What Fish Can Live with Neon Tetras? (Tank Mates for Neon Tetra)

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Neon Tetra fish are one of the most popular in the world, and, normally, you want to try to keep them with other animals. Of course, if you have come this far, you are doing the right thing. We know you want to know which are the fish compatible with Neon Tetra, and that is essential to ensure harmony in the aquarium. As you may well know, they are generally calm and easy to care for fish. This means that they do not tend to have too much interference with other animals.

As with most fish species, before mixing your Neon Tetra with other new inhabitants of your aquarium, you should think about their compatibility. Otherwise, your Neon Tetra could quickly become victims of the fresh fish’s appetite or territorial instinct.

Fortunately, Neon Tetra is compatible with many other species. Do you want to know them? Then join us, and we will give you some ideas to increase the diversity of your aquarium.


Compatibility of Neon Tetra

First of all, it should be mentioned that Neon Tetra can live with both males and females of their species. So, you can create large colonies whenever the space in your fish tank allows it. Keep in mind that an excess of animals in a limited space can increase conflicts even when they are peaceful species.

If you introduce fish of a size similar to Neon Tetra, which is neither larger nor smaller, there should be no problem. Always try to choose calm or good-natured species such as carp, kite fish, Neon Tetra, bottom fish, or similar species.

Knowing the fish compatible with Neon Tetra is essential to maintain balance in your aquarium.


How to Choose the Right Fish for The Neon Tetra

As you may know, Neon Tetra fish are very peaceful, perfect for a community aquarium where numerous species mix.

Above all, they are compatible with other small fish. Avoid keeping them with much larger fish that can eat them (such as certain cichlids or angelfish).

Besides, many fish attack and mutilate their tails and body, attracted by their colors—for example, the red-tailed shark or the copper tetra.

The compatible fish with Neon Tetra has to be both behavior and parameters of the aquarium, i.e., they must meet the following requirements:

  • Let them be peaceful. Those who have somewhat more aggressive behavior, or who have a tendency to nibble on their tails, are not good fish tank mates.
  • That they do not grow much more than Neon Tetra, the size should be similar to avoid predation.
  • They can live well at neutral pH (around 7) and high GH (+10).

Most of the famous fish are not too compatible with Neon Tetra. If we are strict in the selection, forget about barbels, tetras, guramis, bettas, loaches, angelfish, etc.


Here, we are presenting some of the best fish that can live with Neon Tetra.


What Fish Can Live with Neon Tetras?

  • MOLLYS (Poecilia sphenops)

The mollies are almost like Neon Tetra. Their behavior and habits are perfectly compatible with Neon fish. Although they are larger, they are peaceful and will not prey on Neon Tetra.

Yes, they can prey on some fry (although the Tetras themselves can get to prey on their young too. Do not let yourself stop because of that; it is a natural way to control the population of your aquarium).

They present very interesting colorations, are resistant, and reproduce quickly.

Size: Males 6-8 cm, females 10-12 cm.

Life expectancy: 2-3 years

Optimal aquarium: The aquarium should be at least 100 liters, because they should be kept in groups, with proportions of 3 females for each male (the same as Neon Tetra, to avoid male harassment of a single female). the pH of 7-8 and GH of +10.

Temperatures between 25 and 28oC. They prefer planted aquariums.


  • CORYDORAS (Corydoras aeneus)

The Corydoras are compatible fish with Neon Tetra and virtually any other aquarium fish. They have a peaceful behavior. They feel comfortable living in groups of +6 specimens. They usually swim around the bottom of the aquarium.

A group of Corydoras make any aquarist fall in love. They are the best fish in the aquarium.

Seeing these friendly little creatures swim together is one of the things you’ll like the most. Even if they are somewhat less colorful than other fish, they are happy fish.

Individually, Corydoras aeneus adapts to the parameters of the aquarium that Neon Tetra needs.

They are resistant fish, gregarious, and “pool cleaners.” They are handy for leaving the aquarium substrate clean of possible surplus food.

Size: 4-7 cm

Life expectancy: they can live for more than ten years.

