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Neon tetraHow Long Can Neon Tetra Live Without Food? - Solution for you

How Long Can Neon Tetra Live Without Food? – Solution for you

Are you keeping Neon Tetras in your aquarium? You think that your Neon Tetras are so lovely and beautiful. And you want to spend your full heart taking care of them. However, one day, you are too busy and plan to make a business trip – a week-long getaway trip. Then, you are worried about them. You do not know who helps you to feed them and guard your aquarium’s condition. You wonder how long your Neon Tetras can endure being alive without food, don’t you? If so, don’t worry! GA Pet Sitter is willing to give you a hand and answer the question: “How Long Can Neon Tetra Live Without Food?”. 


According to the report, Neon Tetras fish can live a week on average in bad filter conditions, without food and plants. However, if your fish tank is in good condition, Neon  Tetras can live for up to three weeks without food. For detailed information, let’s refer to the article to know the answer!

Fish Tank Conditions that are Most Favorable to Help Neon Tetras Survive While You Are Away

Fish Tank Conditions that are Most Favorable to Help Neon Tetras Survive While You Are Away
Fish Tank Conditions that are Most Favorable to Help Neon Tetras Survive While You Are Away

At least once in your life, you used to hear that fish is one of the easiest pets to keep and play with. Keeping fish is just a piece of cake for anyone, even children can take care of them. However, this is not totally true because fishkeeping wastes a lot of time and requires the provision of numerous things from the fish keepers. 

The life of fish is influenced by many aspects such as water temperature, food, equipment, etc. Moreover, to continue the life of your fish before coming back home from your week-long trip, your fish tank has to meet all the needs of a high standard aquarium including factors: water quality, filter, temperature, plants. 

Water Quality Parameters

Water quality can be considered the most significant factor to protect your fish from death. The better the quality of tank water, the more opportunity for your fish to survive when you are far away from home. Therefore, you should change from fifty to seventy percent of water in the fish tank before a day of leaving home. Moreover, if possible, cleaning the filter is necessary to ensure the hygiene of your aquarium. That helps to recover the bacteria that is beneficial to water during the leaving time.

Water Quality Parameters for Neon Tetras
Water Quality Parameters for Neon Tetras

Furthermore, you should ensure a suitable pH level of water. As freshwater fish from South America, Neon Tetras will thrive in the water with a level of pH from 6 to 6.5. Besides, you had better remember that Neon Tetra fish desire to live happily and healthily with a gallon of water for each individual. 

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An Abundance of Live Plants

Live plants can be referred to as another significant thing to help your fish survive for a long time living without food. You should ensure that there will be enough or even abundant plants for your fish before leaving. For Neon Tetra, plants can be known as hiding spots for them to get away from other fish. 

Moreover, live plants will become store food for your Neon Tetras. Your fish depend on live plants as the major source of food to be alive during your absent time. Therefore, live plants should be the most indispensable need for your Neon Tetra. So, you need to ensure that there are abundant live plants in aquariums.

In addition, there are diverse types of live plants on the market and in nature. To assure that live plants will not die, you need to choose suitable types. We can divide live plants into two types: low-tech plants and high-tech plants. 

For low-tech plants, they can be Java Fern, Anubias, etc. If your aquarium equips low-tech plants, you do not need to spend too much time nurturing them carefully. You just need to provide them with sunlight or LED from 5 hours to 10 hours, which helps low-tech plants live and grow stronger. However, you need to be careful not to give low-tech plants excessive light. Consequently, they will overgrow and cause water pollution for your fish tanks. 

If your plants are high-tech types such as Monte Carlo or Helianthus, it is essential to input CO2 into fish tanks. Most importantly, supporting sufficient light for them is necessary. Hence, you had better equip your tank with a CO2 canister. Or NPK fertilizers will be reasonable. 

Filter Maintenance

Filter Maintenance
Filter Maintenance

As we mentioned above, you should change the filter to maintain a clean aquarium before leaving. Obviously, water is important to fish like humans need oxygen to be alive. You need to assure the water circulation in the tank. If water does not move, there will be no exchange of gasses, which leads to the loss of oxygen. Your fish will not have enough oxygen to survive.

Furthermore, an air pump with an air stone can be a backup solution for you when it can release oxygen bubbles, in case of your filter not working. 

Setting the Right Temperature 

Because Neon Tetras are tropical fish originating from South America, the western and northern Amazon, they are fond of living in warm water with the right temperature of about 27 degrees Celsius.

Setting the Right Temperature
Setting the Right Temperature

The temperature is too hot or too cold, which both bring negative effects to Neon Tetras. The imbalance in temperature can cause diseases for your fish. Your Neon Tetras can suffer Ich or White Spot Disease. However, you can cure Ich disease for your fish by increasing the water temperature up to 30 degrees Celsius in about three days. Plus, for every 3 gallons of water, adding 1 tbsp of aquarium salt can help your fish recover better. 

