Profile Photo

Maximum size : 2.5 cm

Green Neon Tetra - Paracheirodon simulans : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans) is not only stunning but also peaceful and easy to care for, making it a great addition to any aquarium. Although it has specific requirements and is not recommended for community aquariums due to its small size, this fish is a great choice for a dedicated aquarium. Maintaining a school of 8 to 10 Green Neon Tetras is essential to bring out their social behaviour and minimize shyness. These Tetras may be peaceful with other species, but it is not the best choice for a community tank due to its unique needs and small size. For optimal care, it is best to keep them with smaller, non-aggressive characids and smaller callichthyid or loricariid catfishes. This will ensure that these beautiful and social fish thrive in their environment and display their vibrant colours to the fullest. This species also has subtle variations that make it a unique choice for aquarists looking for something different. Compared to its closely related and more popular cousin, the Neon Tetra, the Green Neon Tetra has a larger size, a more pronounced green colouration that stretches across its body, and distinct red patches.

Green Neon Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing male from female Green Neon Tetras can be quite a challenge. These fish exhibit similar physical characteristics and colouration, making sexing them a task that requires close attention to detail. However, mature females can typically be identified by their rounder body shape and slightly larger size compared to males.\r\n

Quick Facts

Scientific NameParacheirodon simulans
Year Described1963
Other NamesFalse Neon Tetra
OriginsVenezuela Colombia
Max Size2.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.5 - 6.5
GH2 - 12
75 - 84
23.9 - 28.9

Natural Habitat

Green Neon Tetras are native to the Rio Negro and Rio Orinoco systems in Colombia and Venezuela, where they inhabit unique and diverse blackwater environments. Their natural habitats contain a mix of slow to moderately-flowing water with dense overhanging vegetation, sandy substrates covered in leaf litter, fallen branches, and tree roots. The water in their natural habitat is acidic, low in carbonate hardness and conductivity, and stained brown due to the presence of humic substances released by decomposing organic matter. This specific habitat is what sets them apart from other Tetras and is something to consider when creating an ideal environment for them in a home aquarium. These fish thrive in an environment with dense vegetation, dim lighting, and an appropriately adjusted pH level. By providing these conditions, you can replicate their natural environment and enhance their colouration, which is an incredible sight to see.
 Orinoco - Venezuela
Venezuela Flag
 Rio Negro - Colombia
Colombia Flag


Breeding Green Neon Tetras can be a challenging task that requires patience, attention to detail, and replicating their natural habitat conditions. Despite being challenging, it can be a rewarding experience for experienced aquarists. One of the first steps is to slightly lower the pH levels and adjust the water temperature to replicate their natural habitat during the mating season. Additionally, reducing the amount of light that enters the tank can be helpful. Once the tank is ready, careful observation is needed to spot any new behaviour between the male and female. The female will lay her eggs in various places, and the male will follow to fertilise them. After fertilisation, removing the adults from the tank is crucial to avoid any accidental consumption of the fry. The fry will initially feed off their egg sack for a few days before becoming free-swimming. At this point, feeding them with infusoria until they are big enough to accept foods such as baby brine shrimp or nauplii is recommended.

Diet & feeding

To maintain the best health and colouration of Green Neon Tetras in the home aquarium, it is recommended to provide them with a varied diet. Although they will readily accept dried foods such as flakes and granules, incorporating frozen and live foods such as Moina, bloodworm, daphnia, and mosquito larvae will provide them with essential nutrients that cannot be found in dried foods alone. A varied diet will also keep the fish interested in their food and help prevent boredom, which can lead to health issues.

Other Tetras you maybe interested in