Tim's Tropical Fish





Neon Tetra

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Neon Tetra Paracheirodon innesi

This is one of the most popular aquarium fish tank mates because of its bright color.  The Neon Tetra originally came from the upper Amazon near Peru, where it occupied dark locations.  Neon Tetras have a stripe along the length of their body that changes between blue and green depending on the viewing angle.  It is differentiated from the Cardinal Tetra by the silver in the lower front half of the body, where the Cardinal continues to be red.  It is also very similar to the Glowlight Tetra.  The females have a slightly wider body and this will cause the stripe to appear to bend.

Neon Tetras are easier to transport than Cardinal Tetras, which accounts for their popularity.  They appreciate blackwater conditions, which refers to the soft dark water created by the accumulation of decaying leaves in slow moving and still waters.  This can be replicated by filtering through peat or by adding blackwater extract sold by suppliers such as Tetra.  This will turn the water an amber color.

Neons should be kept in a school of at least 6 and the more you increase their numbers, the better the schooling effect. They will eat food flakes, spirulina, freeze-dried bloodworms and live foods, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Neon Tetra Paracheirodon innesi Neon Tetra Paracheirodon innesi

Neon Tetras will spawn if placed in acidic water.  The pair should be fed live food.  Peat or blackwater extract can be used to greatly increase the chances of success in breeding.  The tank should be covered from all light at night and then uncovered near dawn to induce spawning.  The parents should be removed after spawning.


Scientific Name: Paracheirodon innesi
Family: Characin
Temperature: 20 - 21 C; 68 - 79 F
pH: 6.5
Size: 2.5 cm; 1 inch
Life Span: 8 years
Breeding: Difficult, Egg Layer


Black Phantom Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, Corydoras Catfish, Ghost Shrimp, Glass Fish, Glow Light Tetra, Guppies, Honey Gouramis, Harlequin Rasbora, Ram Cichlid, White Cloud