Can Neon Tetras Eat Bread Or Breadcrumbs?

Neon Tetras Eat Bread

You may have seen people feeding bread to pond fish frequently. Your Neon Tetras might also eat the bread as the fish is known to be an easy-going fish. But, is feeding bread to your Neon Tetra a good idea?

Sometimes, you might run out of fish food. So, you might think of feeding your fish with bread that day. However, bread is the worst food you can feed to your fish! Bread contains soy, gluten, sugars, flavoring, yeast, and other ingredients. These ingredients cause bloating, constipation, and other health problems in your fish. Resilient fish will survive. In contrast, the weak Neon Tetras will be left vulnerable to predators.

Moreover, bread lacks nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals needed by your Neon Tetra. Thus, you should avoid feeding bread to your Neon Tetra.

Can Neon Tetras Eat Bread?

Yes, Neon Tetras can eat bread. However, you should not feed your fish with bread. This is because it is an unhealthy snack for your fish.

Moreover, bread is not found naturally in the wild. You should provide your fish with food that is naturally present in the wild rather than giving them a baked bread full of unhealthy ingredients.

I have also written an article on How To Feed Tetra Fish Fry Properly | Dos and Don’ts With Alternative Fry Food. Check it out!

Why Is It Bad If Your Neon Tetras Eat Bread?

I am sure you love to toast your bread, apply some butter, and eat it with relish. However, the very same bread is not good food for your fish. Let us find out why.

No Nutrition

Bread is rich in carbohydrates. However, Neon Tetras find a hard time digesting this carbohydrate.

Moreover, bread provides no protein, vitamin, or mineral needed by your Neon Tetra. Bread provides no nutrition at all.

Bread Absorbs Water

The bread soaks water and becomes larger.

When your Neon Tetra eats bread, your fish can bloat. This bread takes more room in your fish’s tummy and can cause blockage of the intestines. This can lead to severe health problems like dropsy. Sometimes, even death.

Dirties Your Tank

When bread becomes soft after dipping in water, it can create a cloudy mess. Majorly when your fish does not eat it, it dirties your tank further. The tiny cloudy particles block your filter and your tank looks unattractive.

A dirty tank is a home to an unhealthy fish. Moreover, an uneven water parameter (caused by a dirty tank) can cause your fish to be vulnerable. So, other parasites can easily affect your fish and cause incurable diseases and even death.

Learn more about Tetra Fish Diseases and Treatments. Also, to find out the appropriate water parameters for Neon Tetras, click here.

Ingredients Are Bad For Your Fish

You mix flour with milk, yeast, and flavoring to create bread. Moreover, gluten is formed after kneading the dough. Sadly, these ingredients are harmful to your fish.

Yeast swells up in your fish’s tummy and causes bloating.

Your Neon Tetra does not have a strong digestive system (and neither any enzymes) to digest gluten. Thus, constipation occurs.

Moreover, the chemicals from flavoring might cause ill health in your fish.

What Health Problems Occur If Your Neon Tetras Eat Bread?

You know what goes into the making of bread. The ingredients like yeast, soy, gluten, and flavoring can cause health problems in your fish.

Let us find out the health problems when you feed bread to your Neon Tetras.


Gas can form up inside your fish’s stomach due to indigestion. Similarly, yeast can swell up inside your fish’s abdomen.

The belly of your fish swells up. This causes discomfort and laziness. As a result, your fish will seem lethargic and will not want to swim around.

Digestion Problems/ Constipation

Gluten cannot be digested by your Neon Tetra. So, when your fish eats gluten, the gluten blocks the intestines. As a result, constipation occurs.

In Extreme Cases, Death

When constipation occurs, your fish cannot pass out the wastes in the body. There is an accumulation of wastes that become poison to your fish. This can cause various diseases and lowered immunity.

A lowered immunity makes your fish vulnerable to predators. As a result, parasites will invade your fish and slowly cause death.

What Other Food Can Neon Tetras Not Eat Besides Bread?

It is not only bread that is harmful to your fish. There are other foods that you eat that are not good for your fish.

Food With Yeast

Foods like Doughnuts, pizza base, pita bread have yeast in them.

Yeast increases in volume when eaten.

Your Neon Tetra has a small and tight belly. So, if this yeast enters your fish’s belly, the belly becomes swollen. This creates discomfort for your fish.

