20 Neon Tetra Tank Mates – All the Information You’ll Need!




Neon Tetra Tank Mates

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Neon tetras are beautiful, tiny, colorful aquarium fish that are full of personality. They can add a lot of fun to your tank!

If you’re looking for tank mates for your Neon tetras, you’re in luck! There are a bunch of suitable species to choose from.

Here’s a list of 20 of our favorite tank mates for Neon tetras.

Things To Consider Before Pairing Your Tetras

Before pairing your tetras with tank mates, there are a few things to consider.

  • Neon tetras are peaceful fish that like to live in groups of 10 or more.
  • Make sure not to overcrowd your tank. Neon tetras will nip at the fins of slower-moving fish.
  • Make sure to match your choices to the water parameters of the Neon tetra. 72 to 80 degrees for temperature, 6 to 7 PH, and under 10 dGH water hardness.
  • Avoid pairing them with larger or aggressive fish. Neon tetras grow to be 1.5 to 2.5 inches long. Larger fish can see them as prey.
  • Neon tetras are best paired with peaceful, small, or medium fish.

Cory Catfish

How Many Cory Catfish in a 10 Gallon Tank

Cory catfish grow between one and four inches in length. Cory’s are peaceful fish that hang out at the bottom of the tank.

Cory’s PH requirement is 7.0, and like Neon Tetras, they are very social and comfortable in groups of two to six.

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf gourmani, like tetras, are schooling fish that like the middle and upper levels of the tank.

While they are bigger than Neon tetras, you won’t have to worry about your tetras becoming prey. Gouramis also eat the same foods as tetras and have the same water parameters.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons


How To Acclimate Shrimp

Neon tetras and shrimp are great tank mates! Tetras are small enough that they won’t consider large shrimp as food.

Ghost or Cherry shrimp are good choices to pair with Neon tetras as these two species match the tetra’s water conditions.

When keeping shrimp with tetras, provide them with lots of plants or other hiding spaces.

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

Rummy Nose Tetras

Rummy Nose Tetras

Other tetras make great mates for Neon tetras.

Rummy Nose tetras are beautiful fish with red faces, zebra-striped tails, and white bodies. This species of tetra is also a gentle schooling fish. They do best in groups of six.

Being tetras, they also have the same water conditions and food needs as Neon tetras.

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish

The Dwarf Neon rainbowfish is a bright-colored species of fish. It is an active swimmer and loves planted, low-light tanks just like Neon tetras. For best results with this species, keep a PH between 6 and 6.5.

Males of this species can be aggressive, so if you plan on breeding the species, you may want a separate breeding tank.

They do best in a group of six to eight and having multiple males can help to prevent aggression.

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora

If you’re looking for a tank mate that is hardy and easy to care for, then this freshwater fish is a good fit.

Both Neon tetras and Harlequin rasboras are schooling fish that need the same sized foods and love dark, partially acidic tank water.

The Harlequin rasbora does best in groups of eight to ten.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons


Aquarium Snails

Neon tetras have little to no interest in snails which makes them great tank mates.

Many snails live in the same water temperatures as tetras but can have different PH and hardness requirements. Most snail species will be fine with a PH near 7.

Snails are very peaceful and act as a cleanup crew for your tank, getting rid of uneaten food and extra debris.

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose pelcos are algae eaters that make suitable tank mates for Neon tetras.

These fish live at the bottom of the tank to avoid tetras, but males can be territorial so it’s best not to keep more than one.

These are nocturnal fish that can tolerate a large range of water conditions, so they are easily kept with your tetras.

Minimum Tank Size: 25 gallons


How Many Mollies in a 20 Gallon Tank

Mollies are great Neon tetra tank mates based on size, water conditions, and their love of a planted tank.

