Neon Tetra – Paracheirodon innesi

Probably the most popular tropical fish we sell is the beautiful Neon tetra. Known for their bright radiating colour, these tiny little fish are bottom of the food chain, yet great additions for planted tanks and small fish setups. They are a very cheap fish to buy, we currently have them at just 10 for $20 !!

Common Name(s) : Neon tetra

Family : Characidae


Species : Paracheirodon innesi

Origin : South America – Colombia, Peru & Brazil.

PH : 6.0 – 7.5

Hardness : Soft to Moderately Hard

Temperature : 20 – 28°C / 73–82°F

Maximum Size : 3cm / 1.2″

Lifespan : 2-3 years

Aggression Level : Peaceful (1/10)

Recommended Tank Size : 20 Litres +

Strata : Bottom Half


Prefer a planted tank. Add some driftwood plants to help create their natural environment.


Angelfish | Barb | Betta | African Cichlids | American Cichlids American Dwarf Cichlids | Bristlenose Catfish | Corydorus Catfish | Tandanus Catfish | Other Catfish | Danios | Whiteclouds | Medakas Discus | Eels | Flying Fox Common Goldfish | Fancy Goldfish | Dwarf Gouramis | Large Gouramis | Gudgeons | Guppies | Killifish | Loaches and Botia | Mollies | Murray Cod | Oscars and other large Cichlids | Silver and Golden Perch | Plants | Platys | Rainbowfish | Rasbora Saratoga | Sharks | Silver Dollar | Shrimp / Yabbies / Crabs | Snails | Swordtails | Tetras


Omnivores,in the aquarium they will accept a wide range of foods including flake, small pellets, bloodworms and brine shrimp.


Female Neons tetras have a slightly larger belly, and a bent iridescent stripe rather than the male’s straight stripe.

Breeding Neon Tetras is tricky, you will need a separate heavily planted tank, with a PH of no higher than 6.5. Add a gravid female and male and reduce the light – this can be done adding plants to float on the surface of the water. These fish more often breed at night time. Neon tetras are egg scatterers – but they prefer to scatter them amongst plants. Java Moss is a great idea.

After 24-30 hours the eggs will hatch and puny little fry will appear like wrigglers. Fry will initially eat the egg sack after which you will need to feed them frozen baby brine shrimp for first few weeks. Ensure partial water changes are done very regularly, if not daily.


The neon tetra is found in the western and northern Amazon basin in southeastern Colombia, eastern Peru, and western Brazil. It lives in waters with a temperature between 20 and 28 °C (68–82 °F) and pH 4–7.5. It has a preference for acidic blackwater streams, but also occurs in transparent clearwater streams. It is not found in the whitewater rivers, preferring slow moving waters.

The neon tetra has a light-blue back over a silver-white abdomen. The fish is characterized by an iridescent blue horizontal stripe along each side of the fish from its nose to the base of the adipose fin, and an iridescent red stripe that begins at the middle of the body and extends posteriorly to the base of the caudal fin. Neon tetras are partially transparent (including fins.) During the night, the blue and red become gray or black as the fish rests—it reactivates once it becomes active in the morning. It grows to approximately 3 cm (1.2 in) in overall length.

In the home aquarium, it is suggested that the tank be heavily planted to replicate their natural environment. A dark substrate seems to heighten the look of these fish with their stunning blue upper body and red lower body glowing with the addition of light. Driftwood is a good idea as it will naturally soften the aquarium water.

PH should be kept between 6.0 to 7.0 however these fish do well with a standard neutral PH, allowing many other tropical specimens to co-exist in the same environment.

Neon tetras are a schooling fish and should be kept in a group of at least 10 for them to feel safe. They look terrific the way the swim around in a group – it is very pleasing to the eye.

One of their main predators in the wild is the Angelfish and it is certainly not recommended you keep both in your aquarium.