weird.

It’s obviously very important to try and give them the best environment possible because you’re going to have a lot of success keeping these guys. In fact, they can live up to ten years. So, if you want to keep them for that long, I don’t know how many people actually successfully do this, but if you want to keep them for that long, those are the procedures and methods and steps you’re going to have to take.

You have to make sure that you always have quite a few of these guys in your aquarium, because, trust me, I’ve kept schooling fish in small schools and they’ve gotten so weird.

Keeping In A Planted Aquarium


Tip number four is going to be to keep them in a planted aquarium, so I can’t stress this one enough: I see so many people keeping neon tetras in aquariums that aren’t plants, that are like blue gravel aquariums. I see like pirate ship decorations and all this fake plants and stuff like that guys trust me. Okay, I’ll be completely honest and transparent. My first aquarium it did have blue gravel. I hope someday I’ll find a fight all of it to show you because it was atrocious. Get rid of gravel stuff and add some plants.

There’s a whole range of different, easy to care for plants. They’re going to make a huge difference to your chrome and the health and the neon tetras. So, I recommend something like water sprite or water wisteria or some swords or anubius or some cribs. There’s literally a whole entire array of different plants you can add, and the reason I say this is for the health of the neon tetras. So, plants do a really good job of taking out nitrates from the aquarium, so they use a lot of the chemicals that are produced by obviously fish waste and they use them to grow.

They’re going to do a really good job of pretty much acting as sponges and sucking out all the nasty stuff in your chrome and making the aquarium safe to live in. So do them a favor, go and add some plants. All of the plants in this aquarium are super easy to take care of. Actually, don’t dose in co2. I don’t normally dose any fertilizers.

What you see here is as a result of no further, so it’s really not hard to create a planted, aquarium and they’re going to do really well on a planted aquarium. We’re going to see a big difference if you move them from blue gravel aquarium and you bring them over to a really nice planted aquarium. We can see a huge difference in their behavior and the health. They’re even going to get fatter and stuff like that. I just absolutely love it.

Feed A Varied Diet

Tip number five is going to be one of the most practical tips on this list. This is going to be something that’s going to help a lot of people out and something you can change today, and this is going to be to feed them a varied diet. So, I don’t have my chocolate flakes. I need to go. Buy some more, but I’ve got some spirulina flakes. So basically, what’s going to happen is when you go to your fish shop and you buy your neon tetras, you probably going to get sold something like this.

Probably not this exact product, you’re probably going to get sold some tropical flakes. They’re going to tell you just feed this and it’s going to be absolutely fine. Now look. I’ve said this so many times. Yes, they’ll be absolutely fine, but this guide going to be pretty much aimed at making them have not just fine. We want to keep them at the best conditions possible.

So, yes, tropical flakes and stuff like that are designed to create a rounded diet now look. They definitely do a very, very good job of this. I fed top of the flakes for years to fish. When I first started here my fish and they did absolutely fine, but there is a big difference between feeding just triple flakes and feeding like a whole range of different other kinds of fruits.

You don’t need to get like big cultures of stuff and culture up, brunch and all that kind of stuff or do live foods, which is going to be really confusing. For a lot of you who are newbies, you can pretty much get some frozen foods. So, like some frozen branch and they’re going to absolutely love some frozen Daphney and frozen Cyclops, which you can get at your local fish store. Even your local chain pet store will normally sell all of these frozen foods and feeding these guys some frozen foods once or twice a week. It’s going to be really beneficial.

I also recommend feeding some like plant material. So, it’s Marilia nor wafers and stuff like that. It’s going to be super helpful because these guys are homeless, so they like plant matter and they also like to have some meat in their diet. So, I feed them the staple of some tropical flakes. It’s going to be really, but then also adding a few extra things here and there it’s going to be really good too. A little tip that I’m going to add it’s also when you’re feeding dry goods like chocolate flakes also experiment with some micro pellets and things like that.

Mine really do like the micro pellets, and I find quite often that they go for the micro pellets. Instead of the flakes, they really like them a lot more, and I think that obviously mixing between all these commercial foods is going to round out the diet a bit more and give them all the nutrients that they need.

Neon Tetras Inspection


Tip number six is going to be to inspect your neon tetras like crazy before you buy them. So, the reason I say this is because of a disease called the neon tetra disease. So yes, this is very descriptive. That’s literally what it’s called and basically what this disease is it grows like a lot of little cysts and stuff like that on the neon tetras, which aren’t good. Basically, it’s a neon tetra from the inside out and it’s very contagious and there’s no cure for this at the moment.

So, using general cures and stuff like that, doesn’t really help it and it just creates a total mess in your chrome and literally, the only way to combat this is to not get it. So, prevention is key. When you buy your neon tetras make sure that none of the neon tetras have any cysts on them or fungal infections or rotten fins or nip fins and stuff like that. You want to get the best neon tetras possible because you can try to keep them for quite a few years.

So, before buying neon tetras, inspect them. What I actually recommend to do is to ask your local fish store or to ask the pet store that when you buy them to give them a quick feed and then pick out the most active ones. Don’t buy any skinny ones. You want to get the healthiest ones possible, and this is going to be a really important thing, especially for you who are looking into buying them, make sure you inspect them like crazy. I can’t stress this enough.


Tip number seven is going to be super simple, and this is going to be consistency. Consistency is key with these fish. I can’t stress it enough. These guys need to be kept in the same environment for pretty much their whole entire lives. They can’t have very many ammonia spikes. That’s the number one thing to stay away from. But basically you’ve got to try and keep this environment as consistent as possible, and the best way to do this is to have already cycled tank, so make sure the aquarium that you’re adding them to is cycled and then have a huge ammonia spike when you add them, because that will definitely kill them.

Make sure that when you do water changes, you’re not adding too many chemicals to the aquarium and mixing it all up and making a massive mess of these guys. Keep your aquarium simple. It’s going to be super beneficial for you. So, don’t go around messing up the aquarium and adjusting stuff to try and keep it as natural as possible. Add a few plants to your aquarium. Add some substrate to create some beneficial bacteria in it, and it’s going to be a really good key for you.

So that was the list.

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