How Many Eggs Do Neon Tetras Lay At A Time?

Disclosure: When you purchase something through my affiliate links, I earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about neon tetras is how many eggs they lay.

Since this can vary significantly, I have dedicated an entire article to address this topic. 

Additionally, I will provide guidance on maximizing the number of neon tetra eggs, allowing you to either raise a large number of fry or potentially sell them for profit.

Let’s delve into it.

Also Read: Neon Tetra Eggs 101

How Many Eggs Do Neon Tetras Lay?

Typically, neon tetras spawn 60-130 eggs at a time, but there are many factors to take into consideration regarding the total egg count:

  • Age and Maturity: Typically, neon tetras lay between 60-130 eggs per spawning. However, older and more mature tetras can lay more eggs due to their advanced reproductive capabilities.
  • Health and Nutrition: The number of eggs a neon tetra lays can also be influenced by their health and diet. Tetras that are well-fed and in good health usually produce more eggs.
  • Spawning Conditions: The conditions in which neon tetras spawn, such as the temperature, pH level, and overall water quality, can directly affect their egg production. Optimal conditions tend to result in higher egg counts.
  • Stress and Predation: Stressful conditions or the presence of predators can negatively affect the number of eggs neon tetras lay. Under such circumstances, they may lay fewer eggs to reduce the risk to their offspring.
  • Genetics: Like many species, the genetics of neon tetras can influence their reproductive capabilities. Some tetras may naturally be predisposed to produce more eggs than others.
  • Frequency of Spawning: Neon tetras can spawn every two weeks in optimal conditions. However, the frequency of spawning may result in a decrease in egg count over time due to the energy demands on the female.
  • Tank Overpopulation: Overpopulation or competition in the tank can lead to lower egg counts as resources are spread thin. More space and resources can potentially lead to more eggs.

How Many Of These Eggs Are Likely To Hatch?

On average, around 60 percent of the eggs laid by the female neon tetra will hatch. Consider this:

  • Fertilization: Only eggs that are successfully fertilized will hatch. The fertilization rate of neon tetra eggs can vary significantly depending on the male’s ability, but on average, it can reach as high as 90%.
  • Environmental Factors: Eggs are sensitive to the water condition and temperature. If the water parameters, including temperature, pH, and cleanliness, are not optimal, many eggs may fail to hatch.
  • Parental Behavior: Neon tetras are known to eat their own eggs. If the eggs aren’t separated from the adults after spawning, a significant number could be consumed, reducing the number of eggs that can hatch.
  • Genetics and Health: Even in optimal conditions, not all eggs will hatch due to genetic factors or the health of the parent fish. Typically, a healthy batch might see a hatching success rate of 60-70%.

Also Read: Neon Tetra Eggs Hatching Time

How Can I Maximize The Chances Of Eggs Hatching?

To maintain a high egg count, conditioning is crucial. Remember these key points:

1. Choose The Right Breeding Pair

  • Select mature neon tetras: Make sure to choose tetras that have reached their reproductive age. Maturity ensures a higher likelihood of successful breeding. The female should be plump with eggs, indicating readiness to spawn.
  • Look for signs of good health: Opt for neon tetras that display vibrant colors and active swimming behavior, as these are positive indicators of health. Healthier fish tend to have a higher breeding success rate.
  • Choose a compatible pair: Not all tetras get along. Observe their behavior towards each other before deciding on a pair to ensure they are compatible.

2. Feed Your Neon Tetras Well

  • Provide a varied diet: This can include a mix of flakes, pellets, as well as live or frozen foods to ensure a balanced diet.
  • Include high-protein foods: Supplement their diet with high-protein foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms to enhance their health and the quality of their eggs.
  • Feed them regularly, but don’t overfeed: Regular feeding ensures your neon tetras have the necessary energy for breeding. However, overfeeding can negatively impact water quality and tetra health.

3. Create The Right Conditions

  • Maintain optimal water parameters: Neon tetras prefer soft, slightly acidic water. Aim for a pH of 6.0-6.5 and a temperature around 75-80°F for ideal breeding conditions.
  • Keep the water clean: Regular water changes and a good filtration system are necessary to remove toxins and waste from the water, maintaining a healthy environment for breeding.
  • Dim the lighting: Neon tetras prefer to spawn in low-light conditions. Too much light can stress the fish and reduce the likelihood of spawning.

To measure these and the pH, I highly suggest getting the API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT (link to Amazon).

This kit is the most accurate that I’ve encountered. It also lasts for about eight hundred tests, making it a worthwhile investment.

4. Install Some Hiding Spots

  • Add live plants: These not only provide natural hiding spots but also places for the eggs to attach. Java moss and fern are good choices for neon tetras.
  • Include caves or rocks: These structures can offer additional hiding spots, reducing stress and creating a more natural habitat for your neon tetras. My recommendation: 13 Pieces Aquarium Decorations Kit (link to Amazon).
  • Ensure enough space: A crowded tank can increase stress levels and decrease breeding success. Make sure there is plenty of open swimming space for your tetras.

5. Introduce The Breeding Pair Correctly

  • Introduce the female first: This allows her to establish territory and feel comfortable before the male is added, increasing the chances of successful spawning.
  • Monitor their behavior: Watch for signs of aggression. If one fish is being bullied, they should be separated to prevent stress and injury.
  • Provide a rest period: After a spawning event, give your tetras time to rest and recover before reintroducing them for another spawning attempt. This helps maintain their health and increases future spawning success.

Also Read: Can Neon Tetras Lay Eggs Without A Male?


Here is a quick summary of what I talked about above:

  • The number of eggs neon tetras lay can vary significantly depending on factors such as age, health, spawning conditions, stress levels, genetics, frequency of spawning, and tank population.
  • On average, around 60 percent of the eggs laid by a female neon tetra will hatch, with the fertilization rate being influenced by the male’s ability and environmental factors.
  • Factors such as water condition, temperature, parental behavior, genetics, and the health of the parent fish can affect the hatching success rate of neon tetra eggs.
  • To maximize the chances of egg hatching, it is important to choose the right breeding pair, provide a varied and nutritious diet, create optimal water conditions, include hiding spots, introduce the breeding pair correctly, and allow for rest periods between spawning attempts.
  • Following these guidelines can help maintain a high egg count and increase the likelihood of successful hatching in neon tetras.