How To Tell If A Neon Tetra Is Going To Lay Eggs?

How To Tell If A Neon Tetra Is Going To Lay Eggs

If you are an aquarist who loves to experiment with your aquarium and think a lot about making it beautiful, you know by now that neon tetras are some of the best choices to have in an aquarium. How to know that your neon tetra is going to lay eggs in the aquarium then?

If your Neon tetra is looking a little swollen in its belly, it is most probably going to lay eggs very soon. In some cases, your neon tetra might just be fat or sick. In this article, I will help you uncover such hidden facts. Moreover, you will also learn about the complicated mating of these simple freshwater species.

Let us learn about neon tetras and their spawning. This article will help you to know what to do when your Neon tetra is going to lay eggs and when exactly to do so.

How To Tell If Neon Tetra Is Going To Lay Eggs?

To verify whether your Neon tetra is going to lay eggs or not, you need to follow various steps. The first is differentiating between male and female Neon tetra. After that, you distinguish between a pregnant Neon tetra and a normal one.

Step 1: Male Vs. Female Neon Tetra

To spot a female Neon tetra, you have to be observant. It is not a challenging task, generally. The female Neon tetras are a little huge than male neon tetras. To put it differently, the slimmer neon tetras are usually male.

If you look closely, you will notice a straight blue line in the body of male neon tetras. In contrast, you will see a curved blue line in the body of female neon tetras.

Step 2: Signs That Neon Tetras Are Mating Or About To Mate

The more you look at you are neon tetras, the more differences you will find. So, if you notice your Neon tetra performing a specific dance in a square motion with jerking movements, you are undeniably looking at your male Neon tetra. A cute fact is that this dance is meant to attract female neon tetras!

When you notice the male neon tetras performing the special dance for their female partners and occasionally stopping while doing so, you can make sure that they are going to mate.

Step 3: Is The Female Neon Tetra Pregnant?

After this, you might see that your neon tetra is quite swollen in the belly. It means that the neon tetras are going to lay eggs anytime soon. Neon tetras do not become obese until they are very sick. So you do not have to worry about other differences much.

If you notice that one of the females is relatively more extensive than the others, it will spawn the eggs later. Take a good look at their belly. Does it swell at the bottom? Does the female Neon tetra have black spots in her body?

Then, you guessed it right! She is pregnant and is going to lay eggs pretty soon.

Is My Neon Tetra Going To Lay Eggs Or Not?

Imagine you are thinking that your Neon tetra is going to lay eggs. And, they do not lay eggs for a long time. I understand that it can frustrate you very much. Here is how you can know what is happening if your Neon tetra is not laying eggs but has swollen in the belly for a long time.

Is The Neon Tetra Just Fat Or Going To Lay Eggs?

As I have already mentioned above, neon tetras do not get fat without any reason. Some of you might be thinking, then why is my Neon tetra getting fatter by the day.

Many people find it challenging to deal with this. Neon tetras are getting fatter, but it does not show signs of sickness or pregnancy. Is your Neon tetra going to lay eggs anytime soon? Probably not.

If your neon tetra is getting fat without any reason, either it is sick or something is wrong with the water in the aquarium.

High levels of nitrate often cause this problem. I have been fooled by this very situation myself. I was distraught that my fish is sick but slight changes in water ruled out my tensions.

Moreover, I learned that the nitrate level should be between 10 to 20 ppm. To make it more favorable for my neon tetra, I change the water in my aquarium once a month completely. In this way, I keep my Neon tetra safe from any kind of sickness caused by high levels of nitrate in water.

Is The Neon Tetra Sick Or Pregnant?

Neon tetras do get fat when they are sick. It is a sad fact. You can distinguish this when previously slim Neon tetra is getting fatter with time.

Significantly when a male Neon tetra is increasing in size, it is safe to assume that they are very sick. To avoid the bad omens of losing a Neon tetra when you expect them to increase in number, you have to be very observant about the neon tetras you have in your aquarium.

However, it can be nervewracking to differentiate between a female Neon tetra that is pregnant, or that is sick. Likewise, to know whether your female fish is ill or not, you have to observe the male behavior while mating.

If you were lucky to see the special dance and stillness in motion, it is safe to assume that your female neon tetra is pregnant.

However, if it takes longer for your neon tetra to down the eggs, you might be in trouble!

