Why Do My Neon Tetras Stay At The Bottom Of The Tank?

Neon Tetras are very pretty fish, and when they hover all around the tank, it looks mesmerizing. But what most people complain about is that they mostly stay at the bottom of the tank and hardly move all over the tank.

So, Why Do Neon Tetras Stay At The Bottom of The Tank? The main reason behind Neon Tetras staying at the bottom of the tank is stress, which can occur due to an unfriendly atmosphere, maybe due to unbearable temperature or tank mates. Then again, they might be suffering from any kind of disease.

In this article, I will help you understand the reasons that make the Neon Tetras stay at the bottom of the tank. The best part is that I will be providing tips to minimize any kind of bad effect that might cause the problem.

Moreover, I will be sharing a lot of interesting information on Neon Tetras, so make sure to check out the whole article. Happy Reading!

Are Neon Tetras Bottom Dwellers?

Neon Tetras are not bottom dwellers, and they do not actually stay at the bottom of the tank unless they face some problem.  When they are troubled, they prefer to stay at the bottom.

As you know, fish cannot speak or use sign language to express their feelings; sometimes, it is difficult to understand them.

I find it helpful that Neon Tetras rely upon their messages of being troubled by staying at the bottom of the tank. 

Tips: My suggestions will be taking necessary precautions if you see your Neon Tetras are mostly staying at the bottom of the tank. 

Where Do Neon Tetras Swim In The Tank?

Neon Tetras are wonderful fish that will surely change the overall aquarium’s appearance. Neon Tetras love to stay in the mid level of the tank and swim amidst the densely planted tank

Although Neon Tetras can resist a wide range of water conditions, you will see them being more comfortable when the water is slightly, and hardness is low.

On the other hand, you might sometimes notice Neon Tetras staying at the bottom of the tank. Well, let me warn you that the most alarming part is that it indicates they are facing some kind of trouble in the tank.

The troubles might include unadjusted temperature levels, unfriendly mates, or many more reasons. Let me explain them broadly in the upcoming section.

6 Most Likely Reasons Your Neon Tetras Staying At The Bottom Of The Tank: (With Solutions)

As you know, Neon Tetras staying at the bottom of the tank for a longer period can be alarming, and you might need to take some necessary actions to minimize the problems.

1. Unbearable Temperature

Hot water does not contain much oxygen, which is why fish might feel uncomfortable in hot water; as a result, they might run towards the bottom, the cooler region. The same thing happens with Neon Tetras. 

Then again, warm water might accelerate the metabolic system of Neon Tetras and result in more waste that is ammonia. It also reduces the oxygen level. 

Solution:  In order to keep the fish healthy and fine, you need to maintain the aquarium’s water temperature perfectly. In the case of Neon Tetras, you need to keep at least 65° F

The ideal temperature to keep the Neon Tetras in the tank is 70° F to 82° F. I recommend keeping the temperature constant rather than letting them fluctuate. 

Neon Tetras are very sensitive to change, and if the temperature fluctuates more often, the fish might die.

The bigger the tank, the more stable the temperature is. In the past, my fish died due to major changes in the temperature.

If my tank were big enough, then they wouldn’t die. The bottom line is keeping the temperature right, and stable is very important. If the temperature is not stable, neon tetras get very stressed.

2. Unfriendly Tank Mates

The chances of Neon Tetras staying at the bottom can be due to the unfriendly and aggressive tank mates. The unfamiliar habitats might not be what Neon Tetras want near them. 

They might feel frightened and insecure around big fish, which might cause them to sit down in the tank’s lower region. 

Solution: In the simplest way, the solution is to put some small and friendly fish inside the tank with Neon Tetras. I would suggest keeping large fish like GoldFish and Cichlids away from the tank.

It will help if you put some non-aggressive and small sized fish along with Neon Tetras so that they feel the environment is safe. 

