Guppies and Neon Tetras – Can You Keep Them Together?
The first thing you will notice about guppies and Neon Tetras is their vibrancy. These two colorful aquarium fish share a lot in common.
They are easy to keep fish, therefor many beginners choose to keep guppies or neon tetras as their first aquatic pets.
Both fish are very peaceful, so they get along well with most of the aquarium fish species.
So, can you keep Guppies and Neon Tetras in the same tank? Yes! However, if you want to make them thrive in your tank, you should take in consideration few factors.
Below I have highlight some of these factors. Now, let’s find out more about these two lovely aquarium fish.
Both are Schooling Aquarium Fish
I might surprise you but, both Neon Tetras and Guppies are considered schooling fish. When keeping in aquarium, guppies also show shoaling characteristics.
All schooling fish prefer their own kind for obvious reasons.
First of all, such species of fish feel comfortable when they are in the company of their own kind. Secondly, the same species have the same behavior so it will be easier for them to get along. And this is the same case with Guppies and Neon Tetras.
The two aquarium fish species are adapted to swimming around in large groups. This behavior is more prevalent when they are in the wild. Schooling is a means of protecting each other and that’s why you will see Neon Tetras and Guppies in large groups.
So, to make them feel secure and comfortable, you should be placing them in groups of not less than six. Keep in mind that they should be all of the same size to avoid conflicts and bulling.
Habitat and Tank Conditions
Both the Guppies and Neon Tetras are native to warm tropical fresh waters of the Amazon (South America). This means their tank water conditions should match those of their natural habitat.
Such conditions will make the two species of aquarium fish to thrive in an environment that is similar to what they are used in the wild.
You must ensure that the conditions of water in the tank is perfect. The reason for providing correct water parameters is to enable certain bacteria to break down harmful substances found in water into less harmful for the survival of your fish.
You will realize that most of the aquarium hobbyists prefer a 10-gallon tank to keep their Guppies and Neon Tetras. This is the best size of an aquarium to ensure that your fish have enough space to move around.
More space reduces cases of aggression among tank mates. But this should not worry you because Guppies and Neon Tetras are less aggressive tank fish.
Still on the tank conditions, you must be aware that these fish thrive best under a certain temperature range. The right temperature in this regard should range between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is advisable to place a heater in the aquarium and a thermometer to ensure that the required temperature is maintained all the time.
Guppies and Neon Tetras can withstand some variations in the tank. These two types of fish are known to tolerate pH ranging from 5.5 to 8.5. But the best pH for them is 7.0 or 7.2.
Just like the rest of tank fish, Neon Tetras and Guppies will require good quality of water. So, you should ensure that there is a filter in the aquarium. The filter of your choice will depend on your budget, preference and the size of the tank.
For example, you will require a hang-on-back (HOB) filter for small or average size tanks. On the other hand, you will have to take into consideration the external canister filter if your tank is larger than 50 gallons.
Most importantly, you should mimic the natural Guppies and Neon Tetras habitat when you set up the tank. If you look at their native habitat in River Amazon, you will understand how you should set up their aquarium.
The conditions in the Amazon River make it possible for these fish to thrive. Most of the tributaries have densely grown aquatic plants along with jungle vegetation.
This should give you an idea of how the tank environment for your fish should look like.
In other words, Neon Tetras and Guppies will co-exist peacefully in a planted tank with several hiding places. Despite all these features, make sure that the light is obscured enough to create a setup similar to what is found in their natural habitat.
Use floating plants to darken the tank if possible. In addition, the bottom should have a darker substrate. Or you may cover the back and sides using a dark tissue to make the environment within the tank a little bit darker. This will bring out the much-required contrast of colors in different species of Guppies and Neon Tetras when they are swimming.
Guppy Fish and Neon Tetra Behavior
Guppies and Neon Tetras are peaceful fish. That is why they are kept in the same tank with other less aggressive fish species. These fish are active swimmers and you will spot them moving around most of the time.
No wonder they need more space in the tank to help them explore their immediate environment. More often than not you will see males displaying their seductive behavior by chasing females around.
They do so in a bid to impress them, especially during the mating season. But if you notice them hiding most of the time, you should just know that they’re stressed or sick.
Given that these fish are shoaling species, they prefer being kept in groups rather than as individuals. In fact, they look colorful when swimming together and that is the reason you should always place at least six or more in the same tank environment.
If you keep a Guppy or Neon Tetra alone, it will become more stressed and resort to hiding. Too much stress can weaken their immune system.
When swimming in large groups, Neon Tetras and Guppies display a wide range of colors. This adds some vibrancy to the aquarium environment.
Moving around in large numbers makes these colorful fish active as well as displaying their natural behavior. In most cases, you will see them swimming in the middle or lower strata of the tank.
Guppies and Neon Tetras Diet
The diet for your fish, regardless of their species, will depend on what is available in their native environment and their anatomy. Now that Guppies and Neon Tetras share the same origin (Amazon River Basin), it’s more likely that their diet is the same.
Both species are omnivores, meaning that they can eat a variety of food, both in the form of animal and plant matter. The best thing about them is that they are fussy eaters, so they will consume anything given to them.
However, their main diet consists of fish flakes, several crustaceans, small insects and worms. Also, they like frozen as well as freeze-dried food.
It is recommended that you provide them with a well-balanced diet to prevent cases of malnutrition. Their diet should be rich in proteins without filler foods to keep them healthy and strong.
You can occasionally supplement their diet with bloodworms or shrimp including vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, and peas. Make sure that you feed your Guppies and Neon Tetras at least two times a day. The amount of food should be enough to avoid wastage or making the aquarium dirty.
Other Tank Mates
Neon Tetras and Guppies can also share the same aquarium environment with a few other tank mates. In this case, choose the most peaceful tank mates that will blend in well with these fish.
You can keep them as males or include females in a ratio of 2:1 to balance everything.
The ideal tank mates, however, included the Platies, Gouramis, Mollies, and Corydoras. Also, you may include a few Swordtails and Ender’s livebearers that have the same behavior as your Guppies and Tetras (check out this article on most popular tetra fish types).
You must avoid housing these fish with aggressive and larger species for their safety. Normally, larger species tend to prey on small fish when left to share the same tank. Keep your fish safe from species such as the Red-Tailed Sharks, aggressive tetras and Barbs among others.
But if you want them to share their aquarium with non-fish aquatic animals, you may house them with African Dwarf Frogs or Ghost Shrimp. These two animals are known to be non-aggressive and can coexist peacefully with your Neon Tetras or Guppies.
Neon Tetras and Guppies can be housed together. These two species of aquarium fish share a lot in common. They are both peaceful, have beautiful colors, share the same diet and tank conditions.
Besides, the two species prefer swimming in groups rather than as individuals. Given that they share some common traits, keeping Guppies and Neon Tetras in the same tank environment won’t be a problem for you.
After all, the two types of fish have been found to make the best tank mates ever!