neon tetras in fish tank

Why Are My Neon Tetras Not Eating?

So, you’re probably wondering why are my neon tetras not eating. Well, I’m here to help you troubleshoot and track down problems with your fish. By reading this blog, you’ll be able to diagnose your fish’s problems quickly and easily.

Why Are My Neon Tetras Not Eating?

There can be many reasons why a fish will stop eating. We’ll discuss some of the most common reasons that your fish may not be eating, and how to fix them.

1- Food Is Too Large

Neon tetras are very small fish, and they have mouths that are too small to handle large food items like flakes. If you feed your neon tetras flakes or pellets, they will swallow them whole without chewing anything at all. This can be dangerous if they eat too much food at once and get stuck on the inside of their throats. You may notice them swimming around with their fins down as a result of overeating.

2- They Are Mid-Level Feeders

Neon Tetras betta fish companions

Neon tetras are mid-level feeders, meaning they will not eat large amounts of food. They are considered to be mid-level because they require a small amount of food to survive and grow. Their feeding level is somewhere between high and low. They need to eat small pieces of fish every day or every other day in order to get the nutrients they need.

3- They Are Shy or Nervous

Neon tetras are shy or nervous fish that can be hard to keep in an aquarium. They will not display any aggression towards other fish but they may become aggressive towards their tank mates if they feel threatened. This means that you should make sure that there are no other fish in your tank before trying to keep neon tetras as pets, especially if you have more than one species of fish living with them too!

4- They Are Bullied By Aggressive Neighbors

why are my neon tetras fighting

Neon tetras are not aggressive, but they can be bullied. If you have more than one neon tetra in the aquarium, you will need to keep an eye on how they interact with other fish. As long as there is enough space for the neon tetras to swim freely, they should be fine. But if there is a tank mate that picks on them and chases them around or even nips at them then this could lead to stress and possibly death for your neon tetras.

5- Unsuitable Water Parameters

aquarium heater

Another reason why your neon tetra is not eating could be because the water temperature is too high or too low for them. Neon tetras are cold-water fish so if the water temperature is too high, it might cause stress on them and make them avoid eating altogether.

6- They Haven’t Adjusted To Your Aquarium

To get your neon tetras eating, you need to make sure that they know that they are safe in your aquarium and that they have plenty of food to eat. If you’re still having problems with your tetras not eating, then it could be because they have never been in an aquarium before and have not adjusted to their new surroundings.

7- They Are Not Hungry Yet

If you have recently added neon tetras and they are not eating, it is likely that they are not hungry yet. They may be checking to see if there is food available for later. Some of the fish can be finicky about when their food is served and some will only eat when a large amount is given at once.

8- They Aren’t Interested In Provided Food Type

Neon tetras are omnivorous fish that can survive on plants and algae as well as other aquatic invertebrates (such as shrimp). If your neon tetras were living in a natural habitat before being purchased from the pet store, then they probably ate these types of foods regularly during that time period. You will have to slowly increase their diet with more varied foods like brine shrimp and blood worms until they become accustomed to eating these types of foods again.

Possible Solutions

You can treat neon tetras by following these methods:

1- Quarantine Them

 If you notice your neon tetras are not eating, they are probably stressed. A quarantine tank is an aquarium with water parameters similar to the main tank. You can use this tank to treat your fish and make sure that they recover from their illness. If you have a cycled aquarium with ammonia and nitrite levels under 10, you can add your fish to the quarantine tank. The most important medication for a stressed fish is freshwater aquarium salt. It will help them recover faster.

2- Try Flaking The Food

flake fish food

Neon tetra fish foods usually come in solid form and can be crushed with your hands. The neon tetras will eat them and they also enjoy a few treats of meat or flakes once in a while.

If you are feeding live foods such as bloodworms, mosquito larvae, or brine shrimp, make sure you clean them first before feeding them to your fish so that they do not contain parasites or bacteria that could harm your pet.

3- Create A Peaceful Environment

neon tetras overcrowding

Neon tetras like guppies, mollies, cardinal tetras, and corydoras catfish are some of the best tank mates for neon tetras! These fish are small enough that they won’t cause any problems for your neon tetra unless they start bullying them (which is pretty unlikely). Plus these fish tend to be pretty hardy so there’s less chance of them dying due to poor water quality or overfeeding.

Avoid fish of similar size and non-aggressive behavior in your aquarium if possible—large aggressive fish can create a disturbing environment for your neon tetras, who may then decide to find somewhere else.

4- Maintain Water Parameters

Tetras are tropical fish. They prefer warmer water in the aquarium and you will need a heater to maintain this temperature.

The ideal water temperature for tetras is between 24-28°C (75-82°F). The pH should be maintained at 6.5 – 7.5, and hardness should be between 20 and 40 mg/L (ppm). Water changes should be done regularly, especially when the aquarium is empty.

5- Change Their Diet

Fish don’t like to eat the same thing every day. If you give them some tasty snacks, it might invigorate their appetites.

Fish have different diets that are based on their environment and lifestyle. For example, in colder regions, they often eat small fish or insects. In tropical areas, they can be omnivores who eat both plant and animal products.

So if you want to keep your fish happy and healthy, it’s important to vary their diet. Even if you’re not sure what to feed them, try giving them something new and different once every two weeks or so—and don’t forget about those snacks!

6- Feed Them Live Food

live fish food

This is the easiest way to feed your fish, and it’s also one of their favorite things to eat. Their favorite foods are bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia – all of which are available from most pet stores. Daphnia is a tiny crustacean that looks like a large insect. It is an excellent food for many fish species because it has high protein content as well as a high level of vitamins and minerals. Other live foods include mosquito larvae and other types of insects that have been fed to the fish.

7- Try Algae Wafers

Algae Wafers are a great alternative to flakes or pellets for your fish. They are made from a variety of algae and can be bought at most pet stores. Algae wafers are high in protein and low in fat, so they’re ideal for carnivorous fish.

Algae wafers should be fed sparingly in order to avoid overfeeding your fish. If you have a large tank and want to feed your tetra more than just once a day, then use food that is only offered twice daily instead of three or four times per day. If you only feed your tetra once every few days, then it won’t need as much food as one that is fed daily.

How Many Days Can Neon Tetras Go Without Food?

Neon tetras go for about 3 days without food. They will begin to show signs of starvation after two days. The first sign is that they will swim less and less, eventually becoming lethargic. After the third day, if you have an aquarium with a high water level and plenty of hiding places for them, you may see them floating near the surface or just barely moving.


The most important thing you can do is to figure out whether they are even hungry! Make sure they have access to live food. If they’ve recently eaten and it’s not yet time for them to eat again, assume they aren’t hungry and try again at the next scheduled time. If all of the above fails, try feeding bloodworms. It doesn’t have to be much, just enough for them to taste what food is around. They might be reluctant because their last experience with eating was unsatisfactory… but this doesn’t mean that has to happen again!