Are neon tetras hard to take care of?

beginnerfishlover
  • #1
OK, I've been looking into getting neons. I think they are so cute and they only grow to 1.5", which I really like. But I have heard they are hard to take care of. Is that true? And do they do well with other fish, or just in a school by themselves? Thanks!
 
Allie
  • #2
Our always have done fine. They do well in a community tank and alone. Looks awesome in a big tank with like 20 of them.
 
sirdarksol
  • #3
They can be difficult to keep alive for the first few weeks. This has something to do with the methods used to ship the fish, I believe, as some members have bred them and say that they have no problems when their customers buy them (even when shipped). A friend of mine has a tank with three black neons. There have been as many regular neons in the tank, but they've never survived more than a week.
Once you get them past the first few weeks, they're not too difficult to keep alive.
 
Barbrella
  • #4
I've always had neons in my tanks. They do fine with any fish not too aggressive, or big enough to eat them of course!

They do need very good water quality, but when they have that they're pretty hardy and will eat anything. They should be in a school of minimum 5 or 6.
 
Shaina
  • #5
You need to be careful acclimating them, since many these days are bred in fish farms in Asia and they have quite the trip -- they don't do well with quickly changing parameters in my (limited) experience. I lost a group of 3 I bought because I only took like 45 minutes to acclimate them, and I think it was too fast. I have 8 now, and didn't lose any of them, but slowing added small amount of tank water over about 2 hours.

It seems like once they are adjusted to the tank, they do well.

In larger groups they are fun to watch, chasing each other all over the tank. Also a nice contrast to the greens, blacks, and browns in my tank thus far.
 
Lucy
  • #6
HI Beginnerfishlover,
You know my opinion on neons from your other post....I just love mine.
 
Phishies Inn
  • #7
When I started my first 10 gallon, I thought the neons would be the "weakest" of all the fish I had - so far, they've outlived even my zebra danios! I'm so impressed. They're pretty cute too But they definitely are happier in lots of numbers. The more, the merrier, but don't overcrowd anything of course
 
susitna-flower
  • #8
I agree neons are easy AFTER they are very slowly acclimated.

They need a school of 6+ and as many as you can keep in a tank without overcrowding the size limit on your tank.

Are you thinking of getting some? The tanks you currently list couldn't hold a school.....which would be the problem at this point.

They are sensitive to water quality, and should only be purchased AFTER a tank is completely cycled.

I have cardinal tetras which I feel are more colorful.
 
beginnerfishlover
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks for all of the replies. Susitna-flower, I am eventually (I'm not sure when, though) going to get a bigger aquarium. I want to do a LOT of research on fish first, though, because when I got my five gallon I knew nothing about the nitrogen cycle, nothing about fish, and I overstocked my tank . . . which caused the death of three of my fish. So, right now I am exploring all of the fish. So, no, I won't be getting any more until I have a new aquarium.

Back to the neons. Would it be better (in a ten gallon tank) to just buy 6 or 7 neons, or to get, say, four of one kind of tetra and four (or whatever would add up to ten inches) of a different kind of tetra? I'm good either way, I just wondered.
 
Lucy
  • #10
I'd say get 6 or 7 neons, they do better in larger groups.

I have 4 neons and 4 serpae in a 10 gallon They are active and get along fine, but I am 2" overstocked.

If I were to do it over again, I would have stuck with one type since they like to be in groups of 6 or more.

Check that....lol, If I were to do it over again, I would have purchased a larger tank!
 
blaxicanlatino
  • #11
I know a group of six or seven is best but would 4 be okay? it also houses a betta, 1 oto (about to leave) and 2 ghost shrimp. I know a bit overcrowded
 
sirdarksol
  • #12
No. I've heard from people who have tried to keep neons with bettas that they can nip the betta's fins.
 
holly7276
  • #13
I wanted to do some research before I start up a tank and have been looking into neons. I was thinking a school of them (maybe 10 or so) in a 10 gallon or 20 gallon tank. But during my research I discovered that neons don't seem to be very hardy.

Would these be okay for a beginner?
 
AlyeskaGirl
  • #14
My opinion is they are not a good beginner fish, yes, they are not as hardy and best to be added to a well established tank with a slow acclimation.
 
ppate1977
  • #15
I would suggest black neon tetra, cardinal tetra or Harliquins. Much more hardy.
 
Redshark1
  • #16
10 gallons is not ideal for a beginner.

The larger the better, so go for the 20 gallon at least.

I would start with small catfish. They are cute, interesting and forgiving.

I have 5 Albino Corydoras, 1 Pitbull Plec, 3 Dwarf Hoplo, 13 African Glass Cats, 1 Hillstream Loach, 2 Ghost Shrimp and 5 African Dwarf Frogs on a sand bed in a 20 gallon with good filtration/water circulation.

The Corydoras are toughest and live a long while (mine are 5 - 8 years old).

Neons and cardinals are great if you are well practiced at keeping great water quality but can be catastrophic if you are not due to suffering from whitespot and neon tetra disease in new tank conditions.
 
jerilovesfrogs
  • #17
I agree neons aren't a great choice for a beginner. I got some maybe 6 months ago, and put them in a well established tank, and still I only have 3 left. black neons are more hardy, but not as pretty imo.

cherry barbs are a hardy fish, and colorful. though I don't think a 10 gallon is good for them. again, imo, I don't think there are a ton of fish you can put into a 10g. a betta is a good choice!
 
AlyeskaGirl
  • #18
I agree with starting out with at least a 20g..bigger is better though.....but it makes a difference if it's a long or tall tank for stocking. So dimensions of the tank are important.

 
J.M.S.
  • #19
I already told you we aren't getting neons mom!

