Are Neon Tetras Hardy Fish? Here Is What You Need To Know

Are Neon tetras hardy

There is a vast world of tetras to choose from, as they are hardy fish and adapt easily. But the question here is, Are Neon tetras, a breed of tetra, hardy or not?

Yes, Neon tetras are hardy fish as they adjust well in a wide range of water parameters. These tetras only react negatively when the water changes start occurring rapidly making the temperature fluctuate inside the tank.

Through the journey of researching and concluding, it can still be hard to decide what, why, how for hardy fish like neon tetras.

Here you can learn about most of the questions that might be stressing you about your neon tetras.

Are Neon Tetras Hardy?

Neon Tetras are ideal for beginners for quite a few reasons. Being adaptable and adjustable are a few of them.

If you are a beginner, find out more about Neon tetras in our article about ‘Neon Tetra: A Complete Care Guide For Beginners.’

So, the answer is simple, yes. These tetras are hardy fish but not from the very beginning. Besides, Neon Tetras take their time and adjust themselves to the new water condition.

Here is what the best water parameter is for your Neon tetras.

Neon tetras take a few days or a certain period to make themselves comfortable in the new environment. Once these tetras establish themselves, they are hardy fish.

Neon tetras, however, react negatively towards the water changes. Temperature change or any change in water chemistry brings stress and diseases in tetras which eventually leads to their death.

You should not inflict any changes to the water, while the tetras are still swimming in the tank.

What Makes Neon Tetra A Hardy Fish?

Well, the adaptability of these tetras plays a vital role in making neon tetras hardy.

Neon tetras adjust quite well in the wide range of environment provided to them. These are the ideal choice for beginners as these tetras are easy to handle and care for.

Related article:

  1. Top 10 Easy to Care Tetra Fish – Perfect For Beginners
  2. Are Tetra Fish Easy to Keep and Care for?

Which Tank Is Best For Neon Tetras?

If you want your neon tetras to thrive well, then it is best to get a tank with 10 gallons (37.85 liters) capacity.

These tetras prefer to play around a lot and hide when stressed. A well-planted aquarium gives them space to hide and play. To know about the best plants in a neon tetra aquarium, click here.

And the first and foremost thing to do is you need to cycle the tank a few times before placing the tetras in it.

To know about it in detail, check out our next article ‘Best Tank Size For Keeping Neon Tetra’.

How Does Water Parameter Contribute To Make Neon Tetras Hardy?

The water parameter plays an important role in the adaptation of Neon Tetras in captivity. Neon tetras have an ideal parameter that needs to be met if you want them to thrive well.

Here are some things to consider about water parameters for Neon Tetras:


As neon tetras are tropical fish, they need temperatures similar to native conditions. The ideal temperature for Neon tetras is between 72 °F to 78 °F.

Can Neon Tetra survive in cold water? Find out here.


The pH between 5.5 to 6.2 is beneficial for Neon tetras as they prefer slightly acidic water. These tetras, however, adjust well in the water with pH up to 6.8 i.e. nearly neutral.

Learn more about ‘Does water pH affect Neon Tetras?


Unlike ammonia and Nitrite, a certain level of nitrate is best for the well-planted tetra tank. The level, however, should always be less than 20 ppm (parts per million).

General Hardness

The water hardness any more than 20 dGH can cause serious issues in tetras. These tetras, although, thrive in soft water, they can adjust well in medium hard water too which is why they are hardy fish.


After all, the acidity and alkalinity go side by side. Low alkali level that being 1-2 dKH is suitable for the tetra tank.

Exceptions About Water Parameters For Neon Tetras

Even though Neon tetras are hardy fish and adjust to any water parameters, there are certain things that these fish cannot tolerate. Some of such exceptions are mentioned below:


Any amount of ammonia in the water not only stresses neon tetras but also makes the water poisonous enough to kill them.


The same goes with the nitrite as the ammonia level, these two compounds are toxic to neon tetras. The ammonia and nitrite level should always be zero in the tetra tank.

