Do Neon Tetras Need Oxygen And Air Pump?

For neon tetras to thrive in captivity, they require a particular environment comparable to their native habitat and meet their specific demands. The conditions are inextricably linked to the sort of water present in an aquarium.

Neon tetras are resilient fish that are suitable for newcomers to the hobby of fishkeeping. Is this, however, sufficient information to begin fishing with? What about other variables, such as oxygen and air pump?

The function of an air pump is to force oxygen into the tank and ensure that the neon tetra is breathing.

This article will look at whether a neon tetra fish can survive without oxygen and an air pump.  Again, we will also discuss the mechanism used to ensure that the neon tetras are breathing.

Also worth reading;

  1. Guppies and Neon Tetras – Can You Keep Them Together?
  2. Neon Tetra vs. Cardinal Tetra: What Is the Difference?
  3. Neon Tetra Disease: A Complete Guide

Do Neon Tetras Need Oxygen And Air Pump?

Fish get their oxygen from water, and their gills act as absorption surfaces for the water that constantly flows past them. The fish begin the procedure by gulping water via their mouths.

Although some fish have lung-like organs that allow them to come up for air, most fish breathe entirely through their gills.

For fish to survive, there must be a lot of oxygen dissolved in the water, which is not an issue in the environment. Aquarists must, however, increase aeration in the tank water in the aquarium.

Oxygen Exchange Process In Water

At the water’s surface, carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged, with the latter being absorbed into the water and discharging the former into the air. After the surface tension is broken by surface agitation, this gas exchange happens.

At the water’s surface, filters, powerheads, air pumps, spray bars, and aquarium bubblers create some movement. As a result, carbon dioxide will leave, which is desirable because it can become harmful if built up.

Some items make bubbles by pushing air into the water. To break the surface tension, these bubbles float to the surface and burst.

Is An Air Pump Required For Neon Tetras?

Although air pumps help with aeration, they aren’t required in a neon tetra tank. To release the surface tension, air pumps create bubbles in the water.

They’re made of porous materials, and water is forced through one end before being released as air bubbles at the other. If your tank has an appropriate filter, the function of an air pump will be redundant.

On the other hand, some aquarists enjoy the aesthetics of bubbles in the tank water. Because oxygen levels deplete quickly in a fully loaded tank, an air pump is also advised. Warm water stores less oxygen than cooler water; therefore, you can use the gadget in an aquarium with warm water.

If you don’t plan on using an air pump, make sure your aquarium has enough oxygen. Instead of a tall and deep neon tetra tank, the first step is to purchase a wide and shallow one. If you have a deep tank, only the top region is aerated. More water can be in contact with the air with a shallow and wide setup.

You can also use the following devices:

  • Filter- For aeration and oxygenation, a filter is your best bet. Most filters have outputs that direct water to the tank’s surface to provide water flow.

    Filters also promote water circulation by bringing water from the tank’s bottom to the top to absorb oxygen. You’ll need a powerful model for your aquarium to provide the best aeration.
  • Powerheads- a powerhead is a device that works in conjunction with an aquarium filter. It is attached to an air hose and placed on the side of the tank—an electric pump powers the powerhead, which siphons water from the bottom and forces it to the top.
  • Aerators with Spray Bars- A spray bar is usually attached to the filter outlet and sprays water across the surface. It is installed horizontally and facilitates movement and aeration of the character. Spray bars are handy if your aquarium has dead patches.

If an air pump is required in your aquarium, you have likely overstocked it. There are more effective ways to maintain consistent aeration than air pumps, which supply oxygen to the water.

Is A Filter Required For Neon Tetras?

Neon tetras are tiny fish that don’t produce much waste. On the other hand, a filter for a neon tetra tank should be included. Filters, in addition to filtering, improve aeration by causing surface agitation.

Neon tetras require a lot of oxygen and will suffocate if their tank isn’t well aerated. Beneficial bacteria can also thrive on the surface of filters.

Neon tetras can survive without a filter in a well-designed planted fish tank. This method should only be used by experienced fish keepers who know how large their aquariums must be to handle the excrement from neon tetras.

You can use a sponge or a hang-on-back filter for a neon tetra fish tank. A canister filter may be required if the fish are in a community tank with larger tank mates.

In addition to providing surface movement, the best filters provide biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration. Another option is a drip filter, which provides a waterfall effect in the tank to improve oxygenation.

Because neon tetras are small and sensitive, they are pulled into the filter input.

Creating Oxygen With Live Plants

Neon tetras thrive in planted aquariums because of the numerous advantages that living plants bring.

The photosynthetic mechanism will absorb the CO2 in the setup and release oxygen. You can be confident that your tetras are getting enough oxygen if you have many plants.

Living plants make the aquarium more welcoming by absorbing poisonous substances like ammonia and nitrates. Algae will have fewer nutrients; thus, live plants are frequently employed to prevent algal growth.

Regardless of how highly planted your tank is, it would be best if you still did water changes. Invest in a dependable filtering system to keep nitrates and ammonia from accumulating.

Filtered light attracts neon tetras; you can use floating kinds such as water lettuce. Most floating plants increase; if you’re not careful, they can completely cover the water’s surface.

Continue to prune these plants to allow light to reach the tank’s bottom. When neon tetras are terrified, they will be soothed by the presence of plants.


Just like any other fish, the neon tetras require enough oxygen for survival. While filters generally remove hazardous items from an aquarium, they also help aerate the water by churning it.

You don’t need extra aeration equipment like air pumps if your aquarium has a good filter. However, some aquarists want bubbles in their water, and air pumps may readily achieve this look.

More about Neon Tetras Oxygen and Air Pump you should watch this video below;

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