Keeping Neon Tetra Fish As Pets
Neon Tetra fish (Paracheirodon innesi) are a very popular aquarium fish, especially amongst beginner fish keepers. It is estimated that each month, 1.5 million neon tetra fish are imported into the United States, mostly from Singapore, Hong Kong, or Thailand.
Neon tetra fish are a freshwater fish that originate from western Brazil, south east Columbia and eastern Peru. They are found in their natural environment in both blackwater and clearwater streams. They have bright colors and an iridescent stripe so they are visible in dark blackwaters.
Like other tetra species, the neon tetra has a blunt nose and a spindle shaped body. A glistening blue line runs along either the side of their body from the nose to the adipose fin. They also have a red stripe that runs from the center of the body to the base of the tail fin. The rest of the body is silver in color.
Neon Tetra Fish Care
At night, when the fish is resting in shelter, the bright colors will be turned off and the fish will appear dim. This is normal. If however, the aquarium is lit and the fish are still dull after some time, they may be stressed or ill, or their diet is not correct.
Neon tetras are a schooling fish. They should be kept in groups of at least five, but preferably ten or more. If kept alone they will become stressed and spend the majority of their time hiding. They will grow to a maximum adult size of about an inch. They are a peaceful fish and can be kept in community fish tanks with other non-aggressive fish of roughly the same size. The neon tetra is probably the most robust of the tetra species when it comes to water conditions. They look very beautiful when combined with other species of tetra. It is not recommended to combine the neon tetra with any larger or more aggressive fish as they will most likely become prey.
As a general rule of thumb when choosing a fish tank for your fish, allow one gallon of water per inch of fish. So if you were going to keep ten neon tetras in your tank, you would need to select at least a ten gallon tank for your fish. An aquarium kit or aquarium starter kit is a great way to purchase everything you need to get started for a very reasonable price. The aquarium kit will often include a filter, water conditioner, fish tank and fish food at a minimum.
When setting up your tank for your new neon tetra, try to mimic their natural habitat. Your aquarium should have a dark colored gravel and dense planting, with plenty of hiding spots. Also allow an open space for swimming. Neon tetra fish are active when kept in a shoal, and will spend the majority of their time in the middle to lower levels of your tank. Adding a floating plant to your habitat will help to darken your aquarium which your fish will love.
Keep the water temperature in your tank to between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH levels in the tank should be between 5.0 and 7.0, and the dH range 1-2. As with all fish species always gradually adjust your neon tetra fish to new conditions. Failing to do so can cause harm to your fish.
Neon tetra fish are not fussy eaters. Feeding them flake food, freeze dried food and frozen food is all acceptable. Vary their diet to prevent malnutrition. Use a variety of high quality tropical flake food and occasionally as treats brine shrimp, bloodworm and daphnia, as an example.
Groups of neon tetras are naturally very beautiful to watch in an aquarium owing to their bright, glistening colors. They are a great fish to keep as they are peaceful and can be more decorative than wall paintings and mesmerising than the television when kept in your living room!
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