How Many Neon Tetras Per Gallon?

We may receive commissions when you buy through links on our site.

It can be said that practically all lovers of the Neon Tetra world have contemplated their aquarium. They have at least once asked themselves the same question: How many neon tetras per gallon?

Unfortunately, all aquariums do not come with an instruction sheet for the average fish they may have. As a result, many owners unconsciously introduce more fish than they should, sometimes with a disastrous outcome.

So, how do you know how many fish can be kept in an aquarium?  There are several factors to consider, as well as various methods of calculating safe storage levels.


Neon Tetra: The Basic Information

Tetra neon fish (Parachirodon innesi) is a prevalent species in aquariums, originating from the clear water currents of southern America. These freshwater animals are colorful and peaceful. They are very conducive to living in community tanks with other species of similar temperament. Besides, Tetra Neon fish enjoy swimming in schools of fish between six and more members. Thanks to their attractiveness, our aquarium will be able to look much more colorful.

In this article, we are going to dwell on the characteristics of these beautiful fish, as well as how to configure and maintain our aquarium to ensure optimal living conditions.


The Rule of  How Many Neon Tera Per Gallon Water

The best-known rule for calculating how many fish you can put in an aquarium is the centimeter of fish per liter of water rule. Which you cannot cling to 100% since the calculation does not take into account the following points that influence the optimal number of fish:

  • Aquatic plants
  • The lighting
  • Type of fish

So the rule is more of an orientation method that can help us to have an estimate of the real number.

Next, you will know what happens with this series of details that must also be taken into account:


Size and Shape Influence

Like people, fish are not the same size and shape. For example, it is not the same to put ten Neon Tetra fish in a ten-liter aquarium as in ten gilthead ones. The bigger fish create more waste and therefore require more volume of water.

This aquarium depending on the size and shape of the fish, you can enter more or less a limited number of fish that you can see in the list below.

Next to the aquarium, you have the ideal filter for its capacity. An essential accessory for the survival of the tenants. So it is perfect to buy it together.


The Final Measure of the Adult Neon Fish

Also, the Neon Tetra often have not fully grown when they are first brought home. The little Neon Tetra that is only 1 cm long today will reach 4 cm in no time.

The actual size of the adult fish is the one that must be used in the calculation to establish the mean of the aquarium. Before purchasing Neon fish, it is advisable to do an investigation of the size that it will reach when it is an adult.


The Sex of the Neon Tetra Fish

Knowing the sex of the fish is essential because if you have males and females, they will reproduce, and the volume of fish will multiply rapidly.

In case you have both males and females and have young, it will be convenient to install a farrowing pen to isolate the young. And at this time, you have to think about setting up another aquarium. Because if you keep more Neon fish than your water tank supports, the conditions of the aquarium will likely worsen. You will put the health of your Neon fish at risk.


Leave room for movement.

Fish also need room to swim (some more than others). Although the numbers may paint well on paper, in reality, the tank may be too small for the fish to move comfortably.


Objects subtract liters of water.

Another frequent mistake is to assume that the size of the aquarium is equivalent to the number of liters of water it contains. A well-stocked 10-gallons aquarium decorated with gravels, rocks, and plants does not contain 10-gallons of water: the volume of water is often 10-15% less than the size of the tank.

If you have just started, a medium aquarium is ideal to familiarize yourself with all these types of issues.

So, from what we’ve seen so far, although the centimeter-per-liter rule may be a reasonable yardstick, it has its flaws, too.


Surface Calculation

It is a fact that the higher the surface of the water, the greater the oxygen exchange, and this, in turn, supports a more significant number of fish. Therefore, the water surface directly affects how many fish you can keep in your aquarium.

Under this other rule of water surface area, we know that 1 cm of fish can be stored for every 12 square centimeters of the surface.

However, this calculation has many of the same flaws as the previous rule. For example:

It was intended to assume fish that are relatively thin, which is not always the case. If fat fish are kept in the aquarium, the calculation should change.

A tall and narrow aquarium can hold the same number of liters as an aquarium that is short and wide, But they both have very different surface areas.

Using the surface area rule, an account must be taken of the difference in shape between the tanks. The surface area is calculated by multiplying the width times the length of the container.

Therefore, as before, the surface area rule is not perfect. Its main advantage is that aquariums that have an unusual shape are taken into account.


So Which Calculation to Use?

As a general criterion for typical situations, the rule of 1 cm of fish per liter of waterworks appropriately and is very easy to calculate. If you use it, always do it with the net liters of water, and take into account the size of the adult Neon fish as well as its shape.

If the aquarium has an unusual shape, then use the surface ruler.


How Many Neon Tera Per Gallon Of Water: Calculation

Naturally, check in this table how many fish can fit in your aquarium, taking into account the type of fish, its size, and weight.

Although throughout today’s post, it has become clear that we cannot treat the subject as absolute truths. It is very complex to determine a perfect formula by the number of variables that we have mentioned, in addition to some more like:

  • The food and nutrition of each species.
  • Origin of the fish.
  • Water chemistry and filtration systems for the aquarium.

But even so, this graph can help you a lot when it comes to having a correct estimate and guiding you with accurate data.


Fish type Size Calculation Amount of fish according to water limit
8 gal 15 gal 23 gal 31 gal 40 gal 63 gal 95 gal
Neon Tetra 35 cm Cm/gal 4 8 10 15 20 36 60
Guppy 3-6 Cm/gal 4 8 12 15 18 24 36
Molly 3-6 Cm/gal 4 8 12 15 18 24 36
Ramirezi 4-7 Cm/gal 0 2 2 4 4 6 8
Tiger barb 5-8 Cm/gal 2 5 9 12 15 24 36
Angelfish 12-20 Cm/gal 0 0 2 2 3 4 6
Green swordtail 3-6 Cm/gal 4 8 12 15 18 24 36


Other factors to consider

In any case, our advice is to shoot down and not reach the limit of fish that comes out in one rule or another.

Also, do not fill the aquarium with all the fish at once. You should not enter more than 25% of the total volume of fish at the same time.

And what about the droppings? Since feces are toxic, introducing bacterial colonies to eliminate them is beneficial. These colonies need time to adapt to changes. By submitting a few fish at a time, the bacterial colonies have enough time to grow and deal with toxins produced by fish waste.


Filtration and pH Control

Finally, keep in mind that filtration also plays an essential role in the amount of how many Neon tetra per gallon of your aquarium will support. Ideally, use a filter slightly higher than the volume of the aquarium to ensure that its efficiency is adequate.

As a last tip, pay attention to pH control. Almost all aquarium fish need to keep pH between 6.8 and 7.2, although this is a generality because, for each species, there is an optimal pH value.

We hope this article has helped you. Remember that for any specific question about aquariums, consult an expert. Do not take a chance when it comes to the health and growth of your lovely Neon Tetra.

1 thought on “How Many Neon Tetras Per Gallon?”

Leave a Comment