Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
Probably one of the most popular of all fish for home aquariums. They may be tiny, but do not underestimate the majesty of a sizable shoal of neons shimmering around the lower levels of your tank. They originate from South America, and live in both clear water and black water streams in Columbia, Peru and Brazil. Their striking colours mean that they can find each other in black water streams.
Neon Tetras may be common, but they should not be considered a cheap’n’cheerful throwaway fish. Though they are small, they need space to thrive, and will be much happier and healthier in a tank that is two foot minimum than in a tiny space. They need clean water conditions and should never be added to a tank which has not been fully cycled or that has messy inhabitants already. Also, make sure you quarantine new fish for a few weeks when adding new neons to an existing healthy shoal, as ‘neon tetra disease’ (a usually fatal condition, manifesting itself in lumpy malformations on the fish and difficulties swimming) can be a danger.
Neons will eat flake food, and also daphnia and brine shrimp. They will also have a nibble at vegetable treats such as courgettes (but make sure you remove the leftovers!)
Size (fully grown): 2.5 – 3.5cm (1 – 1.5″)
Water temperature: 20 – 25C
Water pH: 5.5 – 7.5