I recently had a subscriber email me about his child’s 10-gallon tank. He wanted to know how many Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank would be acceptable. We answer this question and share a few other tips you should know.

Neon Tetras are a tiny, active and beautiful fish that is very popular with experienced and beginner fish keepers.

It’s a schooling fish, that loves to swim around in groups of at least 5 or 6 fish to feel safe.

The Neon Tetra can grow up to 1.5-2 inches on average. It’s also a fast-moving species, so you can probably figure out that a small fish tank might not work out well for its living.

Plenty of beginners will get a 5-gallon tank as their first fish tank. A 5-gallon fish tank might work out for some species of fish, but keeping a group of 5 to 6 Neon Tetras in such a tiny tank can get overcrowded once you add in your plants and decor.

When Neon Tetras are fully grown, a 10-gallon tank might be the perfect size for a group of 5 to 6 of them. Of course, there is more to think about when getting the right-sized fish tank.

Let’s take a deeper look at the answer to this question, along with a few other things you might want to know about Neon Tetras.

What Size Tank does the Neon Tetra Fish Need?

Now, you might be thinking that even when it is fully grown, a Neon Tetra just grows to 2 inches – why wouldn’t a 5-gallon tank be more than enough for it?

The tank size really depends on how many Neon’s you are going to keep. If you plan on keeping about 6 then a 10-gallon would be ideal. However, if you’re keeping 10-15 Neon Tetras you would need a 15 or 20-gallon tank.

That said it’s is not just the size of the fish that affects the size of the tank you should get.

Neon Tetras are quite active. They love swimming between the plants, around the rocks and similar objects in a fish tank.

Once you get a fish tank, be sure your tank is large enough to keep a school of neons as well as all a few decorations to recreate their natural environment so that they feel safe.

How Many Neon Tetras per Gallon?

Now let’s take a look at how many Neon Tetra you can fit in a tank so that you don’t overstock your tank.

When it comes to calculating how many fish can fit per gallon, you would be better off going with a higher estimate for an individual fish’s size.

While a Neon Tetra usually grows up to 1.5 inches, you’d still assume 2 inches to be on the safe side.

The general rule when it comes to deciding fish per gallon is that if a fish is smaller than 3 inches, a single fish will need a gallon per inch of the length of the fish.

Assuming that a Neon Tetra grows to a maximum of 2 inches, a 10-gallon tank allows you to keep 10/2 = 5 Neon Tetras with very little room to spare.

You can fit in 6 Neon Tetras easily, perhaps even push it up to 7, but sticking to 6 of these for a 10-gallon tank should be more than enough – especially if you are planning to give them company in the tank with the likes of betta and/or guppies.

Check out this beautiful 10-gallon planted tank stocked with Neon Tetras.

Tips for Keeping Neon Tetras with Betta Fish in a 10 Gallon Tank

One of the best qualities of Neon Tetras is that they can live easily in community tanks. They get along with other fish pretty well.

If you happen to have a betta fish in your tank, having Neon Tetras shouldn’t cause any problems.

Keep in mind that the male betta fish can be quite aggressive sometimes. It is a territorial fish, which does not appreciate other fish swimming near it.

A slow swimmer, it sticks mainly to the top of the fish tank. That’s actually great because Neon Tetras prefer the middle area.

Here are some tips to keep Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank with betas:

  • Make sure you have plenty of décor items that can give Neon Tetras hiding spaces
  • Preferably get a taller 10-gallon fish tank to leave enough room for both the fish to remain out of their way
  • Do not add too many Neon Tetra fish as they may stress out the betta
  • Use at least two separate feeding rings during feeding time

Here’s a good list of fish that can live with Neon Tetras.

Tips for Keeping Neon Tetras and Guppies in a 10 Gallon Tank

If there’s one aquarium fish more popular than the Neon Tetra, it is the guppy.

Peaceful, easy to take care of and good-looking, the guppy makes an excellent tank mate for Neon Tetras.

Of course, you do need to make some considerations when you’re adding guppies with Neon Tetras in a fish tank.

Here are some tips on keeping Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank with guppies:

  • A 10-gallon tank can house 6 Neon Tetras easily; do not increase the number just because the guppy is peaceful
  • If you are keeping a pair of guppies, they will breed and overpopulate the tank in a matter of months. Stick to only male guppies in the tank with your Neon Tetra fish
  • For a 10-gallon tank, 6 Neon Tetras and 3 guppies will be more than enough
  • If you’re planning to raise guppy fish fry, get a separate fish tank for them because they will not be able to survive in a 10-gallon tank with so many other fish

Final Thoughts

Neon Tetras are easily some of the best fish to keep in an aquarium.

For a 10 gallon tank, you can accommodate about 6 Neon Tetra without facing any problems and even provide some company.

Here are some final tips for keeping Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon fish tank that you should be aware of:

  • Do not overfeed the fish
  • Add live plants and décor
  • Perform weekly maintenance of the fish tank
  • Take care of the water conditions
  • Use a good filtration system
  • Never overpopulate the tank

We hope that this guide will help you understand how many Neon Tetras you should keep in a 10-gallon tank and other important information to keep them happy and healthy for a long time.

Thinking of keeping Neon Tetras in a 5-gallon tank? Find out how many you can keep in a small tank.

More Info About 10-Gallon Tanks

  1. Guide to Setting up Your 10-Gallon Planted Tank
  2. 12 Hungry Algae Eaters For Small Tanks 10 Gallons & Under
  3. Stocking A 10 Gallon Tank
  4. Best Small Catfish for a 10-Gallon Tank Setup
  5. Bottom Feeder Fish for a 10-Gallon Tank
  6. How Much Gravel For A 10 Gallon Tank
  7. How Many Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank
  8. How Many Guppies in a 10-Gallon Tank
  9. How Many Goldfish in a 10-Gallon Tank

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Featured Image Credit:H. Krisp [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons