Can Guppies Get Neon Tetra Disease

Although this is a rare condition, guppies can contract Neon Tetra Disease. To ensure a higher survival rate of a guppy, isolate them in a quarantine tank as soon as they start to show symptoms of the Neon Tetra Disease. 

Neon Tetra disease is a degenerative condition caused by the parasite called Microsporidian. Once this disease progresses, cell changes affect the fish’s tissue and organs, leading to deterioration over time.

If you suspect that your guppy has Neon Tetra Disease, you can follow the below steps. We provide insight on the disease, the symptoms, and how to prevent your guppy from contracting it.

How To Identify If Your Guppy Has Neon Tetra Disease?

In the early stage, the only symptom might be restlessness, especially at night. The most noticeable sign will be the guppies’ lack of enthusiasm to school with other fish. Eventually, swimming motion becomes erratic, which is a clear sign that something is wrong.

As the Neon Tetra Disease progresses, the muscle tissues around the color band and the spine turn white. The more the muscle tissue becomes infected, the more the discoloration begins to spread.

The muscle damage can cause a deformation of the spine, restricting the guppie’s free flow swimming motion. As the cysts start to form, the lumpy exterior of the fish will become more noticeable.

Skin rotting and bloating are not uncommon factors as the guppy becomes easily prone to other infections.

Guppys in freshwater aquarium

The Main Cause of Neon Tetra Disease In Guppies

Neon Tetra Disease occurs by a parasite called Pleistophora Hyphessobryconis. Neon Tetra Disease could spread quickly to the guppies by any of the other fish in the tank that is already infected with the disease.

Once the guppy eats any dead infected fish or any of the live foods that the infected fish have fed on, the host-parasite enters the guppy’s intestine and starts to infect the intestinal walls, and then leads into the skeletal muscles where they begin to produce cysts.

The cysts then start to damage the tissue, and the fish will transcend into a pale, lifeless color. This disease can quickly spread through the tank, so removing all the other fish and placing them in quarantine would be advisable.

How To Handle Guppies Infected By Neon Tetra Disease

The Neon Tetra Disease is not transmittable to humans but always exercise the necessary hygiene procedures when dealing with the infected guppy. The guppy will be fragile if infected with the disease; ensure that you handle it with care when transferring it to an isolated tank.

Treatment of Neon Tetra Disease In Guppies

There is no known or recorded cure for the Neon Tetra Disease. Most guppies that are infected should be euthanized. It would be best to salvage the remaining fish by first removing the diseased fish from the tank and keeping the remaining fish in isolation and under observation for a few days.

This method will prevent the other fish from eating the dead, infected fish and spreading the disease to healthy fish.

How To Prevent Neon Tetra Disease In Guppies?

The best prevention would be to maintain high water quality and to avoid purchasing sick guppies. Make sure that you are buying your guppies from a reputable supplier.

As a precautionary method, as soon as you purchase any new guppies, make sure they are isolated for at least two weeks in a quarantine tank, allowing you to first monitor their behavior and appearance before placing them in the community tank.

Call your supplier immediately if you see any of the symptoms specified. If you have a sick fish, even if you are conflicted about its disease, it would be best to immediately isolate the sick fish to avoid putting the other fish at risk.

It is crucial to always be on your guard when maintaining a high-quality water supply. Guppy food should be purchased from a respected source to ensure that the food is not contaminated. It would not be advisable to buy low-quality guppy food online.

How Long Can My Guppy Live With Neon Tetra Disease?

The lifespan of the guppy is generally up to 2 years; once they contract neon tetra disease, it can vary. Some can live up to 1 year with the disease.

How Will I Know When My Guppy Is Dying?

If your guppy is sleeping upside down, it is probably dead or close to dying.

Identifying False Neon Tetra Disease

It is tough to distinguish the difference between Neon Tetra disease and False Neon Tetra Disease. The best will be to isolate your guppy as a preventive method if the fish displays one or two of the symptoms of neon tetra disease.

If you have monitored the fish and still see no progression to any of the other Neon Tetra Disease symptoms, then the chances are it could be False Neon Tetra Disease.

To help you determine any other disease that the guppy may face, I have included a list of other common aquarium diseases that they may contract and the available treatment options.

Other Common Aquarium Diseases That May Affect Your Guppy

Piscine Tuberculosis


  • Weight Loss is visible on the underparts of the fish
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Bulging Eyes
  • Discoloration


  • Amputation

Mouth Fungus


  • White cotton growth near the jaws of the guppy.
  • Loss of appetite


  • Improve water conditions
  • Antibiotics purchased at a local pet shop

Fin Rot 


  • Edges of the fins are eroding


  • Use an anti-fungal treatment that prevents secondary infections.
  • Feed the guppy Vitamin C –enriched food.
  • Improve the water quality.
  • Remove the fin nippers.

Swim Bladder Disease 


  • The guppy is not able to balance in the water.
  • If you carefully observe the guppy, it may seem as if the guppy is sinking to the bottom of the tank.


  • Recommend a medical bath.
  • Also advisable to check the water temperature



  • The guppy may appear lethargic.
  • The eyes will start to bulge.
  • There will be a discoloration of the guppy.
  • The fins will be stained red.


  • Treat by feeding medicated food.



  • Ulcers will develop on the body.
  • Hemorrhages will occur in the mouth.


  • Treatment by medicated food.

Anchor Worm


  • There are visible parasites that will be attached to the guppy, which will lead to ulcers.


  • The use of forceps can remove the parasite.
  • Immerse the guppy in a medicated bath.



  • Small white spots are ulcers on the body of the guppy.


  • By slightly raising the water temperature.
  • Treatment by medication.



  • There will be an appearance of cauliflower-like growths and white coloring around the eyes.


  • Enquire at the pet shop about the available vaccines.

Saprolegnia Fungus


  • There will be an appearance of whitish fur-like growths on the guppy.


  • Vitamin C enriched food.
  • Medical bath.
  • Change the water brackish water


Although guppies can get Neon Tetra Disease and there is no known cure, the guppy can continue to live with the disease for a few years. You must manage the situation effectively by immediately isolating the guppy.

Isolation of the infected guppy will help salvage other fish not already exposed to the disease. It is also imperative to give your guppy a fighting chance by exploring the possibility of False Neon Tetra Disease and trying the appropriate available treatment as soon as the symptoms appear.