Max Size: 6cm

Xingu Black Neon Tetra (Moenkhausia heikoi)

Xingu Black Neon Tetras are beautiful fish that are rarely seen in the hobby. These Tetras are peaceful and active species that fare better in groups of 6 or more individuals. They will convey more natural behaviour and better colouration, especially when persuing the females for attention.

Other similarly-sized South American Characins and Bottom-Dwellers would be ideal tank mates for these fish. However, it would be better if you did not house these Tetras with more aggressive or much larger species; otherwise, they will get stressed and outcompeted for food.

Xingu Black Neon Tetras prefer a densely planted aquarium containing a dark substrate and background to best exhibit the subtle colours of these fish. These fish also require plenty of swimming space and some subdued lighting. You will need to make sure that these fish are kept in an aquarium with a tight-fitting lid as they are likely to jump.

Xingu Black Neon Tetras are characterised by a thick black band covering almost half of their flank when fully expressed. The intensity of the black can vary in different individuals, with some being a much paler black, practically grey colour. This band extends anteriorly to the snout and posteriorly onto the caudal base.

Some males display humeral and caudal spots; however, these are barely visible because the spots are darker than the background.

Above the thick black band, they also have a thinner silvery stripe. This silvery stripe is contrasted by a goldish-red spot on the upper half of the eye. Their abdomens are white, and their pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins are pale orange.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameMoenkhausia heikoi
Other NamesNone
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 18
KH1 - 2
TDS18 - 268
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃

Photos of the Xingu Black Neon Tetra

Xingu Black Neon Tetra
Xingu Black Neon Tetra

Natural Habitat

Xingu Black Neon Tetras are endemic to the Rio Novo and the Rio Iriri tributaries of the Rio Xingu in Brazil in South America. They inhabit shallow waters with a strong current, and you will find them between the cracks and crevices of huge rocks surrounded by submerged roots.

What to feed the Xingu Black Neon Tetra

In the home aquarium, Xingu Black Neon Tetras are not fussy, and they will eat anything they are offered. However, it would be best to vary the ideal diet to provide them with their best colours and optimum health.

Their diet should include high-quality dried food such as flakes and granules as well as live, frozen or freeze-dried foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, Moina and brine shrimp.

It would be best to feed Xingu Black Neon Tetras several times a day but only provide them with an amount they can consume within 3 minutes or less.

How to sex the Xingu Black Neon Tetra

It can be challenging to differentiate between males and female Xingu Black Neon Tetras. However, their body shape may determine the sex of the fish, with the females being much more profound and plumper than the males, especially when she is full of eggs.

How to breed the Xingu Black Neon Tetra

Unfortunately, due to the rarity of these Tetras, there is little to no information on how to breed them. However, they are likely to produce similar to that of other Moenkhausia species.

Xingu Black Neon Tetras will require a separate breeding tank. This should be dimly lit with soft water, and the temperature will need to be raised by a few degrees higher than they usually have. The breeding tank will also need to be heavily planted as this will provide shaded areas for them to spawn in.

For the healthiest and best fry, you will need to choose your fittest female and your best-coloured male, place them into the breeding tank, and continue to feed them with rich food; this includes live food.

When These Tetras are ready to breed, they will lock fins, and when this occurs, they will carry out a somersault movement in the plants. The female will release about a dozen eggs at a time, and then the male will fertilise them.

Xingu Black Neon Tetras will usually spawn in the early morning hours, and the female will lay a couple of hundred eggs that the male will fertilise. Once this has taken place, you should remove the parents, as they will consume the eggs.

Around 24 to 36 hours later, the eggs will start to hatch out, and 3 to 4 days after that, the fry will become free swimming and grow relatively quickly.

The newly hatched fry will first feed on their yolk sac. Once the fry has consumed their yolk sac and has become free-swimming, you can then provide the fry with infusoria type foods, moving on to baby brine shrimp and crushed flakes as they grow.

Other Tetras of interest

African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
Black Neon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
Black Phantom Tetra(Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 04/01/2022 13:25:21 - Updated: 04/01/2022 13:58:30