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Can Guppies live with Neon Tetras?

To create a harmonious and thriving community aquarium, it is essential to select harmoniously integrated fish species. Guppies and Neon Tetras are two popular options for fish caretakers.

Guppies, renowned for their vivid colours and playful disposition, are frequently recommended for newcomers.

Conversely, Neon Tetras are schooling fish whose active swimming behaviour provides a spectacular visual display.

This article explores the query, “Can guppies live with Neon tetras?

Can Guppies Live With Neon Tetras? You can house guppies and Neon tetras in a perfect consensus by carefully planning and considering a few aspects. Some of these regards are; tank parameters, size of both fish, fish temperament, eating habits, and the pace of swimming, etc., allowing you to make an informed decision about combining these species in your aquarium.

Parameters which will decide Can Guppies live with Neon Tetras

1. Peaceful nature of Guppies and Neon Tetras

Both guppies and Neon tetras are known for their peaceful demeanour, which makes them suitable for a community aquarium.

Due to their lively and active nature, guppies are typically not aggressive towards other fish. They are social and flourish with other tranquil tankmates. Fin-nipping is a relatively unusual behaviour, typically when guppies feel threatened or overloaded.

As schooling fish, Neon tetras have a natural tendency towards calm behaviour. They prefer to reside in groups, and exhibit synchronised swimming patterns, producing a visually captivating display. Neon Tetras are typically placid and can coexist with other peaceful fish species, including guppies.

So both guppies and Neon tetras can easily be accommodated in a single tank.

2. Size

Guppies develop to a length of around 3.8 to 6.4 centimetres (1.5 to 2.5 inches). Both male and female guppies are this size. However, males are typically smaller than females.
Neon Tetras reach maturity at a size of 2.5 to 5 centimetres, or around 1 to 2 inches. Although there may be some variation across tetra species, fish generally fall within this size range.

According to their size, both of the species are almost the same size. So they can live together without causing danger to each other’s life.

2.1 Avoid large-sized Guppies or Neon Tetras

As discussed above, they show aggression occasionally, and their bigger size will increase their aggression. So for a friendly environment, only same-sized Neon tetras are qualified to live in the guppy community.

2.2 Avoid Tetra Fry with Guppies

Guppies are omnivorous and eat everything that serves their mouth, including their babies (fry). So try to avoid placing tetra and guppy fries in the guppies tank. These fries will cause overpopulation and are unsafe in this environment as well.

3. Water Parameters

3.1. Temperature

Guppies and Neon tetras have generally compatible temperature requirements, making them suitable tankmates. To assure optimal conditions for both species, it is essential to consider the specific temperature preferences of each species.

Guppies flourish in water temperatures from 72°F to 82°F (22°C and 28°C). They are adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures within this temperature range.

Neon Tetras have similar temperature preferences. The acceptable range of temperature for Neon tetras is 72°F – 80°F.

Some tetra species, such as neon tetras, prefer slightly colder temperatures, whereas others, such as cardinal Neon tetras, can tolerate slightly warmer temperatures.

3.2. pH level

Guppies prefer slightly acidic to alkaline water. For Guppy, the pH should be 6.8–7.8. This range keeps them healthy and colourful. They can tolerate pH levels outside this range if the fluctuations are not extreme or sudden.

 Acidic to Neutral water pH is liked by Neon tetras. For Neon tetras, the pH should be 6–7.5. This range keeps them healthy and colourful. They can tolerate pH levels outside this range if the fluctuations are not extreme or sudden.

The aquarium’s pH must be monitored regularly. Test kits correctly measure pH. pH buffers or conditioners specially designed for the aquarium can be used to lead the pH between 6.8 to 7.5, which is the acceptable range for guppies and Neon tetras.

pH stability matters. Sudden changes can harm guppies and Neon tetras. Maintaining a stable pH level within the prescribed ranges will keep your fish healthy and comfortable.

3.3. Water Hardness

Water hardness is also important when keeping guppies and Neon tetras together. Guppies and tetras prefer specific water hardnesses mentioned below.

