How to identify male and female neon tetra fish? – The easiest way ever

Neon Tetra is considered one of the most beautiful and famous fish types all over the world. This fish type has received the love and attention of many people because of its stunning appearance. However, many people said that it is really difficult for them to identify between male and female Neon Tetra if they do not have enough knowledge about fish types. 

What is the Difference Between a Male and Female Neon Tetra?

Nevertheless, it truly does not matter. There are many ways to distinguish them than you have though. For example, answering the question  “What is the difference between a male and female Neon Tetra?” will be the best way ever. 

Do not worry about it too much! will give you a hand to deal with this problem. The article will answer the question: “What is the difference between a male and female Neon Tetra?” for you. Let’s take a look!  

What is the Difference Between a Male and Female Neon Tetra

What is the Difference Between a Male and Female Neon Tetra

Male Tetras vs. Female Tetras

It will no longer be a big deal to identify any animal’s gender if you find out the differences of appearance between males and females. Fortunately, because of its appearance, we can easily see through our eyes. However, you cannot easily find out the differences if Neon Tetra has not reached sexual maturity. According to the report, it will take about 4-6 months for a tetra to mature and grow up its gender completely. After that, you can spot the differences between a male and female Tetra. 

In general, female tetra size will be bigger than male. Moreover, they have a more rounded, chubby body shape compared to the male tetras. Most male tetras possess a flat belly, but not at all. For more detail, Neon Tetra’s gender can be identified by judging outside features including the blue stripe shape, color, body shape, belly, and length of fins.

Shape of blue stripe

It is nothing strange that this type of fish is called Neon Tetra. Easily understanding, because they have the blue stripes running vertically following down their bodies. The blue stripe shape is one of the easiest factors to identify between boys and girls. 

For male tetra, the blue stripe will be nearly straight. However, it will look more curved and wider for female tetras because females have a more rounded body shape than males. 


Although they all have major blue and red stripes, the male tetra color will be more stunning and vibrant than the female. Just like other animals, male tetra color tends to be more vivid and iridescent to compete with other male tetras for female tetra’s attention. Their appearance will be an effective weapon to catch the attention of the female tetra. The more gorgeous it is, the more chance they will have to be a winner. 

Body Shape

Because all of Neon Tetra are pretty tiny, it will be so hard for us to distinguish them through their size. However, it will get easier when comparing their body shape. As mentioned above, male Tatras are more straight and thinner while a female body shape will be more rounded and bigger. 


Unlike male Tetras, the female Tetra belly is bigger and larger. As an egg spawner, it is not true for a female tetra when you see them with a rounded belly and say that she is pregnant. However, it is a signal for you to know that female Neon tetra are ready to spawn. 

Male Tetras vs. Female Tetras

Male Tetras vs. Female Tetras

Length of Fins

Generally, the length of dorsal and anal fins belonging to male Tetras is longer than females, which is an effective way to clarify a male and female Tetras. 

Nowadays, people tend to prefer fish with long fins and dorsal. Hence, some neon tetras selectively bred to have longer fins satisfy the taste of people. For this case, you can use other features from the above list to distinguish male and female Tetras. 

Captive-Bred Neon Tetras

As mentioned above, there are diverse types of Neon Tetras appearing because of selective breeding. They have more beautiful and greater physical traits. Therefore, how to know which Tetras are wild-caught or ornamental?

What Does a Wild-Caught Neon Tetra Look Like?

Wild-caught Neon Tetras are referred to as real variants. Naturally, the appearance of captive-bred neon tetras is similar to the wild ones. However, a wild-caught Neon Tetras will include these below specific features:

  • It has a vibrant neon blue stripe on the top half of its back and body.
  • Its belly is silvery and sparkling.
  • Its fin size is limited.
  • And it has a shining red stripe running long-drawn from its tail to its anal fins. 

Ornamental Neon Tetras

Captive-Bred Neon Tetras

Captive-Bred Neon Tetras

Although ornamental Neon Tetras are still Neon Tetras, they still have a distinctive and special look if you compare them to wild-caught Neon Tetras. They will look a bit different from the original Tetras. There are various kinds of ornamental Neon Tetras existing such as Double Longfin Neon Tetra, Diamond Head Neon Tetra, Brilliant White Neon Tetra, and Gold Neon Tetra.

Identifying Gender in Ornamental Neon Tetras

Because of the difference from wild-caught Tetras, it is quite hard for you to identify genders in Ornamental Neon Tetras following the guided list above. For example, the coloration and fin length cannot be used to clarify anymore. Nevertheless, there are still some features remaining between males and females. The body shape is considered the key factor to identify the gender of Ornamental Neon Tetras. 

Male Neon Tetras are thinner and more slender. In contrast, females look larger and more rounded. This feature plays an important role in reproduction, which is the reason why the body shape of Tetras remains even with Ornamental Neon Tetras. 

Male vs Female Neon Tetras – Which Live Longer?

There is no evidence to be sure that male Neon Tetras live longer than females, and vice versa, or not. According to the environment, if the owners can take care of them well with great water conditions, Neon Tetras can live up to 10 years and there is no difference between males and females. 


According to the information above, has just provided you with the ways to identify male and female Neon Tetras. You can follow the list and easily look out for the differences between male and female Neon Tetras. To sum up, Neon Tetras are incredible fish for you to keep inside your aquarium. They will make your aquarium more beautiful and natural. Hence, you can enjoy the wildlife of aquatic animals inside your house. Especially when you see them swimming following the shoal. Do not hesitate to buy a shoal of Neon Tetras and satisfy your passion! Furthermore, do not forget to share this article with anyone relevant and enjoy it! Besides, if you have any questions, please leave them below the article. Gap Pet Sitter is willing to answer all your questions. 


You are keeping Neon Tetras but you are still having many questions about a lot of things? For example, you do not know when your fish are pregnant or what color their eggs are? There are some popular questions that GA Pets Sitters has prepared to help you figure out the answers. 

How to tell if neon tetra is pregnant?

After reading the article below, you already know how to identify female Neon Tetra. You need to look at the belly of female Neon Tetras to clarify whether a Neon Tetras is pregnant or not. If there is a swollen part on their belly, that means they are pregnant. Their belly will be larger than normal. 

What color are neon tetra eggs?

On average, a female neon tetra can breed from 60 to 120 eggs laid at once. Their eggs are very tiny and spherical. Their eggs are clear whitish, or they can be yellow tint.  

Do cardinal tetras breed easily?

Although tetras are one of the active fish types and live following the community, they are still very friendly and live peacefully. However, it is very hard to breed in the environment of captivity. Breeding cardinal tetras is a quite complicated process. It requires many conditions such as soft water or shadowing light. 

How do I know if my tetra fish is pregnant?

To know whether your Tetra fish is pregnant or not, you need to notice the fish size. If you see your fish bigger, especially the abdominal place and their tail, which means they are pregnant. Moreover, you should pay attention to their actions in the aquarium tank. A female Tetra will chase the males when they are pregnant. Finally, let’s take a look at bubble nests to identify your fish condition. By all those ways, you can clarify whether your Tetras fish is pregnant or not. Moreover, do not forget to take care of your fish if they are pregnant.