How Many Neon Tetras in a 29 Gallon Tank?

A 29 gallon aquarium can house about 15 full size neon tetras. Following the 1 inch per gallon rule of thumb, you need a gallon of water for every inch of fish. Since a neon tetra can get to 1.5 or 2 inches, you need about 1.5 or 2 gallons of water per fish.

How Many Neon Tetras in a 29 Gallon Tank?

Generally speaking, tetras are shoaling fish that prefer to live in groups. Therefore, neon tetras might not thrive in a compact area.

So how many should I put in my tank? Well, this depends on the size of both the fish and the tank. In addition, there are other factors to consider, such as the amount of plants and decorations that would also consume some space in the tank.

The rule says 1 gallon per inch of fish. Given that neon tetras usually reach up to 1.5 or 2 inches, you can have one in 2 gallons. This means that a 29 gallon tank can ideally take about 15 neon tetras.

Neon Tetra Fish

Can We Add More Fish?

The formula stated above is calculated according to the average size of mature fish. This means that it can differ depending on the fish’s species and maturity level.

In fact, your 29 gallon tank can take up to 18 or 20 fish. It all comes down to the quality of the environment in your tank.

However, you should know that you’ll have to clean the tank more often if you add more fish. You’ll also need to keep an eye on the tank to avoid any problems. In other words, you’ll have to take good care of your fish and their surroundings.

Can Neon Tetras Live Alone?

Not really. neon tetras are social fish that function best in groups. They typically require a balanced environment, where they live in groups but still have enough space. That’s because overcrowded tanks can cause stress, disease, or even death.

A school of neon tetras includes about six fish. All in all, the larger the merrier. In the wild, larger groups allow the fish to swim together and protect each other in the case of predators.

In other words, a lonely neon tetra would feel unprotected since it’s used to living among others for protection. This may cause stress and anxiety, which make the fish more vulnerable to disease.

So what if I have a small tank? With neon tetras, make sure that your tank is large enough to accommodate at least 6 fish. However, it would be best to have a larger tank to keep around 15 or 20.

Why Do Neon Tetras Prefer Large Tanks?

As already mentioned, it’s recommended to give your neon tetras enough space, but why? In fact, several reasons make larger tanks necessary for the neon tetras to thrive.

Large Groups, Large Space

Neon tetras are sociable fish. You shouldn’t keep less than five or six of them at a time. Therefore, it wouldn’t be easy for them to live together in a small tank.

In addition, with this many fish in a small tank, the water conditions can change rapidly. This can be fatal for your neon tetras. In this sense, a larger tank is the healthier choice.

Neon Tetras Need Aquatic Vegetation

There’s usually more to a tank than just fish. In fact, to keep your neon tetras happy, you should provide plenty of live plants in their tank. Such plants perform two basic tasks.

For instance, plants act as hiding places for tetras while sleeping, which mimics their natural habitats. Besides, sometimes, neon tetras feed on aquatic plants.

Perhaps, the most important function is the filtration of light and water. This gives the tank the optimum conditions for the growth of neon tetras.

Activity Requires Space

Neon tetras are super active, which means they need some space to move around. Placing neon tetras in a small tank won’t let them roam around freely in their groups.

Moreover, if you keep neon tetras with other fish species, you definitely need a large tank. In fact, a small tank in this case means a lot of social problems.

In a small tank, all types of fish would come into contact more often and might get aggressive. Small space may also lead to territorial fights between the different types in the tank.

A Larger Space for Beauty

Most hobbyists keep fish to appreciate their natural beauty. A larger tank would give you more space for creativity.

In larger tanks, you can create a pretty landscape with plants and decorations without confining your fish. This can give you a more beautiful tank that caters to your personal taste, probably with vivid colors and shapes.

The same applies to vegetation. A larger tank provides you with enough space to add live plants to create the ideal environment for your neon tetras.

Neon Tetras Need Space to Sleep

Neon tetras have special sleeping habits. For instance, they sleep far from each other. This means that you might need more space than you think.

Typically, when neon tetras sleep, they tend to look for hiding places usually behind plants. This way, it’s important to give your tetras the space to sleep and hide to mirror their natural habitat.

It’s also worth noting that neon tetras prefer wide rather than tall tanks. This is because they’re bottom dwellers that sleep near the gravel at the bottom of the tank.

Have Another Tank Size You’re Looking At?

How Many Neon Tetras in a 55-Gallon Tank?

How Many Neon Tetras in a 20-Gallon Tank?

How Many Neon Tetras in a 10 Gallon Tank?


Wondering how many neon tetras you can put in a 29 gallon tank? The rule says a gallon of water per inch of fish. However, this also depends on the presence of other elements that take up tank space.

Typically, a 29 gallon tank can house about 15 neon tetras. The more fish you add to your tank, the more effort you’re required to exert in order to maintain the quality of your tank.