Can Neon Tetras Live with Goldfish?

Neon Tetra

For different reasons, many hobbyists enjoy keeping different fishes in the same tank. It can be a fantastic thing to do if you know the right fishes to stay together, but if you don’t, you might end up regretting it. In this post, I will concentrate on Goldfish and Neon Tetras, so that you will know everything about putting them together.

Can neon tetras live with goldfish? No, I don’t advise you put them together because they thrive under different temperatures, in a different environment, and goldfish can grow big enough to eat up your neon tetras which are not suitable for both the neon tetras and the goldfish, even you, the hobbyist, I guess.

While there are many fishes you can put together, goldfish and neon tetras are not the best partners. This is because of their nature, which you will soon get to know. You will also find the fishes you can put together with these two, and you will be having absolutely zero problems.

The Nature of Goldfish

Goldfish are one of the most popular pet fishes you can get in pet stores. They are also fantastic for your tank, not only because of their beautiful color but because they are easy to keep compared to many other fishes.

Goldfish grow big at a speedy rate. They are not suitable for fish bowls because even the smallest goldfish you can get around can get up to 4-7 inches. Some goldfish, at their adult size, can get even more significant than 18 inches, and weigh up to 10 pounds.

Goldfish Aquarium

Whereas there are different popular factors that have been found to affect the growth of a goldfish which include diet, tank health, etc., the size of the tank has also been found to contribute a bit to the development of a goldfish.

Depending on the factors and type of goldfish, you could find one as long as 2 feet, and one as short as inches. Whether big, or not so big, one general fact about goldfish is that their increase in size is always rapid.

Goldfish are omnivores, which means they can eat both flesh and vegetables. They enjoy eating frogs, insect larvae, newts, fish eggs, vegetation, and other small fishes.

Although the common varieties of goldfish will do very well eating pellet fish food and vegetables, there are some that need some live foods in their diet to keep them away from developing intestinal problems. The claim that goldfish don’t live long is only a myth.

They are one of the pets with the longest lifespan. The oldest living goldfish has recorded 49 years of age. If you keep them in good condition, there is a high tendency of living long. Despite knowing their growth prospects, some people still keep goldfish in bowls. The goldfish kept in bowls have been found to have the shortest lifespan.

They hardly go beyond five years. If you have an aquarium indoors for your goldfish, it could live as long as 10 years, and if you have an outdoor pond, they can live at least 20 years, if the water is healthy. They easily mess the water up, and compared to some fishes, they prefer a cooler temperature of about 23–24C.

The Nature of Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra is very popular among fish keepers because of its beauty. It is beautiful, having the colors -red and blue, and a part of it is translucent.

Neon Tetras

Generally, the Neon tetra is a small type of fish, having an average the size of 1.5 inches, although the longer ones could be up to 2.5 inches. Their translucence isn’t just for the beauty, sometimes, it helps them hide a bit away from their predators.

Hobbyists enjoy keeping them because they are peaceful, very gentle and beautiful. They are also not difficult to find. They don’t enjoy being alone, therefore, you would treat them better if you can put them in a school of about 15 members.

The more the members, the better they enjoy, and it’s a win-win for everyone, because the more they are, the more beautiful your aquarium looks.

Tetras are very sensitive to changes in water conditions. It means they are not the best fish to put in a newly cycled tank. They will do better in an established one. It is not advisable to keep them with fishes that enjoy messing up the water. They enjoy warmer water when compared to some fishes.

The temperature should be between 28-30C to have an ideal condition. If kept indoors, they can stay up to 5 years, but when kept in healthy ponds outdoors, their life span increases to about 8 years. Since they don’t grow so big, they enjoy being tank mates to fishes of the same size.

Why are they not compatible?

When deciding on the compatibility of fishes, different factors are to be considered. In the case of Neon Tetras and Goldfish, amidst other factors, the most important ones are the size of the two fishes, temperature they need, and water condition.

The nature of gold fish is what makes it wrong to keep it with smaller fishes. Goldfish, like other big fishes that are omnivores, even if not deliberately, often eat up whatever they find small enough to get through their mouth in the water as far as it is edible.

This means when they are still very small, you can risk putting goldfish and neon tetras in the same tank. However, you must kickstart plans on getting a separate tank for the goldfish as soon as possible because of their nature as discussed above.

They grow really quick, and before you know it, they might have become big enough to swallow up some neon tetras, especially if you have extremely small tetras.

It is not only about size. Also, from their nature, it is obvious that the goldfish prefer a cooler water temperature compared to the neon tetras. You can’t overstate the importance of keeping your fish in the right temperature. It decides a lot including their health, growth, activeness, etc.

Also, Neon tetras love to be in a school. Although they hate to be isolated, the best association to give them is not putting them into a tank with some fish that would be a threat.

Neon tetras are very peaceful and easygoing, they are equally protective, so most times, when they are in the same water with fishes bigger than them, they are less active, conscious they might be eaten up, and that naturally reduces how active they are, which can tell a lot on their health.

Neon tetras are very sensitive to changes in water condition. When keeping them, although they don’t require much stress, hobbyists must put in extra effort to be sure their tank is neat and conducive. This is almost impossible when you put them together with goldfish. Goldfish are very messy, and Neon tetras don’t do well in dirty water.

What if you’ve not got two tanks now?

If you have small tetras and goldfish, you can put them together for the first four months. The goldfish is the threat here, and they wouldn’t be big enough to make the whole place too messy as early as four months.

Also, they cannot eat their partners, the Neon tetras, as early as that. But as they get near six months, they may start displaying all these attributes that are threatening to your neon tetras. Generally, the best place to keep goldfish is in ponds, outdoors, or in very big tanks.

Neon tetras can be kept together in a school, in a small tank. So, if you are adding some goldfish, simply consider the goldfish to be strangers, and plan to take them, and not the tetras, out.

This is because of two reasons: one, goldfish may have their growth affected by a small tank, and two, neon tetras are sensitive to changes. They shouldn’t be moved around now and then.

Related Questions

Do Tetras get along with goldfish?

Yes, Tetras may get along with goldfish, just as they would with some other fishes, but the goldfish can make the water too dirty for them, and big goldfish eat tetras up too. So, while tetras get along with goldfish, goldfish don’t get along with tetras, that simple.

What kind of fish can live with goldfish?

Only fishes that can survive in the same water condition and will not be eaten up by goldfish can be their tank mates. They include other goldfish, Weather or Dojo Loaches, Rosy barbs, Rubbernose and Bristlenose Plecos, etc. Just be sure they are fish that can get equally big, and can survive in the dirty water.

What fish are neon tetras compatible with?

Neon Tetras will only enjoy having tank mates that are equally small, peaceful, and that will not make everywhere messy. A few examples of their tank mates include Guppies, African dwarf frogs, Angelfish, Apple snails, Cardinal tetras, Corydoras catfish, Ghost shrimp, etc.

Saurabh Kumar

I am a passionate Fish Keeper, with years of Experience in the Hobby & this is my site. You will find some really useful tips and Information that I learned the Hard way.

2 thoughts on “Can Neon Tetras Live with Goldfish?

    1. Hey Les, If the Angelfish are large, it will try to eat the smaller fish. Its not recommended!
      If you want to keep them in same tank, try Providing more hiding spots and keep your Angelfish well fed.

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