Neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) belong to the Characidae family of the order Characiformes. Native to southeastern Colombia, eastern Peru, and western Brazil, neon tetra are very attractive, which―along with the fact that they are sturdy and inexpensive―make them one of the most-preferred species for aquarium owners.
Neon Tetra Facts
- Neon tetra have brightly colored bodies, with a fluorescent blue line along the side. They actually appear to be gleaming in the aquarium, which is why they are called 'neon' tetra.
- There is another bright red stripe that begins at the middle of their and extends up to the caudal fin.
- Neon tetras have a spindle-shaped body with a blunt nose. They have a silvery-white belly and a nearly transparent body with prominent bright-colored stripes.
- Neon tetra are docile and live peacefully with other fish in the aquarium. They are quite active and thus, a group of 5 will be just perfect for a medium-sized aquarium!
- These fish are quite sturdy and healthy, and have a lifespan of about 10 years.
- The females have a slightly larger belly and a bent iridescent stripe.
- These fish are omnivores. They feed on brine shrimp, granules, flakes, frozen food, or algae wafers.
Keeping Them as Pets
Breeding neon tetras in your aquarium is not all that easy! Proper care and maintenance is required to successfully rear these beautiful water creatures. Neon tetras favor soft acidic water; a pH in the range of 5 and 6 will just be perfect. However, these fish can favorably adapt to neutral water.
Dark gravel substrate in the tanks with different plants provide ample hiding space to these fish; thus, making them feel secure. Although neon tetras are excellent community fish, it is recommended that you place the breeding pair in a separate tank. The breeding tank should be placed in dark surroundings and lighting should be increased gradually as spawning takes place. Spawning generally takes place in the mornings and the female lays about 60 to 130 eggs.
Next comes the food! As I said earlier, neon tetras are omnivores. They are undemanding and eat almost anything that is offered. They generally eat all kinds of ground food. You can feed them live blood worms, brine shrimp, and freeze-dried foods to keep them healthy.
Neon tetras are vulnerable to a deadly disease known as the neon tetra disease. It is caused by Pleistophora hyphessobryconis, a parasitic spore-forming protozoan that affects neon tetras as well as other aquarium varieties. The spores of this parasite enter the fish when it consumes infected material. Once it finds entry to the intestinal tract of the fish, the newly hatched embryos produce cysts within the muscle tissue, which can prove fatal. The symptoms of this disease include restlessness and discoloration.
Neon tetra disease is incurable and therefore, you need to ensure that your pet tetras do not get infected by the same.