Paracheirodon innesi

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: upto 1.5 " (4cm)
Tank: 24 inches
Position in tank: Bottom, Middle
PH: 5.5 to 7.5
Hardness: Soft to Medium
Temperature: 20-26°C


Common Name:

Neon Tetra



A mainstay of the hobby the neon is colorful peaceful and readily available. Not one of the easiest fish to keep they do best in an established aquarium. Their bright colors and peaceful nature still make them one of the most sought after fish.



Western Brazil, Northern Peru and Colombia.



Starting at about the center of the body, there is a wide bright Red band extending to the start of the Caudal fin. Above this is a Blue band with a green sheen that runs from the upper part of the eye to the Adipose fin. The upper-side is Olive Green and the underside is Silver in color. The Anal fin is milky white to transparent. The striking contrast or the Red and Blue makes the Neon one of the most colorful and popular of the fish we keep.



Neons are happiest and show off their colors best in a tank with subdued lighting and a dark substrate. The water should have a pH of 7.0 and the temperature maintained between 68° and 79°f, hardness to 20°. The tank can be small and decorated with live plants and some driftwood. Stock the aquarium with equally peaceful species and keep them in as large a school as possible. Neons are now bred in large numbers and are able to tolerate a wide range of aquarium conditions, however this mass scale breeding has weakened their natural robust-fullness and losses are usually high when first bought. Once established they are easily fed and cared for with flake and frozen food.

The neon tetra disease is a disease that infects neon tetras and for which there is no known cure. The disease is caused by a sporozoan named Pleistophora hyphessobryconis and is usually fatal. The disease is sometimes called “Pleistophora”.

The neon tetra becomes infected when spores enter the fish and the two main symptoms are dull coloration and restlessness in the fish. Fish are often infected by eating on dead fish and it is therefore very important to remove dead and sick fish as soon as possible. As the disease progresses, cysts start to develop and this will often cause the body of the fish to become bumpy. At this stage the Neon tetras will usual have hard a time swimming. The spine of the fish often becomes curved in the final stages of the disease before death.

There is as earlier mentioned no cure for this disease and preventing the parasite from ever entering you aquarium is therefore very important. The most common ways of introducing this disease to your aquarium are with live food and new fish. Avoiding the use of live food or cultivating your own live food dramatically decreases the risk of introducing Pleistophora hyphessobryconis to your aquarium. Brine shrimp is for example an excellent live food that can be hatched at home. Put new fish into a quarantine aquarium before releasing them into the main aquarium to avoid introducing neon tetra disease this way. There are reports that using diatom filters decrease the risk of this disease but it is not enough to eliminate the risk of the diseaseon its own.

There is another disease that gives similar symptoms that is often called “false Neon Tetra disease” and that disease is caused by bacteria. It is all but impossible to tell the difference between the two diseases without access to a laboratory.




Egg scatterer, requires soft, very clean water. Failures in breeding are in most cases due to unsuitable water conditions. To spawn them, you will need a small tank placed in a dark spot as the eggs seem to be light sensitive, a 2 inch layer of half inch rock and some bunches of fine textured live plants like Myriophyllium are suitable as the spawning medium. Only young fish should be used for breeding and at least 5 fish (with a ratio of 2-1 males) that have been separated (put the females in the tank that will be used for spawning) for 2 days and fed some live foods. The temperature should not rise above 75°(21 to 23°C) Keep a lid on this container as they will jump out. Keep the breeders together for 24 hours and then remove them. They usually spawn early in the morning. The clear eggs are laid among the plants and barely stick to them. In 22 to 26 hours the eggs hatch and the fry are very hard to spot, but appear 3-4 days later at which time they are free swimming and will need to be fed infusoria. The species is not very prolific and A good spawn would be 40-50 fry.