Archive for the Tetra category

Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)

Neon Tetra

Species Details

Adult size: 1″
Origin: South America
Sexing: Females are plumper
Care level: Easy
Diet: Omnivore
Breeding method: Egg-scatterer
Breeding potential: Moderately difficult

Tank conditions

Minimum tank size: 10 gallons
Temperature: 22-26’C


Neon Tetras are a very popular small shoaling fish with a bright coloration. They are silver bodied with a bright neon blue horizontal stripe from its nose stretching the length of its body and bright red coloration half way along the side of the fish. Neons stay small throughout their life and will reach little more than one inch in adulthood. They can live up to ten years. They are found in the blackwater or clearwater stream tributaries of South America.

Neon tetras are a very peaceful fish and are suitable for a community tank. When mixing neon tetras it is important to consider their size as they can easily appear as prey to many larger species. In their natural environment, neon tetras can be found in large shoals and they should be kept in a group of at least five to exhibit shoaling behaviour in the aquarium. Neon tetras are much happier when kept in groups and will behave in a more natural manner.

Neon tetras are happy in a community tank and should be kept with other small non-aggressive fish. Ideal tank mates include other tetras, discus and other non-predatory, peaceful species that require similar aquarium conditions.

Neons will often swim out in open water but appreciate some natural cover to retreat into as they are naturally a timid species. A planted aquarium is a suitable habitat for them and they will do best in a heavily planted tank with dark substrate and dull lighting. They swim at all level of the tank and can look very attractive with their iridescent colors flashing throughout the aquarium.

In the wild, neon tetras have a very varied diet and will eat any small insects, crustaceans and vegetable matter that they come across. In the aquarium you need to ensure that you provide them with suitable food. They need small food items such as crushed flake, micro pellets and meaty foods like daphnia or small bloodworm. Color enhancing flake food is also available for brightly colored species such as neon tetras to ensure that they maintain their coloring in the aquarium environment.

It can often be difficult to notice the difference between male and female Neon tetras although the easiest way to tell from appearance is that females are generally deeper-bodied and there is often a noticeable bend in their blue stripe. Neon tetras are not the easiest fish to breed as they require very specific water conditions and they are not a prolific spawner. To breed neons, a pair should be separated into a breeding tank and fed a good diet of live food to encourage spawning activity. After the eggs are fertilized, the parents should be removed. The fry are very tiny and should be fed on very small food items such as liquid foods and rotifers until they are old enough to accept larger foods.

Due to commercial over breeding, neon tetras have become a delicate breed and extra care should be taken to reduce stress when introducing them to the aquarium. Another thing to look out for when keeping neons is neon tetra disease (Plistophora), which can be identified by fading of color, ulcers, fin rot and difficulty swimming. This disease is fatal and there is no known cure. If a fish is found with this condition it should be removed from the aquarium immediately to prevent further fish loss.

Good Choices for Your First Freshwater Tank

Setting up your first freshwater fish tank can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, it also can be challenging, especially if you start off with fish that are difficult to maintain. Luckily, there is not a shortage of hardy, inexpensive freshwater fish species. Finding good starter fish for your first aquarium is relatively easy.

If you’ve never had fish before, you may want to start with guppies. These fish can sometimes be found as juveniles in feeder fish tanks, which means you can buy six to ten fish for as little as a dollar. Of course, they are quite boring to look at until they mature, but raising them is certainly a great way to get the experience you need.

Some feeder guppies grow into lovely adult fish. Of course, if you don’t want to wait, you can simply buy adult guppies. Guppies are very social fish and get along well with others. They are easy to feed and care for. In fact, guppies are so hardy and laid back that it isn’t unusual for new fish owners to find that their fish have produced several dozen offspring.

If guppies aren’t quite your thing, you may want to consider tetras. Tetras do well in a small school. Most of these fish species are on the small side and aren’t very colorful to look at unless there are several of them darting about together. They are happiest in groups of six or more. These fish are good community fish and rarely act aggressive.

If you want a larger fish, the gourami is a good choice. These fish do best as pairs, since some males are aggressive towards other males. Gouramis are easy to care for and rarely act aggressively towards other species.

Most loaches are fairly easy to care for and get along well with other fish. With the exception of the yoyo loach, these fish enjoy having a buddy of the same species to hang out with. Loaches need a place to hang out during the day to stay happy, so be sure to provide a rock or pipe for your fish to hide in.

Barbs are extremely easy to keep, but not a good choice for tanks that also have fish with long fins, such as angelfish or guppies, since they tend to shred fins. Barbs do best in large groups, so you should keep at least four of these fish in your tank.

It seems like everyone wants to add an angelfish or two to their tanks. However, these fish can really be troublesome in the tank. They tend to be bullies and will eat smaller fish, such as tetras. At the same time, you will have to be sure that any fish that are too large for the angelfish to eat do not attack the angelfish and shred their fins. If you do decide that you want angelfish, you may be better off having a tank just for them. Angelfish are happiest in groups of two to four.

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