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Neon tetra - Paracheirodon innesi

Neon tetra - Paracheirodon innesi

Scientific name: Paracheirodon innesi

Common name: Neon tetra

Family: Characidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 3 - 4 cm (1.18 - 1.57 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 5.5 - 5.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 0 - 18°N (0 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 20 - 25 °C (68 - 77°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


The Neon Tetra can be found in the soft , acidic waterways of South America. They are to be found mainly in black-water areas of Brazil, Peru and Colombia where they also inhabit clear-water tributaries on occasions.


I was surprised when I found out, that Neon tetras live 5, sometimes 8, or even more years. It is very unusual for small fish to live more then few years.

General information

The Neon tetra is an extremely popular fish in the aquarium trade, they have been kept in captivity for quite a while and are often the first fish that many novice keepers will attempt to house in their aquariums. However if kept incorrectly they will be short lived, they are often classed as hardy but they do demand high water quality and prefer a planted tank that has soft, acidic water. Their distinctive markings and shoaling behaviour makes them attractive to many keepers, they have a vivid blue stripe that runs along the body and a red line that covers the rear of their body as well. Adding a shoal of these will bring colour and movement to any aquarium.

Always perform regular water changes to keep the quality high and make sure that any filter inlets have a guard to prevent these small fish from being sucked in.


This tetra accepts nearly all kinds of food. Flakes, live food, granules, frozen food are fine. To get the best colouration from the Neon Tetra make sure that you do vary their diet, use high quality flakes and give them regular meals of meaty foods such as brine shrimp or daphnia.


These fish can be difficult to sex but a couple of simple guidelines should make this easier. The males tend to have a slimmer body shape compared to the females. If you look at the blue line that runs along their body, in the males this should be completely straight. As the females swell with eggs, you will notice that the blue line appears to have a bend in it.


The neon tetra comes from the Amazon river regions. So if you want to breed them, you have to copy the conditions like in the river throughout the summer; the rainy season. The best way is to change about 50% of water in order to simulate raining. You should separate the breeding pair from the others and use subdued light only. After they lay eggs, take out the pair from the aquarium, so babies will not be eaten.


Thanks to halkor who has allowed us to use the pictures. Also thanks to Mihail of Romania! Other pictures were bought by from

Neon tetra Neon tetra Neon tetra Neon tetra Neon tetra, picture 5 Neon tetra, picture 6 Neon tetra, picture 7 Neon tetra, picture 8 Neon tetra, picture 9 Neon tetra, picture 10 Neon tetra, picture 11 Neon tetra, picture 12 Neon tetra, picture 13 Neon tetra, picture 14

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