She didin't trust me when I told her about neon tetra disease... keeps saying if I'm going to have all these tanks she wants something with color.
 
Scott23
  • #20
I thought I'd post in here with my testimonial. Neon tetra were my very first fish for my first tank, a 10gal. Of course, I didn't know that they were inappropriate for a beginner, but I used SafeStart before I put them in. That was a little over a year ago. Five of the six I put in are still alive, the one arbitrarily died in the middle of winter. They were even bought from PetSmart. I must have just gotten really lucky. The remaining five are still swimming around healthily and energetic.
 
Aj17
  • #21
I would't recommend them to a beginner. Many tetras are not hardy enough
 
maestroDAWG
  • #22
I already told you we aren't getting neons mom!
Someone's in trouble... ;D
 
Chicken farmer
  • #23
You could try zebra danios! They school and are sort of like tetras. Very hardy
 
pirahnah3
  • #24
I would agree that the neons are not the best choice for a starter fish, I usually use the zebras to cycle my tanks as they seem to be able to withstand a lot of the startup punishment. I also tend to get the long fin ones just to have something to look at that moves.
 
zunedog31
  • #25
naaa not neons for a beginner, you could try but they die randomly. very inexpensive if you want to try 4or 5 of them. zebra danios are awesome fish highly recommended!
 
Elodea
  • #26
Zebra danios are hyperactive and need at least 20 gallons. Also, they are temperate fish who like cooler temperatures, as well as rather nippy so long-finned tank mates aren't recommended. Keep that in mind.
 
trinket
  • #27
If you want colorful, guppies might be a good choice-though only males unless you want the babies. They come in all kinds of colors. They aren't as hardy as they used to be (from what I've read) but I think they're easier than neon tetras.
 
Elodea
  • #28
I suggest cardinals. I have them in both my tanks and have had absolutely no problems with them at all. Male guppies together is a bit of a toss-up, some people find that their males often fight, others have guppies who live together perfectly fine.

Just a heads up, stay away from all types of corydoras except pygmies in a 10 gallon tank. Few people realize that an albino or bronze cory can get to 3 inches long and gain quite a bit of bulk, and they certainly need more space than a 200 square inch footprint to carry out their constant rooting in the substrate.
 
Goldiemom
  • #29
Are neon tetra’s easy to raise? What about in a 10G tank with no other fish? How many? Never raised tropical fish before. I was going to get a Betta but hubby likes the tetrras and puts up with my 2 tanks of Goldie’s.
 
Mary765
  • #30
david1978
  • #31
For neons that's a tough answer. If properly bred they are quite hardy unfochanatly due the mass breeding of them they are not so hardy anymore. For a 10 tetras like green neons and embers are more appropriate and still on the hardier side.
 
Junne
  • #32
Neon tetras are easy to raise but require a bit of patience when acclimating to a new tank as they can be sensitive to water parameters. They also do better in bigger schools of at least 6 or so. With that being said, they need more space than a 10 gallon can provide. A 20 gallon would be minimal.
Also to note, Neons and Goldfish have very different temperature requirements being that neons are tropical fish and goldies are cold water fish so they do not do well in the same tank. I wasn't sure if you were saying they were or not.
 
cadd
  • #33
10g is doable. I've had 20 neons/glowlight tetras in a 10 gallon QT tank for a month. But 20 long tank is better obviously.

Neons are NOT easy to keep. I say this because the stock is bad where I am. I lose about 40% each time in QT.

Currently, I have 18 of them in my 55 gallon tank. Once they survive the QT period, they're relatively easy to keep. But finding good stock is pretty difficult (at least that's the experience I've had).

To give you an idea, the water in my town is high pH (8.0) and hard (7kH, 14gH & 388TDS).

If interested, here's what 18 neons look like in a 55g:

 
Goldiemom
  • #34
Neon tetras are easy to raise but require a bit of patience when acclimating to a new tank as they can be sensitive to water parameters. They also do better in bigger schools of at least 6 or so. With that being said, they need more space than a 10 gallon can provide. A 20 gallon would be minimal.
Also to note, Neons and Goldfish have very different temperature requirements being that neons are tropical fish and goldies are cold water fish so they do not do well in the same tank. I wasn't sure if you were saying they were or not.
No, not in the same tanks! I have an extra 20G

10g is doable. I've had 20 neons/glowlight tetras in a 10 gallon QT tank for a month. But 20 long tank is better obviously.

Neons are NOT easy to keep. I say this because the stock is bad where I am. I lose about 40% each time in QT.

Currently, I have 18 of them in my 55 gallon tank. Once they survive the QT period, they're relatively easy to keep. But finding good stock is pretty difficult (at least that's the experience I've had

To give you an idea, the water in my town is high pH (8.0) and hard (7kH, 14gH & 388TDS).

If interested, here's what 18 neons look like in a 55g:

Thanks for sharing. Beautiful tank by the way.
 
david1978
  • #35
If a 20 is an option I would look at cardinal tetras they look similar, are only slightly bigger but the stock is much better.
 
Goldiemom
  • #36
Well, shoot. I am disappointed but wanted to know. I don’t think I would be interested in the green or the ember. I should have asked before starting to cycle the tank again. Thanks though.
 
david1978
  • #37
The green neons or false neons look remarkably close to regular neons just a little smaller.
 
Lynn78too
  • #38
I've seen different things on how large of a tank, but what about flame tetras? I think they're cute, they're not as active as neons though.
 
Goldiemom
  • #39
The green neons or false neons look remarkably close to regular neons just a little smaller.
I like those! Thanks so much!
 
chromedome52
  • #40
Nothing wrong with 6-8 Neons in a 10. Green/False Neons are invariably wild caught, and are very sensitive as to pH and hardness. They will not last long if not given proper water chemistry.
 

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