What Do Neon Tetras Eat? Best Types Of Neon Tetra Food 

Estimated read time 7 min read

If you recently purchased a few Neon Tetras you may be asking a few of the following questions:

  1. What kind of food do neon tetras eat?
  2. What vegetables do neon tetras eat?
  3. Do neon Tetras eat algae?
  4. How often should I feed neon tetras?
  5. How much do neon tetras eat?
  6. How long can neon tetras go without food?

For the most part, Neon Tetras are not fussy eaters and will eat most types of tropical fish food, but they also enjoy eating many different types of food.

If you’re still wondering what they eat?

Good news!

Below we will answer all these questions and even share some tips to ensure your Neon Tetras are eating a healthy diet to keep them living as long as they can.

Let’s begin.


What Kind Of Food Do Neon Tetras Eat?

Neon Tetras are known to be omnivores, but they also enjoy foods fit more for a carnivorous diet and will eat most types of fish food including;

  • Live foods like insects and larvae
  • Pellet food
  • Flakes food
  • Frozen food like bloodworms
  • Even algae and vegetables

They are not very fussy when it comes to what they will eat.

Watch this great video about: What Neon Tetras Eat.

In the wild, Neon Tetras will eat what’s available to them, which is usually small insects or larvae floating in the slow-moving waters of the Amazon.

Neons also enjoy high protein foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and sometimes will eat the eggs of other small fish.

What Vegetables Do Neon Tetras Eat?

Neon tetras will eat a variety of vegetables, but because they are so small, they will have a hard time consuming them and are more likely to nibble at the smaller parts of the vegetables.

Most small fish like the Neon Tetra will eat veggies such as;

  • Cucumbers
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

Do Neon Tetras Eat Algae?

It is a common belief that Neon Tetras are omnivores, so they will eat things like plants, vegetables, and also algae.

However, Neon Tetras also enjoy live foods rich in protein. Be sure always to feed them a mixture of all types of food to maximize their health and color.

Here Are The Best Types Of Neon Tetra Food

Step-By-Step Neon Tetra Feeding Guide

Step 1) Choose A Time That Fits Into Your Daily Routine

Evaluate your daily routine; look for a time where you can give your Neon Tetras your attention for approximately 5 minutes. This should give you enough time to ensure your Neons are healthy and eating.

You will want to ensure that your Neons are eating all the food and remove anything that is left over.

Watch your Neons for signals.

If your Neons are sleeping when you wake early morning, don’t wake them just for food. Wait until you have been up for a few minutes, take time to view how your Neons are adjusting to your routine, and work the feeding in when it’s best.

You can choose one day a week to fast if you like. Usually, I use Sunday, but any day will do. Fasting allows the Neons to clear its digestive system and help with bloating and constipation.

Step 2) How Many Times A Day To Feed Your Neons

The most common is twice per day, however once a day is also okay. Just be sure not to feed them more because you think they are hungry for the rest of the day.

Some people will feed up to three times a day. I would not recommend this. However, if you feel that your Neon Tetras are unique and it’s what they need be sure to spread out the feedings (Very early, noon, very late)

Step 3) How Much To Feed Your Neons

Based on what you decide on steps 1 & 2, your Neons will determine how much it will eat at each feeding. Remember, the size of their stomach is small.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of what, when, and how much your Neons are eating at each feeding. This will help create a schedule that you can follow and organize as it can get confusing with all the different foods and treats your Neons will be eating.

Step 4) Choose What To Feed Your Neons

Using the list of foods above, decide what foods will be a staple, and what will be a treat. A properly balanced diet is often best for all fish, so be sure to mix it up!

How Often Should I Feed Neon Tetras?

All Tetras have very robust survival mechanisms since food is very scarce in their natural habitat of the Amazon. Because of this, Neon Tetras are more scavenger than anything.

This means they will eat what they can when they can and will eat as much as they can because in the wild they don’t know when their next meal will come, so you need to be careful not to overfeed them

While it is recommended to feed most fish 2-3 times per day, I tend to only feed my fish once per day at the same time each day. I find that my fish are more active, healthy, and always very excited to eat when it’s time.

Feeding once per day ensures I do not overfeed them, which prevents any opportunity for overeating, which could lead to other health issues.

One feeding per day also helps with water quality and the amount of wasted food that might build up on the bottom of the tank.

How Much Do Neon Tetras Eat?

The Neon Tetra is a tiny fish and will only eat a minimal amount each time. That said, because of their instinct as scavengers, they will eat as much as they can, which can cause serious health issues.

Knowing this, you should only feed them enough food that they can eat in about 1-2 minutes each day.

How Long Can Neon Tetras Go Without Food?

Most fish, including the Neon Tetra, can go at least seven days without food. Some fish can last even longer in an aquarium that is heavily stocked with plants as they will start to eat some of the plant life to survive.

As mentioned above in their natural habitat, the Neon Tetra is a scavenger, and they may go for a few days without food.

Some believe that skipping a feeding one day a week with most fish helps keeps other health issues at bay by providing a one day cleanse.

Learn More About Neon Tetras:

What Do Neon Tetras Eat & Best Types Of Neon Tetra Food 

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