How Many Neon Tetras In A 1-Gallon Tank?

How Many Neon Tetras In A 1-Gallon Tank?

When you wish to get neon tetras for your home, you ask the very first genuine question. What is the ideal aquarium size for neon tetras? How many neon tetras can go in a 1-gallon tank?

The smallest tank for neon tetras can be a 10-gallon tank, so you can not keep these tetras in a 1-gallon tank. Neon tetras are community fish and love to live in a school so it is necessary to have an aquarium with the capacity to handle more than 1 neon tetra.

Some factors determine the safety of Neon tetra in an aquarium, and tank size tops the list here. Let us dive in to learn more about it.

Tank Size And Neon Tetra

Neon tetras are schooling fish, if you keep them alone then the result is something you will not like. That is why you need to look at the ideal tank size and school size before getting neon tetras.

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

Tank size is directly proportional to the safety of your neon tetras. The aquarium size is the very first factor to look into before getting neon tetras from the store.

Get to know in detail about Neon Tetra: A Complete Care Guide For Beginners from here.

What Tank Size Can Neon Tetra Live In?

When you know the importance of school and tank size for neon tetras, you can not go small here. The ideal aquarium size is slightly larger than the ideal school size in number.

As the school of 6 to 8 neon tetras can go well off, but the best school size is 10 to 20 members. And for the ideal school of neon tetras, the ideal tank size for Neon Tetra is 20 gallons; So a 20 Gallon fish tank can hold 10-13 Neon Tetras. However, you can get a 10-gallons aquarium for the school with 6 to 8 members.

Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit, Includes LED Lighting and Decor is the best for neon tetras if you are looking to get one.

Can I Keep Neon Tetras In A 1-Gallon Tank?

No, you can not make neon tetra suffer in a small aquarium alone with no mates at all. Neon tetras like to swim around and play, but a 1-gallon tank confined them in a small space.

A small space like a 1-gallon tank can stress your neon tetras and eventually kills them. They also need various equipment that can not go in the 1-gallon tank.

What do your Neon tetras need in their tank? Get to know from here.

Why Do You Need A Larger Tank For Your Neon Tetra?

Here is the question you should be asking rather than a 1-gallon tank. Why a larger aquarium when neon tetras fall into a small category of fish?

Well, although their size is small, the place they come from determines their tank requirements. Neon tetras are tropical fish that prefer a warmer climate than your basic room temperature.

So, to maintain the ideal temperature for your tetras, you need to get a heater. Along with the heater comes the necessity of filtration as ammonia from the fish waste can be toxic to neon tetras.

For heaters, I would suggest AQQA Mini Submersible Aquarium Heater and for filters, I would suggest Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter, Terrarium Filtration. These come in affordable prices and work pretty well.

And, of course, the plants. Your neon tetras thrive in a well-planted aquarium. And plants can’t thrive in a small aquarium as well. Here are the 10 best aquarium plants for the neon tetra tank if you are looking for some.

These types of equipment and plants go inside the aquarium along with other various elements. So, a small aquarium cannot hold all of it.

A larger aquarium is not an option you have to choose from, rather it is the must-have when you get neon tetras.

You can click on Best Tank Size For Tetra Fish? Neon, Cardinal, and Other Similar Tetras to learn more!

What Are Basic Things You Need To Keep In The Tetra Tank?

The basic things that top the must-have list for a neon tetra tank are given below with suggestions of the best products in my opinion:

  1. Heater- AQQA Mini Submersible Aquarium Heater
  2. Filter- Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter, Terrarium Filtration
  3. Plants
  4. Lighting- Tetra Hidden LED Stick Light for Aquariums, Brilliant White
  5. Air Pump- Tetra Whisper Easy to Use AP150 Air Pump for Aquariums
  6. Water test kit- API Aquarium Test Kit

The heater helps to keep the water warm to the ideal temperature neon tetras ask for, and the filter cleans the unwanted physical and chemical pollutants.

Plants give space to neon tetras to hide and play around, and ornaments, too, give the hiding place as well as make the aquarium beautiful. Besides, plants also help to conduct bio-filtration in the aquarium.

The air pump is rarely used in the tetra tank, and when added, gives aesthetic look to the aquarium with bubbles. Moreover, it also helps in surface agitation and increases the oxygen level in the aquarium water.

What Are The Problems That Can Occur Due To The Inappropriate Tank Size?

Various problems come along with a small aquarium, or you say 1-gallon tank. These problems go from stress to death. Learn more about Tetra Fish Diseases and Treatments.

Neon Tetras, as already said, are schooling fish, and a 1-gallon aquarium can not handle much fish. And neon tetras get stressed alone in the tank and start acting sluggish first.

Moreover, the heater and the filter cannot fit into a small aquarium like 1-gallon which again makes the aquarium inappropriate for neon tetras.

Even the plants cannot be fit properly in the aquarium. Besides, without the plant and the filter, the ammonia level heightens making the water toxic for tetras.

The absence of all these things, eventually, makes the aquarium unlivable for your neon tetras. The increment in the diseases, stress, and loneliness, after a while, due to the above-mentioned factors kills your neon tetras.

I have written about it in more depth in ‘Do Neon Tetras Need Filter To Survive?’ and ‘Do Neon Tetras Need Heater For Survival?’.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Fish Can I Put In 1-Gallon Aquarium?

Betta fish are ideal fish to keep in a 1-gallon aquarium as they do not prefer the company of other fish. Besides, they are quite hearty.

Can I Put Neon Tetras In A 2-Gallon Aquarium?

Conditionally, yes, neon tetras can survive in a 2-gallons aquarium. This is the least limit you can push your neon tetras to live in.

But Neon tetra prefers to live in a school and does not do well when kept in a small aquarium of 2-gallons.

Do Neon Tetras Die Easily?

If the aquarium condition is appropriate for the neon tetras then they live up to 10 years. But when you can’t maintain the ideal water and tank condition for neon tetras, they die off quite easily with reoccurring changes.

The neon tetras 10 years ago were quite hardy but the neon tetras now have very low immunity power. So, water changes can bring diseases in neon tetras if not solved for a long period.


Briefly, when you decide to get neon tetras as a pet, act wise and go for a larger tank, ideally a 20-gallons tank. Smaller tanks not only bring the problem with the equipment but ultimately result in the death of its habitat.

Remember the importance of tank size and you will, no doubt, have a beautiful aquarium with happily floating neon tetras.

Related articles:

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

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