What Do Neon Tetra Eat | Neon Tetra Diet

What Do Neon Tetra Eat

Neon Tetras are small, brightly colored freshwater fish that are beloved by aquarium enthusiasts around the world. Their vibrant blue and red stripes make them a popular choice for community tanks, where they can be kept with other peaceful species. But what do neon tetras eat to maintain their vivid colors and energetic behavior? 

Neon Tetra is omnivores and needs a varied diet. They should eat meaty foods, like frozen or live bloodworms, and plants to supplement their fish food pellets.

In this article, we’ll explore the neon tetra diet and learn how to provide them with the nutrition they need to thrive in your aquarium. From live foods to commercial pellets, there are many options available to keep your neon tetras healthy and happy. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets of the neon tetra diet!

Image Food  Link

Josh’s Frogs Melanogaster Fruit Fly Culture Kit (Makes 10 Cultures) buy amazon
Ocean Nutrition Instant Baby Brine Shrimp 0.7-Ounces (20 Grams) JarBrine shrimp buy amazon
1000+ Live Daphnia Magna buy amazon
Exotic Nutrition Bulk Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae (10 lbs.) – High-Calcium Insect Treat buy amazon
9 OZ Matured Micro worm Mega Culture – Ready to Harvest – Live Fish Food buy amazon
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Brand Freeze Dried Bloodworms 1.75oz buy amazon
San Francisco Bay Brand/Sally’s Freeze-Dried Bacteria Free Tubifex – 4 oz. buy amazon
Ancestral Supplements Grass Fed Beef Heart (Desiccated) — Natural CoQ10 (180 Capsules) buy amazon
Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm 500 Count Red Wiggler Live Composting Worms buy amazon
Hikari Tropical Micro Pellets (1.58 (2 Pack)) buy amazon
Tetra PRO PlecoWafers 2.12 Ounces, Nutritionally Balanced Vegetarian Fish Food buy amazon
Tetra TetraFin Goldfish Flakes 4.52 Pound Bucket, Balanced Diet buy amazon

What Do Neon Tetra Fish Eat?

The typical diet for neon tetras includes a variety of foods. Some of these are frozen or live food like bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and tubifex worms.

Did you know that neon tetras can eat flakes from the water’s surface and even veggies like cucumbers and zucchini? It’s pretty cool! However, it’s important to remember that while they can graze on their own, you should still offer them other forms of food at first to keep them healthy until they get the hang of it.

Some people make the mistake of only feeding their fish one type of food, which can lead to some serious problems. If you notice your tetra nibbling on its own tail or having trouble swimming, it could be a sign that they’re not getting all the nutrients and vitamins they need from just one type of food. So, make sure to mix it up and keep your tetras happy and healthy!

What Do Neon Tetra Fish Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, neon tetras are omnivores and feed on a variety of small organisms, including tiny crustaceans, insect larvae, and worms. They are also known to feed on algae and other plant materials.

Due to their small size, neon tetras have a relatively fast metabolism and require frequent meals to maintain their energy levels.

In their natural habitat, they rely on diverse food sources to meet their nutritional needs. They are also known to be active foragers, constantly searching for food throughout the day.

What Do Neon Tetra Fish Eat In An Aquarium?

Neon Tetras require high-quality flake food supplemented by live or frozen foods, freeze-dried food, and frozen bloodworms.

In a home aquarium, tetras will eat mainly plant matter as well as occasional live or frozen invertebrates.

Fish are smarter than they seem and will often try to eat anything new in their environment, so make sure to rotate what you feed them, so they don’t get bored.

If your tetra doesn’t seem interested in any of the foods you are offering, try feeding it live or frozen food similar in shape and size to its favorite flake type.

  1. Flakes
  2. Bloodworms
  3. Pellets
  4. Frozen food
  5. Tubifex Worms
  6. Brine Shrimp
  7. Daphnia
  8. Algae wafers

What Does Neon Tetra Eat In A Community Aquarium?

When it comes to feeding neon tetras in a community aquarium, there are a few options to keep them happy and healthy. You can give them commercial flakes or pellets made specifically for tropical fish, as well as frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia.

Some people even offer veggies like spinach or zucchini to mix things up. Just remember not to overfeed them and only give them what they can finish in a couple of minutes. A varied diet will help keep your tetras’ colors bright and their tummies happy in their community tank.

What Does Neon Tetra Eat In A Retail Aquarium?

In a retail aquarium, tetras usually eat what other fish in the tank are eating.

The amount of food that they need to survive is not very much. So, you don’t have to worry about overfeeding them or anything like that – make sure there’s always enough food to go around.

What Kinds of Food Should You Feed Your Neon Tetra Fish?

Fish food pellets are the most common type of fish feed. But you can also try feeding your tetra fresh fruit or vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini squash, green beans, spinach leaves, or even peas!

Just make sure to leave out any foods that could cause an allergic reaction in humans because these will bother them too. If you’re not sure what’s safe for your tetra, let us know, and we’ll help you find a list online.

Neon Tetras eat just about anything they can fit into their mouths, including commercially prepared flake/pellet diets with vegetable-based proteins such as spirulina algae (a natural source of beta-carotene) and crushed peas.

Your neon tetras will happily eat algae; you can even buy or make algae wafers yourself.

It’s important to feed vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini squash, green beans, spinach leaves, or even peas at least once a week because neon tetra needs both proteins and carbs for healthy growth!

If you’re not sure what is safe for your tetra, let us know, and we’ll help you find a list online. You might want to read Can The Neon Tetra Eat Goldfish Flakes?

Do You Need To Feed Your Neon Tetra Daily?

Yes, it is always important to feed your tetra daily. You have to be careful not to overfeed them, however.

