Neon Tetras Tank and Temp

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shaelis

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I am a new fish owner but have been sure to compensate by doing tons of research! I have tried books (most I was able to get my hands on are outdated) and have settled on relying on reliable websites and trusted articles. However recently I have come to find many fishlore people have opposing views on how to keep Neon Tetras.

Websites & Articles say:
10 gallon minimum
up to 80 degrees temp

Fishlore:
24 inch tank (usually 15 gallons)
up to 75 degrees temp

A bit confused as I know for a fact that wild neons live in temperatures up to 82 degrees, especially thriving in protected areas in Venezuela.

Please tell me what you believe as well as why as I would love to know the reasoning behind it especially if you have experience with owning neon tetras.

Thank you so much!
 

Megg01

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Neon tetras do best in lower temps (low 70's) and tanks such as 20 gallons since they use so much swimming room. Being able to withstand higher temps doesn't mean it's ideal. They should also be in groups of 6 or more since they're schooling fish. TexasDomer and Anders247 will probably have some good answers for you.
 

Anders247

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shaelis said:
A bit confused as I know for a fact that wild neons live in temperatures up to 82 degrees, especially thriving in protected areas in Venezuela.
They live in that temp seasonally, not year round, if kept permanently at higher temps they will have shorter lifespans. At least that is how I understand it.

chromedome52 can help you better.
 

Emze17

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I always believed neons should be kept at warmer temps of around 26-27 degree celcius (78-80 fahrenheit). It was on here that I learned that lower temps are actually preferable. They can and will live in warmer waters but it may well shorten their life span. Difference between surviving and thriving.
I've since gradually reduced the temp of my tank to about 75 (maybe just under) and ive actually noticed a difference. I've only lost 1 fish since reducing temp and they're alot more active, eating better and their colours are better.

Also agree with Megg01 about tank size, I wouldn't keep them in less than 20gallons. They need the room to swim and the more of them there are the better but a minimum of 6.

They also prefer/do better in well established tanks

Just to add I also see many people worry that their neons don't shoal but from my experience they only do when there's a threat in the tank. Safety in numbers n'all that. Mine are generally spread all over the tank (they live with corys and a bristlenose) but if i stick my hand in the tank for cleaning they group up.
 

Affenlab

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I've heard that they do best in 68-72 degrees
 
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shaelis

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Anders247 said:
They live in that temp seasonally, not year round, if kept permanently at higher temps they will have shorter lifespans. At least that is how I understand it.
My problem is, the temp in those areas lower to about 73 at the most and are about 78 - 80 for the rest of the 9 months.
 

AlyeskaGirl

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There is conflicting information here about Neons and temperature. They can be kept between 68-84F; 78-80F being ideal. Angelfish a natural predator of Neons which live in warmer waters makes no sense being said they need to be kept in cooler temperatures.
 

chromedome52

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The fact is, Neons are not found in Venezuela, so wherever you got that information is best ignored. They are found in the upper Amazon, near the border of Peru and Brazil. These waters are at higher altitudes, and Neons prefer to live in forest-darkened waters. That is why their eggs are so light sensitive.

According to a very old book, Spawning Problem Fishes, vol. 1 by Willy Jocher, Neons are best kept between 70-76 F. They will tolerate higher temps, but their spawning temperature is 73-74, and that's usually considered nominal. Most of the internet sites have gotten the wrong information and repeated it ad nauseum. Temperatures 78 and above shorten their lifespans tremendously. Neons should live over 5 years, not 2 or 3.

I have seen a couple of people here claim that Neons are a part of the natural diet of Angels. I do not believe this to be true. The range of Paracheirodon innesi only overlaps minimally with any Pterophyllum species, but the habitats are quite different and have different parameters, including temperature.BTW, Angels do better in the 75-79 temperature range, not in the 80s.

There has been a trend over the last 20 years (which oddly coincides with the internet becoming widely available) to recommend higher temperatures than our fish actually come from. Lower temperatures slow the metabolism, lengthen lives, and reduce aggression. Some species do come from very warm waters, such as Discus, Cardinals, and Rams. But a lot of our common species do not come from waters over 80, and in some areas the waters never reach those temperatures. Just because the air gets hot, doesn't mean the water does.

Just to note, much of my information comes from people who have gone out and collected fish, both scientists and commercial collectors. It also comes from some of the most experienced breeders of fish in the aquarium hobby, such as Rosario LaCorte, James K. Langhammer, and a few who are not as widely known.
 

Anders247

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.....and there we have it......
 
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shaelis

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chromedome52 said:
The fact is, Neons are not found in Venezuela, so wherever you got that information is best ignored. They are found in the upper Amazon, near the border of Peru and Brazil. These waters are at higher altitudes, and Neons prefer to live in forest-darkened waters. That is why their eggs are so light sensitive.

According to a very old book, Spawning Problem Fishes, vol. 1 by Willy Jocher, Neons are best kept between 70-76 F. They will tolerate higher temps, but their spawning temperature is 73-74, and that's usually considered nominal. Most of the internet sites have gotten the wrong information and repeated it ad nauseum. Temperatures 78 and above shorten their lifespans tremendously. Neons should live over 5 years, not 2 or 3.

I have seen a couple of people here claim that Neons are a part of the natural diet of Angels. I do not believe this to be true. The range of Paracheirodon innesi only overlaps minimally with any Pterophyllum species, but the habitats are quite different and have different parameters, including temperature.BTW, Angels do better in the 75-79 temperature range, not in the 80s.

There has been a trend over the last 20 years (which oddly coincides with the internet becoming widely available) to recommend higher temperatures than our fish actually come from. Lower temperatures slow the metabolism, lengthen lives, and reduce aggression. Some species do come from very warm waters, such as Discus, Cardinals, and Rams. But a lot of our common species do not come from waters over 80, and in some areas the waters never reach those temperatures. Just because the air gets hot, doesn't mean the water does.

Just to note, much of my information comes from people who have gone out and collected fish, both scientists and commercial collectors. It also comes from some of the most experienced breeders of fish in the aquarium hobby, such as Rosario LaCorte, James K. Langhammer, and a few who are not as widely known.
Thank you so much for all of your help!
 
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