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Can Neon Tetras And Angelfish Live Together?

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Both neon tetras and angelfish are beautiful creatures that bring life to home aquariums, but can these two actually share the same tank? Will one attack the other?

In this article, I will answer these questions in detail, taking into account the characteristics of each species, including behavior, water requirements, and feeding needs.

Let’s dive right into it.

Can Neon Tetras And Angelfish Live Together?

Technically, neon tetras and angelfish can live together.

Some people expect neon tetras to present the most significant challenge because they are fin nippers, especially when you keep them in small numbers.

But angelfish are the more prominent threat because of their aggressive tendencies and territorial mindset.

That said, many people successfully raise neon tetras and angelfish in the same aquarium every day

Fish species fail to co-exist when their water conditions and dietary requirements differ.

But that isn’t a challenge for neon tetras and angelfish. As the guide below will soon reveal, their aquarium requirements are similar.

Also Read: 19 Great Neon Tetra Tank Mates

Neon Tetras And Angelfish: Natural Behavior

A fish’s temperament determines its ability to live with other species in the same tank.

Aggressive fish will wreak havoc by hunting and attacking smaller neighbors, which is why you’re better off raising them in a separate environment.

Peaceful fish, on the other hand, can co-exist with equally peaceful neighbors in the same aquatic space. How does a neon tetra’s behavior compare to an angelfish’s personality?

Also Read: Angelfish Tank Mates

Neon Tetras: Natural Behavior

Neon tetras are perfect for most community tanks because of their friendly dispositions.

The social creatures can live alongside other species, not just fish but snails and shrimp. Like most fish, neon tetras are opportunistic eaters.

They will eat anything small enough to fit in their mouths. But they won’t deliberately try to hunt, harass, and consume their neighbors.

Angelfish: Natural Behavior

Angelfish are cichlids. As such, they have a violent streak. You see it when they fight one another for dominance.

Fortunately, they usually behave themselves after creating a stable hierarchy.

Angelfish will tolerate their neon tetra neighbors until your negligence allows the aquarium’s conditions to deteriorate.

And then, you will see them lash out. Keep the angelfish happy by providing sufficient nutrients, ample space, and plenty of mating candidates.

Also Read: Do Angelfish Eat Tetras?

Ideal Parameters For Neon Tetras And Angelfish

Neon TetrasAngelfish
Water Temperature72 to 76 F78 to 84 F
pH Levels6.0 to 7.06.8 to 7.8
Water Hardness<10dGH3 to 8 dGH

Neon Tetras: Ideal Parameters

Neon tetras hail from tropical regions.

Therefore, they will thrive in warmer water with a temperature range of 72 to 76 degrees F and a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Maintain soft and slightly acidic conditions.

These parameters are relatively easy to maintain and won’t present a challenge to beginners or experts.

Angelfish: Ideal Parameters

Angelfish have a temperature range of 78 to 84 degrees F. They can tolerate a neon tetra’s requirements. Stay within the 72 to 84 F range to keep them both happy.

The neon tetra can thrive within the angelfish’s pH range (6.8 to 7.8). In other words, there’s no need to make significant adjustments to accommodate either species.

You can add neon tetras to an angelfish tank or vice versa so long as the new fish are correctly acclimated.

Ideal Water Conditions For Neon Tetras And Angelfish

Neon TetrasAngelfish
NitrateLess Than 20ppmLess Than 20ppm
LightingModerate to DimModerate
Tank SizeMinimum 10 Gallons20 Gallons

Neon Tetras: Ideal Water Condiions

Neon tetras are easy to care for, especially if you keep them in a group of at least six.

They need a sizeable school to feel safe in an aquarium with potentially aggressive fish. Cycle the tank and keep the parameters stable. 

Aim for soft and slightly acidic water with dense vegetation and dim lighting.

While neon tetras can get by without heaters and filters, this hardware allows you to make more accurate adjustments to the parameters.

