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What Do Black Neon Tetras Eat?

The Black Neon Tetra will eat your standard high-quality flake or pellet food. However, you should mix it up with some proteins like brine shrimp and freeze-dried bloodworms.

Here is a shortlist of the different types of food your Black Neon Tetra will eat;

  1. High-quality flake food
  2. Daphnia
  3. Freeze-dried bloodworms
  4. Tubifex
  5. Pellet food

Types Of Food Your Black Neon Tetras Will Love To Eat

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Care Tips For A Healthy Black Neon Tetra 

Black Neon Tetra is a beautiful, fish with black and white stripes that go from the gills to the tail, and a distinctive bright orange semi-circle above the eyes. They hail from slower-moving streams of some North American countries (primarily from Brazil and Bolivia).

They can make a good choice for your first fish, as they are very hardy and can survive a wider range of parameters than many other delicate fish species. They love to school, so it’s a good idea to keep at least half a dozen of them in, ideally, a 20-gallon tank, but they can survive in a 10-gallon as well.

Black Neons prefer a planted tank with low lighting. They are medium to top-level dwellers, so the choice of substrate might not matter much. Gravel is a good idea, especially if you are planning a community tank because a lot of other fish can adjust well to that. If you want to mimic their natural habitat, the ideal substrate would be a white sandy bottom with a few pebbles. But you can also make them happy by adding some golden brown leaves at the bottom.

Some Black Neons prefer clear water, and some might be happier in slightly tan stained water. You can observe that behavior when you go and pick them up from the store. Some other things that you should know about them are:

hqdefault What do black neon tetras eat

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Size: 1-1.6 inches (males are slimmer, females are full-bodied)
  • Ideal tank size: 20 Gallons
  • Temperature range: 75 – 82 °F
  • PH range: 5.5 – 7.5 (6 to 6.5 is ideal)
  • Hardness range: 4-8 GH (5, 6 is ideal) But a lot of fish keepers have found them happy and thriving in softer water as well.

Black Neons are pretty hardy when it comes to parameters. But stocking them with fish that stress them out can be very harmful. This is why it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the tank mates that your Black Neon Tetra will really get along with. Also, they prefer slow to medium water currents, so introducing fish that like stronger currents, like Hillstream loach, might not be a good idea.

Some Care Tips For A Healthy Diet & Fish

As we mentioned above there are some things you can do to help maximize your fish’s life and ensure it’s a long one.

Here they are in no particular order.

1. Get The Right Size Tank To Maximize The Lifespan Of Your Fish

When Fish are kept in a tank that is too small for them to grow or swim they can fall victim to a whole bunch of health problems such as;

  • Deformities,
  • Underdeveloped muscles,
  • Spinal
  • Stress

As well as other problems that can cut their lives short.

2. The Right Water Parameters To Ensure A Long Healthy Life

As I mentioned above, the quality of your water is the number one thing that can have an impact on your Fish’s lifespan.

Fish make waste which collects at the bottom of the tank and slowly converts to Ammonia, then to nitrites, and lastly nitrates. This is called the nitrogen cycle, and it is continuously happening in every tank.

If you don’t regularly change your water, these toxins can build up in the water column and cause your Fish to experience a slow, painful death.

Stress, disease, and infections are another side effect of poor water quality that will no doubt determine how long your fish live.

However, there is so much more to water quality than just how clean it is. Things like the Temperature how well it’s oxygenated (which we will discuss next) but also The PH, Hardness/Softness of the water will have an impact on your Fish.

Every Fish is unique; the key here is to understand the species of Fish and ensure that the water parameters are as close as possible to their natural habitat to promote maximum living conditions.

3. The Ideal Temperature For Your Fish

The Temperature of your tank is another critical piece that you’ll need to manage. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to do. All Fish have a specific temperature range that is best suited to them.

To manage the Temperature of your tank, you’ll need a heater and a thermometer. Now there are many options out there, and we’ve showcased a few of them here and here.

That said, there are some fish out there that don’t need a heater; they are considered cold water fish.

Here are a few articles about coldwater fish;

4. Your Fish Need Oxygen To Live

Just like all living things Fish need to breathe. So keeping your water well oxygenated is essential. This doesn’t mean you need to run out and purchase an air pump. However, it’s crucial to understand how oxygen enters the water in your aquarium.

