How to Stop My Neon Tetras Fighting (Complete Guide)

Are your neon tetras fighting in the tank or pond? Are the fights resulting in casualties or physical damage? Are you losing sleep over how to stop them from fighting? Let’s talk about how you can stop your neon tetras from fighting.

Fighting is common among neon tetras and other fish, especially if their condition supports it. Neon tetras will fight if there is limited space in the tank or pond, so you have to provide a large aquarium or space in the tank. They can also fight because of disease, so you have to get rid of the diseases to reduce fighting.

Why Are My Neon Tetras Fighting Each Other

Neon tetras will fight each other due to several reasons. Funnily, you can see your neon tetras fighting aggressively now, calming down later, and they are up again the next minute. Different reasons cause them to show their aggressive behavior.

Here are some reasons why neon tetras are fighting each other.

  • Limited space: One of the things that trigger your neon tetras’ fighting spirit is limited space. If the aquarium or pond is too small to accommodate your neon tetras, they will start fighting each other. This fight can be brutal, so you will have to either reduce the tank’s population or expand it.
  • Mating: One of the times animals display aggressiveness is when they have a testosterone boost. It also applies to neon tetras; you will see them fighting during the mating season. It is common among males to notice them dueling over females’ rights.
  • Food: One of the most common causes of fights among neon tetras is food. The competition is high, and the fish will want to have more power over food, causing strife. Although you are ready to feed them to their fill, they will still fight over food at times.
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  • Distress: One of the ways neon tetras express their distress is by fighting with other fish in the tank. You have to understand that neon tetras are not violent creatures, so their fight might indicate. They can get stressed due to water conditions, change in habitat, etc.
  • Territoriality: Another reason your neon tetras are fighting is to claim territories. Some tetras will like to have their space and not get intruded on. When an intruder arrives, the fight begins.

Are Tetras Usually Aggressive?

Tetras are generally peaceful fish with little or no traits of violence or brutality. Although they show aggressive traits when needed, you cannot classify them as aggressive. one of the reasons most people keep them is their calm behaviors.

Their calm and hardy attributes make them a good choice for many aquarists. Tetras will show traits of aggressiveness under certain conditions. Conditions like stress can cause your tetras to be a bit aggressive.

An unfavorable change in habitat can also cause your neon tetra to become aggressive. Like every other fish, male tetras become aggressive during the mating period. They also become territorial, making them aggressive to other fish.

If the tank’s size is too small, causing it to become congested for your tetras, you will notice some traits of aggressiveness. Aggressive behaviors can also come around during feeding. Although tetras become aggressive in some conditions, they remain calm, peaceful, and hardy.

How To Stop My Neon Tetras from Fighting

One of the questions that run in the mind of aquarists that keep neon tetras is, “how do I stop this lot from fighting?’. Yes, it can be disturbing to see your neon tetras fight. But here are few effective ways you can stop them from fighting.

  • Get a large tank: One of the best ways to keep your neon tetras from fighting is to provide a large tank. It will keep the fish out of the way of each other, reducing the rate of violence. It will also reduce the distress your neon tetras encounter, ensuring their peaceful coexistence.
  • Add structures and plants to the tank: Adding structures, decorations, and plants to the tank will help reduce the aggressiveness and fighting off your neon tetras. It will help keep weaker fish away from stronger ones in the days of trouble. It will also help keep your neon tetras safe from physical assaults from each other.
  • Constant feeding: You have to make sure you feed them always. Feeding the tetras will keep them from going hungry, reducing the chance of their aggressiveness and fight. It will also keep them from nipping at each other’s fin and damaging their body parts.
  • Keep adequate water condition: If you keep adequate water conditions, your fish will not get stressed. And if they do not get stressed, they will not have the reason to fight. Keep track of the ammonia level, temperature, and other essential water requirements.
  • Treat diseases: Diseases are one of the major causes of fighting in your neon tetras. You have to treat the disease to keep them from fighting. Please give them the needed medications to keep them healthy.

Can Neon Tetra Live With Fighting Fish?

Neon tetras will live with fighting fish. Bettas or Siamese fighting fish will make good tankmates of neon tetras as they both coexist without trouble. Neon tetras usually stay around the middle tank, staying a good distance away from betta fish.

You have to ensure the tank is large enough to accommodate the two fish species. Neon tetras are schooling fish, so you might have to keep around 6 to 8 neon tetras with your fighting fish in the same tank. Make sure you provide adequate requirements for the two fish to thrive.

Why Do Neon Tetras Die Easily?

Neon tetras are hardy fish and will stay alive in adequate condition. However, they can die if you do not meet their requirement. They can die due to stress, disease, poor water conditions, and even inappropriate aquarium size.

Do Tetras Kill Other Fish?

Tetras are not aggressive and will live peacefully with other fish. They might kill other fish, but it occurs only in rare cases. Quite a number of fish will live peacefully with neon tetras.


Neon tetras will fight due to several reasons. But you have to stop them as the fight can be brutal and lead to more complications. Ensure you keep your neon tetras safe among themselves and other fish.

John Brandon

John has kept fish all his life (since he was about 5). He started with keeping guppies and fell in love with fish keeping almost straight away. That was 40 odd years ago. These days John still keeps fish and currently has two large tanks where he keeps many different types of fish such as Angelfish, Neon Tetras, Goldfish, Guppies and many more.