15 Best Neon Tetra Tank Mates

There is no shortage of compatible tank mates for the Neon Tetra, which can be confusing when you are looking for one. How compatible they are exactly? Are they beginner-friendly? Are they available in more colors? That is a lot of questions to answer for so many popular fish species in the market.

Don’t worry I’m here to make things easier for you. Let me show you the 15 best tank mates for Neon Tetras in my opinion and talk a little bit about each of them. There are lots of different colors, sizes and personalities to choose from.

Without further ado, let’s start with the most popular one, which is the Guppy fish!

1. Guppy Fish

Guppy Fish

Guppy Fish

You can find Guppies in a wide range of exciting colors, which is especially true when it comes to the males. These slim-bodied beauties are ideal tank mates for Neon Tetras, as both of them are peaceful omnivorous fish.

Keeping Guppies in a school of 5-6 is going to be your wisest choice. They are active throughout the day like little children in the kindergarten. Since they are so active, you are going to see them explore every hidden spot in the aquarium.

2. Zebra Danio

Zebra Danio Fish

Zebra Danio Fish

Zebra Danios are praised by the fish keeper community for their metallic blue and silvery gold zebra pattern. Since they are so easy to take care of and prefer the same water conditions as the Neon Tetra, it is really a no-brainer to choose them as tank mates.

The Zebra Danio is really one of the most peaceful schooling fish you can find for your Tetra. If there is no aggressive fish to threaten them, they are active all day. Getting 5-6 Danios is okay but I would still recommend you to get about 10 of them because they prefer bigger groups.

3. Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetra

The Rummy Nose Tetra got its name for the red color that covers its head. Besides that, their body is usually silver-colored or yellowish and it is decorated with a striped anal fin. These Tetras are perfect for many varieties of community tanks and get along well with Neon Tetras as well.

As long as they are around passive and peaceful fish, they are going to feel great and not cause any problems. This is usually what you can expect from any Tetra, which also makes them beginner-friendly.

4. Cory Catfish

The innocent-looking little Cory Catfish is an absolute gem that can live up any community aquarium. Their body is flat at the bottom, which already indicates that they are bottom-dwellers. Colors and patterns can vary so it is really up to you to choose a Cory that appeals to you the most.

This small and peaceful species has to be kept in a group in order to feel safe. If you don’t keep at least 5 of them, it can cause a lot of stress on the long term and they can end up being miserable. The Cory Catfish is always happy and energetic if kept in a big enough school.

5. Angelfish

AngelfishThe unusual body shape of the Angelfish stands out in of itself, not to mention the wide range of colors that characterize this species. If you are a beginner, then getting some colorful Angelfish for your community tank is probably your best bet.

They get along well with Neon Tetras thanks to their peaceful temperament, which is unusual in the cichlidae family. Still, Angelfish can defend themselves when they get bullied and are also a bit aggressive during breeding time, but only then.

6. Bristlenose Pleco

The Bristlenose Pleco is quite an unusual addition to a community aquarium. Some say they are ugly, while others are simply amazed by the appearance of this species. My experience is that people are amazed when they see those bristles protruding from the Pleco’s nose.

Simply put, they are bizarre and cute at the same time. Their cuteness also means that they are rather shy, using plants, caves and decoration as hiding places. If there is not enough algae to consume, Bristlenose Plecos might become hungry and start eating your plants.

This is why it is important to feed them on a regular basis and make sure the food gets to the bottom of the tank.

7. Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasboras

The Harlequin Rasbora is well-known of its vivid colors and the black triangle-shaped marking on its sides. This species looks even more awesome when many of them are swimming together, as they are schooling fish.

Harlequin Rasboras are really tiny and they need the safety of their group. This is a peaceful and low-maintenance species that you are going to have a lot of fun with.

8. Galaxy Rasbora

The Galaxy Rasbora is one of the most sought-after aquarium fish because of its dotted body markings and vivid-colored, striped fins. They are simply amazing and it turns out that they are pretty good Neon Tetra tank mates as well.

A school of Galaxy Rasboras can liven up any community aquarium with their striking colors. The larger the group, the better because we are talking about a schooling species.

9. Platy Fish

platy-fish-careI can only recommend you to get a Platy fish for your community aquarium if you are a beginner. This little colorful fish is not demanding when it comes to water conditions or diet. Also, their peaceful temperament is going to make sure there is no tension between them and your Neon Tetras.

The most common Platy you are going to find in a fish store is the one with the striking orange color. Other color variations are also not uncommon of this South and Central American species.

10. Molly Fish

Molly FishMollies are available in so many different colors that you are going to be amazed. These little colorful gems are usually very active in the tank, exploring every single inch of it. The Molly fish is not aggressive at all, yet it needs a lot of space to thrive because of its energetic personality.

The good thing is that your Neon Tetras are not going to be bothered by their presence at all. You always need to get two females for a single male when it comes to this species.

11. Swordtail Fish

Adult Swordtail FishIf you want to see an unusual fish in your community tank as a beginner, then the Swordtail is always a great choice. Its long sword-like tail is what makes this species stand out from the crowd. They are also peaceful, which makes them ideal Neon Tetra tank mates.

The more Swordtails, the better since they prefer living in a group of at least 6. You can feed them the same foods you usually feed to your Neon Tetras.

12. Gourami

Gourami Fish

Gourami Fish

The Gourami is a flat-bodied, amazingly colorful fish that has decorative anal and dorsal fins. Fish keepers especially like this species because of its striking colors. The Gourami can be sky blue, rose red and many other interesting colors.

They are easily scared and tend to get away fast to the nearest hiding spot. The Gourami is going to be the explorer of your tank and it is going to find even the smallest hidden spots in the tank. You either need to get one male or only females because Gourami males tend to chase each other a lot.

13. Kuhli Loach

If you get a Kuhli Loach, it is most likely going to be the oddest fish in your aquarium. With its elongated snake-like body and tiny fins, it looks completely different from your everyday fish. Despite their unusual appearance, they are rather easy to take care of and make great Neon Tetra tank mates.

You are not going to see the Kuhli Loach that much throughout the day. They hide until the lights go off and only then start to look for some leftover food in the tank. Since the Kuhli loves to spend time with its own species, I recommend you to buy a few of them for your own aquarium.

14. Otocinclus Catfish

The Otocinclus Catfish or Oto, as fish keepers often call it, has a slim elongated body and a so-called suckermouth that allows them to consume algae effectively. There are various species available in this family, allowing you to choose the marking pattern you like the most.

What all Otocinclus Catfish share in common is the gray base body color and the horizontal dark brown stripes on their side. They are full of energy throughout the day, constantly moving around in the tank. They are going to look for leftover foods and algae most of the time, except right after feeding.

15. Discus Fish

Discus fish have their own personality and they are actually pretty smart. Their laterally compressed body looks like a palette of colors and patterns that is a delight to look at. While Neon Tetras and Discus don’t look anything similar to each other, they are compatible tank mates.

They prefer the same water parameters and tolerate each other pretty well despite their size difference. The Discus is going to be the big and scary cichlid in your community that is, in fact, not aggressive at all contrary to the typical cichlid temperament.

Wrap Up

I hope that making this list of 15 potential tank mates for your Neon Tetra made it easier to choose the right ones. This one is really a colorful list in my opinion and no matter which ones you choose, you are going to be happy with your choice.

Each of the species I talked about on the list has its own exciting personality and daily habits that will keep you entertained for a while. Still, I recommend you to do a bit of research before picking tank mates because they can differ when it comes to tank requirements, diet and behavior.  

Tetra Fish   Updated: September 1, 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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