Mollies also eat a similar variety of food to tetras. mollies are peaceful community fish that do well in groups, so it’s best to keep five or more. Male mollies can be territorial but only to other mollies.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons


How Many Platies in a 10 Gallon Tank

Platies come in many color variations. They are also very hardy fish that adapt to a wide range of water conditions. When pairing them with tetras, keep the PH between 6.8 and 7 and the hardness around 10 dGH.

Platies are peaceful towards other fish but can show aggression towards other platies. They are generally better kept in a group but keep a ratio of 3 to 1 female to males.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Kuhli Loaches


Kuhli loaches are small eel-like fish that are popular for a community fish tank. They are bottom dwellers that stay out of the tetra’s main space.

The Kuhli loach is more sensitive to shifts in water conditions, so maintaining your tank is crucial. They are also more susceptible to diseases in a community aquarium.

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons


xiphophorus hellerii

Swordtails are small, active swimmers that live in the middle and upper tank levels. They make peaceful tank mates.

Matching the water conditions between your swordtails and tetras is crucial. The pH must be kept at 7.0 and the water hardness must be kept at 10 dGH. Other than that, swordtails are fairly easy to care for.

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons

Cardinal Tetras

Cardinal Tetras

Cardinal tetras are also peaceful schooling fish. They are a perfect fit in terms of size as well.

They are comfortable in groups of six or more and will even join a Neon tetra school. They also eat the same foods and have the same water requirements.

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons


how many guppies in a 20 gallon tank

Guppies have a simple care level and minimal size requirements, making them excellent tank mates for your tetras.

They are peaceful schooling fish that can tolerate a large range of water conditions and fit in well with the Neon tetra’s requirements. They also eat similar foods to tetras.

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios

Zebra danios are fish that are often used to calm semi-aggressive fish species due to their behavior. They are generally playful but also calm.

They do well in a group of five or more and are very adaptable to aquarium conditions.

Note that Zebras are more prone to bacterial and parasitic infections, however, so regular water changes are necessary.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons


Otocinclus Vestitus

Otos are dwarfs in the catfish family. They are peaceful bottom feeders with a variety of colors.

These gentle fish help to keep the tank clean and do well in a peaceful community tank. Keep the pH at a neutral 7 to match your tetras requirements.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl danios are a tiny option to add to your community tank. They only grow up to one inch in length and come in an array of colors.

These danios are best kept in a group of five or six, and it’s best to keep more females than males. The tetra’s water conditions are suitable for the danio, but take note that danios are more likely to get fin rot, so maintaining a clean tank is crucial.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

African Dwarf Frogs

african dwarf frog care

African Dwarf frogs are great tank mates for Neon tetras, but they do make more waste, so it’s important to have a strong filter.

Like Neon tetras, they enjoy a planted tank, share the same water temperature requirements, and are fairly easy to care for. Similar to tetras they also love brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Clown Plecos

Clown Pleco | Panaqolus maccus care & info

The Clown pleco is another great match for a Neon tetra. Clown plecos don’t need any special care and their pH requirements match the Neon tetra – between 6.5 and 7.5.

Note: Clown plecos can be territorial fish but don’t seem to bother schooling fish.

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons



Hatchetfish are interesting, beautiful fish with bright red colors and black stripes. They aren’t very territorial but they do eat a large amount of food and plants, so keep that in mind when choosing them as a tank mate.

They will also eat most fish food and like a planted environment similar to Neon tetras.

Avoiding These Neon Tetra Tank Mates

Obviously, there are plenty of tank mates that match the water conditions and temperament of your Neon tetras. However, there are also some fish that should never be paired with your tetras.

  • Barbs: Barbs tend to bully other fish and nip at their fins and tails.
  • Aggressive cichlids: Aggressive cichlids like Mbuna, Jack Dempsey, Convict, and more are too aggressive and territorial to live with your tetras.
  • Bettas: Betta fish are simply too aggressive to be paired with Neon tetras. They are very territorial and aren’t a great choice for a peaceful community tank.
  • Sharks: Aquarium sharks tend to not get along well with small fish and can be aggressive.

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