How Many Neon Tetras to Add at One Time?

You should keep at least six to ten neon tetras in a single tank, and you can add them all at once. If you are adding more than 6 to your final tank, we recommend adding 6 maximum at one time. 

Neon tetras are small, colorful, and peaceful fish that are suitable for beginner aquarists because they can tolerate different water parameters. So, if you want to introduce the brightly-colored neon tetras to your tank, you’d probably be asking how many fish should be added at once.

Keep reading to learn more about creating the perfect setup and community to help these beautiful fish thrive.

How Many Neon Tetras to Add at One Time?

As you are stocking your tank with neons, you should add no more than 6 at a time. Meaning if you are adding 8, you should add them in two stocking sessions, ideally 4 fish the first time and 4 fish the second. And if you are adding 15 total fish, you’d add them in three stocking sessions.

Group of Neon Tetra

How Many Neon Tetras Should You Keep?

For neon tetras, having more fish in the tank means that they will be happier and healthier. This is why these fish thrive in big freshwater tanks, where they can have more members of their species and other peaceful tank mates that get along well with them.

In general, a school of 15 to 20 fish is ideal, although having ten individuals in the same tank will also work. However, the minimum number of neon tetras in the tank should be between six and ten fish because otherwise, the fish won’t feel well because they’re too lonely.

How Big Should the Tank Be for Neon Tetras?

Since you should ideally have six to ten fish in the tank, you must make sure that you have at least a 10-gallon aquarium. Of course, if you’re keeping your neon tetras with other fish, you’ll have to increase the tank’s size.

Having a bigger school of 15 to 20 fish is ideal, and in this case, you should get at least a 20-gallon tank.

It’s true that these fish are small, and they don’t grow to exceed the length of 1.5 inches when they reach adulthood. However, they need plenty of space to swim, or they can become too aggressive or stressed.

If the tank is too small, neon tetras might stop eating, or they might start attacking one another.

The general rule is to provide one inch of the fish’s body with one gallon of water if the fish measures less than 3 inches long. So, a 10-gallon tank would be enough to support six neon tetras with very little extra room.

Your fish will be able to survive in this small tank, but increasing its size is recommended.

How to Introduce New Neon Tetras into Your Tank?

Adding new fish to an aquarium can be a shocking and stressful experience.

The new fish won’t be accustomed to their new home, and existing fish might feel stressed as you’re adding new members into their already existing and functioning tank.

New neon tetras are pretty hardy, but the change in their water and temperature parameters can make them too stressed. This is why you should give them time to adjust to the subtle changes in water, temperature, pH level, and all the other factors that change when you transfer them into a new tank.

To ensure an easy and stress-free transition, you should pay attention to the following.

  • You need to get your fish from a reputable pet store to make sure that they’re OK and not sick.
  • Ask your vet about compatible fish species. For example, neon tetras are quite peaceful, and they won’t get along with other aggressive fish in the tank.
  • Make sure that the tank is big enough to support the number of new and existing fish.
  • Make sure that the water parameters match the parameters of the water at the pet shop where your fish have been living.
  • Create the perfect setup for the shy neon tetras by adding objects like rocks, caves, and plants that would provide them with a place to hide while they’re still adjusting to their new home.
  • If there are any fish in your tank, feed them before adding the new neon tetras to reduce aggression.
  • Dim the lights in the room before adding the new fish and keep them off for at least 24 hours to allow the fish to adjust.
  • Get the sealed bag where you have your new fish and let it float on the water’s surface in the tank for at least 10 minutes. This will get the new fish accustomed to their surroundings.
  • Open the bag, add water from the tank to it, and seal it again.
  • Let the bag sit for another 10 minutes as it floats on the water’s surface.
  • Repeat this process several times until there’s no extra room inside the bag. This process will get the fish accustomed to the new water.
  • Use a net to gently transfer the fish from the bag to the tank, and don’t pour the fish with the existing water into the aquarium.
  • Leave the new fish alone and allow them to swim and explore until they get used to their new environment. Avoid moving or touching the tank too much, as this will startle the fish.

Wrap Up

Neon tetras enjoy living in schools, and adding more fish to the tank will be better if you provide them with enough space.

You should at least keep between six and ten fish in the tank, and you can add them all at once, allowing them to get used to their new home. For six fish, a 10-gallon aquarium will be just fine, although having more space is better.

When you add the new fish to your tank, you should give them time to adjust and make sure that the water parameters are suitable, so the fish can have a smooth transition.