Skip to content

Are Neon Tetra and Betta Fish Good Tank Mates?

Neon Tetra and Betta

It is hard to choose a companion for a betta fish owing to its territorial and fighting nature. But this does not mean that it is impossible for us to pair the betta fish with some other fish. Neon Tetra on the other hand is a peaceful and schooling fish under ideal conditions. So the question arises whether or not neon tetra and betta fish can be put together in a tank.

The answer is YES. Betta Fish has an added personality (is of aggressive nature) and Neon Tetra is considered to be a fin nipper. Although it may seem highly unlikely for neon tetra and betta fish to be tank mates, they can live peacefully under the right conditions. Factors like tank dimensions, water pH and temperature, and food must be taken into consideration before putting neon tetra and betta fish together.

Neon Tetra and Betta Fish – Personality Comparison

Neon Tetra

neon tetra

As stated earlier, neon tetras are quite peaceful. They are also schooling fish; which means they must be kept in schools of at least 10. Neon tetra can grow up to 1.5 inches in length. They can also live up to 8 years in ideal conditions.

They prefer to swim in the middle of a tank. They do have a habit of fin nipping. But if your tank has enough plants and is considerable in size, fin nipping should not be a problem. Betta fish generally swim at the top level of the tank, therefore there is less chance of interference.

Betta Fish

betta fish

While the male ones tend to be aggressive, female betta fishes are relatively calmer. But it is seen that most people want a male betta fish rather than a female one. This is because the male ones are more showy and attractive than the female ones.

Betta fish usually swims close to the surface of the water and are very territorial. Studies have shown that betta fishes differ in their personalities and temperament. Some may be calm while others may be aggressive. Thus, whether or not a betta fish would prove to be a good tank mate, depends on its temperament.

Must Read | Betta Water Parameters: Best Conditions for Your Betta

Keeping Neon Tetra and Betta Fish Together

It is possible for you to keep neon tetra and betta fish together in one tank. To do so one must fulfill certain conditions regarding the surrounding tank environment. Unlike male betta fish, female ones can live in groups. If you want to make your tank more lively you can also consider a combination of neon tetra and betta sorority. Here are some factors which must be looked into before deciding to keep betta fish and neon tetra together.

Tank Size & Requirements

Neon Tetra and Betta Fish Tank Size

If we were to put neon tetras and betta in one tank, the tank must at least be 15 gallons. As stated earlier, neon tetras are schooling fish and they require a tank that is at least 10 gallons. In addition, if we want a betta fish as well, the tank size requirements grow. In ideal cases, a 15 to 20 gallons tank is sufficient for a betta fish and neon tetras to live in.

One must also equip the tank with live plants so as to prevent fin nipping and provide a hiding space. You should also keep in mind to not plant all over the tank. One area must be free for swimming for the neon tetras as they prefer open and horizontal spaces. On the other hand, one area must be covered in a plantation for the Betta Fish to hide.

Thus, neon tetra and betta 5-gallon tanks and neon tetra and betta 3-gallon tanks are out of the question. It is also preferred one adds the neon tetras before putting the betta fish. This prevents the betta fish to mark the whole tank as his territory. Water changes must also be periodic and regular.

Water Conditions

Fortunately, when we talk about the water conditions for neon tetra and betta fish, we see that the required parameters are very similar. Betta fish needs a water pH of up to 7 while neon tetra prefers it ranging from 5 to 7.5. Water temperature needs to be between 76 and 82 degrees F for betta fish. While a temperature ranging from 72 to 82 degrees F is ideal for neon tetra.

One can see the overlap in water conditions between the two fishes. As long as the water conditions meet the given criteria, both the fishes will be happy. While the two fishes have different personalities, their water preferences are quite similar.

Food Requirements

Neon tetras can eat the food offered to the betta fish while the betta fish cannot eat the food offered to neon tetra. This stems from the fact that neon tetras are omnivores and betta fish is a carnivore. Fish flakes and blanched veggies are a fine diet for neon tetras. Betta pellets are good for the betta fish.

However, live foods like daphnia, shrimp, and bloodworms are also great for both of your fishes. The important thing to remember is to supply your fish with the required nutrients and proteins for them to stay healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Is it possible for a betta fish to kill a neon tetra?

YES. It is possible for a betta fish to kill a neon tetra. Some betta fishes are very territorial and aggressive compared to others. It all depends upon the temperament of the betta fish. This does not mean that all betta fishes are likely to kill a neon tetra. It all depends on the personality of the betta fish.

How do you introduce a neon tetra to a betta fish?

Before introducing the fish in the tank water, you should keep the betta fish and the neon tetras in separate containers. Then place the containers in the tank. This allows both the fishes to recognize each other with proper precautions.

Do neon tetras nip betta fins?

YES. As stated earlier, neon tetras are fin nippers and it is a high chance that they try nipping betta fish’s fins. But this can be avoided if you equip your tank with plants and other decors which can provide the betta fish with a safe place to hide.

Can neon tetras eat betta food?

YES. Neon tetras being omnivores can eat betta foods. An ideal neon tetra diet comprises fish flakes and veggies while the betta diet comprises betta pellets, Fluval Bug Bites. However, both of these fishes can eat live foods like shrimp and worms.

What kind of lighting suits neon tetras and betta?

Both of these fishes prefer dim lights. Thus, fluorescent light can be used for the tank. Alternatively, low-light aquarium plants may also be used to fulfill the lighting and carbon dioxide needs of the tank.

Final Thoughts On Neon Tetra and Betta Fish As Tank Mates

The bottom line is that there is nothing to stop you from keeping neon tetra and betta fish together in a tank. The only thing you need to remember is to take into consideration all of the listed factors and you will have yourself a successful tank.