Can Zebra Danios Live With Neon Tetras?

Zebra danios and neon tetras are compatible and can live together. These small, active fish have a calm nature and get along well with each other. Their dietary preferences are the same- they’re omnivores. The water temperature, pH level, and alkaline quantities suit both species. 

Neon tetras and zebra danios are popular fish and great for beginner aquarium enthusiasts. Their bright, distinctive coloring and fast, friendly natures make them excellent fish to maintain and breed. These two fish species have much in common and will live long together- about five years.

Can Zebra Danios Live With Neon Tetras?

Yes, zebra danios and neon tetras are great community tank companions. They share similar characteristics, like size and temperament.

The zebra danios have bold horizontal stripes, while the neon teras has bright shades of blue, silver, and red. Their radiant coloring glows under fluorescent blue light.

Zebra Danio

Zebra Danios And Neon Tetras Behavior

The neon tetras and zebra danio are peaceful, calm, and active fish. They flourish in small schools of five or six. These fish are naturally compatible and mingle together in the tank.

They’re egg-bearing fish, displaying a classic egg scattering style, whereby the female lays about 100 non-adhesive eggs, which the male fertilizes.

Both fish species are fast, zippy swimmers, and having this in common maintains the tank’s harmony. That is, they’re equally matched.

Due to their size, these small fish species are excellent tank cohorts, as bigger fish severely stress smaller fish. This stress compromises their immune system, making them defenseless to bacteria and parasites.

Zebra danios get aggressive if there are too many fish in the tank. Additionally, they bite the long fins of guppies, bettas, and angelfish.

However, their temperament isn’t hostile, and they don’t display violent behavior. If they become domineering, it’s solely to instill their place in the hierarchy.

It’s rare for neon tetras to get aggressive, but it does happen. Therefore, if the neon tetra exhibits hostile behavior, there is something seriously wrong with your aquarium.

Typically, violent interaction is the result of limited space. For example, a phenomenon called resource guarding occurs during feeding time. The fish perceive their access to food as threatened, so they feel forced to fight for it.

Again, neon tetras have a docile nature and will rarely become violent in defending food. Get a larger tank and ensure a school size of five or six.

If a neon tetra is swimming in circles, they’re letting you know the tank is too small for them.

The Proper Tank Conditions For Zebra Danios And Neon Tetras

The requirements for the perfect community tank conditions for zebra danios and neon tetras include:

  • Tank size
  • Water temperature
  • pH levels
  • Alkalinity
  • Greenery

Fish are known to act unpredictably. So, following the basic rules of community tank care will help maintain their well-being, happiness, and longevity.

The Tank Size For The Zebra Danio And Neon Tetras

The neon tetras grow one-and-a-half inches long, and adult zebra danios are two inches in size. Both species require a twenty-gallon tank or larger.

To keep their environment optimal, you must have two schools in a twenty-gallon tank. Each school must consist of five or six zebra danios, and the same for neon tetras. Swimming in schools provides a sense of security and deters aggressive behavior.

Twenty gallons ensures that the schools thrive together. Increase the tank size in proportion to the fish you want to add.

The zebra danio will live in optimal conditions for five years, and the neon tetras can live for five to eight years. So, keeping them happy is a worthwhile investment for your aquarium.

Do Zebra Danios And Neon Tetras School Together?

No, these two species don’t school together or with other fish types.

Schooling doesn’t happen with different species or even the subdivisions of the same species. For example, different tetras species don’t school together.

The Water Temperature For Zebra Danios And Neon Tetras

Zebra danios are resilient little fish. They originate from areas of Bangladesh and India and thrive in varied water temperatures and conditions.

Temperatures enjoyed by the zebras range from 64 to 74⁰F. They can handle various environments like rapid streams and still waters.

The neon tetras are slightly fussier, as they’re tropical fish with warm water requirements.

They originate in the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. They’re South American fish found in Columbia, Peru, and Brazil. Yet they’re clear of the Andes’ icy streams.

Warm water aids neon tetras’ digestion, and they must absorb the heat to thrive. These little tropical fish are still considered robust despite their warm water requirement.

Wild neon tetras are sourced from the Rio Solimões- the uppermost part of the Amazon.

Ideally, your community tank temperature must range between 70-to-80⁰F. This is slightly higher than the preferred temperature for zebra danios. Yet, they’ll happily adapt.

Pogrebnoj-Alexandroff [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

The pH Levels For Zebra Danios And Neon Tetras

As with water temperature, there is a slight difference in the pH requirement for zebra danios and neon tetras.

The adequate pH level for neon tetras is between 6.8 to 7.8. In comparison, zebra danios enjoy 6.5 to 7 pH. Fortunately, an overlapping range on the pH scale accommodates both species suitably.

Maintain the alkaline water levels at eight dKH, and both fish will be happy.

You can acquire an alkaline measuring kit from a local aquarium or pet store. Place the test strip into the water to get a reading. Then, compare the color reaction to the chart provided.

Tank Plant Life For Zebra Danios And Neon Tetras

Give your fish community tank an ample amount of greenery. Zebra danios and neon tetras thoroughly enjoy a profusion of plants.

The neon tetras are slightly smaller than the zebras and will appreciate some coverage from time to time. Although they’re in no danger, it’ll keep them happy.

The Zebra Danios And Neon Tetras Diet

Both the zebra danios and neon tetras are omnivores. Store-bought fish flakes or pellets are a good diet staple.

The following are great live food treats:

  • Blood worms
  • Tubifex worms
  • Brine shrimp

Also, cucumber peels and peeled peas are easy and healthy meals for your fish.

Fortunately, feeding these fish is effortless and worry-free. They’re both swift swimmers and will race to get their share. Therefore, zebra danios and neon tetras are compatible with mealtime.

Zebra Danio And Neon Tetras Tank Mates

Be sure to research tank mates. If either species is paired with an aggressive fish, it’ll corrupt their serene nature. Aggressive fish include angelfish, cichlids, bettas, and goldfish.

However, other species are compatible with both, including guppies, other tetras, khuli loaches, platies, or corydoras catfish.

If you introduce a bottom feeder into the tank, the neon tetras and zebra danios don’t hesitate to reach for the surface for food. Keep in mind that little food will be left for the bottom feeders.


Neon tetras and zebra danios are highly compatible fish tank species. They have the same docile, calm temperaments and habits. Additionally, they’re similar in size and share the same diet preferences. The neon tetras are tropical fish that enjoy warmer temperatures than the zebras. Yet the zebra danios quickly adapt, as is its nature. Keep two schools of six in a twenty-gallon tank.