Guppies are usually water-hardness-tolerant. They thrive in soft and hard water. They prefer 8–12 dGH water. Water within this range improves the health of the guppy.

Neon Tetras require soft to reasonably hard water. Most tetra species prefer 5–15 dGH.

It means that 8-12 is an acceptable range for both of the species. Water conditioners, substrates, or additions can adjust hardness if your water source is outside the recommended range. Guppies and Neon tetras flourish in aquariums with water hardness in their preferred range.

4. Food and Nutrition

Guppies eat a mix of high-quality tropical fish pellets or flakes. Feed them live or frozen brine prawns, bloodworms, daphnia, or other small invertebrates. Live or frozen foods reflect their natural feeding behaviours and deliver necessary nutrients. A diversified diet keeps guppies healthy and colourful.

Neon Tetras mostly eat plants, tiny invertebrates, and bacteria. They happily eat high-quality tropical fish pellets or flakes in captivity. Add brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms or small insects to their diet. Supplemental foods give nutrition and replicate natural feeding behaviours.

The feeding behaviour of both species says that, Yes, Guppies and Neon tetras can live together.

5. Fin nipping behaviour of Guppies and Neon Tetras

Both Guppies and Neon Tetras bite fins, especially long-finned fish. This behaviour is more common in congested tanks, agitated fish, or tanks without hiding spots.

Give your guppies and Neon Tetras room to swim and develop territories. Overcrowding causes hostility and fin nibbling.

Provide 1 gallon of water for every inch of adult fish.

Hide places in the tank with plants, pebbles, or decorations. These hiding places are calm chasing fish.

Maintain a balanced male-to-female ratio to avoid male competitiveness and harassment. A 1:2 rule is advised, i.e. one male for two females.

6. Gender imbalance and breeding

Guppies are fast breeders as compared to Neon tetras. Overpopulation of guppy fry can stress the aquarium if not monitored. To control population growth, a balanced male-to-female ratio or gender segregation is recommended.

Guppies and Neon Tetras can live together in a single tank, but it does not mean they can have successful breeding. As both fishes are different species, Guppies can’t breed with a tetra.

Minimum tank size for keeping Guppies with Neon Tetras

Guppies and Neon Tetras are highly sociable, group-oriented species that do best in communities of at least four to five individuals. With more excellent room to swim and cleaner water, a 10-gallon tank is a minimum requirement for a school of four to five adult Guppies or Neon Tetras.

Guppies and Neon Tetras are picky eaters, so a well-planted aquarium with hiding spots and territories is essential; for better nourishment, a 20-gallon tank would be better, giving more room to do that job.

Filtration of aquarium

In a perfect aquarium, both the ammonia and nitrite levels would be at zero. It is very tough to keep your water that clean as tetra is messier than guppies, but it should not be over 20 ppm. The levels can be monitored using a testing kit.

Keep in mind that both can’t stand remarkably swift currents. Therefore, choose a system with a variable flow rate, and stick to low currents.

Amano shrimp can also be added because they get along well with guppies and tetra fish and help maintain the tank clean.

To keep your tank environment free of nitrites and ammonia, remove at least 25% of the water each week and replace it with filtered water.

Plantation for decoration and hiding

Plantation inside a tank will help you decorate your aquarium and gives a hiding and resting place for guppies and Neon tetras.

Both of the species appreciate plantation inside the tank. Remember that guppies also habitually take small bites from the plants. So, choose plants that are not poisonous to guppies. Following are some of the feasible plants for your aquarium:

  • Amazon Swords
  • Java ferns
  • Hornworts
  • Guppy grass
  • Watersprite

Can Guppies eat tetra food?

Guppies are omnivorous and consume all kinds of food containing meat and vegetable. Of course, they can also eat Neon tetras food, but for a better diet, you need to serve a balanced diet of plant-based food that contains proteins for your guppies.

So I recommend feeding your guppy first. Then, when guppies are done eating, provide your Neon tetras with food. In this manner, both species will get their proper diet without any clash.

For better digestion, serve your guppies and Neon tetras once or twice daily because overfeeding is dangerous for both breeds.

