Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Neon Tetra

Information and Pictures

Close Up - A shiny blue and red neon tetra fish swimming
Scientific Name

Paracheirodon innesi

Type

Characin

Family

Characidae

Subfamily

--

Other Names

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Minimum Tank Size

10-gallon (37 L)

Tank Level

Mid Level

Care

Easy

Behavior

Timid in groups of less than six. Will pine away when alone or in couples. A larger school results in more colorful fish and more outgoing personalities.

Compatibility

Small peaceful community fish. Since neons reach only 2 inches at best, smaller fish are more suitable as tankmates. Corydoras and loaches are good bottom feeders. Neons are more suitable for smaller tanks, around 10 or 20 gallons.

Life Span

Up to 10 years, less is more common.

Size

1.5 in. (3 cm)

Aquarium

Provide driftwood or rock formations. Plants are also recommended. Provide places to hide and free swimming space.

Water Chemistry

Freshwater

pH

6.8

Hardness

Softer water recommended, but can be acclimated to hard water.

Temperature

75° F (24° C)

Feeding

Can be fed flake food, supplemented with very small live or frozen foods. Color enhancing packaged food will help the coloration.

Sexing

Difficult. Females are plumper, blue stripe is bent while male’s is straight.

Breeding

Fairly difficult. Low water hardness, mosquito larvae, and low light help induce spawning. Increasing nitrates, then doing a water change can mimic rainfall, which may help induce spawning. Eggs are scattered, and adults will eat the fry, so eggs should be moved immediately. Fry will hatch within 24 hours. Fry may be fed insuforia, egg yolk and rotifers. Colors are achieved within one month.

Origin

Brazil, Colombia, Peru

Extras

The difference between the cardinal and neon tetra is slight, but easily recognizable to the trained eye. The red on the neon tetra covers about half the fish, while the red on the cardinal extends from the tail to the underside of the eye. Neon Tetra Disease is especially apparent, but not common if the fish are conditioned appropriately and are not stressed. Symptoms include paling in spots on the fish, listlessness, separation from the school, refusal to sleep and eventually death. Neon Tetra Disease is fatal, but is easily avoided with slow acclimation. Always inspect the fish before they are introduced into the tank.

There are four neon tetras swimming. There is a rainbow behind the front Three TetrasFour neon tetras are swimming to the bottom of an aquariumFour blue and red neon tetras are swimming in front of a rockFour blue and red neon tetras are swimming across blue and yellow gravel next to a plant that is inside of a black plastic potFour shiny blue and red neon tetras swimmingFour blue and red neon tetras swimming. There is a rainbow in front of the two most forward tetras