Neon Tetra: Fish Species Profile

The sparkling top of the line in aquariums all over the world The tough tiny neon tetra fish was originally brought by the people of South America.

Neon tetras should be kept in groups of at least a half dozen other neon tetras because they are considered to be species that shoals.

They are peaceful and can be kept in a group with different kinds of fish. They are able to live a long lifespan of 5 years.

Species Overview

Common Names: Neon tetra, neon fish

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Paracheirodon innesi

Size for Adults:1.5 inches (4 centimeters)




OriginSoutheastern Colombia, eastern Peru Western Brazil


Tank LevelMid-dweller

Minimum Tank Size10 gallon


BreedingEgg scatterer



Hardnessup to 10 dGH

TemperatureFrom 68 to the range of 68 to F (20 up to C)

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Origin and Distribution

Neon Tetras came from clear and blackwater streams as well as tributaries of the Orinoco and Amazon river basins of Brazil, Columbia, and Peru.

These are areas of blackwaters with dense forest canopy which let very little light be able to pass through. Neon Tetras reside in shoals, mostly in the middle layers of water which feed off worms as well as tiny crustaceans.

Neon Tetras are usually breed in captivity, with the majority coming out of in the Far East and Eastern Europe. There are a variety of captive-bred species that are available.

This includes the long-finned Tetra, which is extremely scarce, as well as an emerald-colored strain that is mostly semi-albino a,nd a diamond Tetra, which is adorned with metallic scales on the top of its body.

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Colors and markings

The neon tetra is slim, torpedo-shaped bodies that is just one inch and a half in length. While this fish isn’t as big in size but makes up for in its color.

From the point of its nose to the adipose Fin the neon tetra is characterized by an intense streak of neon blue. It is believed that this bright stripe helps them be more easily visible to one another under blackwater.

Under the blue stripe the neon tetra is sporting an elongated belly that is white and silver. Beyond its belly is a vibrant red stripe runs all up to the tail.

The stunning blue, white, and red blue color scheme makes the neon tetra the most sought-after of aquarium fish. It is only rivaled by its tetra cousin which is the cardinal Tetra and is frequently misinterpreted.

The main difference between these and the other fish lies in its red stripes. The neon tetra has it extends only across the entire body from its middle up to the tail. In the cardinal Tetra, the red stripe extends across the entire length of the fish, from the snout to the tail.

As with other fish that are colorful The bright neon tetra’s colors can fade at night, while it rests or when it is stressed or is sick.

In the pet shop select species that are vigorous and well colored. Colors that are faded may indicate unhealthy health.

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Keep neon tetras in groups of half a dozen or more since it is a species of shoaling animal that needs the presence of other species of their species.

Neon Tetras are great in a tank with a community as long as other species aren’t aggressive or large. Small peaceful fish like tiny tetras and rasboras as well as small gouramis corys, gouramis, and smaller catfish are excellent companions.

Beware of larger tetras since they’ll consume neon tetras on the first chance. The general rule is, if your jaw of the fish is sufficient to swallow the neon, they’ll do it sooner or later.

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Neon Tetra Habitat and Care

Tanks that are newly set up don’t work with neon tetras because they cannot withstand any changes that occur during the initial setup process. It is best to only add neon tetras after your tank is mature and stable in its water chemical composition.

The water should be acidic and soft to support neon tetras. This means that it has a pH that isn’t over 7.0 and hardness of not more than 10dGH.

The blackwater extracts, also known as driftwood, are frequently utilized to darken water, keep an acidic pH to soften and soften the water.

How to Handle the Deadly Neon Tetra Disease

In their natural environment neon tetras reside in areas of dark waters with a dense plant and roots. The creation of a natural habitat with plenty of dark hiding spots is crucial.

Make sure to provide plenty of plants that are floating, as feasible. Driftwood can provide places to hide too. The dark substrate can be a replica of the natural habitat where the neon tetras are most at ease.

Some fishkeepers put an opaque background across three of the sides their aquarium to create the ideal low-light environment.

