How to Know If A Neon Tetra Is Pregnant? – Tips for fish keepers

It will not be strange if you heard about one of the most incredible fish called Neon Tetra in the world. This is a kind of tiny fish. They often live as schooling fish. You can easily catch them inside the aquarium of fish keepers or in the aquarium shops. However, when keeping neon tetra fish, many fish keepers face problems identifying when their Neon Tetra is pregnant. 

How to Know If Your Neon Tetra Is Pregnant?

Identifying pregnant Neon Tetras can be quite difficult for people because of their limited size. Hence, how to know if your neon tetra fish is pregnant? If you are one of the thousands of people wondering about the answer to this question, this article will absolutely be for you. The article shows you the amazing way to know if your Neon Tetra is pregnant or not. Let’s take some time and refer to this article carefully!

Determine If The Neon Tetra Is Female

Determine If The Neon Tetra Is Female

Determine If The Neon Tetra Is Female

The first step to determine if your Neon Tetra is pregnant or not is to know which fish is female. There are diverse ways to identify between a male and female Neon Tetra. 

Normally, female Neon Tetra fish are bigger than males. Moreover, all Neon Tetra fish possess the typical blue stripes running following down their bodies. For male Neon Tetra, the blue stripe is almost straight. In contrast, the blue stripe of female fish is wider and larger. It suits their body size. 

Besides, looking at their color is also another effective way to see the differences between a male and female Neon Tetras. The color of male fish will be brighter and more vibrant than females. If a Male Neon Tetra wants to catch the attention of female fish and fight with other male fish, its color has to be more beautiful than its competitors. 

Additionally, their belly can be noticed to identify the gender. Female Neon Tetras have a larger belly than males. With a bigger belly, it will support the process of breeding more easily and smoothly. 

Plus, if you see a Neon Tetra fish having long fins and dorsal, which means that this fish is male because the fin length of male fish is longer than females.

Check Their Belly

Check Their Belly

Check Their Belly

After identifying the gender of your fish, and knowing which female fish is, the only way to tell if your Neon Tetra fish is pregnant or not is to check their belly. First of all, you need to accept the fact that Neon Tetra fish are impossible to get pregnant. They just can spawn eggs and lay their eggs at the bottom of the fish tank. Then, male Neon Tetra fish can come and fertilize those eggs. 

When a female Neon Tetra is pregnant, her stomach size will be larger. Because she keeps hundreds of eggs inside their stomach, her belly will be bloated and distended. Their belly will look unnaturally enlarged, which means that your Neon Tetra fish are ready to lay eggs. 

Pay Attention To The Male Neon Tetra Fish Behavior

There will not be enough information and signals to identify the right time for reproduction if you just only pay attention to female Neon Tetras. Another essential thing you have to do is to keep an eye on male fish’s behaviors. Their behavior will help you to be sure when your male Neon Tetra fish are able to reproduce. 

When you see the male beginning to flirt and have courting actions toward the females, the right time has come. Moreover, the male fish often show their unique dance to females. They swim around the aquarium with a particular square pattern. At the same time, they tug their tiny body backward and then pull their body frontwards. You, sometimes, will see them stop their action for seconds and restart their incredible dance right away.

What Should You Do If Your Neon Tetra Is Pregnant?

What Should You Do If Your Neon Tetra Is Pregnant

What Should You Do If Your Neon Tetra Is Pregnant

When you accidentally realize that your Neon Tetra fish is pregnant, what will you do? If you do not know, let Gap Pet Sitter give you a hand! There are quite a lot of things you should care about to ensure that you can create the best conditions for the reproduction process of Neon Tetra fish. 

What Should You Do If Your Neon Tetra Is Pregnant?

Separate Tanks

The first thing you should do is to separate tanks between male and female Neon Tetras if you see the reproduction signal from female fish. The tank for baby Neon Tetra fish should be prepared to hatch the babies in. Because the eggs are pretty sticky, you need to ensure that this tank includes plants as well as moss for the eggs to stick in. 

Moreover, during the process of breeding, your Neon Tetra fish can turn into overexcited status. Therefore, you should choose a tank with a lid on the top to avoid your fish jumping out of the water.  In addition, the ideal time to put your fish in the aquarium is the evening since that is a suitable time for the breeding process. The female fish will take advantage of it and start the process when the sun rises.  

Your breeding tank needs at least 10 gallons (38 liters) for your fish to successfully breed in a suitable condition. If the condition is good, they would like to produce more eggs for you.

Ideal Water Conditions

Ideal Water Conditions

Ideal Water Conditions

If you want your Neon Tetra fish to grow well, they need water with 77 Fahrenheit (25 Celcius) for the beneficial habitat to live. The temperature plays a significant role for fish to be comfortable. 