As water on the surface is disturbed, oxygen will enter the water naturally, so if the surface water is being agitated by a filter output, bubbler, or even an air pump, you are likely providing enough oxygen into your aquarium.

You can tell if your Fish lack oxygen if they look like they are gasping or coming up to the surface for air.

As you can imagine, an aquarium without oxygen can cause some severe health issues for your Fish and will likely cause your Fish to live a very short life.

5. Keeping Your Tank Clean

Keeping your tank clean is another important step in prolonging the life of your Fish.

regular maintenance schedule will not only ensure that your water parameters are in check, but it will ensure that algae and other harmful things won’t build up in your aquarium. Perform Partial Water Changes to Keep Fish Healthy

6. The Right Diet: Feeding The Right Foods At The Right Time.

Just like humans, it’s best to keep your Fish on a healthy diet of food that they are accustomed to. Some fish need proteins while others need more vegetation. Make sure you feed your Fish what they need to be healthy.

The quantity and frequency of feeding is also an important thing to ensure a long healthy life. If you overfeed, not only will you pollute your water, but your Fish will grow overweight and lazy and potentially suffer other ill effects.

Optimize Fish Health by feeding at regular intervals, mix up the food, so they get the right mix of all the nutrients they need to live a healthy life.

7. The Right Tankmates, Companionship & Prevent Boredom

If you want to keep some friends in the tank, you’ll need to ensure that you mix similar temperaments of Fish. It would be a horrible idea to mix cichlids with guppies – you’re guppies life would be over before you finish reading this article.

Further Reading: Cichlid Tank Mates

The wrong tank mates can bully, fin nip, injure or worse eat each other if you’re not careful.

It only takes a few minutes, and you can find some great tank mates for almost any Fish out there. In fact, we can help you find some good buddies for your fish. Click here to see a bunch of tank mate suggestions for many of the most popular Fish.

8. Reduce Stress

Stress is one of those things that is typically a result of not doing something you should be.

If you keep your water clean and healthy, the right Temperature, feed them a healthy diet, and keep your tank stocked with friendly tank mates, stress shouldn’t impact your Fish’s health.

My Favorite Filter
AquaClear HOB Filter

The AquaClear HOB filter has been around FOREVER and is typically the first filter recommended for most beginners. That said, it's a great reliable filter for experienced fish keepers and Aquascapers. It comes with prepackaged filter media but also has the ability to customize to your needs. Don't worry about water flow as the gentle waterfall design creates oxygenation without a strong current perfect for small tanks and Bettas.



Decor like natural plants, cover, toys and hiding places can also help reduce stress and prevent fish boredom (yes, the struggle is real).

9. Disease Prevention

Again most diseases are a result of something in your aquarium that’s not quite right.

Usually, it’s the water quality and Temperature that will lead to sickness. However, when adding new Fish you should always try to quarantine your Fish to ensure they aren’t sick and bringing over some unknown issue from another tank.

How To Tell If Your Fish Is Sick

The good news is that most fish diseases can be prevented, treated, and easily identified.

Some typical things to look for would be;

  1. Watch out for faded coloring.
  2. Keep an eye on your Fish’s fins.
  3. Look for lethargy.
  4. Watch your Fish’s eating habits.
  5. Check for spots.
  6. Look for breathing problems.
  7. Watch for your Fish to rub or scratch.
  8. look for other physical symptoms.

Easy Things You Can Do To Keep Your Black Neon Tetra Well Fed And Healthy

  1. Tank Size: The Bigger the Better
  2. Maintain the Ideal Tank Temperature
  3. Pay Attention to Water Quality
  4. Include a Lid and Space at the Top
  5. Use An Aquarium Filter & Heater
  6. Include Plenty of Places to Hide
  7. Reduce Stress & Disease
  8. Select the Right Tank Companions

Final Thoughts

Black Neon Tetras are hardy and easy to care for provided you know what you’re doing. With the information in this guide, there is no reason you can’t find something they will eat.

If you do only two things on this list, the things that make the biggest difference to their lives are water quality and the food they eat.

Learn More About The Black Neon Tetra:

What do black neon tetras eat

Featured Image Credit: Moto “Club4AG” Miwa