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Neon Tetra Diet and Feeding

Neon Tetras are Omnivores which means that they consume both animal and plant material. Flake-like food that is fine, tiny pieces of granules or frozen brine shrimp or daphnia and frozen or frozen-dried bloodworms are excellent options for food.

Provide a wide range of foods including live food that will ensure your health.

Feeding Your Fish Live Food

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Gender Differences

The gender differences aren’t particularly visible in neon Tetras. In general, females have a bigger and more rounded belly than male.

This belly shape can cause the blue stripe to appear curvier for females and not the straight blue stripe that is on the male.

[Picky Tetra Fish Food] Ultra Fresh – Tropical Micro Pellet,

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Generating the Neon Tetra

Neon Tetras are difficult to breed because they require very specific conditions for water. If you are planning to try the breeding process, you should set an additional breeding tank.

The hardness of the water in the tank for breeding should be between 1 and 2 dGH and pH should be between 5.0 up to 6.0. Utilize a sponge filter to provide the filtration process, and supply living plants.

Fish that are pregnant will usually leap, so ensure that the tank is covered. It is recommended to cover the tanks sides with dark-colored paper to block light from the tank.

The temperature of water should be kept at a temperature between 72 and 75°F (24 Celsius). Celsius).

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The breeding pair should be fed live food prior to placing within the tank for breeding. When you introduce the breeding pair into the tank, start with no light at all. Later on, you can increase the lighting and increase it gradually until you see the spawning process.

The spawning process usually occurs early in the morning. The male will hug the female during spawning that will shed up to 100 eggs.

The eggs are translucent and slightly adhesive , which means they adhere to the plant. Take the breeding pair off immediately after the eggs hatch, since the parents will soon devour the eggs.

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Make sure to keep the lights low since both the eggs as well as the eggs are very sensitive to light.

The eggs will hatch within around 24 hours, and produce tiny fry that take their food from their egg sacs over the next few days.

The hatch rate isn’t too very high, so don’t anticipate more than one third of eggs to hatch into viable fry.

Within 3-4 days the fry will begin to swim free and will require tiny foods, such as infusoria, rotifersand egg yolks and the commercially-prepared fry foods.

In the next few weeks they will grow enough that they can be fed fresh brine shrimp that have been hatched. The fry will begin to show adult colors around one month.

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Further Pet Fish Species and Further Research

If neon tetras entice you and you’re seeking compatible fish to keep in your aquarium, then read up on:

  • Scissortail rasboras
  • Cory catfish
  • Glowlight tetras

Explore additional breeds of fish profiles to find out more about freshwater fish of other species.


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How long do neon tetras live?

Between 5 to 10 years.

Once they’re set up in a regular tank with the proper situations, the average Neon Tetra lifespan is someplace between 5 to 10 years.

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How big do neon tetras get?

It grows to approximately 4 cm (1.5 in) in general length. They have newly become available in a long-fin variety.

Species: P. innesi

Family: Characidae

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What do neon tetras eat?

Being Omnivores, Neon Tetras aren’t averse to any kind of food in regards to food. They’ll happily drink up tiny invertebrates like the filamentous algae and crustaceans invertebrates and fallen fruits carrion, and many more. Most of the time, they’ll consume whatever they can find floating in the slow-moving water in the South American Amazon Basin (their natural habitat).

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Can neon tetras live with bettas?

The short response is yes. In suitable cases, neon tetra and betta fish can be tank mates. In many circumstances, however, introducing the two can lead to disaster.

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Do neon tetras need a heater?

An aquarium heater is one of the essential tools and equipment for Neon Tetra temperature balance. They are tropical fish and therefore need to be kept in heated aquariums.

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Are neon tetras hardy?

They are easy to keep active, vibrant and simple to feed and can withstand an array of temperature and water parameters. However, there is one box they don’t have to check anymore however, which is the toughness. While the majority of neon tetras are durable when they are established in a mature tank the initial few weeks after they have moved into their new environment can be difficult.

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