Can Glofish Live Safely With Neon Tetras?


GloFish and Neon Tetras are all beautiful, colorful, tropical freshwater fish. They require the same water parameters, temperature, and acidity.  And none of them are fussy with food. Yet they also have differences.  These are what will dictate their compatibility with each other.

The answer to this question is not quite straightforward.

If in a group, Neon Tetras would live peacefully with GloFish varieties as long as they have enough space to call their own.  Therefore, the right group quantity, tank size, and care quality will give them the ability to live peacefully side by side.

Don’t forget that there are 5 varieties of GloFish (to date), and they need the right conditions in order to tolerate Neon Tetras.  That’s because GloFish Tetras, Danios, Barbs, Sharks, and Bettas each have their own temperaments. 

All 5 varieties of GloFish have differences with each other, too.  They don’t behave the same just because they’re all GloFish.

Do Aquarium Fish Have Personalities?

You may see your fish coming near you when you approach the aquarium.  In a community tank, you may notice some fish are more energetic than others.

Different fish have different personalities.  They react in different ways to different stimuli and situations.

For example, Flowerhorn Cichlids are aggressive yet can be very playful towards humans.  Platies and Guppies are very energetic unless sick.  The Dwarf Pea Puffer is very small but hot-headed.  The Wolf Cichlid and Oscar fish are both very territorial and will fight other fish for their space.

In fact, the most aggressive fish are very popular among experienced hobbyists because they’re full of character.

Since different GloFish have different personalities, let’s find out if they can tolerate each other first before we add in the Neon Tetras.

Can GloFish Hurt Each Other?

If GloFish are with their own kind (with the exception of male Bettas) in a large enough tank, they’ll be just fine.

Neon Tetras in Glofish Tank
Neon Tetra in Glofish Tank

GloFish sharks, specifically, need a larger tank than most because they grow up to 6 inches long.  They are bottom dwellers and tend to hurt each other if they don’t have enough space. 

To curb aggression, they would appreciate a lot of caves and crevices to hide in, so be sure to add pots, tubes, and the like.

Some of these GloFish are schooling fish, and would need more of their kind to disperse aggression.

The GloFish Betta is the glow-in-the-dark version of the Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish.  It clues you in on how aggressive these little creatures are.  In fact, Betta males can’t live with each other or they’ll fight to the death.

GloFish Betta females can tolerate each other better, though.

GloFish Tetras, Danios, and Barbs behave a lot more peacefully if they’re in a group of their own species.

Which GloFish Can Live Together?

If you have a large aquarium and would like to keep as many GloFish as you can, there are some rules to follow.

As long as there is a considerable number of GloFish Danios and Tetras to complete their schools, you can add in one GloFish shark to the mix.  This setup is good for at least a 30-gallon tank.

A GloFish Betta should not be added unless you are a highly experienced fishkeeper with a huge tank.

GloFish Barbs are also semi-aggressive and would spell disaster in a community tank with other GloFish.  The best way to keep them would be in their own tank.  You can have your pick of colors, and even add non-GloFish Tiger Barbs in there.

Keeping their own group or school of fish is important to certain species to maintain the peace in a community tank.

How Does Schooling Behavior Help Fish Avoid Predation?

Fish aggression comes through the need to protect itself. 

Fish in a school rely on strength and smarts in numbers.  They can confuse predators by behaving as one, making it hard to pick out a single fish.  They also learn from each other.  They can hone in on predators’ behaviors and tendencies and make effective escapes while schooling.  In short, they’re smarter together.

Glofish with Neon Tetra
Glofish with Neon Tetra

On the other hand, a fish becomes a bully if its territory is threatened.  That’s why being in a school makes fish more secure because it tones down that aggression. 

Keep this in mind if you’re taking care of GloFish Tetras, Danios, and Barbs as they are all schooling fish.  If you want them to be able to live peacefully with other fish, they should be in a group of 6 or more. 

The same goes for the Neon Tetra. 

How Many Neon Tetras Are In A School?

Neon Tetras are schooling fish that also show territorial aggression in small numbers.

Neon Tetras should be in a group of at least 6. 

Will Neon Tetra School With Other Tetras?

Just because they’re both Tetras doesn’t mean they’ll automatically school together.  They’re still different fish.

Neon Tetras would go well with the GloFish Tetra, which is technically a Black Skirt Tetra with the fluorescent gene.  Since they’re genetically-related, these fish would get along just great, but they will not school together.

The only other species that Neon Tetras would sometimes school with are Cardinal Tetras.

If you’re keeping Neon Tetras and GloFish Tetras together, we suggest putting in 10 of each variety in your tank.  These fish school in the hundreds or thousands in the wild and will get stressed out in very small numbers.  If they do, they might take it out on each other in the tank.

Are Neon Tetras And Zebra Danios Compatible?

The GloFish Danios have plenty in common with the Neon Tetra, including its size and temperament.

GloFish Danios are Zebra Danios and would live compatibly with Neon Tetras. 

Another great fact about these two fish is that GloFish Danios are top dwellers while Neon Tetras are middle to bottom swimmers.  They have their own place in the tank and won’t harm each other.

Will Tiger Barbs Eat Neon Tetras?

Tiger Barbs are known to be aggressive fish.  Being in a school calms them down considerably.

GloFish Barbs will eat Neon Tetras if there aren’t enough Barbs in the tank to curb their aggression.  A group of 6 or more Barbs will leave the school of Neon Tetras alone.

Just make sure that the Neon Tetras are all adults and will not fit the mouths of the Barbs.  Otherwise, they may become prey for the bigger Barb.

Whether in a big or small group, GloFish Barbs are not ideal tank mates for slow-moving fish including GloFish Bettas. 

Will Rainbow Shark Eat Neon Tetra?

Yes, they will, if you keep an overstocked tank. 

Again, territory is the issue here.  A single GloFish Shark requires a 55-gallon tank, and keeping it with a school of Neon Tetras will make the minimum tank size to 70 gallons.

A GloFish Shark would chase away other fish that would try to come near its cave.  Other than that, it would leave Neon Tetras alone.

Can A Neon Tetra Live With A Betta?

Neon Tetras make good tankmates for GloFish Bettas.

Not only will your tank pop out with wonderful colors contrasting each other, but GloFish Bettas tolerate Neon Tetras pretty well.  You can even add the Tetras in a Betta sorority tank and all will be fine as long as you have a 20-gallon tank at least.

How Big Of A Tank Does A GloFish Need?

Because you’re planning to put a lot of fish in a single tank, you have to make sure it is big enough for all the fish to have their own territory.

Compatibility also depends on how big your tank is.  Each school would need approximately 15 to 20 gallons each, which would mean keeping a community tank with GloFish Tetras, GloFish Danios, a GloFish Shark, and a school of Neon Tetras would require at least a 65- or 75-gallon aquarium.

A big tank would help keep a peaceful existence between all fish. 

But remember, all fish have different personalities, and you have to observe the tank for little troublemakers inside.  You may run into them in the beginning, but they should settle down as all occupants get acclimated with each other. 

If a couple keep giving you a hard time, you may have to serve a little disciplining.  We give some tips on how to give bullies a timeout here.

How Often Do You Change Glofish Water?

Water changes are necessary to keep a clean tank.

Schedule your water changes every two weeks.  If you have lots of fish in a 40-gallon tank and below, schedule it once a week.  You should change about 20-25% of your water each time.

The more fish you have, the more waste will be produced.  That’s why it’s harder to maintain a smaller aquarium than a bigger one. 

We’d love to see your tank and the colorful fish in there.  Drop us a line or send us a photo of your beautiful setup.  Happy fishkeeping!

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