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Paracheirodon innesi
Neon Tetra

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Neon Tetra - Paracheirodon innesi

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I find that keeping neons is a piece of cake, if you know what you are doing. I bought a batch of 9, and added them to my 110 litre community tank, and the next morning, nearly all of them were dead! Only one male survived. I bought another batch of 9 immediately, but this time I opened the bag slightly and fed them some frozen brine shrimp, and what a difference! They scoffed the lot, they probably weren't fed on shipment, so they ate and ate. Then I added them to the tank, I waited for the temperature to equalise for about 2 minutes. Once I had released them into the tank, the whole lot hovered around one corner of the tank, ignoring my platies and zebra danios. Now they have bred, from a shoal of 10, I now have 15! I would reccomend this fish to anyone, from beginner to expert!

Contributed by Charlie

I think my fiancee and I must have had the strangest behaved Neon Tetras on the planet! Especially after reading all the other comments, plus what we read up on before buying. Being new to aquariums at the time, the aquarium shop owner suggested 10-12 of these little guys for our 60 L tank. Expecting them to be the shy and retiring little fish, we were amased to see that they were actually the BULLIES! They would constantly harass the red tailed shark, siamese fighter and the 2 angelfish, biting at their tails and fins. The red tailed shark got it worst and ended up cowering in a small cave most of the time, hardly being able to come out without being chased back in! Unfortunately (well I bet the other fish aren't saying that!), we don't have them anymore. Having said all this, we do believe that we had some sort of 'exception to the rule' school of tetras (either that or they were possessed! LOL). They are in fact extremely eyecatching, interesting and amusing to watch! Would recommend as a focal point to your tank!

Contributed by Emma

Neon Tetras are one of my favorite fishes. They aren't very hardy, but with patience you can keep them for long periods of time. In my experience, neon tetras are really susceptible to water changes. When I got my tank (45 L) I got 4 one week after I cycled my tank, 2 of them died 2 weeks after that. One died the next day I got it. Since I really like this fish, I decided to add one fish per week, so every Sunday I got a new tetra. I did the whole bag thing (letting float for around 30-45 min) mixing the water every 5 min, and now I have 7 neons, and they been healthy for the last 4 months. At the beginning you can tell if they are doing good when they stick with the group. If that happens you are OK, since they have the tendency to alienate the ones that are sick. In my experience it is better to add one at a time, one per week. They get used to the new group. Otherwise when I got a group of tetras from the fish store, they did not do as well. Keep them in groups of 5-6. You'll learn to love this fish. They are wonderful. About a week ago one of the tetras got really big. Her belly was about to explode. I thought she or he was sick, and the next day...surprise! She laid some eggs (then I knew it was a she, since they are so hard to recognize) the bad thing is that they ate most of the eggs. I was surprised that my neons did that, since they are really hard to breed, I have lots of live plants and wood and my water is kind of brownish, so I think they love that. Good luck.

Contributed by Deimos

I currently have 18 Neon Tetras in a 300 L tank. Six are new, but immediately joined to school. I find it interesting that the Glowlite Tetras (8 of them) will school with the Neons. The Neon is a hardy fish from what I've seen. I've lost a total of 6 of them, 1 to a falling rock during the move to this tank, 5 to male Swordtails (in 2 days) that were replaced with Bala Sharks, but none have been floaters. They seem to get along great and prefer to stay across the back of the tank with the grass (Val) or in the back corners with the red ludwigia. They are very interesting to watch, often swimming in a line across the back. Currently my pH is a little high at about 7.6 (I'm dropping it down a bit with some peat) but it doesn't seem to bug them in the least. Neither does 26C Temperature.

Contributed by Mike

I have 6 of these fishes, they are my favourites. Their colors add a lot to any tank. I'm not going to repeat what everyone said but mine are extremely active. They don't come up to the surface when the food is served, instead they wait for the falling food. They also do a great job along with the catfishes and the algae eaters cleaning the floor and stuff. When the temperature or the tank conditions are not suitable they get a little pale. When you fix the problem they get back to their natural colors. I'd recommend them for beginners also. Note: I'm 20 years old and the tanks in the house are almost double my age, we didn't have neon tetras before, but for the 1st moment I saw them I couldn't leave without having at least six.

Contributed by Gitane

Neons are a wonderful little fish. Mine were not as difficult to keep as some people made it seem. If you care for them enough by doing simple water changes and regular maintenance, they will be just fine. I've kept the same 6 neons scince I was 11 years old (I am now 14). These particular fish have grown to an unusually large size for a neon. I have another 45 litre with 7 neons as well and they are doing just fine. This was also my first tropical fish that I purchased when I was only 6 years old and in every fresh water set up I have there are neons in it. Wonderful little fish.

Contributed by Jesse

I own a 5 year old 40 liter aquarium. It houses two head and tail light tetras, five neon tetras, and a pair of bronze cory cats. Before I had added my head and tail lights, my neon school was practically docile. They occasionally sparred with one another for leadership of the shoal, but after 3 or 4 seconds, the spar would end. And they seemed to get along with the larger tetras, mostly. At other times the neons would be swimming idly in a section of the tank, and the head and tail lights would come out of nowhere, swimming right through the shoal. But other than confrontation related to that, they seem fine and I think that neons make an excellent choice to any aquarist, experienced or novice.

Contributed by Davide Alexis

I have 10 of these in my 100 L planted tank with only South American fish, except for Harlequin rasboras. I have had the neons for about a year, starting off with 5 and adding the other half later. Neons are known to be tight schooling fish, but mine only come together just after the light is switched on or off, and even then they are quite scattered. I also have glowlite tetras and they school more than the neons. They are great fish, with their bright colours and miniature size, adding something special to my tank. They also like to just hide sometimes, so I would recommend a cave or a few densely planted spots if you're planning on getting neons. I also had a Japanese fountain plant near a front corner of my tank which they loved spending time in. These guys also like a bit of a current to play in. It is easy to see when they are getting sick because the red goes pale and the neon bit isn't neonish anymore. They are very hardy fish, good for beginners, and very peaceful, they don't ever nip fins or chase other fish around like many tetras.

Contributed by Christi

These little jewels never fail to please ones eyes. They are always a part of my planted tanks. I keep around 20 of them in my 150 cm planted tank along with rummy noses, harlequins and black neons. They are so striking in appearance people ask me whether they actually glow from within. A heavily planted tank with a school of these fish looks awesome. They are pretty hardy and not as delicate as many point them out to be provided you don't treat them too harsh. I lost a fish or two when I got them new and introduced them in my tank. But this was because they were already sick and they were mail ordered. They are prone to a Neon disease where the colours just fade away and the fish looks thin and sick. A fungus attack also follows. First signs of this is when the sick fish stop schooling with the rest of its mates and starts hanging around on its own secluded away from the others. Apart from that give it a good cycled tank and they are sure to stay with you. I did manage to breed them. I used to catch fresh rain water and use it in a 12 liter tank and it used to work like magic after I conditioned the fish on minced earthworms and mosquito larvae. However I failed to get the eggs to hatch and most of them fungusised. I am gonna try again and hopefully have a huge school of these little beauties.

Contributed by Harinarayan Lakshmanan

These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.

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