Neon Tetra Bloated? Here’s What You Need to Do

Last Updated on January 23, 2022 by cmoarz

You never want to see your neon tetra bloated.

It makes you worry and think there is something wrong, and you wouldn’t be wrong about that.

Bloating is a serious issue that needs to be corrected as soon as possible if you want to keep your fish alive and well.

This article will explain what exactly is wrong with your fish, so you can get started with the right treatment.

Why Are My Neon Tetras Bloated?

There are a variety of reasons your neon tetra can become bloated, from overfeeding and constipation to diseases and infections.

The number one cause for neon tetra bloat is overfeeding.

Overfeeding which leads to constipation is the number one reason neon tetras become bloated.

To prevent this from happening their diet needs to be adjusted.

Only feed them as much as they can eat within a few minutes.

Fish won’t stop eating just because they are full, they will come back after a short time to finish the job, and anything that is left over will only rot and pollute the water, so never feed more than what they can finish in a few minutes.

When you see a fish become bloated from overfeeding, it’s not fat that you are seeing, it’s a constipated colon full of decomposing food.

Long-term constipation is a death sentence for any fish, including your neon tetra.

There is an easy way to keep this from happening, and you can do it immediately.

The solution for constipation

Stop feeding the neon tetra it’s normal food for a few days. Instead, serve them boiled shelled peas.

Many aquarists have had amazing results giving peas to constipated fish.

The reason why this works is because of its high content of dietary fiber. The fiber helps the neon tetra to remove any blockages from their intestines, allowing them to pass the food without any problems.

Of course, constipation is likely to come back if you continue on your old feeding schedule.

So you should adjust to a new more moderate feeding schedule and be sure they are getting the appropriate amount of food as well as the right food for them.

Organ Failure

Neon tetras are unique fish in the wild. 80 percent of them tend to die off every season due to various illnesses and defunct genetics.

Unfortunately, this makes it so neon tetras are often weak.

Their organs aren’t as strong as most fish, so they are more at risk to have organ failure that can cause bloating.

One of the major signs that your neon tetra has organ problems is if their eyes swell up.

Another sign of organ failure is extreme color loss.

If your neon tetra suddenly loses their color it’s a sign they are very weak.

If this is the case, there isn’t much that can be done to keep them alive.

Internal Parasites

Internal parasites can cause your neon tetra to become bloated.

Neon tetras with internal parasites tend to have spots or rashes on their skin. Another common symptom is discoloration of the skin, eyes, or fins.

This condition is very dangerous because if left untreated they will slowly lose their lives.

The best way to prevent this is by keeping the water conditions as clean as possible, but if you see any signs of parasites or diseases it’s important to speak with an expert right away so the problem can be taken care of properly.

You can treat with antiparasitic medications and de-wormers if you know what is wrong with your fish.

Neon Tetra Disease

The term “neon tetra disease” refers to a condition caused by a Microsporidian and it affects species other than neon tetras, although being referred to as neon tetra disease.

The condition is progressive, which means it initially appears minor but soon grows deadly.

In neon tetra disease, the following symptoms will typically appear:

  • Restlessness
  • The color begins to fade away, and it’s often in one area of the fish’s body.
  • The body might become lumpy as cysts in the muscles develop.
  • Swimming is laborious for fish.
  • In more severe situations, the spine may start to curve.
  • Secondary infections such as fin rot and bloating can start to appear due to the weakened immune system.

There is no known way to treat or cure neon tetra disease, and it will eventually kill off your neon tetra.

If you’ve found one of your neon tetras with this issue, it should be quarantined immediately away from other fish in a separate tank.

You may wish to consider euthanasia as a humane option if it doesn’t appear to be recovering, as fish with this disease generally suffer a poor quality of life.

Unfortunately, neon tetra disease is largely considered incurable and you shouldn’t spend money on medications that have little chance of working.


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!