Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) Fish Species Profile

The Neon Tetra is a prevalent aquarium fish. It is sturdy and relatively cheap and is often one of the first fish species a beginner aquarist keeps.

A shoal of these bright Tetras will add colour as well as activity to the aquarium.

Because the Neon Tetras stay relatively small and have a peaceful temperament, you will find them in community aquariums.

Their bodies are slender and torpedo-shaped and from their nose, to the adipose fin they display a characteristic bright neon blue lateral stripe, underneath this the neon tetra sports a silvery-white belly. Past the abdomen, a bright red line extends to the tail.

Neon Tetras come in three varieties, these include the Golden strain that is a semi albino type, a Long-finned Neon Tetra, however, this is quite rare, as well as a Diamond Neon Tetra that displays metallic scales along the top portion of the body.

Scientific NameParacheirodon innesi
Other NamesNone
OriginsSouth America
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 5 year
Maximum Sizeup to 4 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature68 - 80 ℉ (20 - 26.7 ℃)
PH5.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 10


Neon Tetras are a freshwater fish that comes from the tropical parts of Northern South America. They originate from Western Brazil, South-Eastern Colombia and Eastern Peru, and wild Neon Tetras can be found in the tributaries of the Amazon Rivers Tiger, Yarapa and Napo.

It is present in both blackwater and clearwater streams with soft acidic water, dense vegetation and roots.


Neon Tetras are not picky eaters and will accept most food types.

Keep them on a varied diet to avoid malnutrition using high-quality flakes and granules as the staple of their diet and treating them to live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia.

You can also use micropellet food to supplement their diet. A tropical sinking pellet is ideal, as these include natural colour enhancers that bring out the colour in Neon Tetras.

Sexing the Neon Tetra

Sexing Neon Tetras can be challenging as the gender differences are not apparent in this species. Still, the female usually has a more significant and more rounded belly, creating an impression of a curved blue line, whereas the male's line will be straight.

Breeding the Neon Tetra

Neon tetras can be difficult to breed, as they need particular water conditions.

You should set up a separate breeding tank with good filtration, dim lighting and plenty of live plants and you will need to raise the water temperature by a couple of degrees.

Before spawning takes place, you should feed your tetras with live foods and leave the lights off, gradually turning the lights up this will induce spawning.

When the fish are ready, you will see the male embracing the female, and she will then release around 100 eggs, these eggs are transparent and slightly adhesive and will stick to the available plants.

Once the female is spent and has laid all her eggs, it is advisable to remove the parents; this will stop them from consuming the eggs. Also, keep the lights low as both the eggs and the fry are sensitive to light.

The eggs will hatch around 24 hours later producing tiny babies. They will feed off their egg sack for a few days and then three to four days after that the fry will become free-swimming.

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Date Added: 8/26/2020 - Updated: 8/26/2020 4:38:17 PM