How Often Do You Feed Neon Tetras?

Neon tetras prefer a varied diet to stay healthy and active.

Neon tetras prefer a varied diet to stay healthy and active.

Neon tetras, Paracheirodon innesi, have become quite a favorite species in the aquarium hobby because of their brightly colored bodies and ease of care. Feeding them is similar to many other species of fish, as long as you've got the right food.

Put the food into the tank small amounts at a time in the morning, keeping track of how much you are putting in. The food can be either high-quality flake food, brine shrimp, freeze-dried bloodworms or micro-pellet food. They'll need a variety of foods to stay healthy, so consider a base diet of high-quality flakes or pellets and supplement them with treats of brine shrimp or daphnia every now and then.

Watch your tetras as they eat and continue pouring or shaking small amounts of food into the tank until they stop eating. The goal is to make sure all of your tetras are eating their fill almost immediately, not allowing any of the food to go wasted.

Feed again at night, following the same procedure of pouring small, measured amounts at a time until they stop eating.

Feed the tetras anywhere from two to four times a day, using the amount you measured previously to dictate how much food they will eat in a day. In the wild, neons are foragers and opportunistic feeders. The multiple feedings mimic their natural feeding behaviors.

Items you will need

  • High-quality flakes
  • Supplemental treats such as brine shrimp or daphnia


  • Wasted food will create a dirty tank after a while and may make an unhealthy environment for your neon tetras.

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About the Author

With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.

Photo Credits

  • Dwarf Gourami & Neon Tetras image by Ronnie from Fotolia.com