What Do Neon Tetras Eat?

If you are interested in the aquarium hobby, you have inevitably already met the neon fish, blue Neon, or sometimes also called neon tetra. The colorful lines on the body of the neon fish, just like neon lights, are its main feature, which leaves no one indifferent. This peculiarity has not been explained to date, but it is vital for neon fish.

To keep your favorite pet healthy and fit, it is essential to feed them properly. Feeding your Neon Tetra fish should be simple. Above all, it is a task in which you can even involve the smallest of the family. But not all fish eat the same food. Neon Tetra needs food according to their age, size, and maturity.

In this article, we are going to discuss What Does Neon Tetra Eat with some other aspects. Stay with us.


What Does Neon Tetra Eat: Feeding of An Omnivores?

Neon Tetra is an omnivore fish. This category will feed on both animal and vegetable foods. They should be fed both foods to keep them healthy. In general, omnivores absorb more plant matter, so animal proteins are limited to around 20-40% of their diet.

Neon fish can be fed live food for aquarium fish or frozen food made from fish found in their original environment. There are thus Artemia, Brine shrimp, Tubifex larvae of Chironoma, and Daphnia. It is also possible to give food in the form of granules or flakes to your neon grouse. However, it is important not always to feed your fish with the same food so that they have a varied diet.


How Should the Feeding of Neon Tetra Fish Be?

Some very skilled aquarium hobbyists can supplement the diet of their fish with natural products. However, with this practice, you fall into the risk of introducing diseases into the aquarium. It is recommended to base yourself on adequate prepared foods that we will complement with live foods.

When it has been tried to feed the Neon Tetra fish exclusively with excessively fatty or starchy plant materials, growth has been altered. Also, you can see degenerations, deformations, and especially accumulations of fat. These make the fish apathetic and not very active.

A right proportion of protein materials, derived from an animal meal (mainly fish), is essential as a food base for Neon Tetra fish. The animal proteins of high biological value, being rich in all essential amino acids (particularly those containing sulfur), ensure the proper growth of fish. If necessary, it can be used as an energy source. This deviation is prevented if the feed contains a correct dose of energetic vegetable matter.


Homemade Food for Neon Tetra: Healthier and Safer

If you are a very attentive person to what you eat, then you will be happy to know that your Neon Tetra could also eat your food. Undoubtedly, a healthy diet will give your fish a healthy, fit life, with a livelier coloration. It will also gain the aesthetics of the tub. As you may have guessed, in this paragraph, we will talk about homemade food for Neon Tetra.


Vegetable Sources

As mentioned above, if you want to make homemade fish food for Neon Tetra, for vegetables and vegetable matter, you will have to choose organically grown products. Pesticide residues or other chemical compounds could adversely affect aquatic and microbial life. It would be better to leave the “conventionally” grown products on one side.

  • Romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce and dark green leafy vegetables, in general, are a perfect base for preparing fish dishes. They can also serve as food for our finned friends.

Among the dark leafy vegetables useful to fish, we can use spinach, romaine lettuce, cabbage, and chard. These foods provide a rich and nutritious plant base for any diet. Rich in vitamins and minerals, they manage very well to simulate the natural aquatic flora consumed by fish.

  • Other fruits and vegetables

In addition to the vegetables mentioned above, it may be a good idea to add more fruits and vegetables to make excellent homemade fish food for your Neon. This will ensure that their nutrition comes from a wide variety of sources rather than a few. Broccoli, courgettis, carrots, apples, pears, and peas are all excellent additions for keeping fish healthy. But remember to cut them into tiny pieces.

  • Spirulina powder

This food supplement is a favorite among those who produce their food for fish. Composed of cyanobacteria, the is rich in minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. The natural pigments inside them help captive fish to show their best colors.

  • Potato or corn starch

A spoon or two of these foods will need to be added to the mixture for an individual purpose. The starch will keep the mix together so that real flakes are created. For this purpose, gelatin can also be used as an alternative.


Animal Protein Sources

When choosing animal proteins, try to find foods caught in the wild or bred with organic methods. Farmed fish and other types of aquatic life are generally fed with a tendency to poor diet. They may lack nutritional values, compared to their wild and free counterparts.

  • Artemia

It is one of the best authentic live foods for both Neon Tetras.

The nutritional value of the brine shrimp is quite low. So, it is recommended to enrich it before feeding, to give it a more exceptional contribution of nutrients.

  • The tubifex

In this case, it is a light red worm, which lives in significant concentrations at the bottom of watercourses. So, it is necessary to be careful or know the conditions very well from the place where they are collected. It is recommended to leave them at least a day in clean water (making changes every 8 hours) before putting them in the aquarium. This will eliminate germs that may be inside. Its main interest in the aquarium is its fat content.

  • Daphnia

The famous water flea, which was previously found in almost all ponds or ponds, now seems difficult to locate. In general, it is found in stagnant waters where the single-celled algae it feeds on are abundant. Although its food content is not too large, the chitin in its shell helps regulate the intestinal transit of your Neon Tetra. It is also highly appreciated for its mobility and resistance in the aquarium.

  • Chironoma

It is the larva of Chaoborus sp. In relatively clean watercourses, it can be found in large numbers among the filamentous algae at the bottom. Its nutritional value is high, although it is not recommended for some fish, in which it can cause intestinal problems. Sometimes it is also found in the first layers of the silty bottom of rivers. Very nutritional for Neon Tetra.


How Many Times Do You Have to Feed the Neon Tetra?

When feeding our Neon Tetra, we must pay attention to how they do it in their wild state. This results in small doses throughout the day. If we cannot afford to stop between four and six times to give them very reduced doses, we have to calculate. What we will do is divide it into the times that each one can a day, two or three, depending on each case.


How Much Food Should Be Given to The Fish in An Aquarium?

In this aspect, the concept is quite clear: what they can eat for a couple of minutes. It is much better to fall short than to overdo it.

Therefore, the method we will use to guide us will be to deposit a pinch of food on the water and time how long it takes for our fish to finish it. If the food runs out in less than two minutes, we can add a tad more. If food is over, it will be best to remove it. The food mustn’t float or go to the bottom. It would only dirty the water or supercharge them, something that we do not want for our fish.


Always Remember

We should not feed our Neon fish in excess since the excess food in the bottom is not consumed. This focus of food that is deposited at the bottom of the aquarium soon becomes a focus of bacteria and fungi. If we want to feed our fish correctly, we should never feed them with breadcrumbs or the remains of our food. In this case, we will only make them fall sick or muddy the water.

A portion of good food must-have in a balanced way all the essential organic principles for the maintenance and growth of aquarium fish. Furthermore, the food must not contain excess fats or carbohydrates. Also, it must not be lacking in functional quality proteins.


Final Verdict

In nature, these fascinating little fish feed on small invertebrates, plants, tiny crustaceans, and plaintive algae. In the aquarium, they eat all types of live and frozen food. Therefore, both in flakes and microgranules. To maintain the right nutritional balance, you should feed them a high-quality industrial food every day. Use a weighted addition of brine shrimp (live or frozen) or blood worms from time to time, which contain substances beneficial for them.


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