Can Cherry Barbs Live With Neon Tetras?

Cherry barbs and neon tetras can live together and make very compatible tank mates. Cherry barbs and neon tetras are schooling fish. Both have a peaceful, easy-going temperament, so they are unlikely to act aggressively when kept in an aquarium together. 

Cherry barbs are brightly colored freshwater fish that are hardy and ideal for beginner aquarium owners. Cherry barbs can live with many different fish as long as they are peaceful and get along well with your cherry barbs.

Can You Keep Cherry Barbs And Neon Tetras In An Aquarium?

Cherry barbs and neon tetras can live harmoniously in an aquarium together. Cherry barbs are community fish and will spend most of their time swimming in the middle and the bottom of the aquarium.

Cherry barbs also love to hide in aquarium plants. During spawning, the males can become territorial if there aren’t good hiding spots and enough space to swim. Cherry barbs are non-aggressive and are not likely to nip other fish.

Like cherry barbs, neon tetras also prefer dense vegetation. They will love aquarium decorations to hide in, like caves and rocks. Neon tetras are shy fish and usually keep to themselves; this makes them perfect companions for cherry barbs.

Of the two species of fish, the cherry barbs are a bit more feisty and, in rare instances, can nip. At the same time, the neon tetras are more subdued and are not known to bite other aquarium fish.

Cherry barbs are slightly larger in size, so if you’re keeping these two species of fish together, it is best to choose a bigger tank.

In addition, neon tetras can become stressed when kept with cherry barbs if there aren’t enough hiding places because cherry barbs are highly active, which can be overwhelming for neon tetras.

Cherry Barb with Deep Green Background and Plants

Why Are Cherry Barbs And Neon Tetras Compatible Tank Mates?

Cherry barbs and neon tetras are small fish and work wonderfully in an aquarium together. They have similar requirements and the same temperament, making it easy to keep them in an aquarium.

Some of the most notable reasons why cherry barbs and neon tetras are compatible tank mates include:

Cherry Barbs And Neon Tetras Love Aquarium Plants.

In home aquariums, cherry barbs and neon tetra love to hide in aquarium plants. Neon tetras will spend most of their time in the middle of the tank, while cherry barbs will swim closer to the bottom and swim to the surface of the tank.

The cherry barbs tend to be more active than the neon tetras, so keeping the neon tetras and the cherry barbs together will create a nice balance.

Cherry Barb And Neon Tetras Are Community Fish

Cherry barb and neon tetras are schooling fish and prefer to be kept in a school. Due to their schooling nature, they will swim within their school without disturbing the other species.

As long as there is sufficient space for both the cherry barb and the neon tetras to swim, they will get along well, and you’ll have a school of beautifully colored fish.

A 20-gallon tank should be sufficient for a small school of neon tetra and cherry barb, but bigger tanks will work just as well and may be more beneficial for the health of your fish.

Neon Tetra

Both Species Have The Similar Water Temperature Requirements

Cherry barb and neon tetras have basically the same water temperature and pH requirements. This makes it easy to keep them together in an aquarium.

Cherry barbs prefer a temperature range of 73 °F to 81 °F and a pH between 6 and 6.5. The ideal water temperature range for neon tetras is between 72 °F and 76 °F, with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.2.

When keeping the cherry barbs and neon tetras together in an aquarium, you’ll want to keep the water temperature and pH within a mid-range to keep bot species comfortable.

Neon Tetras And Cherry Barb Are Omnivores

Cherry barbs and neon tetras are omnivores and require a varied diet. Neon tetras thrive when you include daphnia, tubifex worms, brine shrimp, cucumber, strawberries, beef, and regular high-quality fish flakes.

Cherry barbs feed on brine shrimp and blood worms and can also be fed high-quality fish flakes and fresh and frozen vegetables to keep them healthy.

Many of the same types of food can be fed to the cherry barbs and the neon tetras.

Both Species Have A Peaceful Temperament

Cherry barbs and neon tetras have peaceful temperaments, and if they are in a school in an aquarium, they are unlikely to get territorial and will swim peacefully.

This makes them great companions when kept in an aquarium. Cherry barbs are mildly active, while neon tetras are highly active fish. If both of these species live together in an aquarium, they won’t fight over space, and since they stick to different levels in the tank, they will get along well together.

What Fish Can Cherry Barbs Live With?

Cherry barb can live in an aquarium with several other aquarium fish. If you’re creating an aesthetically pleasing aquarium, there are many beautifully colored fish that make good companions for cherry barbs.

Some of the best fish to keep in an aquarium with cherry barbs include:

  • Asian stone cats
  • Rainbow sharks
  • Kuhli loach
  • Molly fish
  • Dwarf gourami
  • Pearl gourami
  • Mollies
  • German rams
  • Celestial pearl
  • Kribensis
  • Corydoras
  • Swordtails

Will Cherry Barbs School With Neon Tetras?

Cherry barbs are unlikely to school with neon tetras. When cherry barbs and neon tetras are kept in an aquarium, they will stick to their school and won’t try to school with the other species.

Cherry barbs and neon tetras may swim together playfully and interact in the aquarium, but as they are schooling fish, they won’t create an inter-species school.

To keep the cherry barbs and neon tetras happy in their aquarium, it’s best to keep a school of the same size.


Cherry barbs and neon tetras make excellent tank mates. These two species of fish are schooling fish, have similar temperaments, and are beautiful fish for beginner aquarium owners.

The cherry barb and neon tetras have a striking appearance and get along well in an aquarium. Cherry barbs can nip at the neon tetras, but this rarely happens and can be avoided if all their needs are met.