How To Prepare Best Homemade Neon Tetra Food – DIY Fish Food

Homemade Neon Tetra Food

There is no better day than today when you realize that your Neon Tetra can appreciate your homemade meals. Of course, it is beneficial to feed your finned buddies commercial package food. But, there is no harm in preparing a homemade Neon Tetra DIY fish food.

The best homemade food for Neon Tetra is brine shrimps, micro worms, beef heart, seafood, chicken, vegetables, egg yolk, and daphnia.

What do Neon Tetra Eat?

In the wild, Neon Tetras are opportunistic feeders. Neon Tetras feed on whatever they can find since they do not know when their next meal will come along.

Neon Tetras eat fruit fly, insect larvae, small insects, daphnia, water fleas, and small invertebrates. Some packaged foods that you can serve Neon tetras are:

This lovely fish even feeds on plants, fruits that have fallen into the water, and algae. Thus, Neon Tetras are omnivorous by nature.

To know more, read our article about ‘Do Tetra Fish Eat Algae? – Should You Add Algae To Their Diet?’

Therefore, to replicate what Neon Tetras eat in the wild, you have to create a fully nutritious meal at home. It does not matter if the meal is meat or a vegetable as long as it has protein, omega fatty acid, and mineral-rich contents.

Preparing Homemade Neon Tetra Food

There are two types of homemade food you can make for your Neon Tetras: live food like shrimp, daphnia and frozen dried food like tubifex, blood worms, etc. Let us see how we can prepare such meals at home.

Live Homemade Food for Neon Tetra

Live food means anything that is living, served as food for Neon Tetras. Daphnia and Brine’s shrimps are some examples of live food.

Brine Shrimps

Brine Shrimps are an excellent source of protein. A juvenile Neon Tetra and even a fry will grow into a bigger size when eating brine shrimps.

You can buy the shrimp eggs online or from a fish store. For this, Brine Shrimp Egg, Technical Grade 80% HR, 16 oz Can is the best you can get in the market. Then, hatch the eggs in your home to create brine shrimps.

  • Take a container that can fit 2 liters of water. Pour pure water into the container.
  • Pour the shrimp eggs into the container.
  • Then, put 1 tablespoon of kosher salt per cup of water.
  • Maintain the temperature of the container at 80 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 days.
  • After two days, the eggs will hatch.
  • Rinse the brine shrimps under freshwater and then feed it to your Neon Tetras.

A Brine shrimp hatchery is easy to maintain. For this, you can buy the brine shrimp hatchery kit online. I suggest you use San Francisco Bay Brand Brine Shrimp Hatchery Kit


Daphnia is a tiny seawater crustacean rich in protein, carbohydrates, fat, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D.

This tiny organism is easy to culture. However, you need a tank for this hatchery. The tank should have a heater, should be placed in sunlight, and have a slow water current.

Moreover, Daphnia needs algae, yeast, and bacteria to eat and survive. If you can provide all the ideal water conditions for Daphnia to survive, you can start culturing Daphnia. After that, feed it to your Neon Tetras.

However, Daphnia can bring a strong smell to your house. You can directly bring bred Daphnias as well. It will cost you less. I find 1000+ Live Daphnia Magna as an affordable choice to make.

Micro Worms

Micro worms act as a continuous source of protein for your Neon Tetra.

Once you buy micro worms, you can keep them in a closed container with soggy bread. In a few weeks, you will get new micro worms. The best choice here is 9 OZ Matured Micro worm Mega Culture – Ready to Harvest – Live Fish Food.

If you want to feed micro worms to your Neon Tetras, pick up the micro worms on the side, and drop the micro worms in your tank.

Frozen / Dried Homemade Food for Neon Tetra

Frozen and dried food is also good for Neon Tetras. You can combine meat with vegetables to ensure food is packed with minerals and vitamins.

Let us see how we can make such food.

Sea Food

You may have seen a fish in a pond eating their own kind in nature. Thus, you do not have to worry when you feed raw seafood like fish, shrimp to your Neon Tetra. However, you should cut the seafood into tiny particles so that the food fits in Neon Tetras’ tiny mouth.