Pregnant Neon Tetra Signs of Delivery

The pregnant neon tetras show special signs that help you figure out whether they are about to deliver or not. The signs of delivery are shown below for your ease:

Specific Belly Form Before Laying Eggs

The pregnant female neon tetra will have a rounded belly swollen due to the eggs she carries.

As you know, a female neon tetra is already a little fat than that of the male neon tetra. A pregnant female neon tetra has a definite belly shape rounded by a little and with black dots.

She will spawn the eggs when the temperature and lights are right for her.

Female Neon Tetra Hiding

The female neon tetras about to lay eggs will be swimming near the rocks or the plants in the aquarium. It is because the female neon tetras become shy. Moreover, neon tetras lay their eggs in a dark place in the aquarium, if possible.

Hence, you will need to prepare the tank in the same manner, to make it easy for the female neon tetra to lay eggs.

How to Save And Care for Neon Tetra Eggs?

To save neon tetra fry, you must first look forward tot he breeding requirements and pay attention when the female neon tetra is going to lay eggs.

Avoid Newly Set Tanks

Newly set tanks are not beneficial for the neon tetras. The fry is not much usual with the changes in the initial cycle. Hence, the changing of the tank must only be done when the fry is fully mature, and the water chemistry is stable.

However, you can try to maintain the temperature of the water correctly to save the fry while changing the tank. However, this is a risky task!

Managing Water Parameters

Neon tetras are more familiar with soft water as they are freshwater animals. The water should hit about 1 to 2 dH indicators. For this, you can look for a local test kit from your pet stores to measure the DH level of the water.

For the pH level, you should go for around 5 to 6. Along with these, the temperature of the water is about 74 degrees Fahrenheit or less. You can reach from 70 to 75 degrees, neither more nor less.

Changes In Water Of The Aquarium

You can also change the water more frequently for the adult neon tetras to encourage spawning. Make sure that you do this with half the water only. The water change works wonders if the above factors are not enough to motivate your fish to spawn.

Use Of Filters In Aquarium

You should remember to add a sponge filter in one corner of the water tank. It will ensure to keep the water clean for the eggs. Always remember that the eggs are more likely to hatch in clean water than a dirty one.

Related Article:

  1. Types of Aquarium Filter For Tetra Fish and Filtration Methods
  2. Do Neon Tetras Need Filter To Survive?

How Long Does It Take For A Neon Tetra To Lay Eggs?

The female neon tetra will scatter a bunch of eggs when she is ready to breed. After this, the male neon tetras will help to fertilize the eggs. The neon tetras spawn in the morning.

Hence, the amount of intensity of light determines the time female tetras will spawn the eggs. It might take up to 15 to 60 minutes.

Since the eggs are a little adhesive, they will stick to the plants with ease. You might find difficulty in finding them as they are transparent.

After being spawned, the male fertilizes the eggs. Now, everything beautiful requires patience. For this reason, you will have to wait for 24 hours to watch the eggs hatch.

Small fries will come out of the eggs and feed on the egg sacks entirely for the first few days. It reminds me of the butterflies for some reason. In 4 to 5 days, you will see the fry swimming freely in your aquarium!

This stage is where you need to show your presence. Feed your fry with small amounts of food like egg yolks, infusoria, and rotifers.

Related Article:

  1. Do Tetra Fish Eat Algae? – Should You Add Algae To Their Diet?
  2. Glowlight Tetra’s Diet: How Often To Feed Them And Best Food?
  3. Tetra Fish Diet | What do Tetra Fish Eat: A Complete Guide

How Many Eggs Do Neon Tetras Lay At Once?

To be particular, neon tetra will lay about 60 to 130 eggs at a time. The number seems big, isn’t it? Furthermore, you can stop stressing about changing into a bigger tank for the neon tetras, though. It is because you will only have 40 to 50 baby fry from the eggs. Besides, not all of them will hatch and turn into fry!

Why Aren’t Eggs Of My Neon Tetra Hatching?

The painful part of expecting to breed the neon tetras is when you fail to see the eggs hatch.

Why do the eggs not hatch then? Here are some possible reasons why this incident might occur!

  • The failure of male neon tetras to fertilize the eggs
  • Neon tetra spots the eggs before you could spot the eggs. Probably, the neon tetra is eating the eggs away!
  • You did not maintain the appropriate breeding temperature.