Fatty Meat

Neon Tetra Fry can benefit from a fatty diet. However, too much fat can make any fish unhealthy. An adult Neon Tetra does not require fat at all.

You should never give fatty meat (like poultry) to your fish. Instead, feed your fish with proteinous meat.

Rice/Carbohydrate Rich Food

Rice is a starchy food with many nutrients.

If you feed uncooked rice to your fish, that rice swells up inside your fish’s stomach and causes bloating.

If you feed cooked rice, it has no health benefits. Moreover, this can cause gaseous problems and even constipation.

Your fish finds it difficult to digest carbs.

All in all, there is no advantage to feed your fish with rice, be it cooked or uncooked.

What Is The Proper Diet To Feed Your Neon Tetras?

Neon Tetras benefit from protein. Meat, egg yolk, basically any protein is beneficial for your fish. Moreover, vitamins and minerals help Neon Tetras to glow and grow better.

Yes, your fish requires fat and carbs too. But, that is in a very low amount. Their diet should not be full of carbs and fat!

Neon Tetras are omnivorous; this fish benefits from meat as well as plant diet.

Let us see what you can feed to your Neon Tetras below.

Homemade DIY Food

Homemade DIY fish food is simple to make at home.

You can boil the meat and feed it to your fish. Seafood, however, can be given raw. Let us see what meat you can feed to your fish. I have given some suggestions for the best brands that you could get for your neon tetras. Check them out!

You can also make hatchery of the following and create a supply of live food for your fish

You can even hard boil eggs and feed the yolk to your fish.

For a veggie meal, you can blanch the vegetables to soften them up. Then, chop the veggie into tiny pieces. After that, drop the veggies in the tank. The veggies maybe broccoli, lettuce, peas, corn, carrot, cucumber, spinach, etc.

Perhaps the most important thing is to cut the food into tiny particles so it will be easy for your fish to eat. After all, Neon Tetras have a tiny mouth.

Commercial Food

Commercial food is available in packet forms or cans in the market. If you want to buy commercial food, choose the one for Tetras.

You can see fish food without fillers which does not create much waste.

There are flakes, pellets, and wafers available. There are tubifex, bloodworms, and various other food in pellet form which your Neon Tetra will love. Mix the veggie and meat pellets to create a variation and nutrition in their diet.

While buying commercial food, buy a floating pellet or flake. Neon Tetras are mid-level swimmers and do not swim down to get the sunken food. A floating pellet stays afloat and your fish can eat the floating pellet with comfort.

Here are some of the suggestions of packaged food you might like for your Neon Tetra

Can Neon Tetras Eat Bread? (FAQ)

What To Feed Your Neon Tetras When You Run Out Of Fish Food?

There are some simple food you can feed to your fish if you run out of food.

You can hard-boil an egg. Then, feed the egg yolk to your Neon Tetra.

You can blanch veggies like carrots, peas, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, or any soft veggie. Then, blend the veggie into small particles. After that, drop the veggie in your tank to feed your Neon Tetras.

If you have frozen meat, then chop the meat into thin pieces. Even blend the meat to make it easy for your fish to feed on the meat. Meat like shrimp, fish, beef heart, boiled chicken is best for your Neon Tetra.

Can Neon Tetras Eat Biscuits?

With a rich sugar and carb content, biscuits are a close competitor to bread. Thus, you should not feed biscuits to your fish.


With plenty of commercial and homemade food options available, feeding bread to your fish is a bit insensitive on your part. You should provide your fish with natural food instead of something that has unhealthy and harmful ingredients.

If you have read this article, I bet you will stop feeding bread to your fish. After all, you want your fish to live a long and healthy life, don’t you?

Related articles:

  1. Growth on Neon Tetra’s Mouth | Cause And Treatment
  2. How Long Can Neon Tetras Live Without Food
  3. Why Is My Neon Tetra Not Eating? – Here Is What You Can Do
  4. Can Neon Tetra Eat Goldflakes?
  5. Best Tank Size For Tetra Fish? Neon, Cardinal, and Other Similar Tetras
  6. Can Neon Tetra and Goldfish Live Together? – Are They Good Tank Mates, Or Not?
  7. Do Tetra Fish Eat Algae? – Should You Add Algae To Their Diet?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top