How Can You Maintain Water Parameters For A Hardy Fish In The Tank?

It is quite simple to maintain water parameters in the tetra tank. Some equipment makes it easier than ever.

Heater help to heat the water to the ideal temperature. Similarly, filters make the aquarium water pollutants free for the neon tetras. The filter houses beneficial bacteria that help to conduct the nitrogen cycle smoothly.

Along with that, the filter has various layers of media those clear physical and chemical pollutants from the water. The filter also helps to balance the pH in the tetra tank, without changing its dynamics.

For neon tetras, a submersible heater is the best option. Hence, I would suggest AQQA Mini Submersible Aquarium Heater to you. Similarly for filters, Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter, Terrarium Filtration is the best in the market.

What Happens When The Parameters Are Not Met?

If you are aware of the fact about neon tetras and their stress, then it is quite simple to draw answers from it.

The slight changes, once in a while, do not affect these fish as they are hardy. But, the continuous fluctuation of water quality brings unpleasant results.

The cold water slows down the growth and activity making these tetras sluggish and slow, while extra warm water heightens their activity.

Both of these situations not only stress the tetras but also cause tetras to die off eventually.

And of course, the pollutants that change water chemistr are equally dangerous. The pollutants cause as much harm to tetras as pollution does to humans and even more.

Neon Tetras cannot handle water that is far from the quality they require to survive in captivity.

Here are some reasons why neon tetra is the perfect pet for you!

Best Tank Mates For Neon Tetras As A Hardy Fish

When you decide to get neon tetras for your tank, always remember that they do well in school. And the school with 10-15 members looks beautiful too.

The Neon tetra is itself a better mate for neon tetra, meaning similar tetras can be kept in the school. Other small, non-aggressive warm water fish can make a good mate to these tetras as well.

Learn more about ‘How Many Neon Tetras Should You Keep In School?’

Tank Enemies Of Neon Tetras As A Hardy Fish

Every beautiful thing attracts certain dangers towards them, the same goes with Neon Tetras. The large fish and sometimes neon tetras itself act as an enemy to other neon tetras in the tank.

If the other mates in the tank are larger than these tetras, then there is a high chance that they will devour these tetras.

And the adult neon tetras, sometimes, feed on their newly born babies. That is why it is wise to change the tank of adult fish when the eggs are hatched.

Get an idea about ‘How To Breed Neon Tetras from A Complete Step By Step Guide.’

In order to save themselves from enemies, these tetras act transparent and try to disappear behind the plants and ornaments. This may sound cool but this is wrong on so many levels.

The transparency suggests fear and stress in neon tetras that will eventually result in their death.

Learn more about Tetra Fish Diseases and Treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Examples Of Hardy Fish Like Neon Tetras?

Guppies, mollies, platies, most species of betta, and zebra danios are some examples of hardy fish.

Which Are The Best Tank Mates For Neon Tetras?

Small fish like mollies, guppies, and platies that are non-aggressive can live in the same tank with neon tetras.

Which Fish Is Easier To Raise Guppies Or Neon Tetras?

Neon Tetras, hands down, are easier to raise than guppies; however, both of these fish are the ideal choice for beginners. You can learn more about Easy Schooling Fish from here.

Can Neon Tetras And Goldfish Live In The Same Tank?

No, absolutely not, Neon Tetras and Goldfish have different water parameters so they can not live together in the same tank. Learn more about it here.


In conclusion, these neon tetras are hardy only when the right tankmates and water temperature. And these tetras act quite well once they establish themselves in the new environment.

All you have to do is remember to check up on the equipment and tank once in a while.

Related articles:

  1. What Do Neon Tetras Need In Their Tank?
  2. How to Prevent Neon Tetra Curved/Crooked Spine or Neon Tetra Disease
  3. Can The Neon Tetra Survive In a Fishbowl?
  4. Can The Neon Tetra Eat Goldfish Flakes?
  5. Minimum Water Temperature For Neon Tetras

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