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Paracheirodon innesi - Neon tetra


  • Paracheirodon innesi - Neon tetra

    Photo thanks to Jazzy

    Scientific name: Paracheirodon innesi - Neon tetra
    Common name: Neon tetra

    Country of origin:
    South America

    pH: 4.0 - 7.5
    Temperature: 21 - 27c
    Hardness: 1.0 - 2.0 kH
    Water flow: low - standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 3.0cm

    Diet: dry fish flakes, live food, frozen food. Never overfeed.

    Breeding: Males - more streamlined. Females - have their blue line uneven (possibly due to carrying eggs) & are plumper.
    Place a pair in a sterilised tank. Reported triggers are - lights off - then gradually raising lighting, raising nitrates gradually then a large water change, live food & a hardness of less than 4dgH. Remove parents, as they are egg & fry predators. Eggs are light sensitive. Feed fry with infusoria.

    Tank companions: They are not good with shrimp.

    They are peaceful tank companions with other fish. They will school well if they feel they are under threat. They do not nip fins or harrass other fish.

    Photo thanks to Scarab

    They have a blue stripe which is not as bright as the green neon, and the red stripe only goes to half way along the body. They also have a white stripe on the anal fin.

    Keep in mind that they are a comparatively small fish, and can be eaten by larger fish.

    They are the most readily available of the neon/cardinal/green neon choices, and in the past have been the most popular, particularly for new fishkeepers, however their popularity in some ways has become their downfall in recent years, leading to apparent weaknesses which has made them more succeptable to disease and overall shorter lifespans than either cardinals or green neons. Many experienced fishkeepers are now choosing to invest in cardinals over neons, or green tetras as alternatives. Although cardinals are significantly more expensive as an initial investment, given the lifespan of the fish, and the number of fish that survive even the first few weeks or months after purchase, it is often a better investment overall than buying an equal or greater number of neons.

    One of the diseases which is problematic or this fish is neon tetra disease, which is invariably fatal, but can be prevented through good quarantining. If you do buy healthy fish & quarantine properly, your neons could live in your tank for 5 to 10 years.

    Often confused with the Green Neon tetra - the red on the neon only comes halfway to the nose, and the blue is less vibrant and the body is a clear silver. The blue stripe on the green neon is more brilliant & the red is less prominent and there is a black line on the bottom of the body.
    Also confused with the Cardinal tetra - The cardinal's red goes along the whole body length on the bottom of the fish.

    Paracheirodon innesi are legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:

    The IUCN Red List reports Paracheirodon innesi as a species which has not yet been assessed at 20/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    Although this is usually sold to beginners, this is a fish for experienced aquarists.
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