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Paracheirodon simulans - Green neon tetra


  • Paracheirodon simulans - Green neon tetra

    Photo thanks to Khemo

    Scientific name: Paracheirodon simulans
    Common name: Green neon tetra
    AKA: False neon tetra, Hyphessobrycon simulans, Cheirodon simulans

    Country of origin:
    South America

    pH: 3.0 - 6.5
    Temperature: 21 - 35c
    Hardness: 18 - 143ppm
    Water flow: low - standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 2.5cm

    Diet: dry fish flakes, live food, frozen food

    Breeding: Black water, lights off, pH 6.0, 24c, spwaning in groups in a heavily planted tank. Each female with many males, laying approx 130 eggs. Remove parents after spawning. Eggs hatch after 24 hours. Feed on infusoria, then commercial fry food.

    Tank companions: They are good with shrimp, as they are smaller than both neons and cardinals although they look superficially similar. They will take some shrimplets, but are not capable of taking adult shrimp, unlike adult tetras.

    They are peaceful tank companions with other fish. They will school very well. They do not nip fins or harrass other fish.

    Photo thanks to Plantnut

    They have a more brilliant blue stripe than either the neon or cardinal, but the red is more patchy & faded. The blue fades when the lights are turned off, then returns once they are turned on. I have observed it to change with mood.

    Keep in mind that they are a comparatively small fish, and can be eaten by larger fish. They are good tankmates for other microfish, such as boraras, danios, pencilfish, ember tetras, pygmy corydoras, and liquorice, chocolate and sparkling gouramis.

    They are hardier than neons, and less prone to disease, so although they are more expensive, they are often a better financial choice, as they have a longer lifespan. They are a comparatively rare fish, so they will probably have to be ordered in, or more likely they can be sourced from a specialist supplier (such as the sponsors on this site). They can occasionally be found in a LFS mixed in with the neon or cardinal tetras if you know how to identify them.

    Despite its coming from soft water, it can adjust to neutral water.

    Photo thanks to DiscusEden

    Often confused with the common Neon tetra - the red on the neon only comes halfway to the nose, and the blue is less vibrant.
    Also confused with the Cardinal tetra - 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, where the cardinal's red goes along the whole body.

    Paracheirodon simulans are NOT legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:
    however they may have been on previous import lists, have entered Australia prior to the implementation of import lists, or been misidentified on importation.

    The IUCN Red List reports Paracheirodon simulans 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.

    They are a good fish for people with a little experience - beginners +1.
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