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Characins / Characinae / Cardinal Neon

Neon Tetra
Paracheirodon innesi


SYN: Hyphessobrycon innesi
PD: This fish has a slender body and is slightly laterally compressed. The back is silver to olive brown while the belly is silver. A green to blue iridescent stripe extends from the eye near the tail. Below this, beginning in the middle of the body, is a bright red band that runs to the base of the tail.
SIZE: 1.6" (4 cm)
SS: Cardinal Tetra ( P. axelrodi), False Neon Tetra ( P. simulans )
HAB: South America; Rio Putumayo, Eastern Peru; Most are now captive bred in Hong Kong
S: bottom, middle
TANK: 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L). The lighting should be dimmed by a cover of floating plants. The tank should be well-planted and have a dark gravel substrate.
WATER: pH 5-8 (6.8); once acclimated 1-25 dH (8); 68-77°F (20-25°C)
SB: A peaceful fish ideal for a community tank. Do not keep the Neon Tetra with substantially larger fish such as Angles, for the neon may get eaten. Keep this fish in groups of five or more.
SC: Tetras, Corydoras, Apistogramma, Discus, gouramis, Hatchetfish, Livebearers, Danios, Rasboras.
FOOD: Flakes; live; insect larvae, Brine Shrimp, Tubifex, Daphnia.
SEX: Males are slimmer and their neon blue stripe is straight. Females have a fuller stomach and their blue neon stripe bent.
B: Use a small breeding tank with a pH of 5-6, a water temperature of 75-77°F (24-25°C), and a water hardness of 1-5 dH. The tank should have subdued lighting and be well-planted with bushy plants. The female lays up to 130 eggs. Remove the parents after spawning. Leave the eggs in the dark tank to keep down the growth of fungus. The fry hatch after 24 hours. The young are free swimming after five days, after which time they can be fed crushed flakes and paramecia.
BP: 7. The Neon Tetra is a moderately difficult fish to breed.
R: Susceptible to incurable neon disease. Among the most popular of tropical freshwater aquarium fish. Neon tetras are sensitive during acclimation, during this period neons are most likely to expire. After the initial week or two, the fish become adjusted and are fairly hardy.
DC: 3. The Neon Tetra is a hardy, community fish. Avoid fluctuating water conditions.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com