Angelfish: Ideal Water Conditions

Acclimate the angelfish before adding them to a neon tetra tank. It is safer to add young angelfish to an established neon tetra aquarium.

This gives the angelfish a chance to grow accustomed to the neon tetras. 

Maintain a gentle flow and include ample foliage. Keep in mind that higher temperatures increase their metabolism.

This may elevate the amount of food they eat and waste they produce, hence the need for a filter that matches the tank size.

Avoid frequent water changes. Angelfish use chemical signals to communicate social status. Large and frequent water changes encourage violence by diluting those chemical signals. 

Use conditioners to neutralize toxins like ammonia and chlorine. This allows you to perform smaller and less frequent water changes.

Ideal Dietary Requirements Of Neon Tetras And Angelfish

Neon tetras and angelfish are omnivores. They have similar dietary requirements. 

FoodNeon TetraAngelfishQuantity Schedule
Flakes and PelletsYesYesSmall Pinch or Less2-3 Times Weekly
Brine ShrimpYesYesA Pinch1 – 2 Times Weekly
Mosquito LarvaeYesYes12 – 152- 3 Times Weekly
DaphniaYesYesA Pinch 1 – 2 Times Weekly
Blood WormsYesYesA Pinch1 – 2 Times Weekly
VegetablesYesYesSmall Pinch/SliceTwice Daily/Once or Twice A Week

Neon Tetras: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Neon tetras will eat both animal and plant matter.

They can survive on high-quality flakes and pellets. But you are better off giving them organic meals consisting of live, freeze-dried, and frozen foods. 

Feed them twice a day. Give the neon tetras meals they can finish in a few minutes. Fortunately, the creatures are middle feeders.

They are less likely to clash with angelfish during mealtimes. 

Angelfish: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Angelfish eat from the top. Don’t expect them to harass the neon tetras during mealtimes. Feed them twice a day.

Angelfish are not picky eaters. They can tolerate organic and commercial food so long as you balance their diet. Hungry angelfish are a threat to neon tetras.

Ideal Tank Size For Keeping Neon Tetras And Angelfish Together

Neon tetras are roughly 1.5 inches long. This allows them to live in 10-gallon tanks. But 20 gallons are safer because you need six or more neon tetras in a school to keep this species happy.

Angelfish have an average size of six inches. You need 55 gallons to raise five or more angelfish.

This increases the tank size required for both species to 70 gallons or more, including the plants and decorations. The more fish you intend to keep, the larger the required tank. 

You can make do with two angelfish, but you can’t keep two neon tetras. They need more fish in their school to feel safe.

Also Read: Can Angelfish And Mollies Live Together?

Best Tankmates For Neon Tetras And Angelfish

In a 20-gallon tank, it is also possible to mix other fish species with neon tetras and angelfish:

  • Corys
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Rasboras
  • Platys
  • Endler’s Livebearers
  • Mollies
  • Guppies
  • Sword Tails
  • Loaches
  • Praecox Rainbow Fish
  • Zebra Loaches

Also Read: Will Discus Fish Eat Neon Tetras?

A pair of golden cory catfish


For those who are in a rush, here is a quick roundup of what I discussed earlier:

  • Neon tetras and angelfish can live together in the same aquarium, but there are some considerations to keep in mind.
  • Neon tetras are generally peaceful and can coexist with other fish species, snails, and shrimp. They are not aggressive towards their tankmates.
  • Angelfish, on the other hand, have a territorial and aggressive nature, especially when conditions in the aquarium deteriorate. Proper care and attention to their needs can help prevent aggressive behavior.
  • Neon tetras have specific temperature and pH requirements, while angelfish can tolerate the conditions suitable for neon tetras. It is possible to house them together without making significant adjustments to the tank parameters.
  • The ideal tank size for keeping neon tetras and angelfish together depends on the number of fish. Neon tetras can live in a 10-gallon tank, while angelfish require a larger tank, preferably 20 gallons or more, especially when kept in groups.