Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra

General Information
Scientific Name Paracheirodon innesi
Minimum Water Size 10+ gallons (37.85+ liters)
Ease Of Care Easy
Average Lifespan 5-8 years
Temperament Peaceful
Approximate Adult Size 2 inches (5.08 centimeters)
Water Parameters 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit (20-25.56 degrees Celsius), KH 4-8, pH 5.0-7.0
Diet Omnivore
Native Region South America


The neon tetra is one of the most attractive fish that can be commonly found inside of almost any aquarium store that sells fish. Sadly, due to their sensitivity to water conditions and water parameters they don't fare well with a tank that is just starting a cycle or a tank that has unbalanced water conditions. These fish are native to the water streams inside of South America, where they live inside of a densely planted stream that has low light due to the tannins being inside of the water. In order to make them feel more at home and see their natural behavior, many will place driftwood inside of their setup to release not only tannins, but also lower the pH of their water. Since they are a very small fish, they are required to be in schools of at least 6 or more otherwise they will be highly stressed. The bigger the school of neon tetras is, the more you will see their playful behavior and them roaming around the tank when compared to them being stressed and staying in one place.

We highly recommend that when introducing neon tetras into your setup, that you use the drip acclimation method in order to prevent any deaths from new tank syndrome or them not being able to adjust to water parameters that are different than the store. Since they are highly sensitive fish, any sudden changes in the water conditions and parameters can be fatal to them. Due to them being highly sensitive when it comes to water parameters, they have a common disease that tends to only effect neon tetras. This disease, known as the Neon Tetra Disease is highly fatal and can be spread to other neon tetras that live within the same water. We always suggest before placing any fish inside of your main setup, that they go into a quarantine tank so that such diseases can be found before they affect your main display setup.


Neon tetras are rather hard to breed inside of a home aquarium, however it is possibly given that the right conditions are met. First you must identify a male and female, where the male is normally larger than the female and has a slightly bigger display of coloration. In order to make them ready to spawn and want to, a rich diet of live foods is commonly feed to them to promote the females to lay eggs when the male attempts to mate. Place the pair into an aquarium that has no to very minimal levels of lighting until spawning starts to occur. Neon tetras are egg layers and tend to lay eggs on a variety of objects with no preference if the eggs land in the same location or not.

Remove the pair once the eggs have been laid as they will not provide any parental care and tend to eat the eggs if they are not hidden enough. The eggs are highly sensitive to light so make sure to keep the lighting conditions to a very minimal until they hatch roughly 30 hours later.


In order to see the best coloration of any neon tetra, it is suggested that you give them a varied diet which most includes plant based food (mostly what flakes are made of), live foods, and even frozen foods.