Can Neon Tetras and Ember Tetras Live Together? {Will They Be Aggressive?}

Are you looking to keep Neon Tetras and Ember Tetras together? Will they fin nip, become territorial or school together? In this article, we’ll find out if you can keep these two Tetra species together.

Can Neon Tetras and Ember Tetras Live Together? Yes. Neon and Ember Tetras share similar dispositions, behaviors, water parameters and sizes. They get along well with each other, but would prefer it if you kept 6 of each in a tank larger than 20 gallons. 

Can Neon Tetras And Ember Tetras Live Together?

Yes. Both types are tetras exhibit the following tendencies:

  • calm
  • hardy
  • peaceful
  • school together
  • not picky eaters
  • comfortable with various substrates

Neon and Ember tetras are great tankmates and welcome additions to community tanks. Their peaceful nature makes them a great fit for beginner aquarists.

What Is Different Between Ember Tetras And Neon Tetras?

Let’s take a closer at the differences between Ember and Neon tetras.

Ember Tetras

  • Originate from Araguaia River in South America
  • Red and orange colors
  • not shy or aggressive
  • enjoy planted areas
  • mid to low-level swimmers
  • Aquarium Size – at least 10 gallons per six to 10 fish
  • Plants: Java Moss, Hornwort, 
  • Hardness – 5-17 dGH
  • pH – 5.0-7.0 (aim for 6.5)
  • Temperature – 73°F to 84°F

Neon Tetras

  • Originate from Amazon Basin in South America
  • Semi-translucent with neon blue and red lateral stripes
  • shy, slightly aggressive when threatened
  • prefer safety in schools
  • exploratory around all areas of the tank
  • mostly mid-level swimmers
  • Aquarium Size – 20 gallons or more to fit the entire crew
  • Decorations – driftwood, rock, plants
  • Hardness – 5- 10 dGH 
  • pH – 6.0-7.0 
  • Temperature – 70°F to 81°F

Control water hardness, pH and temperatures to find a happy medium between the parameters that Ember and Neon tetra enjoy.

YouTube video

Are Neon Tetras More Sensitive Than Ember Tetras?

Pay closer attention to your Neon tetras in a tank they share with Ember tetras. Neon tetras may hide more, shy away or fin nip when they feel threatened.

Neons expect the water hardness to remain under 10dGH while Embers can withstand harder water up to 17dGH.

6.5 pH is best for both fish. Keep at least 6 Neon Tetras and 6 Ember tetras to encourage them to school together. Neon tetras prefer more planted areas compared to Ember tetras.

What Do Ember and Neon Tetras Eat?

Neon and Ember Tetras share similar diets consisting of:

  • flakes
  • frozen
  • freeze-dried food
  • daphnia
  • brine shrimp
  • bloodworms
  • dead plant matter
  • insect larvae

Neither type of fish is considered picky. The more of each you keep, the more comfortable they will be to eat together without competition for food. Remove leftovers after 5 minutes to discourage excess food waste spiking ammonia levels.

Will Neon Tetras Be Aggressive Towards Ember Tetras?

No. Both types of fish will get along in a tank that is preferably over 20 gallons. We recommend 30 gallons or higher for maximum comfort with plenty of hiding spaces.

Neon tetras may feel more inclined to nip at ember tetra fins if they get too close during mating and breeding or disputes over territory.

If they are not fed enough, they may battle for food. Spread feedings to smaller portions 2-3 times a day.

Can You Mix Different Types Tetras?

Yes. Different types of tetras get along as peaceful tankmates under the following conditions:

  • similar water parameters
  • pH balanced to fit their needs
  • weekly water changes
  • plenty of hiding spaces
  • no competition for territory or food
  • separate spaces for mating and breeding

Tetras are not picky, but they are schooling fish that enjoy the safety in number. Keep each species of tetra in a group of 6 to encourage peaceful, curious, active and playful behavior.

What Are The Best Tankmates For Ember Tetras?

Ember tetras are excellent tankmates for plenty of aquatic life neighbors. They will school together in groups with other tetra species including

  • Rosy tetras
  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Neon tetras
  • Black neons
  • Flames

Ember tetras will also live peacefully with the following tankmates:

  • Guppies
  • Danios
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Corydora Catfish
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Gold Barbs
  • Discus fish
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Hatchetfish

Will Ember and Neon Tetras School Together?

Both Ember and Neon tetras may school together if the tank setup is right. Maintain a pH balance of 6.5 and temperatures in the mid-70s Fahrenheit to encourage peaceful and comfortable behavior.

Add plenty of hiding spots if they want to relax together or separate. Keep 6 of each species to encourage them to school together.

Are Ember tetras fin nippers?

Ember tetras are not known to be fin nippers. They are slightly more peaceful than Neon tetras. Ember tetras have a long list of suitable tankmates because of their accommodating nature.

They normally keep to themselves and will behave timid around larger tankmates. Fin nipping ember tetras could be exhibiting stress from being in small school less than 6 or living in a cramped tank with few hiding spots.


Neon tetras and Ember tetras are a great choice to cohabitation in your community tank. They share similarities from water parameters, diet or size and behavior.

Allow them to school together when you include at leat 6 of each species and enjoy their curiosity and playful behavior.


Thanks for visiting for all your informational needs surrounding various types of aquatic life that we enjoy keeping. Please come back soon to find out more about any type of aquatic life that interests you. Bye for now!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.

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