How Many Neon Tetras Can You Keep in a 30 Gallon Tank?

Estimated read time 8 min read

I recently had a subscriber email me about his new 30-gallon tank. He wanted to know how many Neon Tetras in a 30 gallon tank would be acceptable. We answer this question and share a few other tips you should know.

Neon Tetras are a tiny, active and beautiful fish that is very 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. 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.

You’ll need something much bigger, than a 5 gallon tank these fast-moving fish.

When Neon Tetras are fully grown, a 30 gallon tank might be the perfect size for a school of at least 15 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 more in-depth look at the answer to this question, along with a few other things you might want to know about Neon Tetras.


Equipment You Might Need For Your 30 Gallon Tank

  1. Aquaclear Filter
  2. Aquarium Heater
  3. Python Gravel Vacuum
  4. Marina Algae Magnet Cleaner
  5. API Freshwater Master Test Kit

What Size Tank does the Neon Tetra Fish Need?

Now, you might be thinking when it is fully grown, and A Neon Tetra just grows to 2 inches – so a 30 gallon tank would be more than enough room for an excellent sized school of Neons.

The tank size depends on how many Neon’s you are going to keep. If you plan on keeping about six, then a 10 gallon would be ideal. However, if you’re keeping more than 15 Neon Tetras, you would need a 30 gallon tank. A 30 Gallon Tank can hold a large school of at least 15 to 20 Neon Tetras

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 quite 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 as well as all a few decorations to recreate their natural environment so that they feel safe.

How Many Neon Tetras per Gallon?

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

When it comes to 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 30 gallon tank allows you to keep 30/2 = 15 Neon Tetras with very lots of room to spare.

You can fit in 15 Neon Tetras easily, perhaps even push it up to 25 in my opinion, but sticking to 15 of these for a 30 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.

How many fish can comfortably keep in a 30 gallon tank

When determining how many fish you can keep in any size tank, one of the most common rules is the one inch of fish per gallon rule.

While this is a good starting point and might work for small community fish such as Neon tetras, it shouldn’t be applied to larger and messier fish like Oscars, Cichlids, Goldfish. Since we are discussing Neon Tetras, the above rule will work just fine. Other methods to determine stocking levels include;

  • Fish weight per volume
  • Fish length to filter capacity
  • Fish length per volume or surface area

In general, all these methods have their flaws when considering large fish, messy fish, or fish with particular needs.

The best thing to do is to understand each fish you intend to keep in your 30 gallon tank and what their specific needs are, where they are from and if your tank has filtration, live plants, and any other fish.

Neon Tetras Are Schooling Fish!

So what does this mean?

Fish that school like to swim together in a coordinated effort and a group of 15 Neons will school, and you’ll be treated with an impressive show of shimmering blue coordination.

How many Neon tetras in a school?

If you want to see the best the Neon has to offer, you would want to keep at least 10 of them together.

If you plan on keeping them in a 30 gallon tank, you’ll be able to have a beautiful school of 15-25 fish, which would look amazing. Neons crave being in a school, and their beauty is in their schooling.

When schooling, Neon Tetras typically swim in a more horizontal pattern, which would require more swimming room, which would make a 15 gallon a great choice.

Check out this roundup of the 7 Best Tank Mates For Neon Tetras to give this pretty little fish some company in your tank.

Tips For Keeping Neon Tetras In A 30 Gallon Aquarium

It may seem odd to the beginner, but smaller aquariums are harder to maintain than larger ones. That said, if you are planning on setting up a 30 gallon tank then 15-25 Neon Tetras will do great as long as you keep the following things in mind:

  • Never overfeed
  • Use lots of live plants
  • Use a good filter/heater
  • Do weekly maintenance
  • Perform weekly water changes faithfully
  • Monitor the water parameters closely (things can go wrong quickly)

So Can You Keep Neon Tetras In A 30 Gallon Tank?

Let’s recap for a second:

  • Neon tetras should be kept in schools of at least 6, but 10 would be ideal. In a 30 gallon, you could keep up to 15 Neon tetras. So you’re good to go.
  • They are schooling fish that are very active, typically swimming horizontally.
  • Use plants and rocks and driftwood to provide entertainment and also provide security for these little guys.
  • Use a good filter to keep the tank healthy and clean.

So I hope I’ve made it clear that a 30 gallon tank is an excellent option for the Neon tetra.

Can You Keep Guppies And Neon Tetras In A 30 Gallon Tank?

If there’s one aquarium fish more popular than the Neon Tetra, it is the guppy. Peaceful, easy to take care of, and good-looking, the guppy makes an excellent tank mate for Neon Tetras.

Of course, you do need to make some considerations when you’re adding guppies with Neon Tetras in a fish tank. Here are some tips on keeping Neon Tetras in a 30 gallon tank with guppies:

  • A 30 gallon tank can house between 15-25 Neon Tetras comfortably; 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 30 gallon tank, 15 Neon Tetras and 6 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 be able to survive in a 15-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 30 gallon tank, you can accommodate about 15 Neon Tetra without facing any problems and even provide some company.

Here are some final tips for keeping Neon Tetras in a 30-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 30 gallon tank and other vital information to keep them happy and healthy for a long time.

Learn More About Neon Tetras:

How Many Neon Tetra In A 30 gallon Tank

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