How Many Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank?

Estimated read time 9 min read

I recently had a subscriber email me about his child’s 10-gallon tank.

He wanted to know how many Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank would be acceptable?

You can fit 6 Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank. However, the Neon Tetra can grow up to 1.5-2 inches on average, so go with 5 of them per 10 gallons to be safe.


About Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras are tiny, active, and beautiful fish popular with experienced and beginner fish keepers.

It’s a schooling fish that loves to swim around in groups of at least 5 or 6 fish to feel safe.

The Neon Tetra can grow up to 1.5-2 inches on average. Unfortunately, it’s also a fast-moving species, so you can probably figure out that a small fish tank might not work out well for its living.

Plenty of beginners will get a 5-gallon tank as their first fish tank. A 5-gallon fish tank might work out for some species of fish, but keeping a group of 5 to 6 Neon Tetras in such a tiny tank can get overcrowded once you add in your plants and decor.

When Neon Tetras are fully grown, a 10-gallon tank might be the perfect size for a group of 5 to 6 of them.

Of course, there is more to think about when getting the right-sized fish tank.

Further Reading: Best freshwater aquarium fish

Let’s take a deeper look at the answer to this question, along with a few other things you might want to know about Neon Tetras.

Keeping Neon Tetra In A 10 gallon tank?

Now, you might be thinking that even when it is fully grown, a Neon Tetra grows to 2 inches – why wouldn’t a 5-gallon tank be more than enough for it?

The tank size depends on how many Neon’s you will keep. If you plan on keeping about six, then a 10-gallon would be ideal.

However, if you’re keeping 10-15 Neon Tetras, you would need a 15 or 20-gallon tank.

That said, it’s is not just the size of the fish that affects the size of the tank you should get.

Neon Tetras are pretty active. They love swimming between the plants, around the rocks, and similar objects in a fish tank.

Once you get a fish tank, be sure your tank is large enough to keep a school of neons and all a few decorations to recreate their natural environment so that they feel safe.

Equipment For Your Neon Tetra 10 Gallon Tank

  1. Aqueon 10 Gallon Fish Tank Kit
  2. Fluval M Aquarium Heater
  3. Python Pro-Clean Gravel Vacuum
  4. Marina Algae Magnet Cleaner
  5. API Freshwater Master Test Kit

How Many Neon Tetras per Gallon?

Now let’s look at how many Neon Tetra you can fit in a tank so that you don’t overstock your tank.

When calculating how many fish can fit per gallon, you would be better off going with a higher estimate for an individual fish’s size.

While a Neon Tetra usually grows up to 1.5 inches, you’d still assume 2 inches to be on the safe side.

The general rule when it comes to deciding fish per gallon is that if a fish is smaller than 3 inches, a single fish will need a gallon per inch of the length of the fish.

Assuming that a Neon Tetra grows to a maximum of 2 inches, a 10-gallon tank allows you to keep 10/2 = 5 Neon Tetras with very little room to spare.

You can fit in 6 Neon Tetras easily, perhaps even push it up to 7, but sticking to 6 of these for a 10-gallon tank should be more than enough – especially if you are planning to give them company in the tank with the likes of Betta and guppies.

Check out this beautiful 10-gallon planted tank stocked with Neon Tetras.

Tips for Keeping Neon Tetras with Betta Fish in a 10 Gallon Tank

One of the best qualities of Neon Tetras is that they can live easily in community tanks. As a result, they get along with other fish pretty well.

If you happen to have a Betta Fish in your tank, having Neon Tetras shouldn’t cause any problems.

Keep in mind that the male betta fish can be quite aggressive sometimes. It is a territorial fish, which does not appreciate other fish swimming near it.

A slow swimmer sticks mainly to the top of the fish tank. That’s great because Neon Tetras prefer the middle area.

How Many Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank With A Betta?

Keeping betta fish with Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank is easy. If you’re keeping them together, go with 3-4 Neon Tetras and one male Betta.

Be sure to choose your Betta carefully because if it’s the type of fish that prefers swimming at the top of the tank, there can be problems with the Neon Tetras.

Here are some tips to keep Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank with bettas:

  • Make sure you have plenty of décor items that can give Neon Tetras hiding spaces
  • Preferably get a taller 10-gallon fish tank to leave enough room for both the fish to remain out of their way
  • Do not add too many Neon Tetra Fish as they may stress out the Betta
  • Use at least two separate feeding rings during feeding time

Here’s a good list of fish that can live with Neon Tetras.

Tips for Keeping Neon Tetras and Guppies in a 10 Gallon Tank

If there’s one aquarium fish more popular than the Neon Tetra, it is the guppy.

The guppy makes an excellent tank mate for Neon Tetras, which is peaceful, easy to take care of, and good-looking.

Of course, you do need to make some considerations when you’re adding guppies with Neon Tetras in a fish tank.

How Many Guppies And Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank Is Safe?

However, if we go by the rule that each fish should occupy at least 1/3 of the total water volume to avoid territorial conflicts and issues, you’ll be safe if you go with the following:

A 10-gallon tank should fit in at least 3 Neon Tetras and about six guppies.

Here are some tips on keeping Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon tank with guppies:

  • A 10-gallon tank can house 6 Neon Tetras easily; do not increase the number just because the guppy is peaceful.
  • If you are keeping a pair of guppies, they will breed and overpopulate the tank in a matter of months. Stick to only male guppies in the tank with your Neon Tetra fish
  • For a 10-gallon tank, 6 Neon Tetras and three guppies will be more than enough.
  • If you’re planning to raise guppy fish fry, get a separate fish tank for them because they will not survive in a 10-gallon tank with so many other fish.

Final Thoughts

Neon Tetras are easily some of the best fish to keep in an aquarium.

For a 10 gallon tank, you can accommodate about 6 Neon Tetra without facing any problems and even provide some company.

Here are some final tips for keeping Neon Tetras in a 10-gallon fish tank that you should be aware of:

  • Do not overfeed the fish.
  • Add live plants and décor
  • Perform weekly maintenance of the fish tank
  • Take care of the water conditions.
  • Use a good filtration system.
  • Never overpopulate the tank.

We hope that this guide will help you understand how many Neon Tetras you should keep in a 10-gallon tank and other vital information to keep them happy and healthy for a long time.

Are you thinking of keeping Neon Tetras in a 5-gallon tank? Find out how many you can keep in a small tank.


What is the minimum and maximum size of the fish tank that Neon Tetras should be kept in?

The smallest tank size to keep neon tetras in is a 5-gallon tank. However, it would be best to keep them in 10, 20, or 30 gallons of water for the best results.

What are the minimum and the maximum number of Neon Tetras that I can keep in a fish tank?

  • For a 10-gallon tank, 2 or 3 Neon Tetra is usually enough to provide some action inside the tank.
  • For a 20-gallon fish tank, you can safely keep 5 Neon Tetra with some company without problems.
  • In a 30-gallon fish tank, consider going for 8 Neon Tetra as they will have enough space to swim around and be happy.

Can I mix Neon Tetras with other types of small fish?

As long as the other fish is peaceful and not a fast swimmer, you can mix Neon Tetras with black neon tetra, cardinal tetra, or glowlight tetra.

How Many Neon Tetras In A School?

The minimum number of Neon Tetras in a school is six, and your aquarium’s size dictates the maximum.

How Many Neon Tetras Should I Get?

You should get at least 4-6 Neon Tetras to make a pretty school inside the fish tank. However, if you plan on getting a larger school, consider going for at least 10 Neon Tetra.

Learn More About Neon Tetras:

More Info About 10-Gallon Tanks

  1. Guide to Setting up Your 10-Gallon Planted Tank
  2. 12 Hungry Algae Eaters For Small Tanks 10 Gallons & Under
  3. Stocking A 10 Gallon Tank
  4. Best Small Catfish for a 10-Gallon Tank Setup
  5. Bottom Feeder Fish for a 10-Gallon Tank
  6. How Much Gravel For A 10 Gallon Tank
  7. How Many Neon Tetras In A 10 Gallon Tank
  8. How Many Guppies in a 10-Gallon Tank
  9. How Many Goldfish in a 10-Gallon Tank
  10. Easy 10-gallon Cichlid Tank Ideas
  11. Best Powerhead for a 10 Gallon Tank
  12. What Is The Best Canister Filter For A 10 Gallon Fish Tank?
  13. Gravel Vacuum For 10 Gallon Tank & Smaller
  14. Best Stands For 10 Gallon Fish Tanks

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