Can Neon Tetra Live In A Bowl? Is It A Good Idea? – 4 Important Things You Should Consider

There are many people who have the hobby of keeping fish in an aquarium in their house. However, this hobby must not be a one-sided enjoyment only. You need to take into consideration your fish’s health, comfort, and well-being if you are keeping them in an aquarium or fishbowl. 

In fact, for many species of fish, a fishbowl is not a good place to live. In spite of this, many of them still consider this to be the beginning of their journey as pet fish. 

In this article, you will find information about “can neon tetra live in a bowl”, as well as information regarding whether or not a neon tetra is suitable for a fishbowl. In addition to that, you will come across a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration in order for Neon Tetra to survive in a fishbowl.

Can Neon Tetra Live In A Bowl? 

Well, practically speaking, keeping a fish in a fishbowl is not going to be a good environment for them to thrive. It does not provide them with the space they need or the volume of water that they require. The same holds true for keeping a Neon Tetra in a fishbowl. It would be a harsh decision unless the size of the fishbowl was appropriate.

Because neon tetras are schooling fish, it is very important that you do not keep them alone. In general, there’s a rule of thumb, “one inch per gallon”, which suggests that a one-gallon fishbowl is needed for fish that are one inch in size.

Neon tetra in 15-gallon fishbowl
Neon tetra in 15-gallon fishbowl

The average neon tetra size is 1.5 inches. If you plan to keep three neo tetras in the bowl, then you will need to use a 5-gallon bowl. Alternatively, in such a small area for movement, it wouldn’t be feasible to raise the fish there.

As well, the water you use for your Neon Tetra should be clean in order for it to grow healthy. The fishbowl, however, being too small, will not provide the filtration system to keep your aquarium clean. In summary, the Neon Tetra cannot survive in a fishbowl unless the bowl is of a size that is appropriate for the fish. 

Is It Good To Keep Neon Tetra In a Fishbowl?

In my opinion, you should select a small tank for your Neon Tetra rather than place them in the fishbowl. In spite of the fact that keeping your fish in a fishbowl has some advantages, it is not the best option when it comes to raising your neon tetra there. Fishbowls are appreciated by people because they are viewed as cheap, easy to find, and also portable. You can move and decorate your room in any way you like. On top of that, it has the advantage of being attractive as well.

You must, however, provide all the conveniences that are necessary for their health and growth. The first and foremost thing that they need is to be big enough. Try not to place them in a confined space.

As long as you are able to provide them with a comfortable space and consider the water temperature properly, then you can raise your Neon Tetra effectively, but do not keep them in a fishbowl.

Things To Consider In a Fishbowl To Keep Neon Tetra

It is not easy to keep a neon tetra in a bowl. There are many factors you need to consider before you can put a Neon Tetra into a fishbowl.

The size of a fishbowl, the lighting, the use of aquarium plants, etc. impact a Neon Tetra’s habitat. As a result, here are a few factors that I would recommend to make their environment as fun and comfortable as possible.

Size Of A Fishbowl

Before you place your Neon Tetra in a fishbowl, you should consider its size. The fish needs sufficient space in order to feel at ease.

It’s hard for them to survive when they are forced into a small space. Like being trapped in an overcrowded place. If you have to sleep, eat, and use a toilet in one corner while in a 5-foot room, imagine how difficult and unhygienic that would be for you. Are you sure that you can live there happily?

Basically, it is the same thing with neon tetras. Even though they can live in a small size fishbowl, it is difficult for them to survive in such a small area. Similarly, the size of the fishbowl is dependent on how many Neon Tetra is present in it. The more neon tetras there are, the larger the tank size is required.

One-Inch Per Gallon Rule

A fish’s size is another important factor to consider. For every inch of a fish, you need one gallon of water. The One-Inch-Per-Gallon rule isn’t perfect, but it provides a good guideline.

The average length of Neon tetra is 1.5 inches, as I mentioned above. So, if you plan on keeping three Neon Tetra at the beginning, you will need to select a 5-gallon aquarium or a fishbowl. However, this is only a rough estimate.

Obviously, if you have a fishbowl that consists of lighting equipment and aquarium plants, then the bowl will not hold 5 gallons of water. In this case, you will need a large fishbowl to keep neon tetra in.

Use Of Aquarium Plants

Place plants in neon tetra fishbowl
Place plants in neon tetra fishbowl

What is the purpose of placing a plant in a fishbowl? Plants are mainly placed in fishbowls for the purpose of decoration. It also gives your fish a place to hide and feel protected if they need to.

In the same way, a live plant can also be beneficial for your Neon tetra. It is responsible for regulating the amount of ammonia that is present in the water, as well as supplying a small amount of oxygen to the water.

Growing plants in a fishbowl is not an easy task at all. You should make sure that if you are planting in your fishbowl, you are providing them with enough light. It is essential to have the right balance of lighting, otherwise, algae will grow and turn the water green.

Proper Lighting

It will be necessary for an aquarium to be fitted with an appropriate lighting system. However, what about a fishbowl? Lighting is one of the great challenges you may face when you use a fishbowl.

A Neon Tetra requires 12–14 hours of light daily in order to maintain the right circadian rhythm. A lack of proper lighting can also lead to high water temperatures. In order to avoid problems in the future, do select a fishbowl that has a lid that is fitted with an LED light.

Furthermore, you should also avoid keeping your fishbowl directly in the sun. Rather, it should be placed in an area where there is less light outdoors. Neon Tetra is sensitive to temperature fluctuations caused by excessive outdoor light. Excessive lighting can also harm your Neon Tetra because it causes algae issues.

Video About Adding Neon Tetra To 15 Gallon Fish Bowl


Can neon tetra live without oxygen?

As with any other fish, the neon tetra needs sufficient oxygen to survive. You can aerate your tank with air pumps if necessary. For neon tetra, they are not necessary for aeration.
Another option for providing your tetra with sufficient oxygen is to place a live plant nearby. Not only does it provide high oxygen levels, but in addition to that, it also helps take away toxic components from your aquarium, making it more hospitable and beautiful.

Is neon tetra a schooling fish?

Yes, in fact, Neon Tetra does live in a school. Being in a group gives them a sense of security. Ideally, I would recommend you to keep around ten to twelve neon tetras in your aquarium. 

What type of tank does a neon tetra need?

We recommend a tank with a capacity of at least 10 gallons in order to maintain the water quality as much as possible. The bigger the tank, the better. It has been found that large water changes are fatal to neon tetras, so if you have a large tank, it makes the water changes less obvious. Generally, a regular sponge filter, or a hang-on back filter, will suffice for the purpose of filtration.


As you consider placing a fish in a fishbowl, you should take extra care to consider factors such as the size of the bowl, the temperature, as well as the conditions of its living environment. 

Basically, Neon Tetra does not do well in traditional fishbowls of up to three gallons in size. If your fishbowl is bigger than three gallons, it will do fine. Do not forget that a Neon Tetra fish is a schooling fish.

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