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13 Best Neon Tetra Tank Mates (With Pictures)

If you want a fun and eye-catching aquarium space, there are several fish types to choose from.

However, Neon Tetras are a great option, especially if you are just getting into fish keeping!

These aquatic pets are popular and known for their iridescent hues. Neon Tetras are small pets, you’ll only see them grow around a few inches. Still, Tetras are fairly easy to take care of and won’t require a ton of tank maintenance.

The best part about these fish is that you can easily add in other fish species in your tank. In general, Neon Tetras are pretty peaceful fish. In other words, they won’t start a fight with other tank inhabitants.

In fact, you can find many neon tetra tank mates to complement the look of your aquarium.

We’ll talk more about ideal neon tetra tank mates you can add to your tank space. In the process of this post, we’ll also include Neon Tetra’s care tips and facts.

This information will make it easier to care for pet Tetras and find the best tank mates!

13 of The Best Neon Tetra Tank Mates

Of course, there are many fish and pets that will live in harmony with Neon Tetras. But we have chosen some of the best neon tetras tank mates for you. When picking out a tank mate, you should make sure that your Tetra is of a similar size and temperament.

This creates the best possible tank for Tetras and other inhabitants. In addition, other species of aquatic pets can be put in your tank. Certain, frogs, shrimp, and even snails can be a nice fit for Tetras.

We have included a variety of pets here so you make the best choices!


Guppies are one of the best neon tetra tank mates you can put in with your pet. Guppies have a similar look to your Tetra. They have great coloring and patterns that add to your tank aesthetic.

They have a lot more variety in terms of color really. So you can really mix and mash different fish looks!

Guppies need to be in a group just like Tetras. But unlike Tetra, you need to consider the sex ratio. You should have more male fish in your tank in comparison to female guppies.

In addition, your guppies like to have a well-planted tank as well. So make sure your tank is big and full of hiding spots for both fish species. You can use gravel to plant your greenery, but avoid using a sand substrate with guppies.

Water conditions are fairly similar with these two fish. So there won’t be much adjustment needed if you have Tetras in your tank already. Just keep everything in your tank clean and well maintained. Otherwise, you shouldn’t have any issues with Guppies and Tetra.


Freshwater halfbeak by Neale Monks (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Halfbeak fish are solitary fish. You can put them in a group or leave them with a school of Tetras. Their friendly personality makes them another ideal choice for Tetras. But you want the right species of this fish in your tank.

Any Halfbeak could cohabitate a space with a Tetra. But some species of these fish have different water requirements. So just keep this in mind. Your Halfbeak and Tetra need to be able to live in the same water conditions.

Halfbeaks are on the shy side in terms of personality. They like caves and plants to rest in and hide as a result. But they are by no means inactive. You will see them swimming in your tank throughout the day.

These fish are a little strange looking. They have very big snouts that look like a beak. But they are charming fish.

In truth, you cannot go wrong with a Halfbeak as a neon tetra tank mate.

African Dwarf Frog

If you want to try something different out in your Tetra aquarium, African Frogs are another great option! Some frog species aren’t ideal for Tetra as they are too large or aggressive. African frogs are different though.

They are the perfect size for your Neon Tetra and are similarly peaceful in temperament. So for the most part, they are a perfect pet to put in with Neons.

African Frogs create a lot of extra excrement in aquariums though. With a Tetras lower bioload this shouldn’t be a big problem. But a good filter should be purchased to keep your tank clean.

You’ll want to heat up your tank to more humid conditions too. But the temperature range is around the same climate.

As long as you keep your frog well fed they will get along with your fish. But don’t skip meals. Frogs can eat smaller fish when they are desperate for food. So make sure to give your African frog a ton of meaty sustenance.

Topic Related Article

9 Best African Dwarf Frog Tank Mates


Loaches by Linton Tuleja (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Loaches are a unique looking tank pet. These eel-like creatures like to feed on debris and algae organisms. So if you want a cleaner looking tank these are great fish to have. Loaches are pretty laid back so they will fit right in with Neon Tetras.

They tend to dwell at the bottom of tanks and stay out of Tetras’ way too.

A soft substrate is preferred for this species, and Loaches like having hiding spots like Neon Tetras. But you might want to add caves or decorative structures. This will make a Loach more comfortable in a tank.

Loaches have all sorts of colors and types. And any species of Loach will be able to stay in your Tetra tank. Overall, Loaches are easy to care for aquatic pets.

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimps are sought after for their distinct looks. These pet shrimps are known to look like ghosts. And their bodies are translucent and quite small. So they are a perfect match for your Neon Tetra. Ghost shrimp are usually pretty even-keeled.

But you want to look out for them during feeding time.

Your Tetra is not in danger of getting eaten, but Ghost Shrimp are known to swipe other pets’ food. So make sure you Neon is getting enough food.

Other than this, Neon Tetras and Ghost Shrimp will get along fine. They are great neon tetra tank mates! This shrimp does not have a long lifespan, but they are cool pets!


Mollies are hardy pets and great neon tetra tank mates. Mollies are a good size for your Tetra fish. So you won’t have fights between Tetras and Mollies. As they are extremely laid back animals!

They don’t really need too much care. And the parameters of their water are on the flexible side. They like any type of food. Really they will eat just about anything. Just make sure their food is from a good quality brand!

On the whole, these are good pet fish to have. They like any kind of environment and friendly and fun pets!


Plecostomus are not the best-looking fish. But if you want peaceful neon tetra tank mates, a Pleco is a great choice. There is zero danger with this fish and your Tetra. They are around the same size as Tetra, but some varieties of the Pleco can get very large.

So we recommend going with the Clown Pleco. This is a specific species of Pleco that will stay small and not overcrowd your Tetra tank!

These fish like plenty of food though. So cycle between foods with veggies and some protein. Any pet fish should have some variety in their diet. But other than this, much care is not required of the pleco.

They like to have their own space in a tank. But they won’t be bothering Neon Tetra schools.


Snails are yet another unusual fish tank mate. But these slimy creatures are actually a great pet to add to a Tetra tank!

Apple Snails in particular are preferred for Neon Tetras. These brightly colored snails greatly complement the look of your Neon Tetras.

These are large snails though so don’t put your pet and Tetra in a small tank!

You probably only want to put one of these snails in your tank too. Apple snails reproduce quickly and can take over aquariums.

Other than this, Apple snails are pretty great tank pets. Give them plenty of food and they will thrive in any underwater setup.

Cardinal Tetras

Cardinal Tetras are another type of Tetra that can suit your own Neon Tetra tank. They look similar to Neon Tetras, but there are some differences between these species.

Cardinals like less coverage in their tank. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like planted tanks. This just means that you want to reduce foliage and not have it crowd your Tetra tank.

Cardinals are social as well, but they travel in smaller groups. So you don’t have to go out and buy a ton of these fish. However, a lot of the same considerations with Neons can be applied to Cardinals.

They like most types of food. Cardinals also need to be kept away from large predatory fish.

But luckily, they will get along just fine with Neon Tetra!

Corydoras Catfish

Larger Catfish are not meant to go in a tank with your Tetra. But a small Corydoras Catfish is just the right size for a Neon Tetra tank! These Catfish are fun and full of personality. And the best part about these fish is that they have a very long lifespan!

They can actually live up to twenty years in an aquarium. This is around four times the lifespan of your Neon Tetra!

But you will have to get a few of these fish. They don’t like to be left alone. A school of Neon Tetra can make them less lonely. But Corydoras needs a fish from their own species to get all their social needs met.

Other than this, care requirements are pretty typical.

Again, good tank equipment is a must for any fish. And good nutrition should be given to your Catfish so they live a long and healthy life!

Topic Related Article

What do Cory Catfish eat?


Barbs like living with Neon Tetras. And their colorful scales fit right into your Tetra aquarium. Barbs get along with many types of fish. But they are particularly amiable with Neon Tetras. Like Catfish, there are smaller species of this fish you want to stick to.

Barbs also need companions from their own species. A group of five of these fish should be kept at a minimum.

Water should be heated in the low seventies. And Ph should be kept closer to six. You want a tank that is bigger than ten gallons as well.

There are a ton of different barbs you can choose from. Many of these fish will work with Tetras. And most Barbs like planted environments like your Tetra.


Angelfish are one tank mate option you can go with. But you want to consider the type of angelfish you get with care.

Some angelfish are not suited for Tetra. These are great pets, but you want an angelfish that is not too large. And you want to put your Tetra in at the same time as your angelfish.

Putting a young angelfish in early is your safest bet really. And a larger school of Tetra, around fifteen Tetra, should help keep your pets civil as well.

A larger tank will be needed to house this type of pet. But these elegant fish share similar conditions to Neon Tetras. They like very warm water, so make sure your water heater is functional.

Angel Fish like meatier foods too. Sometimes they will eat baby fish. So make sure any pets put in with angelfish are fully grown to avoid any potential catastrophes.

Harlequin Rasboras

The last tank mate we will introduce for Neon Tetras is the Harlequin Rasboras. Harlequins are colorful and come in black and red hues. These fish match harlequin outfits with their coloring! So they really stick out in the water. But they do not just have great looks.

Harlequins are one of the easiest fish to take care of. Really out of any fish or pet on the list.

The water climate is the same as Neon Tetras. And Harlequins will not start any drama with Tetras. This is one of the most unassuming fish you can get for your pet. They have plenty of energy but they like to keep to a peaceful tank setting.

Facts To Know About Neon Tetra

There is a lot to learn about this freshwater fish species. But we’ll tell you what you need to know here about the Neon Tetra. Tetras come from the

South American region. These fish are typically made up of three colors, blue, red, and white. They shine brightly in tanks and take on a gem like sheen. These fish are tropical pets and like to be in groups of other fish.

In fact, we recommend getting a school of Tetras. Your fish will be much happier with at least six other Tetras. But more are welcomed as well, you just want to have a large enough tank.

In addition, know that Neon Tetras like well-planted environments with low light. In their natural habitats, these conditions help fish hide and stay safe. So consider emulating your fish’s natural habitat for maximum health and happiness.

We’ll talk about how you can do this best in your aquarium later on though!

Overall though, tetras are great first-time tank pets. They live at least five years if you take good care of them. And, they look amazing in any aquarium setup!

Personality Of Neon Tetras

Again, Neon Tetras are pretty docile pets. You won’t have too much trouble finding a good aquatic pet to put in with your school of Tetras. Still, you want to be somewhat discerning about neon tetra tank mates. They are non-aggressive fish.

Neon Tetras are energetic and peppy. But they also like to hide at times. So you won’t want to put aggressive fish species in your tetra tank if you can help it!

You’ll want to avoid fish like Betta for sure.

And other bigger fish types could be dangerous for your fish. But it depends on the temperament of those fish. Some larger fish are peaceful and get along with Neon Tetras. You just have to think about the type of personalities you’re combining in a Tetra tank!

Caring For Neon Tetras

Video: “Neon Tetra Care, Information and advice”

The first step to caring from your pet, or any pet fish, it to get the right equipment. Make sure you have a quality tank with room for a school of Tetra. You also want to consider the size of any other tank pets. You want plenty of space so all your pets get along and stay healthy.

Some individuals are tempted to get small aquariums for this fish species. But you should avoid this. Small tanks can be detrimental to Neon Tetras’ health. Especially if you don’t regularly clean your tank.

Filters and heating devices should be bought as well. So you can perfect water conditions for your pets. And don’t forget to get good quality food for your pet. Tetras like variety in their meals. Pellets and flakes are great, but you can add other food items as well to your tank.

We would recommend getting some blood worms or brine shrimp. But you can look into other options too! Small pieces of vegetables can benefit Neon’s health as well.

How To Setup A Tank With Neon Tetras And Other Fish

When you get a tank for a Neon Tetra, it needs to be ten gallons at a minimum. Again, cramped spaces are never ideal for any type of pet. And in terms of tank conditions, you want to plan carefully. The water should be a match for both your Tetra and your other fish.

The pets on this list will live in a similar environment to your Tetra fish. So you won’t have to worry about adjusting conditions too much. Just know what each pet needs from their tank.

Neon Tetras are tropical pets, so they will like water that is on the warmer side!

Anywhere from seventy to eighty degrees is a good range for your aquarium. Ph should also be adjusted too. Get it to around seven or six.

Other Things

Other things to think about when setting up a tank include coverage. Tetras like a lot of plants in their aquariums. The plants will help keep light levels low. It also gives fish good places to hide, which is necessary for Tetras and other species. Considering this, you want to minimize light in any Tetra tank.

So don’t go out and buy the highest watt lighting system you can find. Instead, you’ll want to go with something that has fewer watts and won’t disturb your fish.

Driftwood can be beneficial to your Neon tank as well and creates more natural water conditions. It can even darken up the tint of your water. Which Tetra actually likes!

In addition, any type of substrate can be used in your Neon Tetra tank. The substrate should work for your plants, and should definitely go with your tank visuals. Gravel is generally a good choice for this pet though.

Really, there are a number of ways to set up a tank with Tetras and your other fish. Just be mindful of what each fish requires, and consider our tips.

From this information, you’ll have a great tank in no time!


Neon Tetras are compatible with many different kinds of fish and aquatic pets. We introduced some great neon tetra tank mates to you throughout this guide. The variety of pets you can choose from is wide.

But you want to consider what kind of aquarium you are trying to build. Different species of fish and pets come with their own aesthetics and needs.

Some creatures are better suited to your aquarium setup and your Tetra. Hopefully, though, you can use this post to find an ideal tank mate for your Tetra!

Your Neon Tetras should have the best tank conditions, with good company!

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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