Some of my suggestions for 10 ideal tank mates for Neon Tetras include; 

  1. Bettas
  2. Apple Snails
  3. Dwarf Cichlids 
  4. Guppy Fish
  5. Barbs
  6. Cardinal Tetras
  7. Gourami
  8. Cory Catfish
  9. GloFish
  10. Ghost Shrimp

3. Suffering From Serious Disease

When Neon Tetras feel unwell or suffer from some diseases, they might feel like staying at the lower part of the tank. The most common diseases that can be found in Neon Tetras are Swim Bladder Disorder and Ich.

Swim Bladder Disorder: You know Swim Bladder is important for any fish, and it provides the ability to stay balanced in the water while they swim. Sometimes the organ may feel some problems or dysfunction. 

The problems might occur when any parasite or bacteria impact the fish or when constipated or overstuffed.

This might cause a problem that might make it difficult for the fish to swim; as a result, they move towards the lower end of the tank. 

Solution to prevent Swim Bladder Disorder: The disorder can be controlled by avoiding overfeeding or making them fast before giving them heavy food like peas. You can also control it by increasing the temperature. 

Ich: Ich is caused by Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, a parasite. Ich is a pretty common disease for any fish staying in an aquarium, leading the fish to stay at the bottom of the tank. 

You can easily locate the Neon Tetras suffering from Ich because it will make white spots on the body, which are uncomfortable and irritating for the Neon Tetras. If proper actions are not taken swiftly, the fish can die. 

A solution to prevent Ich: To prevent Ich, you can increase the temperature to 86° F and make sure to keep that temperature constant for at least three days. Aquarium salt can be helpful to clean the tank. 

My suggestion would be to contact a vet for a proper solution no matter what.

4. Getting Stressed

Stress is something any living being feels. It is not indifferent to Neon Tetras. When they feel threatened or feel uncomfortable, the stress level increases. 

Then again, if the water is not up to the mark, that is, have the correct pH level of the temperature, the fish might feel stressed. 

When first transferred into a new tank, they might require some time to get adjusted to the new environment, or else they might feel stressed.   

Solution: Let me list down the solutions for any kind of possible issues that might cause stress to the Neon Tetras;

  1. Keep Neon Tetras in a group of seven or more fish.
  2. Keep small and non-aggressive fish along with Neon Tetras
  3. Keep the water temperature between 70° F to 82° F, and try to maintain the temperature at a constant level. 
  4. Maintain the pH level between 6.0 to 6.5. But not lower than 5 and upper than 7.5.
  5. Add a lot of greenery to make the environment friendly. 
  6. Look for any kind of troubles the Neon Tetras might feel. 

Recommended Article: How To Tell If Neon Tetras Are Stressed?

5. Water Quality Not Up To The Mark 

The water of the tank needs to be cleaned properly so that the waste level is minimized. As you know, the waste can decrease the oxygen level and irritate the fish. 

Poor quality water will do nothing good but bad, which can be dangerous for Neon Tetras’ health. Leaving the water in poor condition for too long can make Neon Tetras ill or cause death.

Solution: Clean the tank and change the water regularly. If you are hesitant about the water quality, you need to use a water testing kit.

The larger tanks need 30% to 40% of water cleaned on a weekly basis. Here a large tank indicates 20 gallons or more capacity tank. The tank that has a capacity of fewer than 20 gallons requires 15% to 20% water to be cleaned each week.

Also, make sure the pH level is up to the mark by using an API testing kit and temperature using an aquarium heater

6. Less Number Of Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras need to have some of their own breeds near them at least six. As they are schooling fish and like to stay in a group; they do not feel secure alone, which might lead to unwanted stress. You will not want to give your favorite fish the taste of loneliness and stress. 

Solution: Make sure to keep at least six or more Neon Tetras in your tank. Never leave them alone; trust me, it will bring no good. 

Why Are My Neon Tetras Staying In One Place?

Well, the Neon Tetras might be staying at one place because they feel secure there, or they might find the spot more comforting. It can also be because of the heat. 

The fish do not like the heat as it reduces the oxygen level and causes irritation. I would suggest you check the temperature and set it to the right scale.

Are Neon Tetras Middle Swimmers?

Yes, Neon Tetras love to hover in the middle region of the tank. They like exploring the tank by staying at the mid-level. 

However, when they are stressed or feel insecure, they might move towards the lower region of the tank. 

Asif Iqbal

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