|Scientific Name||Paracheirodon innesi|
|Common Name||Neon Tetra|
|Diet||All types. Varied diet preferred.|
If you are looking for a all time classic freshwater aquarium fish, Neon Tetras are a fantastic choice. They add beautiful tropical colors without the hassle of a saltwater setup.
First of all, as with any fish, be sure to cycle your tank. For some species this is extremely important, but tetra aren’t overly fragile and will live happily in most freshwater setups with little to no changes at all.
Neons like having places to hide. They aren’t the quickest or most agile swimmers, and instead stick to schools or try to find nooks and crannies to hide in. There are thousands of simple, cheap options for creating a stylish and functional Tetra habitat including aquarium-safe logs, rocks, real or fake plants, or fish castles. If you happen to have an aquarium with a built-in light, be absolutely sure that your tank contains shady spots for them to hide in as well – you’ll see more of them if you’ve got open shade as well as hiding spots. These are timid fish, so keep in mind that too much exposure can actually stress them out and affect their health and coloration.
Neon Tetra are omnivores and so will eat decaying plants, algae, live food, and fish food making them excellent additions as maintenance fish. To keep them vibrant, tropical fish food is highly recommended since it usually comes formulated to enhance color. They’re fun to feed too, since you can (and should) vary their diet with live food, algae wafers, or a blanched cucumber or zucchini.
Neon Tetra Disease
If you notice a drastic lack of color, this can mean your fish are either stressed or sick. If water quality and habitat are fine, check their skin for parasites and/or spots and quarantine any fish with noticeable issues. You can try to treat them, but unfortunately, Neon Tetra are susceptible to Neon Tetra Disease. This is a parasite that affects all tetra and can affect other species as well. There’s no way to treat it, so removing the fish and euthanizing it is considered the most humane option. You can recognize the disease by looking for white spots, lumps, drunken swimming, and a lack of color.
Neons are always a welcome addition to community tanks. They’re great as decoration, maintenance, and population control as they will eat fry of other species. You can choose less aggressive breeds of barbs, guppies, angelfish, snails, frogs, even shrimp or bettas to live with them without any problems. They prefer communities, even if they’re a bit shy. Just be sure to keep an eye on your population as all fish need space. Always keep in mind that these are not aggressive fish, nor are they particularly talented swimmers, so it’s not recommended to keep them with many aggressive species. But, in greater numbers, they can actually help calm your tank down if you have more aggressive species.