One of the most endearing and attractive tropical fish is the neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi), a sturdy and inexpensive fish coming from the Peruvian Amazon. Popularly used aquarium fish, these neon tetras with their brightly colored fluorescent blue striped bodies simply add glorious color to the fish tank. Small community aquariums are seen to breed these fish for their vibrant red and blue coloration and their active schooling attributes. They are referred to as neon tetras as they glow when petrified or anxious. As far as their temperament goes, these fish are docile and gel well with other aquarium fish. However, this does not mean that you put them in a tank with larger fish, lest you want to bid farewell to them really soon!
Neon tetra's can be bred easily in a tank at home. Although breeding tetras is not child's play, with proper care and maintenance one can successfully breed these gorgeous water beauties within the vicinity of one's home. In fact, black neon tetra breeding is nowadays done in captivity only.
While buying the neon tetras, make sure they are healthy. They should be disease free, therefore keep a look out for white spots or any other unhealthy indications. Neon tetras are easily available and are inexpensive, so the only extra effort one has to take is with regards to the health. The healthy males are slender with a straight blue line on them and females are rounder with a bent blue line. Since these fish show their best colors in a shoal of 6 or more fish, buy more than 6 neon tetras.
A medium-sized, five or ten gallon tank is required for neon tetra fish breeding. This tank should have dark gravel substrate with a variety of plants adorning it, so as to provide ample amounts of hiding space for the fish. This will help the fish feel secure in the tank. Although neons breed in regular tanks, there is the danger of their eggs being eaten by other fish in the tank. Thus, for breeding purposes one should get another small breeding tank with the appropriate conditions, in which only the mating fish pair are added.
A pH of between 5 and 6 is the most conducive to successful breeding. Maintaining the tank temperature to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is the most favorable breeding temperature in the tank. The water introduced (rainwater is best) into the breeding tank should be boiled for twenty minutes which would help it get sterilized.
Neon Tetra Breeding
After the fish attains about 9 months of age, it can be used for breeding. Take a male and female, and place them into the breeding tank. Neons usually spawn in the mornings, during which they are found chasing each other through plants. The tank should be placed in dark surroundings. Gradually, as spawning takes place, increase the lighting. The female lays about 60-130 eggs over the tank substrate and plants. The reduced girth of the female is the sign of spawning completion.
As soon as the female lays the eggs, one needs to take the parents out else they eat their own eggs. The eggs are not sticky, however, since they are slightly light-sensitive, it is important not to expose them to direct sunlight. Cover the tank with a cloth if needed. After a day or so, the fries hatch out of the eggs and will be found wiggling at the bottom of the tank. Once you see them swimming freely, begin their feeding routine, which involves addition of 1/2 cup of infusoria-rich water twice a day.
Never introduce snails or any other creatures into the breeding tank. This is because snails are scavengers and will gulp down all the eggs. Always transfer the mating pair into the breeding tank in the evenings, so that by the next morning spawning occurs. Keep a tab on the water condition in the tank, always ensuring the water is fresh and clean.