10 Fun & Interesting Facts about Neon Tetras

Neon tetras may seem like simple tiny fish at first glance, but there is so much hiding behind these amazing creatures. First of all, they have spectacular red and blue coloration across their iridescent bodies, but they also feature quite interesting behavior and temperament.

If you are still wondering whether these fish make suitable pets for your home, we truly hope that the following 10 fun facts about neon tetras will convince you of the affirmative.

1. Easy to Care

Neon fish are probably among the best option for beginners and first-time aquarium keepers. They are hardy pets and require low attention.

These fish are happiest when kept in schools, meaning that you do not have to keep them interested or active, as they do this on their own. They function well together and can live for many years under ideal circumstances.

When adopting a group of neon tetras, the only thing you basically need to be attentive about is the water quality.

They are extremely sensitive to any parameter spike, but other than that, they can thrive with basic attention from their humans. An amazing choice for all those who keep a tight schedule!

2. Omnivore

These tropical fish are omnivorous and, on top of that, they are not picky eaters. They will happily accept the fitting pellets or flakes you choose to offer them as their basic meal. Other than that, you can include a variety of both meaty and green treats to their diet plan.

They love eating tasty bloodworms or daphnia, as well as brine shrimp. Additionally, you can often see them nipping on the algae around their tank, but you can also offer them peeled peas or cucumbers or even spinach. They really seem to enjoy them all!

3. Lifespan

For such tiny-sized fish, neon tetras have a surprisingly long lifespan. Indeed, these amazing creatures can live up to even 10 years in their natural wild habitats. Just to compare, this is terribly similar to how long your dog may survive. How amazing is that?

Most neon tetras that we see across aquariums nowadays are, however, bred in captivity. This means that such fish are usually slightly different from their wild companions, and it is normal for them to have a somehow shorter life expectancy. Most neon tetra pets usually live around 5 years.

4. Egg Layers

When neon tetras breed, they dispose a lot of eggs. The male circles about his lady until she is ready to release all of her eggs into the water. And there can be lots of them.

Indeed, a healthy female fish can usually produce and release anywhere from 50 to 100 eggs during one breeding cycle. And she will basically scatter them all around, for the male having the opportunity of fertilizing them.

So many eggs released at once can be pretty fascinating to observe, especially when they are positioned in layers, or even on the various plant surfaces across the tank.

5. Small Size

These pets are probably among the smallest pet choices available, including aquatic and terrestrial species.

Actually, they can grow up to 2,5 inches sometimes, but most domesticated neon tetras will never exceed 1,5 inches during their adult phase.

6. Good Tank Mates

If you are looking for a nice addition to your community tank, neon tetras may just be the perfect solution for your home. Indeed, they are widely known for their peaceful (and even friendly) temperament.

Although they can eat fry every now and then, they really tend to avoid any conflict or territorial aggression towards others. As long as you keep them in a decently sized school, they will act as the perfect tank mates.

Therefore, the only thing you need to be attentive about is choosing such fish which will not eat your neon tetras out.

7. Lose Color at Night

Did you know that these adorable fish lose color at night? Neon tetras feature colors that arise from a combination of the light transfer across their chromatophores.

Unlike most other fish, these are particularly capable of losing their vibrant red and blue coloration when there is no light. This is perfectly safe and natural, and colors usually come back in the morning, when there is a source of light again.

Not all neon tetras will do this in the exact same way, but it is still such fun to observe these changes.

8. Schooling

Watching these amazing little creatures swimming in the same direction, as a group, can be pretty fascinating. Indeed, the more neon tetras you own, the more fun will they be to observe.

These schooling fish can move into such coordinated ways which allow them protection from predators, but also offer a sense of participation and safety.

All in all, a pretty mesmerizing sight when you have multiple blue and red splashes around your tank.

9. Playful

Not only are neon tetras peaceful, but they are also really playful. They enjoy chasing their own kind across the tank, slightly nipping on their fins all around. This happens especially once there is a new fish addition to an already established tank.

Often, first-time keepers confuse such behavior with aggression, but there is no harm from such playtime for any of the fish.

10. Very Active

When feeling safe in their captivity home, neon tetras can be regularly active fish.

They love swimming around simultaneously, exploring the plant areas across the tank (especially those around the roots), chasing each other and playing together.

One thing is sure with these little creatures- you will never get bored of observing them.

Wrapping Up

We hope our list of the 10 fun facts about neon tetras has actually made you think of adopting some into your home. Indeed, these little creatures are not just adorable, but they will also keep the family entertained for hours and hours.

They are active and fun, easy to care and make a peaceful addition to any community tank. And, on top of that, they can stick around for many years.  

Tetra Fish   Updated: March 28, 2021
avatar 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.

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