Q&a: Are Neon Tetras Fin Nippers? | Aquarium Stuff

If you wonder, “are neon tetras fin nippers?” I have the answer for you. Tetra is a big family that consists of numerous breeds, and unfortunately, Neon tetras are one of them. However, fin nipping is not a part of Neon tetras’ nature because this breed isn’t aggressive by choice. This behavior is provoked by certain aspects of the environment that cause the fish to become moodier.

Please find out the reasons why Neon tetras nip fins with me!

Are Neon Tetras Fin Nippers?

Neon tetras are fin nippers
Neon tetras are fin nippers

Yes, Neon tetras are fin nippers. They tend to chase after other fish species with flowy caudal fins and even nip fins of their kind. Despite being a docile breed, Neon tetras are pretty famous for this behavior. However, the fin nipping doesn’t usually escalate to severe harassment, and they only do it when something about the living environment bothers them.

Why Tetras May Nip Fins?

What are the things that happen that affect the peaceful nature of Neon tetras? There are 4 most common reasons:

  • Claustrophobia: In a small but crowded space, fishes get very anxious and exhibit aggressive or unsettling behaviors, including fin nipping. A dense population also affects the water parameters, which is a high risk for Neon tetras to start nipping fins of their kind and other species.
  • Lack of tank mates of the same species and breed: Since Neon tetras are schooling fish, they need to live among various members of the tetra family to thrive and behave nicely. The minimum number of Neon tetras in a 10-gallon tank should be 5 or 6. It’s incredibly unideal to have only 2-4 tetras in the same tank.
  • Territorial conflict: cichlids, goldfish, or angelfish are some of the worst kinds of fishes that we can pair with tetras. Nevertheless, disputes that surge from territorial worries are very ordinary between different species.
  • Mating: Even though Neon tetras are a docile fish breed, during mating seasons, they can get aggressive and nip fins as an act of protecting their fries.

Other Fin-Nipper Tetras

Other than Neon tetras, 5 common breeds of this same family have shown fin nipping behavior.

Black Skirt Tetra

Black Skirt Tetra
Black Skirt Tetra

The Black Skirt Tetra is known for its aggressiveness and possibility of going around and nipping fins. It’s difficult mixing black skirt tetras with other fishes since it is known to chase other fish and then nip fins in most instances. My advice is that you keep Black Skirt tetras separately in a single-species tank to avoid aggression among tank members.

Emperor Tetra

Emperor Tetras nip tankmates' fins
Emperor Tetras nip tankmates’ fins

This breed isn’t as hostile as the black skirt tetra. But, it’s still one of the breeds that are easily affected by the environment and tend to nip the fins of other tank mates.

Serpae Tetra

Serpae tetras are notorious fin nippers
Serpae tetras are notorious fin nippers

Famous for their fin the nipping technique, Serpae tetra is the kind of tetra fish that can aggressively chase each other and tank mates in particular. The only method to prevent the behavior is to keep them in separate tanks or use a separator net. 

Glofish Tetras

Glofish Tetras are beautiful, colorful fish
Glofish Tetras are beautiful, colorful fish

Glofish tetras aren’t natural fin nippers. They are, however, likely to nibble fins when kept in small groups. We all know that tetras are schooling fish. They need to live in a large group of over 5-6 to thrive normally and healthily. They do not feel safe and are anxious in small groups.

Bloodfin Tetras

Bloodfin Tetras are schooling fish
Bloodfin Tetras are schooling fish

The bloodfin tetra typically nips the fins of fish that have flowing tails. Therefore, it is recommended to keep them away from some species with lyretails or fantails like swordtail fish, bettas, or angelfish to limit their aggressive behavior.

Conclusion: Are Neon Tetras Fin Nippers?

Yes, Neon tetras are fin nippers. But, we can avoid the situation by keeping 6-7 Neon tetras in a large tank with hiding places. It’s also advisable to combine them with compatible species instead of aggressive breeds.

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