Seafood is rich in omega fatty acids, protein, and fat. Moreover, seafood is also rich in Vitamin A, B-12, D, E, and B-6. Minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium, and phosphorous are also present in seafood.

After you have defrosted the seafood, you do not need to boil or cook it in any way. Just cut (better to blend) the defrosted sea meat into tiny particles and it’s good to go!

Beef Heart

Beef Heart is rich in fat. Thus, the fat content is not good for adult Neon Tetras. However, fry and juvenile Tetras will thrive on this.

After you have removed fat from the beef heart, blend or chop the heart. Then, feed it to your Neon Tetras. A good way to product now is Ancestral Supplements Grass Fed Beef Heart (Desiccated) — Natural CoQ10 (180 Capsules).


You can feed chicken meat to your Neon Tetra. As chicken has high protein and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, Neon Tetra can benefit from this.

First, boil the chicken. Then, cut or blend the chicken meat into tiny pieces, Then, drop the meat into your tank.

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk is the easiest homemade meal you can prepare for your Neon Tetras.

Since egg yolks are an ideal source of protein and contain Vitamin B6, B12, A, D, E, K, egg yolks are very good for Neon Tetra fry. Egg yolks even have minerals like calcium, phosphorus, zinc, thiamine, iron, etc.

First, you should hard boil the eggs. Then, crush the egg yolk into a paste. After that, feed the paste to your Neon Tetra.

Perhaps the worst thing about egg yolk is the pollution it creates in your tank. Egg yolk feeding requires frequent cleaning of your tank.

However, egg yolk is packed with nutrients that give excellent growth to your fry.


A vegetable diet alone is not beneficial to your Neon Tetra. Thus, you have to add veggies to the meat diet for variation. After all, vegetables contain vitamins (Vitamin A, B, C, D, E), and minerals.

Neon Tetra eats broccoli, peas, cucumber, carrots, potato, cabbage, corn, lettuce, etc.

First, you have to blanch the vegetables for a few minutes to soften up. Then, blend the blanched vegetables into a paste. You can feed this paste alone to your fish added with some blended meat to increase the nutrients in the paste.

Homemade Neon Tetra Food (FAQ)

Can Neon Tetra Eat Duckweed As Food?

Duckweed is known for reducing algae growth. Using duckweed in an aquarium absorbs nitrogen and provides a cleaner environment in your tank. Moreover, duckweed is rich in protein too.

However, duckweed is known to be invasive plants. Moreover, if you keep duckweed in a tank with Neon Tetras, the Neon Tetras tend to overfeed on the duckweed. This can cause overfeeding health problems in Neon Tetras.

If you are planting duckweed in a different tank than Neon Tetras, then you can use duckweed properly. Just blend some duckweed and add it with meat protein to give to your Neon Tetras.

You can even blend and then dry duckweed for a few days. After the duckweed has lost its moisture, feed the dry duckweed to your lovely Tetras. You can even blend it further so your fish can eat with ease.

You can learn further about which plants are the best to keep in the aquarium for neon tetras here.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Bread As Food (Homemade or Store-bought)?

If you are asking whether Neon Tetras eat bread, the answer will be yes. After all, Neon Tetras are not fussy over food. However, feeding bread to your fish is not a good idea.

Bread has gluten, soy, yeast, sugar, and more such ingredients which are harmful to your Neon Tetras health.

You can check more about this topic on our next article in detail.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Apple?

Apple is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. You can, thus, feed your Neon Tetras with blanched and chopped apples.

However, this fruit does not have all the nutrients needed by your fish. Thus, you can give apples to your fish as a treat sometimes.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Banana?

Banana is a rich source of potassium. Banana also contains magnesium and Vitamin B6, B12. With such packed nutrients, your Neon Tetras will get bananas over bananas.

Jokes aside, you should not give bananas daily. An occasional treat of this fruit is good.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Grapes?

Grapes are a rich source of Vitamin A, C, and B6.

Grapes are sweeter than apple and bananas. Thus, the high sugar content can cause algae to bloom in your tank.

