Best Foods For Neon Tetras Based on Ingredient Quality

Referred to as the ‘dazzling crown jewel’ of the aquarium due to their vibrant colors, Neon Tetras are sure to add beauty to your fish tank, providing you keep them healthy through proper nutrition.

After reading this article, I want to show you how you can pick up any fish food and see if it’s high or low-quality food. I’ll also share with you my favorite commercial foods for neon tetras.

How To Analyze Food Ingredients For Neon Tetras

Unfortunately, pet food is generally not regulated very well. Even Tetra foods actually contain lots of fillers, with starches used to bulk up their mix.

What you need to do is forget the brand name and look at the first ingredients mentioned on the packet as these are what the food is mostly made up of.

Let’s look at what you need to look out for.

High-Quality Vs Low-Quality Ingredients

It’s essential to consider the quality of ingredients that make up the food you buy for your fish to gobble up! You want to stay away from any ‘earthy’ or terrestrial foods such as beef heart or gluten and instead go for ingredients that are primarily aquatic or insect-based, as the more terrestrial-based foods are harder for fish to break down and can often result in illness.

Here is an example of low-quality fish food you should avoid

We all know food labels can be deceiving, and it’s no different when it comes to fish food; you want to keep an eye out for labels that read ‘Whole Shrimp Meal’ vs. ‘Shrimp Meal’ – the former is precisely what you would think it is, a wholesome nutrition-dense shrimp meal, while the latter can be just the shell or tail of the shrimp. Empty calories with almost no nutritional value!

Example of high-quality ingredients

Other very beneficial ingredients you want to look out for are Omega 3 and 6, especially since Neon Tetras are freshwater fish and can’t produce these nutrients independently. Hence, it must come from their diet.

Neons Need Small Foods

Size-wise, Neon Tetras are a minuscule species – they’re VERY small fish with tiny mouths. They only grow to about 1.2 inches/3 centimeters in length, explaining why they have tiny mouths to match their bodies.

It’s vital to make sure you’re giving your fish food that can fit through their mouth-holes, or else the food ends up being floating pollution in your aquarium. Therefore, the food needs to be small enough for them to eat, and you may need to crush up pellets and flakes. 

Best Foods For Neon Tetras Based On Ingredient Quality

Repashy Super Gold

Repashy super gold, although marketed for goldfish, is actually an excellent choice for neon tetras. Packed full of nutrients, it contains a great balance of quality protein sources and plant-based ingredients.

It would make an excellent staple diet for feeding neons every day.

Click For Full Ingredients

Krill Meal, Spirulina Algae, Black Soldier Fly Larvae Meal, Chlorella Algae, Squid Meal, Dandelion Leaf, Seaweed Meal, Whole Egg, Pea Protein Isolate, Rice Protein Concentrate, Banana Powder, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Mussel Meal, Mango Powder, Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Citric Acid, Stinging Nettle, Garlic, Ginger, Cinnamon, Dried Kelp, Phaffia Yeast, Dried Watermelon, RoseHips, Hibiscus Flower, Marigold Flower, Paprika, Turmeric, Salt, Calcium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (as preservatives), Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate. Vitamins: (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex)

Repashy Super Gold Goldfish and Koi Gel Food 6 Oz JAR
Repashy Super Gold Goldfish and Koi Gel Food 6 Oz JAR

Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes

New Life Spectrum’s Natrox all purpose flakes are made from krill, squid, and whole fish, as well as, plant-based foods like a mix of seaweeds, kelp, spirulina, marigold and algae.

This is another great choice for a daily feeder for neons.

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Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannus), Garlic, Fish Oil, Seaweed (Ulva latuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Euchema  cottonii, Euchema spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Kelp, Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate,Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Vitamin B12 Supplement,  Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,Calcium Pantothenate,  L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food
New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food

    Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food

    I use Spirulina 20 all the time in a lot of my tanks. Fish love it, and the good mix of animal based ingredients and large amounts of spirulina provides a ton of beneficial nutrients. Not a daily feeder, but a great food to have in your rotation.

    Click For Full Ingredients

    Salmon Fish Meal, Spirulina Algae Meal, Soy Flour, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Dried Krill Meal, Shrimp Meal, Plankton Meal, Lecithin, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C)

    Sale
    Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce
    Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce

      Last update on 2024-07-18 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      Omega One Super Color Flakes

      I love feeding my fish Omega one super color flakes. Your neons will love them. Made up of salmon, whole herring, whole shrimp, pea protein, kelp, and color enhancing marigold extract. Your neons will appreciate these and you should see some great coloration as a result.

      Click For Full Ingredients

      Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Herring Oil, Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols, Carmine, Annatto Extract, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Marigold Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

      Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz
      Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz

        Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Northfin Fish Food Veggie Formula Slow Sinking Pellets 1mm

        This veggie formula is awesome for neons and any other nano fish you may have in the tank. Organic kelp and whole krill provide great nutrition that is easily digestible.

        Click For Full Ingredients

        Organic Kelp (Laminariales), Whole Antarctic Krill Meal (Euphausia Superba), High DHA Omega-3 Whole Herring Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Wheat Flour, Spirulina, Garlic (Allium Sativum), Astaxanthin, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Cholecalciferol, Alpha-tocopherol Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, Zinc, Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

        Northfin Fish Food Veggie Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (1mm 250g)
        Northfin Fish Food Veggie Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (1mm 250g)

          Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          Omega One Color Mini Sinking Pellets

          Made up of quality, protein, sources, like salmon, whole herring and whole shrimp, these sinking pellets, also contain marigold to help enhance neon’s colors.

          Click For Full Ingredients

          Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Rice Bran, Wheat Gluten, Herring Oil, Kelp, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Marigold Extract, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

          Omega One Color Mini Pellets, Sinking, 3.5 oz
          Omega One Color Mini Pellets, Sinking, 3.5 oz

            Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            New Life Spectrum Grow 60

            Spectrum Grow comes in the form of teeny tiny pellets meant for fry and nano fish. This food is packed with high quality protein sources and a wide variety of seaweeds as well as spirulina. Your neons will love to gobble these up.

            Click For Full Ingredients

            Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Krill ­(Euphasia superba), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannus), Garlic, Fish Oil, Seaweed (Ulva lactuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Eucheuma cottonii, Eucheuma spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Kelp, Green Algae (Chlorellapyrendoidosa), Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate,Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate,  L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

            Sale
            New Life Spectrum Grow 60g (Naturox Series)
            New Life Spectrum Grow 60g (Naturox Series)

              Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              A Varied Diet Is Best For Neons

              Hopefully now you understand how important it is to look at the first ingredients mentioned on the packet.

              I recommend picking a staple food and then mixing in some Spirulina 20. It really doesn’t matter which foods you pick from this list, they will all serve your neons well. Go with what you can afford. But I personally like Omega One Super Color Flakes the best for a daily feeder.

              Christopher Adams
              Christopher Adams

              Hey there, my name is Christopher, and I've successfully ran freshwater aquariums for the past few decades. The mission of this site is to make it simple for anyone to run their own freshwater aquarium.

              One comment

              1. Thank you Christopher for this great article on food for the Neon Tetras. I am thinking about getting a small school of these Neon Ts.

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