Will Neon Tetras Eat Guppy Fry?

Neon tetras can and will eat guppy fry. Most fish won’t pass up the opportunity to consume any species of fry large enough to fit in their mouths. Most fish will even eat their own fry on occasion.

Since neon tetras are naturally omnivorous and guppy fry are about ¼ inches, your tropical fish can easily gulp up these tiny hatchlings.

Stick around to learn more about why neon tetras eat guppy fry and how you can prevent it from happening.

Will Neon Tetras Eat Guppy Fry?

Neon tetras are opportunistic eaters. If it’s small enough to fit in its mouth, it’s food, guppy or not.

On top of that, the tropical fish are also known to eat their own fry. The tetra species doesn’t distinguish its meal easily.

Whether it’s insect larvae, a guppy fry, or dead crustaceans, your neon tetras will probably eat it instinctively.

Neon Tetra Closeup

How to Protect the Guppy Fry from Your Neon Tetras

The good news is that there are some methods to keep your neon tetras from feeding on your guppy’s babies.

Method #1: Isolate Guppy Fry

The first thing you want to do is try to separate the tiny guppy fry from its predatory parents and neon tetras.

Now, you don’t want to move the fry to another tank. Sudden temperature changes could be detrimental to their health.

Instead, you’ll have to resort to moving the adult fish to a separate tank. This is the most fool-proof method of keeping the fry safe.

Method #2: Install A Lot of Hiding Places

Alternatively, you can add hiding decor such as driftwood, caves, tunnels, and canals for the guppy fry. Fake and live plants are also suitable hiding spots for the guppy babies.

Nevertheless, you can’t expect the full litter of fry to survive. Neon tetras are energetic little fish and like to move around in hiding spots as well.

Chances are, they’ll snag a few guppy fry. Apart from that, this method is the most convenient, since you won’t have to move or isolate any of the fish inside the tank.

Plus, live plants will provide a practical addition to your aquarium since it diffuses more oxygen and purifies the water.

Method #3: Isolate the Pregnant Guppy

Now, if you already know your guppy is pregnant, the isolation process would move much smoother.

You can simply move the mommy guppy to a different tank until it breeds and then move it back before it feeds on its own fry.

You can also isolate a breeding pair of guppies. Once the pair mate and breed, remove them immediately.

Afterward, wait until the fry are at least an inch long so they can’t fit into your neon tetras’ mouths.

Having said that, baby guppies grow to their full size after approximately six months.

Are Guppy Fry Unhealthy for Your Neon Tetras?

Fortunately, your neon tetras can feed on the guppy fry without any health repercussions. The baby guppies actually provide nutritional value to the tetras.

In addition to this, your captive neon tetras will be able to instinctively swim after their meal. This could help reduce their stress levels since they’re naturally active fish and enjoy swimming around the tank frequently, especially during the day.

In this case, if you don’t have the resources to isolate the fry or pregnant guppy, you can always let nature take its course.

Other Fish That Can Consume Guppy Fry

Neon tetras aren’t the only freshwater fish that’ll find guppy fry a tasty protein snack. Here are other fish that’ll likely prey on the newborn guppies.

  • Bettas
  • Angelfish
  • Gouramis

Fish That Won’t Likely Eat Guppy Fry

If you’re looking to avoid the guppy fry-eating issue altogether, then you may want to consider fish or crustaceans that won’t find the fry appetizing. Here are some of these aquarium creatures below.

  • Shrimp
  • Dwarf Catfish
  • Kuhli Loaches

Can Guppies and Neon Tetras Be Compatible Tankmates?

Neon tetras and guppies can get along fairly well in a single tank. This is mainly since they share several characteristics, such as:

Tank Requirements

The good news is that guppies and neon tetras share the same tank requirements in terms of pH levels and temperature.

When it comes to pH levels, guppies can survive between 6.8 to 8. Meanwhile, neon tetras are well-adjusted in similar levels between 6 and 8.

Regarding temperature, tropical tetras thrive in a range between 72 and 76 degrees F. Guppies enjoy matching temperature levels varying between 74 to 82 degrees F.

With that in consideration, you can provide an ideal environment for both freshwater fish.


Guppies and neon tetras have almost identical temperaments. Both are classified as schooling fish with peaceful dispositions.

When kept together, they’ll likely not get in each other’s ways. Nevertheless, one issue you may encounter is fin nipping, particularly from the neon tetras’ end.

To avoid this, you just need to make sure the tank is adequately spaced so tetras are less likely to bother the guppies.


As omnivorous fish, guppies and neon tetras can both feed on plant and animal matter. You can provide their nutrition in the form of flakes and pellets.

You may also want to give them live food. If that’s not an option, then you can opt for freeze-dried food instead.

Besides that, you can feed them insect larvae and cooked vegetables. You may also occasionally provide them with bloodworms to satiate their fat intake.

To Conclude

Will neon tetras eat guppy fry? In essence, yes, your neon tetras are likely going to swallow guppy fry without any thought.

As versatile feeders, neon tetras will consume almost anything in their way that fits in its mouth. That being said, guppy fry make for a healthy addition to the tetras’ diet.

If you want to save the fry, you can isolate them from the adult fish or keep the breeding guppy pair in a separate tank. Alternatively, you can simply provide more hiding spots.

Apart from that, guppies and neon tetras can be good tankmates, even if they’re trying to consume one another’s babies.