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General information - The neon tetra or by its scientific name

Paracheirodon innesi is probably the most known tropical fish kept

in home aquariums. Neon tetra has glowing red and blue coloration

on their body. This species became so popular due to its beautiful

colors and its being a peaceful community fish. In the wild the neon

tetra is found in rivers and tributaries in South America. Like the

entire tetra group the neon tetra is prone to catch the neon disease.

The disease cycle begins when parasitic spores enter the fish after

it consumes infected material (live or frozen food), the parasite is

typically introduced via live food or newly purchased fish. The smart

move will be to quarantine the fish for a period of 2-4 weeks before

introducing to the community tank. 


Paracheirodon innesi (neon tetra)
Photo by: Killer

Common Name - neon tetra 

Scientific Name - Paracheirodon innesi 

Family - Characidae 

Origin - South America 

Size – Up to 4cm (1.5 in) 

First discovered - Myers, 1936 

Nutrition – omnivore, in the wild neon tetra feeds on plant matter as well as on crustaceans, worms and

small aquatic insects, in captivity it will accept almost everything offered, flake food, frozen food and

freeze-dried food. Feeding should be provided at least two times a day 

Behavior - Peaceful 

Maintenance and care – The neon tetra cab should be kept in a 10-15 gallon tank and in large groups.

As a schooling fish, it seeks security from others of its kind, sometimes it will school with cardinal tetras

as well. The tank can be decorated with live plants and driftwoods. Neon tetras are sensitive at the

beginning but once established they are easy to keep. Do not keep neon tetras with large or aggressive

fish as they could end up being snacks. They should be kept with calm, non aggressive community fish.

During the night, when the fish sleep, its brilliant colors will be turned off and the fish will look dim but

as the lights turns on the neon tetra will shine again. To achieve maximum colors dark substrate should

be provided. Do not add these fish to an aquarium that has not gone through the process of cycling 

Water Parameters – Temperature: 68F-78F, pH: 5.5.-7.5,  

Breeding – Neon tetra is egg scatterer, the best way to breed these beautiful tropical fish is to set up

a species tank just for them. Provide soft and very clean water to allow them to breed successfully.

Live foods such as grindal worms or mosquito larva are great substance for tetra neon breeding. 

After the eggs are laid it is highly recommended to remove the parents otherwise they will eat their

own eggs. The eggs will hatch within 24-40 hours and they will be free-swimming in about 5 days.

Fry can be fed with infusoria or with liquid foods.