Do Neon Tetras Lay Eggs?

A question on the mind of every fish tank owner or beginner fish tank owner that wants to add neon tetras to their fish tank(s), “do neon tetras lay eggs?”.  This is a tricky one, they do not lay eggs like chickens, what they do is spawning.

Answering the question “do neon tetras lay eggs?” Yes, they do lay eggs; which is known as spawning. They don’t give birth to live young but they spawn eggs. Whereby females would scatter eggs at the bottom of the fish tank. Thus, giving room for the male neon tetras to fertilize them immediately.

I bet you have lots of questions on your mind right now; “how do they breed?”, “how do you know a pregnant neon tetra?” and others.

Well, this article would take you through the reproductive habits of neon tetras. Let’s, therefore, take you through the lives of neon tetras and their reproductive habits.

How Do Neon Tetras Breed?

Neon tetras’ mode of reproduction isn’t the same for other fishes. Theirs is kind of tricky and only one who knows how to set up the fish tank can get it done.

Either way, a pair of tetras can spawn from 60 to 130 eggs. These would take approximately 24 hours to hatch after fertilization by males.

They require specific water conditions to be able to breed, which means you would have to set up a different fish tank for this. You also have to cover the tank with java moss or a spawning mop.

The spawning tank should have a cover to prevent spawning fishes from jumping out as they are likely to. Water hardness should be 1 to 2 dGH and pH 5.0 to 6.0. Check source.

It’s best that you return them to the other tank after spawning. So that they don’t eat their eggs or fry when they hatch.

How Do You Tell Your Neon Tetra Is About to Spawn?

It can be confusing guessing when your neon tetra is about to spawn since they all look almost the same. Also, many aquarium owners just love the vibrant presence of these fish in the tank. Therefore, they are unlikely to notice the swell in their stomach.

The first thing to spot in a school of neon tetras before getting to know which is ready to spawn is to know which is female.

A female neon tetra ready to spawn swells at the belly. This might be confusing as the swelling could also be a result of overfeeding.

Another way to spot a ready-to-spawn female neon tetra is by turning on the light an hour before feeding. This is to see if the fish are courting or spawning in the community tank. You can take them to the tank meant for spawning if you confirm.

In all, these fishes wouldn’t spawn if the water condition isn’t right for spawning.

How Do Neon Tetra Eggs Look Like?

You could convince their eggs for tiny stones, yes, they are that small and gem-like. They are very small, clear, and whitish or yellowish round, looking like tiny balls of jelly.

If you know what to look for, they wouldn’t be difficult to recognize in the fish tank. Generally, they stick on the plant leaves, moss, and sometimes even on the substrate. This is the reason why you need to place moss in the spawning tank.

The fact that the eggs plenty give it that look of rocks or décor. As a result, an amateur could think it is a waste.

Female neon tetras spawn about 60 to 130 eggs. After that, fertilization of the eggs by the male neon tetras follows. Note that it is not all the eggs that would hatch, maybe just 40 to 50 will. This gives you nearly 30% of the baby neon tetras. Check source

Do Neon Tetra Lay Eggs or Give Birth?

Neon tetras breeding is a tad bit confusing for those who do not know their reproductive habits. An amateur fish tank owner could go wrong in a lot of ways in caring for breeding neon tetras.

They do not give birth neither do they lay eggs in the actual sense. They spawn eggs and let the male neon tetra fertilize them immediately.

In addition, neon tetras do not get pregnant per se. When they are ready to breed, their belly swells, that is when you know babies are about to come.

Spawned and fertilized eggs would take about twenty-four hours to hatch. At this time, adult neon tetras are taken off of the breeding tank.

To wrap this up, it is pertinent you know that no tetra gives birth live young. Tetras are not livebearers like nearly all members of the family Poeciliidae what they do is spawn eggs.

Do Neon Tetras Eat Their Eggs?

Yes, they do. Neon tetras eat their eggs. It is therefore advisable that you remove the adult neon tetras from the breeding tank. Do this once you see the eggs have been spawned and fertilized by the male neon tetra.

A pair is more likely to eat their own eggs. But it might not be on the same day they lay them. The eggs are prone to diseases, another reason why you need to take away the adult neon tetras.

Three months after the eggs have hatched, you can put them together with the rest of the school. by this time their survival instincts have developed.

Many aquarium owners add few drops of methylene blue or acriflavine to the spawning tanks. This is to protect the eggs from fungus and darken the water a bit. Of course, neon tetra eggs are sensitive to light. Check source

Neon Tetras Gestation Period?

Are you an aquarium owner? Do you own neon tetras in your aquarium? Or you intend to add some to your fish tank and you wonder how long before they lay eggs? Worry no more.

A lot of things about neon tetras depend hugely on their habitat and water condition. This includes their health, gestation period, and quite some other things.

In proper water conditions, neon tetras need just two weeks before they spawn eggs. And then the male fertilizes them immediately.

Their gestation can be similar to other tropical fishes like guppies or mollies. But then they are not livebearers so what you see in their ovaries are unfertilized eggs and not fry. Check source

If you do not keep neon tetras in fish tanks with the right water condition, they would be stressed, probably fall sick, lose color, get sad, and would not be able to breed.

What Do Neon Tetras’ Fry Eat?

After the whole breeding process: spawning, fertilizing, and the eggs hatch. The next thing is caring for the fry which comes by feeding, the right water condition, and proper lighting.

At the early stages, fry absorbs their egg sack till they can begin to swim on their own. Then, they begin to eat only microscopic foods due to their tiny body.

Later they begin to eat the same foods they adults eat. However, in smaller quantities and often since they have a smaller stomach, maybe three to eight times daily.

Asides brine shrimp, infusoria, green water, micro worms, fry eats other homemade foods like boiled rice, lettuce, sprouts, fish fillets, egg yolks, boiled peas. [Check source](

Improper knowledge about this would lead to failure and inevitably the death of the fry. Neon tetras are cheap to keep for fish owners but then their fragility makes it a tough choice to own.

Last Thoughts

Astonishing findings of the reproductive habits of neon tetras, right? This page clears the air for those asking questions such as “do neon tetras lay eggs?”, “how many eggs do neon tetras lay?”, “how long is a neon tetra’s gestation period?”, “what does a neon tetra egg look like?”, and other related questions.

In the end, we got to know that neon tetras do lay eggs through a process called spawning. While the male neon tetra fertilizes them before they get to hatch. Also, we got to answer the other related questions about neon tetras’ reproductive habits.

And, for emphasis, it is pertinent for you to have the right knowledge about neon tetras. At least, before deciding to add them to your fish tank. Know the right water condition for breeding and spawning, their diseases, its symptoms. And, lastly know the kind of care fry needs.