Optimal aquarium: They need a minimum size of 60 liters, they love the vegetation and the fine-grained and soft bottoms.

Edged substrates can damage your beards. The pH of 6-7.5, GH of 4 to 20. Its optimal temperature is around 26o, but it supports colder waters of up to 22o.


  • RAINBOW FISH (Melanotaenia boesemani)

The rainbow fish lives up to its name by displaying various colors and striking combinations, especially the males.

They are compatible with Neon Tetra because they are peaceful and do not nibble on their body.

They are gregarious. They should preferably be kept in groups of at least six individuals. It is a somewhat nervous fish, and actively swims around the aquarium.

Size: 10-12 cm.

Life expectancy: 5 years.

Optimal aquarium: At least 200 liters. They are large and active gregarious fish, so they need a lot of space to swim—pH between 6.5 and 7.5, GH between 8 and 15. The optimum temperature would be around 26o C.


  • XHIFOS (Xiphophorus helleri)

The Xhifos are compatible both in behavior and in water parameters. They have a very stylized shape and some striking colors that will give a color point to the aquarium.

They are resistant and peaceful, even though they are significant. Xhipos with black or dark colorations tend to develop melanomas due to excess dark pigmentation in the body.

They do develop a certain aggressiveness and territoriality against other members of their species.

Size: Up to 15 cm, although it is difficult to see this size in captivity. They need space to reach it.

Life expectancy: 3 years.

Optimal aquarium: At least 15 liters per copy. pH between 6 and 8, GH between 12 and 20.


  • PLATYS (Xiphophorus maculatus)

It is another Neon-compatible fish in every respect. The platys are pecílidos (like the Neon Tetras and the Mollys), with similar habits and peaceful behavior, although lively and somewhat messy.

Don’t worry. They won’t nibble on the Neon Tetra tenants’ tail.

Varied coloration, resistance to environmental conditions, and natural reproduction.

Size: Males 5 cm, females up to 7 cm.

Life expectancy: 2-3 years

Optimal aquarium: Aquariums planted from 70 liters. Keep in groups, with a ratio of 3 females for each male. pH between 7 and 8, GH between 10 and 20, temperature between 24 and 28ºC (preferably maximum 26o C).


  • NEON TETRA (Poecilia reticulata)

The Neon Tetra resemble Neons in characters, although it has fins more developed. Neon Tetra is another Neon-compatible fish to mention.

They have a peaceful and gregarious behavior (they must be kept in groups of +10 individuals), and a brown coloration of the fins. They stand out for their appearance and ease of maintenance.

Size: 3-6cm.

Life expectancy: 2 years.

Optimal aquarium: At least 60 liters are necessary. They can live well in groups of at least 10 individuals, although the ideal would be groups of +20. They need a pH of around 7 and a GH above 5.



We analyze other compatibilities

  • Bettas and Neon Tetra

An impossible love. Mixing bettas and Neon Tetra is a bad idea.

Bettas are very territorial, identifying the Neon Tetra’s colorful body as a threat (probably mistaking them for potential rivals of their species, who have very bright fins).

Bettas will nibble on the Neon Tetra’ tails, and harass them to exhaustion.

  • Barbos and Neon Tetra

The barbel and Neon Tetra are not compatible.

Although some barbels share water parameters with Neon Tetra, all barbels are well known for their “fin-biting” tendencies.

Neon Tetra tails are too big a temptation. Barbos and Neon Tetra should not live together.

  • Neon Tetra with Guramis

The Neon Tetra is not compatible with guramis because they require water parameters contrary.

  • Cichlids and Neon Tetra

In general, cichlids are not compatible with Neon Tetra, neither by water parameters nor by behavior.

If a Neon fits in their mouth, they will eat it (we don’t even talk about the fry). Maybe he could keep up a climb with guppies while he is little.


You already know which species or variants of fish are compatible with Neon Tetra. As a general rule, it is also suitable for you to know that they should not coexist with predators, with larger fish or with aggressive animals such as the betta fish. Otherwise, big problems could arise in the long term. If you have any more questions about Neon Tetra or any fish, contact an expert, and they will help you quickly.


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