Can Neon Tetras And Guppies Live Together?

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Neon tetras and guppies are equally attractive, which is why aquarists pair them so frequently.

And fortunately, they are schooling fish, which means they can live together in the same tank. Are the neon tetras completely safe?

This question arises because neon tetras are too small and peaceful to tolerate bullies. They thrive in aquariums with non-aggressive species.

But guppies will only misbehave if you keep them in an unstable environment. The guide below will elaborate.

Neon tetras and guppies in my home aquarium

Can I Keep Neon Tetras And Guppies Together In The Same Tank?

You don’t have to guess whether or not two fish species can co-exist. If you compare them using the following criteria, you will get your answer:

  • The behavior of the fish
  • The water parameters they require
  • Their dietary preferences
  • The tank size

Generally speaking, peaceful species can always co-exist, especially if their water parameters and dietary requirements are the same.

Any steps you take to boost one fish’s living conditions will also benefit the other.

In this case, neon tetras and guppies will get along because they can survive under the same aquarium conditions.

Also Read: 19 Great Neon Tetra Tank Mates

Neon Tetras And Guppies: Behavior

Why does the behavior matter? Because a fish’s temperament determines whether it lives peacefully with its neighbors or attacks them.

Many amateurs blame aggression in an aquarium on poor conditions. But some fish are naturally violent. They will attack their neighbors regardless of how well you treat them.

Therefore, you should consult your retailer about the temperament of a particular species before you bring it home.

Find out whether it matches the behavior you’ve seen in the fish that inhabit your home aquarium.

Neon Tetras: Natural Behavior

Neon tetras are mid-level feeders that thrive in the presence of other fish. Granted, they have a reputation for nipping fins, and guppies are renowned for their long, beautiful fins.

But you only see aggressive behavior in these creatures when you expose them to stressful conditions.

Keep them in a school of six. This gives them a sense of security, which, in turn, allows them to live with other peaceful species.

Guppies: Natural Behavior

Guppies are somewhat tricky.

First, they are playful, and some newcomers confuse their games for conflict. Secondly, they have territorial tendencies that occasionally compel them to fight one another.

Thirdly, they may develop aggressive personalities during mating periods, especially when they don’t have enough females in the tank.

In fact, guppies can harass the few females in the aquarium to the point of killing them.

But these factors make guppies more of a threat to one another. They are unlikely to bother the neon tetras unless conditions in the tank deteriorate dramatically.

Also Read: Guppy Fish Tank Mates

Idea Parameters For Guppies And Neon Tetras

Guppies72 to 82 (F)6.8 to 7.88 to 12 dGH
Neon Tetras72 to 76 (F)6.0 to 7.05 to 15 dGH

Neon Tetras: Ideal Parameters

At 72 – 76 degrees F, neon tetras have a narrower temperature range than guppies. The same applies to the pH (6.0 – 7.0).

But the hardness range is wide. Either way, their water parameters fall within a guppy’s range.

In other words, trying to accommodate the guppy won’t harm the neon tetra, which is encouraging.

Guppies: Ideal Parameters

With a temperature of 72 to 82 degrees F, a pH of 6.8 to 7.8, and a hardness of 8 to 12dGH, guppies are easier to care for because their range is so broad.

You don’t have to harm the guppies to make the neon tetras happy. Of the two, guppies are a more significant threat when you change their conditions.

While neon tetras are fin nippers, guppies are more likely to kill other fish when you stress them because of their territorial tendencies.

Also Read: Cory Catfish And Guppies

Neon Tetras And Guppies: Ideal Conditions

GuppiesNeon Tetras
NitrateLess than 20ppmLess than 20ppm
Tank Size20 gallonsMinimum 10 – 20 gallons

Neon Tetras: Ideal Water Conditions

Neon tetras are shoaling fish. Therefore, the higher their numbers, the happier they will be. Aim for six or more.

But you should give them ample space and a strong filter that matches the tank size.

The filter circulates the water, keeping it fresh and preventing dead zones with oxygen deficiencies.

While artificial plants are okay, live plants are superior because they add oxygen to the tank.

Keep in mind that neon tetras can eat the algae that grow on plants, not to mention the biological matter plants shed.

Their omnivorous habits are advantageous because they eat whatever you feed the guppies. But regular water changes are vital to keeping their environment clean.

