Will Neon Tetras Eat Guppy Fry? - "File:Cardinal tetra & neon tetra.jpg" by úlfhams_víkingur is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Will Neon Tetras Eat Guppy Fry? - "File:Cardinal tetra & neon tetra.jpg" by úlfhams_víkingur is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


Aquarium enthusiasts often grapple with questions about the compatibility of different fish species within the same tank. Among the many intriguing dynamics in the aquarium world, the question frequently arises: “Will neon tetras eat guppy fry?” This concern stems from the desire to foster a harmonious aquatic ecosystem while nurturing a diverse range of fish. In this exploration, we’ll delve into the intriguing interactions between neon tetras and guppy fry, considering their behaviors, potential risks, and practical strategies to ensure a peaceful coexistence.

About Neon Tetras

Neon tetras are small, colorful freshwater fish that are popular among aquarium enthusiasts. They are known for their striking appearance and peaceful nature, making them a favorite choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. Here’s some detailed information about neon tetras:

  • Physical Characteristics: Neon tetras are easily recognizable due to their vibrant colors. They have a slender, streamlined body with a translucent, silver-blue hue on the upper half and a vibrant, fluorescent blue and red stripe that runs horizontally from the head to the tail. This distinctive coloration gives them their name.
  • Size: Neon tetras are relatively small, typically growing to about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.
  • Habitat and Range: Native to South America, neon tetras are found in the Amazon Basin, particularly in the blackwater and clearwater streams of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. In their natural habitat, they inhabit slow-moving, densely vegetated waters.
  • Tank Requirements: To keep neon tetras happy and healthy, it’s important to provide them with a suitable aquarium. A tank of at least 10 gallons (40 liters) is a good starting point, but larger tanks allow for more stable water conditions. It’s essential to mimic their natural environment, which includes soft, slightly acidic water with a temperature between 72-78°F (22-26°C). Dense vegetation, hiding spots, and subdued lighting are appreciated.
  • Diet: Neon tetras are omnivorous and primarily feed on small invertebrates, insects, and zooplankton in the wild. In captivity, they readily accept a diet of high-quality flake food, micro pellets, and freeze-dried or live foods like brine shrimp and daphnia. A varied diet is essential for their overall health and coloration.
  • Behavior: These fish are peaceful by nature and do well in community aquariums. They are schooling fish, so it’s recommended to keep them in groups of at least six to help reduce stress and bring out their natural schooling behavior. Neon tetras are relatively shy and can be easily stressed by aggressive tankmates, so choose their tank companions carefully.
  • Color Variants: While the classic neon tetra is the most popular, there are also variations, such as the cardinal tetra, which has a more prominent red stripe and is often confused with neon tetras. Other variants, such as the green neon tetra and the black neon tetra, are also available.

Neon tetras are beloved for their stunning appearance and peaceful nature, making them a fantastic addition to a well-maintained aquarium. With the right care and attention to their needs, these fish can provide years of enjoyment for aquarists of all experience levels.

About Guppies

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are one of the most popular and easily recognizable aquarium fish species. They are known for their vibrant colors, lively personalities, and prolific breeding habits. Guppies are a great choice for both novice and experienced aquarists. Here’s an overview of guppies and their fry:

