How Many Neon Tetras Should You Keep In School Together?

how many neon tetras in a school

One of my favorites aquarium pet fish is the Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon Innesi)! I’m sure you love these beautiful fish too. Neon Tetras are famous aquarium pet fish, which belong to the blackwater and clear water amazon basins of South America. So, it is a freshwater fish from the Characin family or Characiformes order. Furthermore, Neon Tetras have peaceful temperaments and friendly nature. These fish are easy to care for, making itself an ideal fish even for the beginners. But do you know how many Neon Tetras should you keep in school?

Neon Tetra loves to stay in a school as these are schooling fish. So, how many Neon Tetras should you keep in school? The answer is, at least a group of 6 Neon Tetras should be kept in a school. Keep a minimum of a 10-gallons tank for the Neon Tetra fish. However, these fish will be more comfortable if there are more fish. It will make the Neon Tetras feel safe and secure around each other.

Furthermore, some experienced fish hobbyists have said that it is best to keep a group of at least 15-20 Neon Tetras. A 20-gallon tank is the best suitable for this number of fish. The more you add the fish in the tank, the more you need to add the water.

Also Read: Neon Tetra Behavior: Are They Playing Or Fighting

Nature of the Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras have a calm and peaceful temperament. It is the friendly nature of these fish that makes them a compatible fish with other fish as well. Neon Tetras are middle-level dwellers and are Omnivores as well. These fish thrived onto the dense clear water streams in their natural habitat. So, you should provide a similar environment in the aquarium as well. An aquarium mimicking their natural habitat will make these fish more comfortable and secure.

What More Do You Need To Know?

Moreover, Neon Tetras are fast swimmers and need adequate space for themselves to swim around. However, these fish can’t fight with the fast-flowing water currents. So, I’d recommend you to keep the Neon Tetras in an aquarium with the gentle and slow-flowing of water. Furthermore, Neon Tetras are high jumpers as well. It’s best to keep a fitted lid in the aquarium tank to prevent these fish from coming out.

Size of the Neon Tetra

The maximum size of the Neon Tetra is 3.5 inches, i.e., less than 2 inches(1.378 inches). These are small fish and will not require more space.

How Many Neon Tetra in 1 gallon of water?

The universal rule for the fish is that one-inch fish require one gallon of water for itself. Here, let us assume that the Neon Tetra is of one-inch as well. So that means that each fish needs one-gallon of water too. Let me be clear to you, though. One-gallon tanks aren’t available anywhere. It is just a mere calculation to make you understand the basics.

Also Read: Best Tank Size For Neon Tetra

How Many Neon Tetras Should You Keep In School?

You already know that the Neon Tetras are schooling fish, and they love to live in groups. It’s best to keep the Neon Tetras in a group of at least 6. However, a group of 10 is an ideal number, though. For the 10 Neon Tetras, a 10-gallons aquarium is the best. Furthermore, if you keep 15-20 Neon Tetras, then increase the tank size to 20-gallons of water.

Why Is It Necessary To Keep At Least 6 Neon Tetras?

It is necessary to keep at least 6 Neon Tetras in a school because these are schooling fish. It means that the Neon Tetras love to stay in schools. These fish feel more secure where there are other members of their species. Neon Tetras swim in groups altogether, adding more glory to your aquarium as well.

The More You Buy, The More You Save!

Did you that the more you buy the Neon Tetras, the more you would save? Well, it’s true. There are two advantages when you buy more. Firstly, you’re saving your money. Secondly, you’re making your Neon Tetras feel more secure and comfortable as well. Remember that these fish loves to stay in groups? So yes, there you go!

Each Neon Tetra costs up to $1-$2. So, the more number you buy, the less it will cost you for each Neon Tetra.

Care Level of the Neon Tetras

Being a calm and friendly fish, the care level of the Neon Tetra is easy, even if you are a beginner. However, it doesn’t mean that you should be careless in providing the fish with adequate care it requires. You must make sure that your Neon Tetra is living comfortably and a healthy life with no stress whatsoever. Proper care means providing a healthy and clean environment to live in, a balanced diet, and other facilities.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Keep The Desired Number Of Neon Tetras?

If you do not keep the desired number of Neon Tetras, results may be the opposite of what you’re thinking. As the Neon Tetras are schooling fish, keeping these fish alone will result in feeling insecure. Furthermore, the fish in less than the required number will also feel uncomfortable. One thing leads to another, and your Neon Tetra will be stressed out so much. It will cause your fish to catch up with some deadly freshwater fish diseases. Don’t be surprised if you lose your fish too soon.

What Are The Things To Remember Before You Buy The Neon Tetra?

Be determined that you will give adequate care to your Neon Tetra. Remember that these fish are sensitive beings just like you are. So, even minor carelessness might lead to the death of your fish. Research and learn more about how would you care and keep your Neon Tetras. Prepare all the resources that you would need to keep the fish both secure and happy.

Be sure to buy the healthy Neon Tetras, though. I’d recommend you to buy from an experienced fish hobbyists than from a fish store. It’s because sometimes, the fish in the fish store might not be as healthy as from the fish hobbyists.

Other Things To Remember:

Now that you know the ideal number of Neon Tetras that you should keep in a school, I’d also like to help you with some other topics. Remember these things before you pet the Neon Tetra as well. So, let’s begin.

Tank Conditions For The Neon Tetra

Just like you need a healthy environment for you to live comfortably, the same is the situation with your Neon Tetra. Neon Tetras are sensitive beings, and you must not be careless in providing the fish with a lovely home.

To be more precise, you must not keep the Neon Tetra in the newly cycled tank. It is because these fish will not be able to adjust to the new chemical reactions. Your fish will eventually die then, and you don’t want that to happen at all.


