Do Neon Tetras Need a Heater?
Neon tetras are tropical fish, so they need a heated fish tank. Although your aquarium might have a stable temperature in your room, however, this is not enough for neon tetras. You will have to get an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature elevated.
This page may contain affiliate links, which will earn us a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Neon tetras don’t do well in water that is below 68 degrees Fahrenheit (or 20 degrees Celsius). With a heater, you can keep the tank temperature at the required level for your neon tetras to thrive.
But, what type and what size of heater should you get for your aquarium?
Neon Tetra Tank Heater Size
The required heater size depends entirely on the size of your tank. It is extremely easy to calculate, as there is an amazingly helpful rule of thumb to follow. Simply allow 5 watts for every gallon of water volume, and you can never get it wrong.
For instance, this Eheim Jager aquarium heater suits perfectly a 10-gallon neon tetra tank. Solutions like these are more than enough for neon tanks, as they are quite affordable but still extremely efficient. Also, they are simple to install and come with a heat protector.
Furthermore, once you find yourself a suitable heater, plan on purchasing a high-quality thermometer as well. This will ensure that you are aware of the exact water conditions even if the heater happens to break down, or there is a temporary blackout.
A good thermometer is vitally important in any tank set up and can often present the difference between fish life and death.
Best Temperature for Neon Tetras
The best is to keep neon tetra water temperature stable at 75 °F (24 °C) with an aquarium heater. Neon tetras are quite hardy fish and can adapt perfectly to a wider range of temperatures, anywhere between 68-82 °F (20-28 °C).
Can You Keep Neon Tetras Outdoor?
Generally speaking, you can. During the summer, a backyard pond can sometimes become a charming holiday home for your neon pets. The temperature levels should be simply fine during the hottest months of the year, so this is surely a thing less to worry about.
If you are diligent enough to monitor the levels regularly and make sure that your pets are not being in conditions lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a day in a row, there should be no issues at all. And of course, remember to bring your neon fish back inside into their heated tanks before the temperature levels begin to drop significantly.
Ponds make a great solution for your tropical pets, as they get to be closer to where they actually belong for a while. They will certainly enjoy all of the new plants and the extra space to school around. And, more importantly, they can even encounter some actual tiny insect every now and then, as they would in their natural habitats.
On the other side, moving your neon fish into a summer pond can bring to several disadvantages, so it is best to give it a good think before making a final decision. Indeed, if your neighborhood has plenty of cats around or if there is a higher concentration of wild animals, you may need to do some adjustments first and setup a fine net to protect the pond.
All in all, keeping your neon fish outdoors depends mostly on the area you live in and the conditions you can provide, but summertime temperature parameters are perfectly fine for these fish.
Problems with Low Water Temperature
Low water temperature can bring to serious damage and this is not something to disregard. Even if your neon fish will probably not die immediately after the drop, they would be basically dying but slowly. Indeed, their immune system can weaken out drastically, compromising their overall wellbeing as well as their resistance to other health threats such as bacteria or stress.
Neon tetra fish can survive under a quite range of temperature conditions, but there is a huge difference in how they function under those levels which are not ideal. For instance, your pets may seem simply fine within a temperature of up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, eating and normally swimming around.
However, they are basically in a purely survival mode. Under such conditions, they can eat but they are experiencing metabolism troubles from the inside, as well as breathing complications.
This can last some time, and younger specimens can often fully recover once the temperature gets higher. Under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, however, they can develop severe heart problems and die within just a couple of hours.
Whenever adopting a tropical fish species, setting up a proper water environment is crucial. These fish are designed to absorb body heath from the water and are incapable of producing their own. Therefore, warm water is key to providing them a suitable basic requirement for being able to feed, grow and reproduce.
When it comes to neon tetras, they are not overly sensitive to temperature levels, but they are extremely fragile to temperature oscillations. Indeed, these amazing fish can tolerate a wider range of levels, from 68- to 82-degrees Fahrenheit, but they thrive when these are kept stable around 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
A good heater and a great thermometer are not that much of an investment but they will surely help you in maintaining the best conditions possible for your new pets.
And who knows, perhaps you even decide taking them to a summer holiday stay at your backyard pond.