  • Appearance: Guppies are small, colorful fish with a streamlined body shape. Their vibrant colors, patterns, and long, flowing fins make them highly attractive to aquarium enthusiasts. Guppies come in a wide range of color variations, thanks to years of selective breeding.
  • Size: Adult guppies typically reach a length of about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm).
  • Habitat: Originally from freshwater streams in South America, guppies are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of water conditions. They prefer tropical temperatures ranging from 72-82°F (22-28°C).
  • Social Nature: Guppies are social and can be kept in community tanks with other peaceful fish species. They tend to get along well with other small, non-aggressive fish.
  • Feeding: Guppies are omnivores and will readily eat high-quality flake food, pellets, frozen foods, and live food such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and small insects. A varied diet helps maintain their health and vibrant colors.
  • Breeding: Guppies are renowned for their prolific breeding. A single female guppy can give birth to a brood of fry (baby guppies) every 4-6 weeks. They are livebearers, which means that they don’t lay eggs but give birth to fully-formed, free-swimming fry. Male guppies are smaller and have a modified anal fin called a gonopodium, which they use to fertilize the females.
  • Birth: When a female guppy is pregnant, her abdomen swells as the fry develop within her. She can give birth to anywhere from a few to dozens of fry, depending on her age and health.
  • Size and Care: Guppy fry are tiny, often less than 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) in size. They are vulnerable and require special care to survive in the aquarium. It’s a good idea to provide hiding places, such as live or artificial plants, to protect them from adult guppies who might consider them as potential food.
  • Diet: Initially, guppy fry feed on their yolk sacs, which provide essential nutrients. As they grow, they transition to consuming small, live foods such as infusoria and baby brine shrimp. Specialized fry food is also available for their nutritional needs.
  • Growth: Guppy fry grow quickly, and their colors may start to develop as they mature. They can become sexually mature at a young age, so it’s essential to separate males and females if you don’t want more breeding.

Guppies and their fry are a delightful addition to the aquarium hobby, offering not only stunning colors but also a fascinating glimpse into the life cycle of these remarkable fish. Proper care and attention to their breeding habits are essential to ensure their well-being and the sustainability of their population in your tank.

Will Neon Tetras Eat Guppy Fry? - "File:Cardinal tetra & neon tetra.jpg" by úlfhams_víkingur is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Will Neon Tetras Eat Guppy Fry? – “File:Cardinal tetra & neon tetra.jpg” by úlfhams_víkingur is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Will Neon Tetras Eat Guppy Fry In. Your Tank?

Will neon tetras eat guppy fry? Neon tetras are generally peaceful and not aggressive hunters, but they may eat guppy fry if the opportunity arises. Guppy fry are quite small and vulnerable, and any small fish, including neon tetras, may view them as potential food. While neon tetras are primarily herbivorous, their opportunistic feeding behavior can lead to them consuming tiny fry if they swim within their reach.

To minimize the chances of neon tetras eating guppy fry, you can consider the following:

  • Provide Hiding Places: Use live or artificial plants, dense vegetation, or breeding traps to create hiding spots for the guppy fry. This will give them shelter from potential predators, including neon tetras.
  • Separate the Fry: If you have a dedicated breeding tank or nursery setup, it’s a good idea to keep the guppy fry separate from other fish, including neon tetras, until they are large enough to avoid being seen as easy prey.
  • Feed Properly: Make sure the guppy fry receive adequate and nutritious food, so they grow quickly and are less likely to be targeted by other fish in the tank.
  • Monitor Behavior: Keep an eye on the interactions between your neon tetras and guppy fry. If you notice that the tetras are consistently preying on the fry, it may be best to separate them.

While neon tetras are not typically considered aggressive predators, it’s essential to be cautious and take steps to protect the vulnerable guppy fry, especially if you want to raise them to adulthood. Neon tetras and guppies can coexist in the same tank, but providing proper care and attention to the needs of both species will help ensure a harmonious and safe environment for all your fish.


In conclusion, the question, “Will neon tetras eat guppy fry?” is a valid concern in the aquarium hobby, given the potential for neon tetras to exhibit opportunistic feeding behavior. However, with careful planning and attention to the needs of both species, it is possible to create an aquarium environment where neon tetras and guppy fry can coexist. Providing hiding places, monitoring their interactions, and separating the fry when necessary are key strategies to help these vibrant fish species share the same tank in harmony. By understanding the dynamics between neon tetras and guppy fry and taking proactive steps, aquarists can enjoy the beauty of these fish while ensuring the well-being of their aquatic companions.