On top of that, let’s ensure that water temperature is balanced during your leaving time! You do not want your adorable Neon Tetras to be sick, do you?

Alternative Solutions

Fish Sitters

Alternative solutions fish Sitters
Alternative solutions fish Sitters

If those above lists still do not give you a piece of peace in your mind, you can look for help from fish sitters. You can depend on your neighbor, friend, or relatives for help. They will take after your aquarium. However, they cannot understand well what they need to do. Hence, you can leave instructions for them. For example, when and how many times should they feed Neon Tetras? For Neon Tetras, it is better when feeding them one time for about 2 or three days is sufficient. 

Automatic Feeders

Another solution for you is to own automatic feeders. However, you should be careful when using them. If you have baby fish, you need to feed them for 3 days to thrive. You can choose between two options: a battery or an electrical automatic feeder. Food will be expelled into the tank following the time that you set before leaving. For adult fish, live plants will be the best choice. In case of losing power, you can select battery-operated automatic feeders to save your fish instead of electrical automatic feeders.

Weekend Feeders

Last but not least, weekend feeders can give you a hand to take care of your fish. As condensed fish food, it will last for three days in the water. If you are on a short trip, weekend feeders will be a great helper. 

What You Need to Know About Neon Tetras

What You Need to Know About Neon Tetras
What You Need to Know About Neon Tetras

How Often Do They Require Feeding?

Generally, you can feed your Neon Tetras about once or twice a day, but twice is the maximum. Nevertheless, it will not be a big deal if your aquarium has live plants for them to eat and grow. Therefore, you do not need to feed them once a day, or maybe twice. Sometimes, once every two days or three days is enough. Your Neon Tetra can live happily and healthily. 

Their Ideal Living Conditions

Maybe, it is not easy to raise a Neon Tetra to grow up because it requires a lot of conditions. However, Neon Tetras are not too fragile.

For tropical fish like Neon Tetras, they need a balanced water temperature, about 27 degrees Celsius, because they are really into warm water. Besides, plants and hiding spots are necessary for them to not be under depression. They need to be comfortable and happy. 

Moreover, you should care about light provision. Neon Tetras love living in the water with a slight light. Remember to put your fish tank in a place not having too much light. 

Besides, we all know Neon Tetras are schooling fish. You should be sure that you provide enough for each fish with 1 gallon of water. They need space to swim together.

All of the above information plays an important role in the life of Neon Tetras because it helps them decrease their level of stress. If they are too stressed, they can die.  

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Neon Tetra

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Neon Tetra
Symptoms of an Unhealthy Neon Tetra

Hence, how to know if your Neon Tetras are not healthy? There are many ways to identify whether they are fine or not. For instance, if you see them dying down the tank bottom and their bodies lôheavy, they are not fine. Besides, if they do not have enough oxygen to breathe, they will swim on the surface of the water to breathe. 


In conclusion, if you are Neon Tetras fish keepers, let’s care about them when you leave your home for any reason. They will not survive till the third day if there is no food for your Neon Tetras. However, if you have some live plants equipped in your aquarium, they can live up to a few weeks and wait for you to come back home then feed them.

The article has just shown you the answer to the question: “How Long Can Neon Tetra Live Without Food?” If you have any problems or questions, leave your comments below! GA Pet Sitter is willing to help you deal with your questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Neon Tetras Need To Be Fed Every Day?

You can feed your Neon Tetras every day if you have enough free time to feed them. Generally, you can feed them about two or four times per day. However, let’s care about the amount of food you feed them. You need to ensure that your Neon Tetra can complete their meal in 2 minutes. 

How Often Should Neon Tetra Be Fed?

How Often Should Neon Tetra Be Fed
How Often Should Neon Tetra Be Fed

Neon Tetras are tropical fish, so you should follow the schedule you have set for other types of tropical fish kept in your aquarium. Honestly, once is enough for them. However, if you really want, you can feed them twice a day: once in the morning and another one at night.

Can A Neon Tetra Live By Itself?

We all know that Neon Tetras is schooling fish. It will be a terrible nightmare if you do it to them. But if you want, you can do it! However, they will soon be under stress and lead to death. It will easily get sick of depression. 

Can Neon Tetras Go A Day Without Food?

Yes, your Neon Tetras can go a day without food. Your fish can live up to a few weeks without food if they are fed many times before the time without food comes. Neon Tetras can pass a week on average without food in the good condition of a fish tank. Moreover, they can live three weeks with tanks having abundant live plants. 


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