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.
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.