Setting Up the Ideal Environment for Guppies and Neon Tetras

After settling on a tank size just right for your Guppies and Neon Tetras, creating an atmosphere as close as possible to their original habitat is time. This includes giving them places to hide, a foraging-friendly substrate, and a clean environment in which to live.

Hiding Places

A more natural and peaceful atmosphere can be achieved by giving them plenty of hiding places.

Your Guppies and Neon Tetras will appreciate the natural atmosphere you create with the help of live plants, pebbles, and driftwood.


while natural explorers, Harlequin Rasboras, need a substrate that doesn’t restrict their movement while they look for food. A sandy or fine-gravel ground is advised to simulate their natural habitat best and encourage natural browsing behaviour.


Ensure you have enough plants in your tank to absorb the carbon dioxide, nitrate, and other toxic waste from the fish excretion.

Harlequin Rasboras can survive on their own with just plants and pests. So plantation is essential.


To grow, Guppies and Neon Tetras need clean, well-filtered water. 

It is recommended to use high-quality canisters or power filters with a flow rate that is suitable for both species and the tank volume.

 To keep your filter running, choose and maintain one that fits your tank.


Guppies and Neon Tetras need a steady and warm water temperature. A high-quality submersible heater that fits your tank is crucial. To maintain a stable temperature, check the temperature using a thermometer and make adjustments.


Guppies and Neon tetras do not require intense lighting and may prefer low to moderate light levels.

Use LED light of 5 watts, which can save electricity and give you proper lighting.

Water Quality

Guppies and Neon Tetras flourish in a particular set of water parameters. It is critical to keep water parameters consistent by making regular water changes and monitoring the tank’s water chemistry. Using a high-quality filter can also assist in maintaining.

Keep reading: How to Naturally Lower PH in Aquarium.


  • Guppies and Neon Tetras can live together.
  • They show aggression occasionally in unfavourable water conditions or overcrowded tanks. So avoid these two factors.
  • Same-sized fishes of both species should be accommodated.
  • Avoid tetra fry with guppies.
  • The temperature should be between 72-80°F
  • The acceptance pH is 6.8 to 7.5.
  • Provide plantation, hiding spots and a filtration system in the tank.

Q/A Session

How many guppies and neon tetras can you put in a 10-gallon tank?

In a 10-gallon tank, the number of guppies and neon tetras you can safely accommodate depends on several factors. 2 Guppies and 3 Neon tetras can be easily accommodated in a 10-gallon tank, but this tank size is not very good for them. Try a minimum of 20 gallons.

Can guppies get neon tetra disease?

Yes, guppies and neon tetras can spread contagious diseases to other fish in the aquarium. Water, equipment, and direct contact can spread diseases. Thus, aquariums must be protected from disease.

Quarantine fish with odd behaviour, loss of appetite, or obvious symptoms immediately.

Sick fish should be isolated in a quarantine tank to prevent the spread of disease. This allows closer observation and tailored treatment without harming other fish.

Aquarium hygiene is also important. Clean the tank, check water parameters, and maintain filtration and circulation.

Before adding additional fish to the tank, check for disease symptoms.

Early disease detection requires monitoring fish behaviour, appearance, and appetite. If you suspect an ailment, see an experienced aquarist or aquatic veterinarian. They may accurately diagnose and propose therapy to prevent disease spread to other tank species.

Can I keep only four neon tetras?

Yes, you can keep only neon tetras in a tank, and four neon tetras can easily be accommodated in a 10-gallon tank.

Keep reading: Number of Neon Tetras vs Tank Gallon Size [Complete GUIDE]

How many Neon tetras are the minimum?

Keeping a minimum of six Neon tetras together is recommended to ensure the fish’s health and natural behaviour. Neon Tetras are schooling fish that do best in groups because doing so allows them to display their schooling behaviour, makes them feel safer, and lowers their stress levels. Having at least six tetras in an aquarium will make it more exciting and fun for the fish.

Are Neon Tetras aggressive?

Neon Tetras occasionally show aggression when there is a stressful environment, or the water condition is not favourable. So if you want your tetras to be calm, avoid overcrowding and keep the water perimeters feasible.