Neon tetras are omnivorous and eat a variety of flake, wafer and pellet fish food. Flakes that contain a higher percentage of meat than vegetables are recommended for tetras, as this approximates their diet in the wild.
Live foods such as brine shrimp and fruit flies are effective in maintaining a healthy diet, but parasites are a concern if the prey is collected from a body of water inhabited by other fish. Freeze-dried blood worms and mosquito larvae are also acceptable, although they diminish in quality with prolonged storage. One can feed frozen insects to tetras after thawing them in the refrigerator.