Guppies: Ideal Water Conditions

Guppies originate from tropical regions. Therefore, they appreciate warm water.  But increasing the temperature tends to elevate the rate at which they reproduce.

Keep that in mind. Lower temperatures expose them to parasites and infections. Don’t hesitate to quarantine sick fish.

Otherwise, you may lose the entire tank. Be sure to include plants and decorations. This gives the female guppies hiding places in case the male fish outnumber them.

It is worth noting that conditions that encourage neon tetra growth will also benefit the guppies.

The Dietary Requirements Of Neon Tetras And Guppies

FoodGuppyNeon TetraQuantitySchedule
Fish Pellets and FlakesYesYesSmall Pinch7 Days
Tubifex WormsYesYesSmall Pinch or Less2-3 Times Weekly
BloodwormsYesYesSmall Pinch or Less2-3 Times Weekly
Brine ShrimpYesYesSmall Pinch1 – 2 Times Weekly
VegetablesYesYesSmall PinchTwice Daily
DaphniaYesYesSmall Pinch1 – 2 Times Weekly
Mysis ShrimpYesYesSmall Pinch1 – 2 Times Weekly
MaggotsYesYesFish can eat their weight in maggots2- 3 Times Weekly

Neon Tetras: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Neon tetras are omnivores. They eat a variety of plant and animal items, including:

  • Flakes and pellets: Primary food if they have the correct nutrients or can be used as supplementary food.
  • Tubifex worms: Provides proteins.
  • Bloodworms: Rich in Omega One and proteins.
  • Shrimp: Good source of protein.
  • Algae wafers: Suitable for herbivorous species.
  • Chicken: Contains numerous minerals.
  • Eggs: Rich in vitamins A, B12, D, and E.
  • Vegetables: Provide vitamins and folic acid.
  • And more: There are other food options available depending on the specific dietary requirements of the fish species.

Feed them twice daily at the same hour for five minutes or less. They will also appreciate a fasting day every week.

Guppies: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Guppies are similar to neon tetras. Their dietary requirements include both animal and plant matter. Use protein sources to satisfy their considerable appetites.

But you should limit their access to high-fat foods. For instance, don’t give them blood worms every day. They will gain an unhealthy amount of weight.

Also Read: Can Molly Fish And Guppies Live Together?

Ideal Tank Size For Keeping Neon Tetras And Guppies Together

Aim for 40 gallons. That sounds like a lot. But you can’t forget that guppies and neon tetras are shoaling fish.

You can’t keep one neon tetra and one guppy. Give them schools of six or more fish each. Remember that your fish are roughly 1.5 – 2 inches long.

Although some species can exceed that threshold. The tank size should take the plants and decorations into account. These objects occupy space.

Best Tankmates For Neon Tetras And Guppies

In a 40-gallon tank, you can comfortably accommodate other types of fish species along with your neon tetras and guppies:

  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Corys
  • Swordtails
  • Enders Livebearers
  • Freshwater Shrimp
  • Bristlenose Plecos
  • Otocinclus Catfish

Also Read: Tetra Fish And Shrimp

Platy fish make an excellent addition to a tank with neon tetras and guppies

Tank Mates To Avoid With Neon Tetras And Guppies

While guppies and neon tetras will get along, there are a few species you should avoid, mainly because of their aggressive nature:

  • Angelfish
  • Oscars
  • Jack Dempsey
  • African cichlids
  • Red-tailed shark
  • Rainbow shark
  • Betta fish

Also Read: Can Neon Tetras And Betta Fish Live Together?


To sum up, this is what you should know about keeping neon tetras and guppies in the same tank:

  • Neon tetras and guppies can live together in the same tank as they are both schooling fish and can tolerate similar aquarium conditions.
  • Neon tetras are generally peaceful, but guppies may exhibit territorial tendencies, especially during mating periods. However, they are more of a threat to each other rather than to neon tetras.
  • Both neon tetras and guppies have similar ideal water parameters, including temperature, pH, and water hardness, making it easier to maintain suitable conditions for both species in the same tank.
  • Providing ample space, appropriate decorations, and live plants benefits both neon tetras and guppies. The use of a strong filter and regular water changes are crucial for maintaining a clean and healthy environment.
  • Neon tetras and guppies have similar dietary requirements, including a mix of flakes, pellets, worms, shrimp, vegetables, and other foods. Feeding them twice daily and ensuring a balanced diet is important for their well-being.