How to Breed Neon Tetras: A Quick Guide

Starting Checklist

  • Air filter or sponge filter, prevents fry from being sucked into filtration
  • One male and one female neon tetra, at least 12 weeks old
  • 10+ gallon tank
  • Peat soil/peat moss, to lower PH. Clean dried oak leaves may work as well
  • Aquarium heater, if temperature is unstable
  • Egg-laying platform: java moss, leafy plants, spawning mop
  • Fry food

Breeding Parameters

Temperature24°C/75°F to 26 °C /78°F
HardnessSoft Water



  • Sex the tetras and select a breeding pair.
  • Feed them high protein food for about a week to encourage egg prodcution.

Day 1-2

  • Place the tank in a dark or low-light environment.
  • Introduce the breeding pair into the tank in the evening.
  • Do not use filter. A filter will suck up eggs and the newly hatched fry.
  • Gradually increase light in the morning. Use only a dim light maximum.

Day 3-4

  • Remove adult tetras from the tank, and look for eggs. The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours.
  • Keep the tank dark for the first 48 hours for the eggs to hatch.
  • Introduce aquarium heater.

Day 5-6

  • Feed the fry with fry food. You may use infusoria, egg yolk, or commercial fry food.
  • Do not change the water in the spawning tank during the first week. Gradually change the water back to typical aquarium parameters.
  • The fry will develop color at about four weeks, and typically will be large enough to sell at 12 weeks.

References / Further Reading

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