Like I said earlier, the size of the aquarium tank depends upon the number of the Neon Tetra you will keep. If you are thinking about 6-10 Neon Tetras, then the ideal tank size is 10-gallons of water. However, if you ought to keep 15-20 Neon Tetras, then keep a 20-gallon water tank.

Decoratives And Substrates

Neon Tetras are freshwater fish and used to live in the dense water streams with lots of vegetation. Similarly, these fish would love the tank if there are lots of plants and hiding places. So, it’ll be best if you keep lots of natural plants. Furthermore, keep some artificial rocks and caves, so that the fish will hide and rest peacefully.

Furthermore, I’d recommend you to keep the aquarium soil or black sand in the aquarium to make it even darker.

Water Parameters

Water plays a vital role in the lives of the fish. Neon Tetras are sensitive beings, so slight changes in the water parameters might hamper their health. So, you need to provide the right parameters for your fish. It will ensure that your fish will not stress out and live comfortably.


The correct water temperature for the Neon Tetras is between 68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit(20-27 degrees Celcius). Do not keep the water too temperature too high or too low. The misbalance might create stress and uncomfortableness among the fish.

PH Level and Hardness

Neon Tetras prefer soft water with a PH level between 6.0 and 7.0.


As the Neon Tetras prefer a darker area, it’s best if you keep lower lighting with only 2 watts. It will balance the required darkness and the little illumination properly.

Water Filtration

Providing correct water parameters isn’t enough for any fish species. It is essential to have a proper filtration system, as well. You might already know about the importance of keeping filtration systems. You can check our other articles to know about it in full detail. However, I’ll try to explain it briefly to you. The filtration system will help the toxic and wastage particles to purify from the water. Furthermore, the filtration of water will balance the required chemicals and bacterias as well.

Water Filtration is too important if you a group of fish in your tank. We are talking about the group of Neon Tetras here in this article, though. Clean and change the water every few days to prevent the gathering of fish wastage. Dirty water will make the Neon Tetras too uncomfortable. Thus, sensitive fish like Neon Tetras need proper filtration for their aquarium.

Remember: Precaution Is Better Than Cure!

Like they always say, “Prevention is better than cure.” It holds in every situation of our lives. Similar is the case for your Neon Tetras as well. You already know that the Neon Tetras are sensitive. A slight change in their care will cause serious problems. So, be careful before you bring the Neon Tetras as your pet fish. Make sure to give all the requirements to your group of Neon Tetras.

Prevent Your Neon Tetras From The Deadly Diseases

When living in a group, each Neon Tetra might not get the full attention that it deserves. Some might be lacking behind from the care you’re giving regarding the homely atmosphere. Furthermore, it might create a stressful atmosphere for Neon Tetra. You already know that stress causes some deadly diseases to take place, even with an untimely death. So, make sure you care for each Neon Tetra and analyze their behavior.

Maintain the Balanced Diet

A properly balanced diet is a necessity of every living being on Earth. It is what keeps us healthy and immune. Similarly, Neon Tetras also require a balanced diet, so these fish stay strong. Furthermore, it also helps to fight back viruses and deadly diseases.

The Neon Tetras are omnivores, so you can feed these fish with both meat and veggies. Moreover, these fish are relatively smaller as well. So, the Neon Tetras prefer small quantity foods like Daphnia, Brine Shrimp, Tubifex, Freeze-dried bloodworms, etc. On the other hand, these fish also love to eat flakes and other dried food items as well. You can also feed the Neon Tetras with some vegetables available in your kitchen. However, cut them into small pieces so that the fish will easily be able to eat.

Be careful to feed each Neon Tetra with just enough food, especially in the community tank. It is because some fish might overeat while others might not get enough supply. Distribute the food evenly to all sides of the aquarium so that each fish gets equal food.

Health And Other Comfortability Facilities

You might have heard it a zillion times. However, I’ll say that again, “Health is wealth!” Being healthy is important to us, as it will make us stay happier and stressfree as well. Similarly, the Neon Tetras in your community tank also deserves to stay healthy and stressfree.

Just like you receive health care facilities, why not to your Neon Tetras? What would you do when you get sick? You would go for the hospital checkups, and you would eat the prescribed medicines. Isn’t it? Likewise, you need to observe if your Neon Tetras are behaving differently and if they are uncomfortable.

If you analyze if your Neon Tetra is sick, then you should separate them in a separate tank. However, fulfilling all the requirements that it needs is a must, and you shouldn’t forget that. Furthermore, do you remember that the Neon Tetras are schooling fish and hates to live alone? Don’t keep the Neon Tetra alone for long, though. Give the essential diet and medicines to the Neon Tetra as per requirement. Make it comfortable, so that it will heal soon.

Conclusion- Is Keeping The Neon Tetras Worth Your Time And Money?

Yes, of course. Keeping the Neon Tetras is worth your time and money. These are beautiful fish and are famous in the aquarium fish keeping sector as well. These are famous due to the beautiful coloration of their fins and tails. Furthermore, the Neon Tetras are super peaceful and small fish. It makes these an ideal fish to keep even by the beginners due to their easy care level.

As a schooling fish, Neon Tetras love to live in a group. The ideal number of fish is 6-10, but the more number of fish, the better. Neon Tetras feel more secure and comfortable when living with the fish from the same species. Not only that, but you’ll also be happy to see these fish swimming together in the tank, adding more glory to your tank.

So, what are your thoughts about petting the Neon Tetras? I wish you luck and happy fishkeeping!

Related Article: How Many Neon Tetras Per Gallon Of Water

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