Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Green Neon Tetra is an excellent looking, peaceful fish that are relatively easy to take care of. However, this fish is not recommended for the community aquarium due to its small size and somewhat specific requirements. Ideally, these should be maintained alone or at most with small, non-aggressive fish.
The Green Neon Tetra is a social species and naturally forms schools meaning 8-10 of these fish is the minimum recommended purchase since the fish will be less shy and display more interesting behaviour.
They have some subtle variations that can be fun for aquarists who are looking for something a little bit different.
This Green Neon Tetra is similar in appearance to their closely related and better-known Neon Tetra. However, these are slightly smaller, slimmer and their red patch is less pronounced. their body has a silvery-greyish base. The bright turquoise-green colouration elongates throughout the fish's body on both sides. The only red-green colouration found in them is in the head, caudal fin and ventral area.
|Scientific Name||Paracheirodon simulans|
|Other Names||False Neon Tetra|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||75 - 84 ℉ (23.9 - 28.9 ℃)|
|PH||4.5 - 6.5|
|GH||2 - 12|
Natural Habitat of the Green Neon Tetra
It is native to the middle to upper Rio Negro River drainage as well as the Rio Orinoco system in the border region of Colombia and Venezuela, between San Fernando de Atabapo and the mouth of the Rio Meta in South America.
They inhabit blackwater environments that typically contain slow to moderately-flowing water with dense, overhanging, riparian vegetation and sandy substrates covered in leaf litter, fallen branches and tree roots.
The water is naturally acidic, of unimportant carbonate hardness and conductivity and stained a brownish colour due to the existence of humic substances released by decomposing organic matter.
Other Tetras of interest
In the home aquarium, they will happily accept dried foods. Still, like most fish they display its best health and colour when offered a varied diet which contains not only dried foods such as flakes and granules but also frozen and live foods such as Moina, bloodworm, daphnia and mosquito larvae.
Breeding the Green Neon Tetra
If you want to try and breed these fish, then you will need to have patience and do everything the right way. Plenty of experienced aquarists have failed to produce this species, so you need to have reasonable expectations before giving it a shot.
Slightly lowering the pH levels and adjusting the water temperature to be on the higher side of the normal range is an excellent place to start. This will help replicate the water conditions in their natural habitat during the mating season. You should also reduce the amount of light coming into the tank as well. Please take note of how much light you currently let into the tank, and drop it by half.
Once the tank is ready to go, it's time for you to be patient and monitor your fish. You'll observe new behaviour between the male and female they'll be close to each other and might make a great deal of contact.
The female will spread her eggs in a variety of places, and the male will be close behind to make sure they're fertilised. This is an easy part of the process to spot. When the eggs have been fertilised, you will want to remove the adults from the tank as you will not require them anymore. This will avoid any accidental consumption on the adults part.
Once the fish have hatched, They will initially feed off their egg sack for a few days and then 3 to 4 days after that the fry will become free-swimming.
Now it's time for you to feed them with infusoria until they are big enough to accept foods such as baby brine shrimp or nauplii.