The Neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) is a popular fish in beginner aquariums since this hardy fish can adapt to various conditions. It is also comparatively inexpensive to purchase and since it is a peaceful and non-hostile species you can keep it in community aquariums with other peaceful species. Most beginner aquarists have comparatively small aquariums and it is, therefore, a great idea to choose Neon tetras and other small fish species. A Neon tetra rarely grows bigger than 2 inches. You should naturally avoid keeping the Neon tetra with large predatory species in the aquarium. If you provide your Neon tetra with a suitable environment and a proper diet they can live for more than 10 years in the aquarium.
The Neon tetra should not be kept alone since it is a schooling fish. If kept alone, the Neon tetra will feel scared and prefer to spend most of its time hiding. These small and colorful fishes will also look more stunning in the aquarium if they are allowed to form big schools.
Purchase at least ten Neon tetras, preferably even more. When kept in schools, they are very active and will add action to the middle and bottom levels of the aquarium. During feeding, they will swim up to the surface.
The native region for the Neon tetra is South America where it inhabits blackwater as well as clearwater environments in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. Their natural homes are densely grown and they will, therefore, appreciate a planted aquarium. Floating plants that dims the light a bit are recommended. Some beginner aquarists think that caring for a planted aquarium is very difficult, but aquatic plants will actually make the aquarium easier to maintain since they will bind organic waste products, reduce algae growth by competing for nutrients, and produce oxygen for your fish. As long as you select sturdy plant species, you don’t require any special lights or extra carbon dioxide.
The bright colors of the Neon tetra will look even more stunning if you use a dark substrate in the aquarium. A dark substrate is also appreciated by the Neon tetras, since a bright substrate reflects a lot of light and can make the aquarium a little too bright for them.
As mentioned above, the Neon Tetra easily adapts to most conditions. It will tolerate a pH value from 5.5 to 7.5. The recommended temperature range is 68-75 degrees F. As with all fish, you should strive to keep the levels of soluble waste down in your aquarium. Your Neon tetras might be robust enough to survive even when the amount of organic waste is very high, but they will not do well. The best way of reducing the waste level in the water is to avoid over-feeding, perform regular water changes and combine mechanical and biological filtration.
The Neon tetras are happy eaters even in captivity and many beginner aquarists tend to overfeed them since they believe that their fish need food every time they beg for food at the surface. Obesity can cause health problems for Neon tetras, so overfeeding must be avoided. Overfeeding can also cause water quality to drop. Neon tetras will usually do fine on a flake food diet, as long as you select a high-quality food.