What Type of Fish Can Neon Tetras Live With?

Written by judith gorham-nye
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What Type of Fish Can Neon Tetras Live With?
Neon tetras' stripes look blue-green in the daytime and violet at night. (Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Neon tetras are small, colourful fish that are popular with aquarium owners. A vivid iridescent blue and red body is common, but they also can have other colour variations. They are peaceful and will live compatibly with several other species of freshwater aquarium fish. However, this does not necessarily mean the other species will get along well with one another. Choose tank mates wisely, by consulting a knowledgeable aquarium dealer or a reputable fish compatibility chart.

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Guppies are lively, multicoloured fish that coexist peacefully with neon tetras. The females are usually less colourful than the males, but in some species of guppies, females also can have several colours. You must immediately separate newborn guppy fry from their parents, because the parents will eat them. It is best to have plenty of aquatic plants in which young guppies may hide, even after they are a little larger.


Discus are attractive, highly-carnivorous fish that feature varied colouration, from vivid green and orange to sky blue. They appreciate clumps of dense plants, pieces of driftwood and areas of low light, such as those under floating vegetation. Since the fry feed on the mucus of their parents, the parents and fry must not be separated. Discus fish are peaceful members of their habitat, and will get along well with neon tetras.


Neon tetras and swordtails are two freshwater fish that make good aquarium mates. The colours of swordtails vary from blood red to iridescent rainbow hues. These active fish are peaceful and easy to care for in a community aquarium. Despite their tranquil nature, two male swordtails in a tank may not get along. They also are high jumpers and need a secure cover on their aquarium.

Corydoras Catfish

An adaptive aquarium habitat needs bottom feeders to aid in keeping the tank clean. Corydoras catfish seek out unused food on the bottom, using their whisker-like barbels. Native to South America, "corys" come in various colours, from white and black to bright orange. They are compatible with neon tetras, can live from 15 to 20 years and will be a welcome addition to your aquarium ecosystem.

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