However, Neon Tetras will love the soft and sweet grape.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Watermelon As Food?

Watermelon is rich in Vitamin A, B6, and C and it will benefit your fish.

However, like the above fruits, watermelon is good in moderation. Watermelon should not solely be a whole diet.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, K.  An occasional addition of tomato with meat is beneficial for your fish.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Insects?

In the wild, Neon Tetras feast on insect larvae and small insects.

In your home, however, feeding your Neon Tetra with insects is a bad idea. The insects might carry parasites and diseases. If your fish eats the insect with parasites, then your fish can get diseases.

However, Exotic Nutrition Bulk Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae (10 lbs.) – High-Calcium Insect Treat is a dependable product in the market if you do not want your neon tetras to miss on the nutritious diet.

Instead you can use worms as their food.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Detritus Worm As Food?

Yes, Neon Tetras can eat Detritus worms as these worms are tiny and fit in Neon Tetras’ tiny mouth. Some of the products you might end up liking for your neon tetra are:

Can Neon Tetra Eat Flies As Food?

Similar to insects, feeding your Neon Tetra with flies is a dangerous idea. As the flies may contain parasites and harbor infections, you should drop the idea of feeding your fish flies.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Garlic As Food?

Garlic enhances the appetite of fish. If you add small amounts of garlic to your fish’s diet, there will be benefits.

Garlic has antibiotic properties that boost the immunity of your fish. Moreover, garlic helps in fighting against fish diseases.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Krill?

Yes, Neon Tetra love krill. Actually, krill are used to prepare some commercial food for fish.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Rice?

Rice is a starchy food with no nutrient content. Moreover, if you give uncooked rice to your fish, the rice will expand in your fish’s tummy. This can cause health problems.

Since rice has many downsides, you should not feed your fish with rice, be it cooked or uncooked.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Earthworms?

Yes, earthworms are a good source of protein.

However, an earthworm that comes from a garden that has used pesticides is a red flag. The earthworm stores the chemicals in their body.

If your fish eats this earthworm, it will harm your fish. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm 500 Count Red Wiggler Live Composting Worms seems to be the staple food brand for neon tetras.

On the other hand, if the earthworm has come from an organic garden, you should cut the earthworm into tiny pieces. After all, your Neon Tetra has a small mouth that can feed only on tiny food.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Planaria?

While Neon Tetras can feed on Planaria, I don’t think you should keep Planaria and Neon Tetra together. Planaria love eggs and so this worm can feed on your fish’s eggs.

Moreover, Planaria thrives in a polluted tank. Funnily, sometimes Planaria feeds along Neon Tetras when you feed them. It will feel like a Planaria is a second fish.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Homemade Vegetables?

Neon Tetras love veggies like broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, carrots, potato, kale, lettuce, etc. You should make sure to blanch the vegetables to soften up. And finally, chop and blend the vegetables to feed your Neon Tetras.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Fruits?

Because fruits contain natural sugar, other bacteria and algae feed on the sugar. This causes algae and bacteria to bloom in your tank and you need frequent cleaning of your tank.

However, fruits are good in moderation and your fish will love fruits.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Mealworms?

Mealworms are rich in protein and fat. Thus, your fish will get protein from mealworms.

If you cut mealworms into tiny pieces, your fish can feed on it easily.

Can Neon Tetra Eat Snails?

Snails have a hard exoskeleton. That’s why a living snail is hard to break into. However, the soft interior of a snail is protein.

If you break the snail’s exoskeleton and feed your Tetras with the protein part, I’m sure your fish will love it.


I hope you understood how you can make homemade Neon Tetra food. I also added some FAQs to answer your queries.

Neon Tetras are very flexible with food. Thus, your homemade meals will be appreciated by your fish.

Just make sure to create a balanced meal full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Then you’re good to go!

Related article:

  1. How Many Neon Tetras Should You Keep In School?
  2. Does water pH level affect neon tetras?
  3. How Long Can Neon Tetras Live Without Food
  4. How To Breed Neon Tetras – A Complete Step By Step Guide

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