Do you know how long your tetra fish will live? Chances are, you bought them without doing any research on their lifespan and now you’re wondering how many years you can expect your little friend to swim around in your aquarium. 

Don’t worry, you just landed in the right place.

In this article, we’ll discuss the average lifespan of a tetra fish and what you can do to make sure your fish enjoys a long and healthy life.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the nitty-gritty.

Neon Tetra Lifespan In The Wild

Without a doubt, most animals live longer and happily in their natural environments.

This is especially true for tetra fish.

The average lifespan of neon tetras in the wild is 10 years.

However, testimonies are claiming that if left alone and unbothered in their habitat, they may live for much longer.

Neon Tetra Lifespan In The Tank

Even though you did your best to mimic their natural environment in your tank, it’s not the same as the wild.

Believe me, there’s nothing like your home. Every living being glows and evolves differently while in its natural environment and secure place.

The average lifespan of a neon tetra in captivity is 5 to 8 years depending on the care they are given.

What Can Reduce The Lifespan Of A Neon Tetra?

You may be wondering what you should avoid doing so that you don’t shorten the neon tetra’s life even more while living in an aquarium.

These are some activities to avoid because they might reduce the neon tetra lifespan.


Although tetra fish are schooling fish that love to be in groups, too many fish in a small tank will create more stress.

This can lead to shortened lifespans, illness, and even death.

So, if you want to keep neon tetras, it’s best to have a tank that is at least 10 gallons.

Unhealthy Water

One of the most important things you can do to keep your tetras healthy is to make sure their water is clean and healthy.

Unhealthy water can lead to a variety of health problems, including shortened lifespans.

Make sure you are doing regular water changes and using a quality water filter.

Also, because neon tetra requires time to get used to their surroundings, significant water variations might be hazardous to their health.

Since they don’t like sudden changes, it’s best to have their environment prepared before putting them in the tank.

Wrong Food

Tetras are omnivorous fish and will eat a variety of things.

However, if you’re not careful, you can give them the wrong food which can lead to health problems and make them live a shorter life.

Make sure you are only feeding them high-quality fish food that is made for tetras.

Wrong Tank Mates

Just like with any other pet, it’s important to do your research before you add tank mates to your aquarium.

Adding the wrong tank mates can not only be stressful for the neon tetras and shorten their lifespan, but it can also lead to fights and injuries.


Diseases are another thing that can shorten the lifespan of a neon tetra.

Make sure you are doing your best to keep your tank clean and free of parasites by using a quality aquarium filter.

Also, keep an eye on your fish for any signs of disease and treat them if necessary.

A lot of Sunlight

It’s crucial to keep your aquarium in a place that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. If the sun shines on the tank for too long, algae may grow there.

When this happens, the neon tetra fish are more likely to become sick.

While the neon tetra tank doesn’t need to be kept in a dark room, it is preferable if you move it away from any windows or areas in your home where the light shines strongly.

How Can You Make Your Neon Tetras Live Longer?

If you want to prolong the average lifespan of your neon tetras, there are a few things you can do.

Find the Best Neon Tetra Genetics

 The first and foremost step is to get the healthiest neon tetras you can find.

This means doing your research and finding a reputable breeder who cares about the health of their fish.

Acclimate Your Neon Tetra to New Environments

When you bring a new group of neon tetras home, it is important to acclimate them slowly to their new environment.

They say it takes around 15 minutes for a fish to get adjusted to an aquarium.

This is only partially true; it takes at least an hour for a new fish to fully adjust to a new setting.

Float the bag in the aquarium until the water reaches the same temperature as that in the tank.

Replicate the Natural Habitat of Tetra

These fish are native to South America, and they thrive in densely vegetated areas with warm water temperatures.

To create a natural habitat for your neon tetras, you’ll need to provide them with plenty of plants and places to hide.

You can use artificial or live plants in your tank, but be sure to include some dense vegetation to give the fish cover.

The water temperature should be kept between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should keep the pH level between 6.0 and 7.5.

Your tank should also have a moderate to strong current, as neon tetras like to swim around a lot.

Water Cycling

Water cycling is an important part of keeping your tank healthy and clean.

It’s the process of cleaning your tank and replacing the water with fresh, new water.

This helps to keep the tank environment healthy and free from harmful toxins and bacteria which will help to keep your fish healthy and living longer.

Ensure That the Water Is at a Suitable Temperature

One of the best ways to keep your fish healthy is to ensure that the water temperature is at a suitable level.

The ideal temperature range for a Neon Tetra to thrive is between 72 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2 and 24.4 degrees Celsius).

If the water is too cold or too hot, your fish will be more susceptible to disease and may not live as long.

Give Your Tetra Fish a Proper Diet

A diet that is rich in protein and other nutrients is important for the overall health of your tetra fish.

You can purchase commercial fish food that is specifically designed for neon tetras, or you can create your own diet.

Some good food sources for neon tetras include brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and tubifex worms.

Feed your fish two to three times per day, and only feed them what they can eat in two to three minutes.

Overfeeding your fish can lead to health problems and a shorter lifespan.

So be sure to monitor their diet and make adjustments as needed.

Keep the Right Size and Quantity Of Neon Tetras

Keeping the right size and quantity of neon tetras is important for two reasons.

First, they need enough room to swim and play.

Second, you don’t want the tank to become overcrowded, as that can lead to stress and illness.

Ideally, you should have one inch of fish per gallon of water.

So if you have a 10-gallon tank, you could comfortably keep 10 inches of fish.

This would be the equivalent of 5 to 7 neon tetras.

If your tank becomes overcrowded, the fish will become stressed.

This can lead to illness and in return, a shorter lifespan.

So it’s important to monitor the size of your fish population and make changes as needed.

Install a Filtration System in the Tetras’ Tank

Installing a basic filtration system in your tetras’ tank is a good way to keep the water quality high and help to maintain the health of your fish.

 A filtration system will help to remove debris, waste, and uneaten food from the water.

There are a few different types of filtration systems available, so it is important to select the one that will best meet the needs of your tetras’ tank.

Provide a Good Lighting System

A good lighting system is important for the overall health of your tetras.

It helps to provide the right amount of light and also creates an attractive environment for your fish.

There are a few different types of lighting systems available, so it is important to select the one that will best meet the needs of your tank.

Know the Best Tank Mates for the Neon Tetra

Neon tetras are peaceful fish and can be kept with a variety of other fish species.

So, it is recommended that you do some research to find the best tank mates for your tetras.

Some good choices include other types of Tetras, Danios, Gouramis, and Barbs.

Avoid keeping your tetras with fish that are aggressive or territorial, as they may scare or stress out your tetras making them die quickly!

Your Fish Need Oxygen To Live

Maintaining healthy and happy fish in an aquarium requires more than just feeding them regularly.

You must also ensure that they have access to plenty of oxygen.

In nature, fish get their oxygen from the water around them.

However, when they are in an enclosed aquarium, you must provide them with supplemental oxygen to keep them healthy.

Figure Out the Neon Tetra Disease and Safety Precautions

Before you get any pet, you must understand the risks and potential health problems associated with that animal.

The same holds true for fish.

It is important that you are aware of the Neon tetra disease and take the necessary precautions to help prevent it from affecting your fish.

Last Words

Nothing is more rewarding than taking care of living creatures and watching them thrive.

By following the proper steps, you can ensure that your neon tetras will live a long and healthy life.

We hope you found this guide helpful.

If you have any additional questions, leave us a comment.