The concentration of PH in water is also important for the life of eggs and fish. You should keep the balance between 5 and 6 for PH concentration. It is an effective way to recreate the same wild habitat for your fish as naturally as possible. If you want to check the PH concentration of water, let’s come to pet stores! Most pet stores sell pH testing strips and you can read it correctly. 

Furthermore, all fish need clean water, obviously, including Neon Tetra fish. If the water is neglected, it is so uncomfortable and hard for your fish to reproduce and lay eggs. Your Neon Tetra will determine to not breed. All they need is the right conditions to encourage them on breeding. In particular, the water condition occupies a huge role in their reproduction process. 

If the above water conditions do not suit your tank, it is highly recommended to change the tank water whenever the water does not meet the needs for Neon Tetras to be pregnant and breed. 

Improve Filtration

It is confirmed that Neon Tetra fish need good-quality filtration for the greatest environment to live in, especially reproduction. The purpose of having high-quality filtration is to get rid of the bacteria and waste from the water to ensure that the tank has the cleanest water for your fish. It is considered one of the important factors to protect the baby Neon Tetra fish.  

The bad-quality filtration can make the water dirty and influence the process of fertilizer. The bacteria and fungus created from the dirty environment can harm the embryo. That is the reason why you should have a firm and high-quality filtration system.   

Adequate Lighting

It is necessary for baby Neon Tetra fish to live in an environment as close to nature as possible. And lighting also plays a part in creating that environment. Neon Tetras love living in a place without too much light and sunshine. They tend to be better when living and swimming in a dimmer or darker environment. The aquarium just needs a small amount of light per day. So, move your aquarium to a place with a more gentle and darker light.

Hiding Spots

Hiding spots for Neon Tetra fish

Hiding spots for Neon Tetra fish

Hiding spots for Neon Tetra fish

Your aquarium should be decorated with plants, moss, or rocks to set up hiding pots because female fish adore hiding. The personality of your fish will change to be shy when laying eggs. Hence, they will feel more comfortable with hiding spots. Moreover, female fish tend to lay eggs in a place lacking light.   

Adding Fish

Neon Tetras are very special and unique when breeding in groups. If you want to have a better result, you should place about 6 and 8 male and female Neon Tetra fish in the same breeding tank in the evening. And you need to remember to keep them in the tank for at least 2 days. 

How Long Does It Take For A Neon Tetra To Lay Eggs?

A female Neon Tetra will spend from 15 minutes to 1 hour laying eggs at the bottom of the aquarium. Then it will waste 24 hours for male fish to fertilize and hatch. Moreover, the most significant thing you need to memorize is that the baby fish should stay more than 5 days in a separate tank. And remember to keep minimal light for baby fish!

How Many Eggs Do Neon Tetras Lay At Once?

How Many Eggs Do Neon Tetras Lay At Once

How Many Eggs Do Neon Tetras Lay At Once

A Neon Tetra can lay from 60 to 120 at once. It sounds like a lot but not all of them hatch and survive successfully. Moreover, it depends on the way male fish fertilize these eggs. According to the statistics, only 30 percent of 60-120 eggs can fertilize successfully and hatch. If an egg fertilizes successfully, you will see a black dot inside that egg. 


In conclusion, it is not easy for a female Neon Tetra fish to reproduce. Unlike in nature, the level of success can be high or not depending on fish keepers to create the right environment to meet their needs. has just shown you the way to identify whether your Neon fish is pregnant or not. Determining if your fish gets pregnant is the most important because it is the first step for you to prepare for other things. Hope you can get more knowledge from this article. Then you can successfully help your fish to breed and get more and more baby fish. If you have any problems, please leave them below!


What Do Neon Tetra Eggs Look Like?

What Do Neon Tetra Eggs Look Like

What Do Neon Tetra Eggs Look Like

Their eggs are very tiny and round. Their egg color is clear whitish, or they can be yellow. Moreover, their eggs will stick in leaves and plants inside the aquarium. 

How Many Eggs Do Neon Tetras Lay?

On average, a female neon tetra can breed from 60 to 120 eggs laid at once. 

How Long Will It Take For Your Neon Tetra To Lay Eggs?

It will take about 15 minutes to 1 hour to lay eggs and 24 hours for them to hatch. 

Do Neon Tetras Eat Their Babies?

It is completely ordinary when you see Neon Tetras eating their babies. That is the reason why you should keep baby fish in a separate tank for at least 15 days and wait for 3 months before putting them back in the main aquarium and introducing them to adult fish.