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Maximum size : 4 cm

Black Neon Tetra - Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Black Neon Tetras (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi) are an ideal addition to any aquarium due to their peaceful and lively nature. To ensure their well-being, it is recommended to keep them alongside non-predatory fish of similar size. To create a striking shoaling effect, it is advisable to keep these Tetras in large groups of at least eight or more, allowing them to form tight groups and become the focal point of the aquarium. Keeping these fish together will help them feel more confident and avoid becoming stressed or losing their vibrant coloration. When it comes to choosing tankmates, Tetras, Hatchetfish, Pencilfish, Corydoras Catfish, and small to medium-sized Cichlids are excellent choices. It is best to avoid much larger and aggressive fish, as they can easily intimidate and harm these delicate Tetras. The Black Neon Tetra displays a distinct and characteristic appearance. Their body is primarily beige or brownish in colour with a vibrant, fluorescent whitish-blue stripe that runs from behind their operculum to the caudal peduncle. A black bar runs parallel to the fluorescent stripe and gradually fades downwards. The belly area is typically lighter and yellowish in colour. Additionally, the upper half of their eye exhibits a striking orange hue, which gives them an eyebrow-like appearance.

Black Neon Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing male from female Black Neon Tetras can be challenging. However, their physical characteristics may indicate their sex, with females appearing rounder and deeper-bodied than males, especially when gravid with eggs.
Featured Male
Featured Female
Male Female

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
Year Described1961
Other NamesBlack Tetra
OriginsParaguay Brazil
Max Size4 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.0
GH1 - 6
KH1 - 2
68 - 79
20 - 26.1

Natural habitat

The Black Neon Tetra is a fascinating species native to the Taquari and Paraguay River basins in southern Brazil, South America. In the wild, these Tetras are known to inhabit a variety of environments, including creeks, small tributaries, areas of flooded forests, and sandbanks. One of the most intriguing aspects of their natural habitat is the unique water conditions they prefer. Black Neon Tetras require very acidic water, which is often stained a rich, tea-brown colour from an abundance of tannins. These tannins are released from the breakdown of decaying organic matter and leaf litter on the substrate of their habitat. Creating similar water conditions in a home aquarium can be challenging, but it can be done with the proper equipment and knowledge. By replicating their natural habitat, you can help these Tetras thrive in your aquarium and appreciate the stunning beauty of their environment.
 Paraguay River - Brazil
Brazil Flag
 Taquari River - Brazil
Brazil Flag

How to breed the Black Neon Tetra

Breeding Black Neon Tetras can be a fascinating experience if the water quality is well-maintained. To start with, condition a breeding pair with live foods like mosquito larvae or brine shrimp. It is advisable to choose the healthiest female and the most colourful and healthy male. For optimal breeding yield, a separate breeding tank is necessary. The tank should have soft acidic water, a dark substrate, dim lighting, and a temperature a few degrees higher than usual. Fine-leaved plants should be present in abundance as a spawning medium, and floating plants can help to subdue the lighting. Spawning typically occurs in the morning. The female will deposit several hundred sticky eggs onto the plants and substrate. After spawning, it is essential to remove the parents; otherwise, they may consume the eggs and fry. The eggs will hatch after about 22 to 26 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming within three to four days. The fry are relatively easy to raise, and you may feed them with commercially prepared foods, finely crushed flake foods, or newly hatched brine shrimp. Young Black Neon Tetras must be kept isolated until they are large enough not to get eaten by adult fish. You can then reintroduce them to the standard aquarium.

Diet & feeding

In order to maintain the best health and coloration of Black Neon Tetras, a varied diet is recommended for optimal nutrition. This can include high-quality flakes and granules as well as live and frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, Moina, and brine shrimp. To ensure their nutritional needs are met, it is important to feed these Tetras multiple times a day, but only providing them with an amount they can consume within 3 minutes or less.

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