Neon tetra – Paracheirodon innesi
Species name: Paracheirodon innesi
Common names: Neon Tetra
Subfamily: Incertae sedis
Maximum length: 1.25 in
Minimum tank size: 5 gallon
Hardiness: Easy but will not tolerate dramatic changes to their environment.
Aggressiveness: Peaceful. Should not be kept with large or aggressive fish.
Distribution: Esterns Brazil, south-eastern Colombia and eastern Peru
Diet: Omnivore. Will accept flake foods, brine shrimp, daphnia, freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and micro pellet food.
The Neon tetra is probably the most known freshwater fish kept at home aquariums. The Neon tetra is native to the black water of the River Amazon, Tiger, Napo and Yarapa where it live in large schools and feeds on worms, small insects, crustaceans and plant matter.
Neon tetra has a spindle shaped body and a blunt nose. The back is light-blue back and the abdomen is silver-white. It has an iridescent blue horizontal stripe along each side of the body. The stripes runs from its nose to the base of the adipose fin. The Neon tetra is also decorated with a red stripe on each side of the body. The red stripes begins at the middle of the body and extends posteriorly to the base of the caudal fin. The side over the blue stripe is of a dark olive green shade and the fins are nearly transparent.
It is similar in appearance to the Cardinal Tetra. The difference is that the red stripe on the Neon Tetra runs only halfway up the body while it runs the full length of the body on the Cardinal Tetra.
In captivity, Neon tetras does well in groups of 10 or more. In my experience, a species tank with 50-100 Neon tetras looks awesome!
The ideal aquarium should mimic the natural Neon Tetra habitat. The River Amazon and its tributaries are filled with densely grown plant life and the rivers and streams are shaded by jungle vegetation.
Neon Tetras will appreciate an heavy planted tank with plenty of hiding spots and some open area to swim. Floating plants to cut down on the light intensity is recommended.
Aery soft and acidic water is preferred, but captive-bred fish will tolerate medium hard and alkaline water with few fluctuations in water parameters. Ideally, a water temperature of 75-84ºF should be maintained and water of middle hardness to soft is recommended.
The tank should be well established as Neon tetra are very susceptible to water quality changes and ammonia build up. Frequent water changes are also really important as the Neon tetra will not tolerate high nitrate levels.
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