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Neon Tetra Temperature Guide 2024: Ideal Temperature & More

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By Lindsey Stanton

Tropical fish named

Neon Tetras are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful freshwater tropical fish that you could have in an aquarium. They love to be in groups, so their shiny coats definitely make for an awesome visual display when they swim as a school. Simply put, their awesome neon coloring makes them a sight to behold.

Of course, just like with all other fish, Neon Tetras need to have the right conditions in order to not only survive, but to thrive as well. Today we’re here to discuss the best temperature for Neon Tetras, as well as some other general aspects of the water in which your little pets live.

Here is the quick and short answer:
  • Water Temperature: 72–78°F (22–25.5ºC)
  • pH Level: 5.5–6.2
  • Water Hardness: Medium

The Ideal Neon Tetra Temperature

Image Credit: Matteo-Fusco, Unsplash

One of the most important things when housing Neon Tetras is to keep the water temperature fairly constant. These guys are tropical freshwater fish, so obviously salt is a no-go. What you need to remember here is that Neon Tetras like the water to be between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, this is slightly above room temperature, or more like a slightly warm bath for you. They are tropical fish so you do need to mimic that water temperature very well.

If the water is below 72 degrees, Neon Tetras will become sluggish, they will lose their appetite, their metabolism will drop through the floor, and they can develop some pretty nasty life-threatening conditions.

The same thing can be said for when Neon Tetras are in waters above 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The biggest problem with water that is too warm is that it will speed up the metabolism of your Neon Tetras, which results in a much shorter life expectancy.

There is also the fact that waters that are too warm are just not comfortable to be in. Remember people, you want to keep your Neon Tetras, not cook them alive!

Do Neon Tetras Need A Heater?

Yes, your best bet is to get a water heater with a good thermometer so you can closely monitor the temperature of the water to ensure you have the perfect neon tetra water temp at all times.

Image By: Flups, Shutterstock

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Neon Tetras & The Water – Other Things To Keep In Mind

There are some other important factors to consider other than the temperature. Neon Tetras are pretty hardy, but they do still need fairly specific water conditions to survive and thrive.

  • Neon Tetras are fairly strong swimmers, but not the strongest. So, when you get a filter, make sure that it has an adjustable output. You don’t want the current to be too strong or else the fish will get swept all over the tank.
  • Neon Tetras like slightly acidic water, which is because they often live in areas where the water is resupplied by rain water. A pH level anywhere between 5.5 and 6.2 is ideal, but they can survive in pH levels up to 6.8. The main thing to remember that basic is bad and acidic is good.
  • Neon Tetras like medium water in terms of hardness. This means that not too many dissolved minerals should be present. They can survive in harder waters for a minimal amount of time, but it is definitely not ideal.
  • Neon Tetras like fairly clear water, so make sure to engage in a lot of water changes, that you have a good filter, and maybe even a protein skimmer too (we have reviewed some good ones over at this article).

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Final Thoughts

You obviously want to take good care of your Neon Tetras and one of the first places to start is with the water. Just keep in mind what we said about Neon Tetras and water temperature, acidity, hardness, the cleanliness, and the current. As long as you follow these tips, your Neon Tetras will be just fine, and in fact better than fine!

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Featured Image Credit: yoshi0511, Shutterstock

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