They’re not picky about their diet, so you can feed them pretty much anything that they will fit in their mouths. Just make sure to avoid any foods with high levels of fat or salt because this is bad for fish health! You should keep a balance between proteins and carbs when feeding your tetra—they need both nutrients to stay healthy and grow.

What Happens If You Don’t Feed Your Neon Tetra?

If your tetra doesn’t have a balanced diet, he or she is more likely to get sick. The neon tetra needs both proteins and carbs in their diet for healthy growth. If they don’t get enough of one or the other, they are more likely to get sick. They need to be fed every day.

Just make sure not to overfeed them because this is bad for the fish. They’re not picky about their diet, so you can feed them pretty much anything that they will eat but avoid high levels of fat and salt as it’s bad for their health.

What Human Food Can Your Neon Tetra Fish Eat?

Some people might say that you can’t feed your tetra any human food, but it is actually ok in very small amounts.

Examples of safe foods for them are:

  1. Peaches
  2. Cucumbers
  3. Pears
  4. Kiwi fruit
  5. Bananas – only ripe ones! And not too many because they contain a lot of sugar
  6. Melon – only ripe ones! And again, don’t feed too many because they contain a lot of sugar.
  7. Green beans and peas
  8. You can also give your tetra some cooked vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, or green beans but make sure to remove the skin first.

You might prefer doing it yourself and making good food for your neon tetras. If you want, you can also try some of the homemade foods for your neon tetras.

How Much And How Often To Feed Your Neon Tetra?

Neon tetras should be fed daily or at least twice a day with small amounts of food (equal to the size of their eyes) to thrive and not become obese. The best time is early morning or late afternoon as this will provide the most natural light, ensuring they are getting the right amount of nutrients from their food.

Be sure to provide them with enough food so that everyone in the tank can eat their fill and not have any leftover scraps laying around for other fish to get at because they will!

I have written in more detail about the neon tetra feeding schedules!

What Happens If You Overfeed Your Neon Tetra?

It’s important to watch how much you’re feeding your fish, as overfeeding can have some serious consequences. Not only can it lead to obesity, making your fish feel sluggish and creating a breeding ground for parasites like “ich,” but it can also cause bloating and yeast infections.

And if that wasn’t enough to scare you, overfeeding can even lead to diseases and death! Giving your fish too much food can cause their swim bladder to become enlarged and deformed, making it hard for them to swim and stay afloat.

But fear not, because neon tetras are the perfect fish for beginners due to their hardiness! They can handle a little extra food every now and then, but it’s still important to monitor their feeding to keep them healthy and happy in your tank. By keeping an eye on how much you’re feeding them, you can help ensure that your neon tetras thrive in their aquatic home.

The Importance Of Feeding Your Neon Tetras The Right Amounts Of Food

While it is not a good idea to overfeed them, you also need to be careful not to underfeed them and ensure that the food they are getting has enough nutrients.

Feeding your tetra fish at least three times a day, but not more than five is ideal. This will help them stay healthy and live longer lives of up to 15 years or even 20 in some cases!

Foods That You Should Avoid Giving Your Neon Tetra Fish

There are many foods that are harmful to your neon tetras, like bread, oranges, and even their own poop.

As always, you should avoid giving any foods with high levels of phosphorus, such as beef heart, which can cause your tetra fish to develop diseases.

Why Is My Neon Tetra Not Eating?

Since they are fairly small, these neon tetras can go through a feeding period of up to two weeks without food. When you have an established tank with enough feeder-fish foods for your tetras’ needs and the fish is still not eating, another problem could be causing it, such as temperature or chemical imbalance in the tank.

If your tetras are not eating, it may be because their stomachs are full of food and they’re digesting what they already had for a while now or because the water neon tetra is living in is too cold. Their diet should consist mainly of foods that contain high amounts of protein since this will help them grow faster and stay healthier.

To know more about why your neon tetra is not eating, you can read my article in detail about it!

Recommendations For Some Best Commercial Fish Food For Neon Tetra

I’ve found the following fish food on Amazon that I think would work well for Neon Tetras:

Aqueon Cichlid Mini Pellets

This fish food is the best commercial fish food, in my opinion. I used it on my Neon Tetras for about 3 months. They are doing well with this type of food. You can mix the flakes with water or frozen so that the fish have a variety of textures to choose from. I would recommend Aqueon Cichlid Flakes, as I have and still using this one myself.

Tetra TetraMin Plus Tropical Flakes

This fish food has a lot of good reviews on Amazon. And it is one of the most affordable solutions for Neon Tetras. The frozen version is great because all you have to do is thaw it out before you feed your fish. This can save time when feeding multiple tanks with this type of food.

Frequently Asked Questions About Neon Tetra

Do Neon Tetras Need A Filter?

Yes, neon tetras need an aquarium filter in the tank. They are quite fragile and sensitive when it comes to water quality.

If you don’t have a filter on your tank, then it will be difficult for tetras to survive in the tank with poor water quality. This can lead to your tetra fish becoming stressed and not living for as long.

Can I Put My Neon Tetra Fish In A Fishbowl?

Putting your neon tetra fish into a bowl is not recommended. You need to keep them in a tank as small as 10 gallons along with its school.

Your neon tetra will suffocate and also die of loneliness in the bowl. Do not be this cruel and go choose another fish that can live in the fishbowl.


In the world of tetra fish, a healthy diet is key. It’s crucial to feed your little swimming pals the right amount of food and make sure they’re getting all the necessary nutrients to keep them thriving.

But wait, before you start throwing any old thing into their tank, it’s important to know what not to feed them! Bread? Nope. Oranges? Not a chance. And as bizarre as it may sound, you’ll want to avoid feeding them their own poop. So remember, a balanced diet is essential, but be sure to steer clear of the forbidden snacks if you want your neon tetras to live their best lives.

Scroll to Top