Neon tetras are tiny, colorful, peaceful fish and one of the most popular and most sold aquatic pets. They make amazing choices for all first-time aquarium keepers, and they certainly make a wonderful addition to any living room.

If you are thinking of setting up a tank with these magnificent splashes of red and blue, you are surely thinking of how to make your pets happy.

Therefore, the first thing to start with is the size of their group. How many neon tetras should be kept together?

The number of neon tetras you can keep depends a lot on the size of their tank. However, a minimum of 6 neon tetras is highly recommended. Neon tetras are schooling fish, meaning that they feel safe and happy in larger groups of members from their own species.

Moreover, the golden rule when setting up a home for such fish is: the more, the better. Living along a group makes them feel safe, relieves stress and fear, and decreases aggressive behavior by much.

Tank Size for Neon Tetras

Knowing that these fish mostly grow up to 1,5 inches in captivity, one would think they do not require lots of space. And that is correct. However, as just mentioned above, they need to be kept in schools, meaning that they automatically require more space.

Therefore, if we take in consideration that your group will contain around 6 specimens (which is the very minimum for a happy school), please keep in mind that you will require a tank of at least 10 gallons to house them.

Furthermore, neon tetras are extremely delicate little fish and they become overly sensitive to spikes in water parameters. A 10-gallon tank is a much simpler solution for maintaining stable water conditions than a smaller tank could ever be.

Calculate Number of Neon Tetras

So, how many neon tetras can you actually keep in your tank? It is quite easy to get a functional answer to such a question by simply applying the basic thumb rule. According to it, you should allow 1 gallon of water for 1 inch of fish length.

Therefore, you can approximately keep about 10 neon fish inside a 10-gallon tank. If you decide to get a 20-gallon tank, you can keep a pretty happy group of 20 pets in there.

This rule is not generally appliable to all fish pets, but it works perfectly with little tetras.

Can you Keep More Neon Tetras Together?

If you are looking to avoid the thumb rule and slightly overstock your aquarium with tiny neon tetras, this is not entirely impossible. Indeed, if you are willing to invest in a high-quality filtration system, you may just add some more little pets to your tank.

These fish are extremely small and peaceful, so they actually do not require lots of space to move around. However, what they do require is a clean and stable water environment.

Aquarium Filter

Aquarium filters are a vitally important factor across any aquarium. However, if your aquarium is slightly overstocked with some extra neon tetras, the importance of a good filter increases even more.

Indeed, keeping water clear from any debris is basically the only thing that can make the difference between having to purchase a larger tank or not.

If you are overstocking your 10-gallon tank, please keep in mind that you will require a strong and large canister, such as those for 30-gallon tanks.

My suggestion is to choose the MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter. This product implements a 3-stage filtration system, which is highly efficient and powerful.

It includes a polishing filter pad which ensures that all debris is removed from the tank water, making it safe for your little pets. On top of that, its carbon addition is greatly helpful with removing odors and other impurities across the tank.

Filter Media

Sponge filtration works best when combined with high-quality filter media choices. Highly porous materials allow the growth of biological filtration systems and are highly efficient.

One of our top choices is certainly the Seachem Matrix version. It is such a low investment for what it offers in return, is super-simple to apply and will last for a long, long time.

Keeping your neon tetra aquarium water clean and pure is crucially important, especially if you plan on keeping more than one fish per gallon.

Live Plants

Neon tetras love living in densely planted areas of the world in the wild and recreating such an environment in captivity is a huge bonus. Indeed, greenery can offer a safe hiding spot when feeling scared or stressed and can certainly improve the overall well-being of your pets.

Not to mention that plants improve the water quality by removing nitrate particles as well as increasing oxygen levels.

With these little fish being omnivorous, it is recommendable to plant both slow and fast-growing greenery across their tank. Also, they love having both tall and floating plants around, as well as some java moss at the bottom.

When choosing the best options for your tank, keep in mind to select those which can thrive in darker or dim-light conditions.

These amazing little pets should have enough space to swim around freely as well as plenty of hiding places around the plants. On top of that, they even like hiding among plant roots at the bottom.

Are 4 Neon Tetras Enough?

Any neon tetra school with less than 6 specimens can be categorized as dangerous. By keeping such a small group of neon fish, you are risking of your pets becoming severely stressed and frightened.

Consequentially, this can lead to aggressive behavior between them, as well as a weakened immune system.

Wrapping Up

If you are thinking of providing a home to an amazingly cheerful school of neon tetras, please ensure enough space for at least 6 of them.

So, the minimum thumb rule should be followed by “the more, the merrier” thinking. Indeed, keeping your tiny pets in groups is the best way to ensure them a happy and peaceful life.

They do not require lots of space or attention, but they do require the presence and company of their own species to thrive.

Written by Fabian

Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *