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Can Neon Tetra and Goldfish Live Together?

Fish tanks can be filled in a number of ways. You can keep a single species in your tank, or put in multiple breeds to diversify your aquarium water. All kinds of fish combinations can be created in your home.

Still, you want to consider which fish breeds are right for your tank. Fish need to live in specific environments that are tailored to them. If one fish is incompatible with another fish, this could lower the health of your pets and even kill them.

One fish pairing many tank owners wonder about is neon tetra and goldfish. You might want to put these two popular fish together in the same tank.

However, this is not an ideal tank pairing. Neon tetra and goldfish are simply not compatible with one another. We’ll get into why this is the case throughout this article.

This way you understand why you should not put these two fish breeds in the same tank.

Quick Overview of why Neon Tetras and Goldfish Can’t Cohabitate

Again, neon tetra and goldfish cannot be put in the same aquarium. There are several good reasons why you can’t put these fish species together. Really, it might seem like a nice tank pairing, but you want to keep these breeds apart.

For one, the water environment of these fish does not match up. Neon tetras require different temperature water than a goldfish would.

In addition, your neon tetra needs pristine water, this is hard to accomplish with a goldfish. Lastly, neon tetras can be seen as food to your pet goldfish. It is possible for your neon’s to get swallowed whole.

These are only a few of the reasons why this fish paring will not work. We’ll go into more detail about these two pets in the next sections of this post.

Reasons Neon Tetras and Goldfish Shouldn’t Live Together


Tank Environment of Neon Tetras and Goldfish

Unfortunately, both these breeds have a number of differences that make them unsuited to living in the same space. One of the biggest issues is the climate of their tank water.

Goldfish don’t like freezing cold water, but they do enjoy water climates that are on the cooler side. Tetras, on the other hand, need a more tropical water climate to stay healthy.

While it is true that Goldfish can be placed in warmer water. There is a small problem with doing this. Your pet will likely grow much larger and could even need a bigger tank.

Neon tetras cannot be placed in cold water at all, though. Really, placing them in frigid water can make them sick.

In addition, another issue can arise with this pairing when they are together. Not only can temperature cause issues, but so can the water quality. Goldfish can muck up the water quality and make it quite dirty in a tank.

Filters and other tank products can reduce the mess of a goldfish. Still, you will have to work hard to keep your tank in a condition that is suitable for tetra.

If the water is changed by the added waste and ammonia, your tetra could die. So, it is important to think about this aspect of goldfish and tetra care.


Behavior of Goldfish and Neon Tetras

The environment of the tank water is not the only problem you might face with this pair of fish. Behavior can create additional issues, as well. Neon tetras rarely have issues with other fish.

They are quite peaceful; they love being around other fish and like to travel in large schools. In fact, they get along great with goldfish. Still, the same cannot be said of a goldfish.

Goldfish are not the best pets to keep with small fish. In fact, goldfish could be hostile to your fish in certain conditions. And, when put in with the smaller tetra, they could end up eating your fish.

Goldfish really like eating, and they might eat your tetras if they are not fed properly. This won’t happen all the time.

If you take care of your pet and feed them well they might not eat other fish. Still, it is a big possibility. You do not want to risk your tetras being eaten. So this is a good reason not to pair these fish together.


Social Differences Between Goldfish and Neon Tetras

Another key difference between these two freshwater fish is their social needs. Typically, neon tetras will need to be in a much bigger group. We mentioned this before, but they like to be in large schools.

You will need to put them with at least ten or more of their own kind. Goldfish, don’t have this same requirement. Usually, they like to live alone in their tank. Though, they can be in a group with other fish.

When staying social with other fish, tetras need to have lots of tank coverage. They also have to have plenty of room to swim. Tetras like to be with other fish that are a similar size.

However, goldfish do not exactly lend to this type of environment. They are much larger pet fish. They can even tear up tank coverage leaving little space for tetras to feel safe and call their own.


Tank Setup of These Two Breeds


Not only would you have to make sure that tank conditions are ideal. But you would have to set up a goldfish and neon tetra tank meticulously. First off you would have to get a very large tank since goldfish will grow large in the water.

Secondly, you would have to prep the tank beforehand and make sure that you introduce your pets to each other early on. Introducing these pets at different times could end up badly.

Really, it can be a big hassle to put in neon tetra and goldfish together. Everything has to be managed perfectly, and there is no guarantee that these fish will get along.

Topic Related Article

6 Best Goldfish Tanks


Issues With Disease Transmission

Lastly, another issue to worry about is diseases. Neon tetras do not get sick easily, especially if their water conditions are good. Goldfish, though, can become prone to sickness. It does not take much to transfer disease to these fish.

Especially if the water in the tank is on the warmer side. Really, goldfish are more likely to catch something in a tank with neon tetras. Your goldfish can even catch something deadly from a neon tetra fish. themselves.

If your neons are healthy this is less likely to happen. But you still want to think about this for safety reasons.

Taking Care of Goldfish and Neon Tetras

Video: “Neon Tetra Care, Information and advice”

You can’t put neon tetra and goldfish together in the same tank. Still, this does not mean that you cannot have these fish in your home together. If you want to have both breeds, simply get two separate tanks.

It will cost more money, but it is worth it to keep all your pets safe and healthy. Tetras and Goldfish need the right tank conditions to survive. In their own aquariums, you can give them the exact water conditions and setting they need to thrive!

Just make sure you get a big enough tank for them and ensure that you have good tank equipment installed!

Food and Feeding

In addition to having the right tanks, goldfish and neon tetra need the right kinds of food. Each fish has its own nutritional requirements. You don’t want to get the wrong type of meals for your pets.

Goldfish should be fed high-quality flakes. But make sure not to overfeed them too much. Neon Tetras like both plant and meat-based food. So give them a diet with a lot of variety. We recommend both flakes and dried foods.

You could even cut up fresh foods for your tetras if you wanted to. But this is optional for their care.


Neon tetra and goldfish are some great pets to bring into your home. Both fish breeds have a lot to offer in terms of visuals and personality. Still, you are not going to want to put these fish into the same tank. Tetras and goldfish just are not suited to one another in the same environment.

We went over a list of reasons why this was the case. The most important takeaway, though, has to do with temperature and behavior. Goldfish and tetras live in different climates. And goldfish can actually be quite hostile to your tetras and eat them.

If you want these two fish, though, there are some options for you. As we mentioned, you can get two separate tanks for your pets. It is perfectly safe to have this kind of setup in your house. You just want to make sure that you research the exact water conditions and care requirements for both fish.

Neons and goldfish have to be well taken care of so they can stay happy and healthy. We gave you some information on both breeds to help you do this successfully, though!

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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