Neon tetras are certainly among the most peaceful fish pets one can adopt. Therefore, they make an excellent choice for many community tanks these days.
When matching these amazing creatures with other fish, all you basically need to care about is finding suitable species which will not eat your tiny neons.
They make an amazing combo with guppies, which share both docile temperaments as well as tank requirements, but what when it comes to their fry?
Well, the situation changes drastically once guppies decide to breed into their community tank. Indeed, with neon tetras being omnivores and with guppy fry being so minute-sized, these certainly cannot function together.
You neon tetras will definitely eat them whenever they a get chance to. And not only, but they will also their own fry.
Keeping Guppy Fry Safe
So, if you want to breed your guppies in a community tank and want to save the baby guppies from neon tetras, here are a few tips for you:
– Separate Pregnant Guppy
The safest way of keeping your guppy fry safe is letting them to be born into an isolation tank. Therefore, whenever you notice a pregnant female guppy across your community tank, do remove her at soonest to protect her babies.
That way, guppy fry will see the light for the first time into a safe place, away from all adults who will only notice them as tasty snacks.
Furthermore, you should also remove the mother as soon as she gives birth and place her back into her established tank. Otherwise, you are risking of your female guppy eating her babies out in no time.
Guppies tend to breed freely into community tanks and they can do it quite often, so it is necessary to constantly look for females with enlarged bellies to isolate them on time.
– Separate Guppy Fry
If you did not manage to spot a pregnant guppy on time and you are now facing several tiny babies across your community tank, you need to act fast if you want to save them. Or at least, most of them.
All you have to do is to gently collect all the visible fry and to move them into an isolation tank. Obviously, you will not be able of saving all of the fry because some of them probably got eaten already or are hiding behind plants, but you can successfully separate the majority with the help of a simple fishnet.
It is really important to react promptly in situations like these, to ensure that most of the babies are saved.
– Lots of Live Plants
If you are not willing of separating your fry into an isolated tank, you can still have a good chance of some of the babies actually managing to grow up without becoming a meal.
Simply replicate the wild nature by adding lots of live plants across your community tank and let the natural selection do its own thing. Plants offer amazing hiding spots, and guppy fry will certainly take advantage of those to get away from adults which try to eat them.
Most of the babies will still end up as a snack to neon tetras and adult guppies, but heavily planted tanks offer a great survival chance to those which exploit them whenever they have to.
Why do Neon Tetras Eat Fry?
Neon tetras are omnivorous creatures. And, even if they are not the most popular hunters in the aquatic world, they still are micro-hunters, meaning that they will happily catch any moving meal which can fit into their mouth.
Indeed, they are not able of getting fish pellets with all necessary nutritive values in the wild, so they are obviously designed to eat living prays as well. And fry is one of such prays.
They are small, they are nutritive, and they are available. Similar cannibalism is present in many other fish species and is a completely normal process.
Is It Bad for Neon Tetras to Eat Guppy Fry?
On the contrary, eating occasional guppy fry is good for neon tetras. Tiny guppies are high in nutritive values and can only bring advantages to the wellbeing of your neon tetras.
Plus, they have the rare opportunity to chase on their food when living in captivity, which is positive.
Therefore, if you do not have the place to house such babies and you are not planning on selling them, it is not considered cruel to simply leave them in the community tank and let the nature perform its bare order.
To conclude, neon tetras will eat any fry they see around, including those of your guppies. However, that does not mean that these two fish species do not make a good match for community tanks.
Guppies and neons get along very well together, and you will need to protect fry even from their birth parents, as such cannibalism is pretty common in the aquatic world. Therefore, there is no reason for you to over worry.