Do Neon Tetras Eat Their Babies?

As we know, neon tetras will eat anything that fits in their mouth. So, people who want to breed neon tetras often get worried if neon tetras will eat their fries or eggs.

Do Neon Tetras eat their babies? Adult neon tetras eat their fries as well as eggs. Neon tetras do not get pregnant; instead, they spawn eggs. After spawning, remove the adults, as they may devour/eat up the eggs or babies as they are omnivorous and don’t have any trait of parental care.

I’ve had my share of surprises when I was looking into this, and being honest, nature is quite complex. Keep reading this article to know about keeping your neon tetra eggs and fries alive and un-eaten.

Do Tetras Eat Their Eggs?

Yes, tetras might eat their own eggs as all tetras are omnivores and literally eat anything that fits in their tiny mouth and not as a sign of cannibalism. Most tetras deposit a translucent egg that is around one millimeter in diameter. 

If a female tetra lays 60 eggs, at least 20 will hatch into viable young and the process takes up to 24 hours.

But if you don’t separate the eggs and fries from the adults, maybe 5-10 neon tetra babies will survive.

Do Neon Tetras Eat Baby Fish?

Neon tetra will devour anything that fits in their mouth, including their own eggs and fries.

From what I have seen, a neon tetra will easily fit a fry into its mouth and devour it without hesitation.

The neon tetras fries are so tiny that other nano fishes might eat them as well if they are seen roaming around the tank.

How to Prevent Neon Tetras From Eating Their Fries?

It’s better to move the fish to a separate tank once you detect neon tetra eggs in the aquarium. This is because neon tetra fish are known to eat both the eggs and their babies once the eggs have hatched. 

Not only will neon tetras eat their babies, but other omnivore fishes are most likely to eat the fries.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent Neon Tetras from Eating their babies: 

1. Keep The Parents Neon Tetras and Fries Separate: 

Remove the adult neon tetras from the breeding tank as soon as you see the eggs; otherwise, they will consume the eggs.

Furthermore, baby tetras are prone to sickness and are frequently vulnerable to physical harm. As a result, if you combine them with adults as soon as they hatch, they may not survive.

Because the fry is light-sensitive, feed them special food and keep them in the dark for about five days after they hatch

After three months, you can put the baby tetras in the same aquarium as the adults. They will have evolved sufficient survival skills to live together peacefully with adults at this point. 

The other fish in your aquarium is the most major threat to eggs. The first step is to construct and place a divider box to separate the eggs from the other fish. At the very least, this will keep other fish away from the eggs.

2. Introduce More Hiding Places for Fish: 

Providing adequate breeding circumstances and creating a spot for the fish to lay eggs are both parts of preparing the aquarium for the fish to lay eggs and get them to grow up safely.

You should add some large plants to the tank before any signs of mating appear. If the fish are aware of the plants before mating, they will use them to hide their eggs when it is time.

Also, when the eggs hatch, the fries can save themselves from getting eaten by neon tetras and other fishes in the tank.

3. Keeping Eggs Safe from other Fishes:

When your fish are laying eggs for the first time, fishes in your aquarium may devour these eggs. 

Observing the eggs is the greatest approach to keep them safe from the fishes. You can also separate the eggs from the main tank if you detect that this tank is not safe for the fries.

Sometimes parent fishes take care of the fries. If you notice that the fish parents stick around the eggs and take care of them, you should let them do so.

However, if the parents are unconcerned about the eggs, the fry may not develop properly. As a result, you should pay great attention to the fish parents’ actions. Neon tetras fall in this category.

Remove the adult neon tetras from the tank for at least a few hours if there is evidence that they are attempting to devour the eggs.

4. Introduce Dark Areas:

The eggs must be kept in the dark environment and may die if they are exposed to light.

As a result, it’s critical to keep the breeding tank covered until the eggs hatch.

Plants, moss, and pebbles are vital to have in the aquarium because they provide a hiding space for the female neon tetra.

The female gets quite bashful once she is ready to lay her eggs. If she has hiding places, she will feel more at ease depositing her eggs.

Females also like to lay their eggs in the aquarium’s darker regions. So, introducing dark places will increase the chance of survival of the neon fries.

How To Increase the Survival Rate of Neon Tetra Fries?

The water quality in an aquarium is critical to the survival of fish eggs. To survive, they require the right conditions, such as the right temperature and water content.

In an aquarium, fish eggs are susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases. You must guarantee that the water is clean and filtered, and that the water conditions do not shift dramatically.

It will be easier to protect the eggs during the incubation phase if you provide adequate conditions.

Here are some tips to follow:

  • Make sure Water Parameters are Optimum
  • Keep The Fries In a Separate Tank
  • Feed Them High Protein Foods

Do Neon Tetras Protect Their Eggs?

No. Tetras consider their eggs to be food and do not care for them. If you want the eggs to hatch, separate them from the fish.

What Do Neon Tetras Eggs Look Like?

Tetra eggs are hard to spot. They are small, spherical, and clear white or yellow in color. They are often seen adhering to moss or plant leaves, as well as on the sandy floor. 

What Do You Do With Neon Tetra Eggs?

Keep an eye out for the infants (called fry). Fertilized eggs hatch 48 to 72 hours after the female releases her eggs.

Look at the bottom of the aquarium for the fry to become free-swimming after a few days. The small fish should be hovering near their eggs.

Neon Tetra fries will survive by taking nutrition from their yolk sacs until they are able to swim around the tank, at which point they will need to be fed on a regular basis.

Final Thoughts:

The process of breeding your neon tetra fish doesn’t take long once you have the correct habitat in place.

When breeding neon tetras, keep in mind that the female fish does not become pregnant. Instead, she will lay a large number of eggs to allow the male fish to fertilize them.

When your female neon tetra is ready to lay eggs, you should put her in a separate tank with the appropriate environmental conditions.

Keep an eye on those eggs to see when they’ve been laid and fertilized. Before the adults eat the fertile eggs, you should return them to their tanks.

That’s all there is to know about keeping your neon tetra eggs and fries alive and un-eaten. When it comes to caring for fish eggs, there are more aspects to consider than you might think.

Sifatul Shohan

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