How many neon tetras in a 10 gallon tank? Having a safe population density is a wise decision to maintain a peaceful relationship among tank members. And even though tetras are quite docile fish, they can still get moody when the living conditions aren’t up to their standards. And do tetras follow the same 1 gallon/ inch of fish? Let me tell you everything I know about Neon tetras’ requirements for space.
Ideal Number Of Neon Tetras In A 10-Gallon Tank
An adult Neon tetra can grow up to 2 inches, but most will reach 1.5 inches only. Due to their naturally small body size, we can apply the 1 gallon/ inch rule. So in a 10-gallon tank, we can keep around 5 to 6 tetras together. I don’t recommend keeping more since there will be pieces of equipment and decorations that occupy the space.
Neon tetras can be described as schooling fish, which means they prefer living in a more significant number instead of being inhabited in an isolated area. If we keep only 2-3 together in a 10-gallon tank, they will get quite lonely and even exhibit stressful behavior and health issues.
But, it’s not good to swing to the other extreme and have too many tetras in the same environment. A 10-gallon tank is undeniably tiny, which means that the waste that the fish produce and the developing greens in the tank will affect water parameters quicker, and the fish will have to live in their own waste longer if we don’t clean frequently.
Why It’s Wise To Offer Neon Tetras A Spacious Environment
There are 5 reasons why Neon tetras live better in a spacious environment. But, I want to emphasize that despite needing an ample area to swim, Neon tetras are still schooling fish, which means they want to have numerous companions of their own kind. Therefore, having various tetras in a big room is advisable.
Avoid Aggression Among Tank Members
Are you keeping different fish species in the same aquarium? If the answer is yes, I suggest having a larger living space to avoid clashes between the species. I think it’s important to keep this in mind, especially when the average size of the fish is variable.
For example, many aquarists enjoy keeping Neon tetras with cherry shrimps to add more diversity to the tank. Even though Neon tetras aren’t hostile toward cherry shrimps, they can still attack and feed on these crustaceans if the tank is too small and the shrimps can fit into their mouth. Having an ample living space will make it easier t keep them away from each other.
Decorations And Greens Occupy Living Space
For example, a 10-gallon tank can fit 6-7 Neon tetras. But, I suggested keeping 5-6 ones maximum because it’s normal for aquarists to insert water filters, greens, decorations, rocks, etc., into the tank. Thus, if you want to keep 6-7 or more, it’s best to increase the tank size to 15 gallons to prevent occupying the living space of Neon tetras.
Small Tank Can Stunt Fish’s Growth
The case is more common among goldfish since they are bigger in size and exhibit more signs of stunt growth. But it applies to Neon tetras as well. In a limited living space, the size of the fish doesn’t reach its true potential while the organs keep expanding. The consequence is that the fish can die prematurely.
Tank Cleaning Is Less Frequent
It’s very logical. For example, a 10-gallon tank with 10 tetras will definitely become dirty quicker than a 10-gallon tank with 1 tetra only. If you are busy aquarists with work to finish in your daily life, changing the water every 2 or 3 days will be too hectic to handle. As a result, we have to clean the tank more frequently to avoid bacteria development or ammonia poisoning.
Having a bigger tank with a sound filtration system will keep you less occupied.
Less severe diseases or changes in water parameters
More fish in a small place means more waste spilled into the environment. If the filter is lousy and we don’t clean the tank frequently, it’s inevitable that diseases will spread in the tank, making the water parameters fluctuates and affecting the health of tank members.
Conclusion: How Many Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank?
How many neon tetras in a 10 gallon tank? In conclusion, I suggest that you keep 5 to 6 Neon tetras together in a 10-gallon tank. If you don’t use many decorations and cover the bottom of the tank with rocks or sands, you can keep 6-7 tetras without any problem. Also, avoid keeping only 2-3 tetras since this will put the fish into a solitary mood, and they will retreat and don’t exhibit interesting schooling behaviors.
Annette M. Chaney is an experienced marine biologist with over 20 years of experience as an aquarist and fishkeeper. She started her first aquarium at a young age, filling it with frogs and goldfish obtained from the ten-cent pet store.
Annette grew up caring for and breeding African Cichlids, which led to a hobby in high school that doubled as a profitable means. Attending Reed College gave her time to solidify herself as an accomplished aquarium caretaker with an eye for sales. After that, from 2009 – 2013, she studied at Roger Williams University – one of the most prestigious universities for Aquaculture and Aquarium in USA. She is the founder of AquariumCircle since 2010