Can Neon Tetras See in The Dark?

Neon tetras are mostly active during the day. As an aquarist, a question might pop up in your mind that if your neon tetras can see in the darkness. I was wondering about this and did some research by myself. Let’s see what I have found. 

Neon tetras are not nocturnal fishes, and they can not see or eat in the dark. However, neon tetras can see in the dim lights. Light helps them to find food and stay connected with each other and be aware of their surroundings. 

In this article, I will discuss how long you need to keep neon tetras under darkness and the importance of day and night cycles in their life. So, keep reading!

Are Neon Tetra Fish Okay In The Dark?

Neon tetras are okay in the darkness. Neon tetras need at least 6-12 hours of darkness every day. 

Like most fish, you need to keep them for 12 hours under lighted conditions and the rest of the time in darkness.

This will provide them with a natural cycle of day and night. As neon tetras are not nocturnal fishes like plecos, they are most active during the daytime or under the light.

From what I have seen, neon tetras don’t eat in the darkness. Several times, I tried to feed neon tetras in the nighttime before going to bed.

I turned off the lights, and after a few minutes, when I checked on them again, I saw they didn’t eat fish pallets in the darkness.

But my pleco is mostly active during the nighttime, and it can eat in the darkness.

The bottom line is neon tetras need darkness. That doesn’t mean you will keep them in the dark for 24 hours every day. Keeping them under light for 8 – 12 hours every day is ideal.

Most aquarium hobbyists will suggest you do the same. I keep my fish under light during the day and provide them complete darkness in the night time, and they are doing pretty well. 

Are Neon Tetras More Active At Night?

Neon tetras are not nocturnal fish; that being said, they are not active at night. More importantly, fishes don’t know the difference between day and night while they are in the aquarium. 

When you turn off the light fish, they become less active than usual, and they start to take a break. Anytime a fish is just staying in one place, it seems like it’s stuck in there, which means the fish is taking a break.

Sometimes, I watch my fish for a long time to check their behavior, and I notice that they take breaks as needed and sometimes get stuck in one place, and it feels like they are dead or something; as I tap on the aquarium, it starts to hide right away. Although, don’t tap on the aquarium. 

It’s the same for the neon tetras as well. They are schooling fish, and they stay in a group. If you watch them for a long time, you will find them taking breaks. As we humans take breaks at night, so do most of the fish. 

Do Neon Tetras Need Light?

Like most other aquarium fishes, neon tetras need lights for at least 8 hours every single day.

I always recommend everyone to look at nature when they are confused about anything related to fish keeping. Nature has all the answers.

In the natural habitat, neon tetras get light during the daytime for around 12 hours and darkness during the nighttime.

This allows them to find food, socialize with other fish and be active just like us during daytime.

Because of their active nature during the daytime, they need to rest and sleep, and neon tetras prefer darker environments for taking rest and sleep.

Sometimes when I wake up very early in the morning, I see neon tetras sleeping in the hiding places where the darkness is maximum.

So, the bottom line is neon tetras need light during the daytime to maintain their daily activity and stay healthy.

Do Neon Tetras Fade At Night?

Neon tetras don’t fade at night. On the other hand, at night, neon tetras are able to rest their body and regain their energy for the following day. Fading neon tetras’ color depends on the food, habitat, disease, etc. 

In the dark, you might not see the blue and red stripes properly, but that does not mean that their colors fade away.

Do Neon Tetras Glow Under Black Light?

Neon tetra has blue and red stripes, their blue stripe consists of the bright fluorescent color that reflects the UV light to the viewer, and it seems they are glowing. In short, neon tetras glow under the black light.

It’s a common question of most aquarists “do neon tetras glow under black light.” The answer is neon tetra reflects the bright color when they are under black light.

Should Fish Sleep In The Dark?

Yes, fishes prefer to sleep in the dark so that they can rest without getting noticed by anyone else.

Darkness allows them to sleep better, and if they sleep better, they will be more energetic and playful during the daytime.

That’s why I always allow the fish to sleep in the dark during the night.

Sifatul Shohan

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