You can separate the adult tetras as soon as you see the eggs fertilized. Besides, you shall wait patiently for 24 hours for them to hatch. In contrast to this, you can also remove the eggs from the tank instead! However, this is a little riskier. Besides, you have to wait for 2 seconds before you put them into a separate tank. Make sure the temperature is just right that is 70 to 75 degrees.

Breeding Requirements For Neon Tetras

It is not just enough for the neon tetras to breed as soon as they spawn their eggs. You have to pay better attention if you want the fry to survive. There are certain things that you can do to care for the fry.

Read the full article on Breeding Tetra Fish – Step By Step Guide.

Separate From The Parent Neon Tetras

Neon tetras eat their eggs. So, it is better if you separate the eggs as soon as the male neon tetra fertilizes the eggs. You would undeniably not want the adult neon tetras to damage the fries. Although most neon tetras might survive the attack from their own parents, the fry is pretty sensitive and prone to physical damage.

Set Up A Fry Tank

Next, you can also set up a fry tank. For this, you will need a couple of inches of rock on the lower side of the aquarium so that the eggs or babies can land there! You should have safe hiding places where it is dark such that the eggs can hatch within 24 hours. If there is excessive light, the eggs might die before they hatch.

The tip here is that you should avoid putting plants in the tank. It is because the eggs might stick to the leaves. Moreover, you will find it difficult to remove the eggs if they stick to the plants.

Read Full article on How To Setup Tetra Fry Tank: Fish Tank Requirement For The Fry, and Tetra Fry Care – How to Care for Baby Tetras?

Set Up A Tank With Lid

For the adult neon tetras who are about to mate, they might jump out of the tank in excitement. Majorly the male tetras who dance are prone to this deadly stunt! So, a tank with a lid is more helpful than you might think it is.

Also Read: Aquarium Filters Best Suited For Tetra Fish Fry

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Neon Tetras Eat Their Babies?

As I have explained in the breeding requirements, yes, the neon tetras will eat their babies. You have to breed the baby fries separately. You need to remove the adult tetras as soon as you see eggs in the aquarium. The neon tetra will otherwise eat the eggs.

Baby tetras are also vulnerable to diseases and physical injuries, which might cause them not to hatch. To make them survive, you have to separate them from their parents or other adult fishes.

You can add them later in the tank.

How Do Neon Tetra Eggs Look Like?

Neon Tetra’s eggs look transparent with a touch of white or yellow. If you pay attention, you will see them without a doubt. Some people mistake it for wastes and throw the eggs away. Though, this is not much possible as you are an aquarist after all.

The baby fry is also a part of the egg hatching. The eggs hatch into larva state. Then it turns into baby tetras. These baby tetras look like particles of glass floating around the tank.

If you did not notice the hatching of the eggs, you would see the beautiful sight of transparent fry floating in the water.

When Do Neon Tetras Usually Spawn?

You would not want your neon tetras to eat their eggs before you can breed them. Hence, you need to know when the female neon tetras spawn. Then, spawning occurs in the morning.

When the female tetra is about to spawn, you will see it chasing others and swimming around plants such that the eggs stick to them.

How To Know Whether Neon Tetra Eggs Have Been Fertilized?

The eggs are usually transparent when they are fertilized. So, when you see that the eggs have become very white, you can assume that they are not fertilized.

The fertilized eggs hatch within 24 hours. For this, you will have to consider all breeding requirements, like the water temperature and nitrate level.

Last Words

Neon tetras are extremely easy going freshwater fish which enhance the beauty of your aquarium. It might require a little of your care while breeding. Moreover, you, as an aquarist, must find breeding of your fish more amazing than hectic.

It is only a matter of knowledge before you turn your neon tetra’s eggs into fry. After a few weeks, the fry is ready to be kept with other neon tetras including the adult parents. Your neon tetras learn survival skills pretty fast.

I believe you have learned a lot from this article about how to know when your neon tetra is going to lay eggs and what to do when it does.

You shall be able to breed the neon tetras now. Happy fishkeeping!

Related Article:

  1. How To Breed Glowlight Tetras – Step By Step Guide
  2. Are Tetra Livebearers? Do They Give Birth or Lay Eggs?
  3. Are Tetras Egg Layers? What Do They Look Like?
  4. How Many Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank

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