Yes, neon tetras die easily. Although neon tetras have a lifespan of up to 5–10 years, they can die easily.
One reason that neon tetras die is because of stress. A stressed neon tetra may spend a lot of time hiding or swimming frantically near the aquarium glass. Neon tetras are schooling fish, so they’ll become stressed if you keep less than six of them in the tank.
Be sure to keep a school of neon tetras to help these fish feel more comfortable. However, be careful not to overcrowd the tank. Ideally, give six tetras a 20-gallon tank, plus one gallon of space for each additional tetra.
Neon tetras will also die if their water conditions aren’t right. Make sure their water stays between 70–81°F by using a heater. Check the ammonia, nitrate, and pH levels often.
Keep the tank and the water fresh by scrubbing away algae and doing a 25–50% water change every other week. Do the water change slowly so your neon tetras don’t get stressed out!
Finally, neon tetras can die if they get sick. Their sickness could be due to contaminated water or to parasites. If your tetras start to change color, behave strangely, or have trouble swimming, contact an aquatic vet for diagnosis.
Although neon tetras die easily, they can live a long life if they live in a suitable environment and receive proper care.