The neon fish, also known as neon tetra or scientifically as Paracheirodon innesi, is a species of characid actinopterygian fish native to western South America, abundant in streams in Argentina, Brazil, or Paraguay. 

Neon fish characteristics

It is a highly valued animal in the aquarium world because it is straightforward to adapt and highly resistant. They can live up to four years, so we are discussing an ideal species for all those neophytes, starting with fish farming.

They also stand out for their striking colors, calm character, and movements in shoals, which give training and life to the entire aquarium. And is that this pet is one of the most curious that exist in the aquatic world, so if you are looking for information about this fish because you want to add it to your fish tank, below you will find everything about its characteristics and the care that specifies this fish:

Neon Fish Characteristics

Although it is a very showy and colorful fish, its size is relatively small, barely reaching 3.5 centimeters in length. It is longer than it is wide; that is, the shape of its tiny body is tapered. 

This pet has a forked tail and a small adipose fin between the bottom and dorsal fin.

In the mouth of this tropical pet, we can see tiny teeth because it belongs to the same family as piranhas. And the fact is that the calm and innocent aspect of this animal makes many people surprised when they find out who his family is.

As for the colors, on the sides, it has a very bright and intense blue color that, when the light hits it, the blue begins to shine very noticeably. 

The color line begins in the eye and runs almost all over its back to form a lovely contrast between the blue color we mentioned and the red and white of the rest of the body. Although many people tend to easily confuse it with the cardinal tetra fish, it is a unique fish because they both have the same shades of blue and red, which is misleading.

Neon fish characteristics

Even though this fish is unique, some people easily mistake it for a similar species of the same genus known as the cardinal tetra fish. 

Both fish have the same shades of red and blue, so it cannot be obvious. To differentiate them, one must realize that the red stripe of the cardinal tetra begins at the mouth and reaches the tail fin.

Finally, it is a type of fish that adapts without problem to any environment and any kind of water. It does not present problems with the location of the aquarium or with the presence of other fish, as it is also recommended that you are not alone and that you live with other specimens, between eight and ten, either male or female neon fish or with species such as the angelfish or fish beta. 

However, as is customary, it is not recommended that you live with larger fish or aggressive fish because they could attack you with that tiny size they have.

Neon Fish Care

It is necessary to take into account some aspects of the care of this pet if we want it to live as long as possible and to develop without a problem.

  • One of the first things that we have to bear in mind is both the quality and the temperature of the water, which must be between 20 and 25 degrees so that the animal feels that it is in the natural environment from which it comes. If the temperature exceeds that range or, conversely, stays below, the neon fish can be in danger because it does not support it easily. The aquarium should be away from drafts or sudden temperature changes.
  • As for the water, filter cloudy water and boil it for 10 minutes, so it is low in calcium and remove sodium. Never add chlorine to the water because it can harm the fish. The water conditions must be of a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and a hardness that oscillates between 18 and 215 ppm.
  • On the other hand, you mustn’t put artificial light on it because this species of fish is sensitive to light. Noise is something that can also affect your nervous system and, therefore, its growth. Also, make sure that the aquarium has enough capacity to hold 60 liters of water. The neon fish needs to have a space in the center of the aquarium without decoration or plants to have more ground.
  • Finally, the neon fish needs the water to be black. The bottom is dark to feel that they have everything under control. However, the plants have to be short and dense so that the light can pass through without a problem. You can use logs to get darkness in its waters. In addition, this will contrast with the bright color of your pet, and the aquarium will become more beautiful.

Neon fish characteristics

If we talk about the coexistence of this pet with other fish in the same aquarium, we must bear in mind that they are pretty aggressive with members of the same family. 

In addition, they are fish organized hierarchically, which means that our group of neon fish cannot be less than ten fish. Therefore, they need this organization to feel in good condition to survive. The lower-ranking members will surround the dominant specimens, which means that the members of the outer parts of the group are less safe and protected.

Neon Fish Feeding

Finally, you will have to feed this animal three times a day when it comes to feeding it. Dry feed is a good option and easy to buy in any pet store or specialized store.

You can also supplement its diet with fresh vegetables such as lettuce leaves, but you don’t have to feed it live food every day, although you can occasionally choose this option because it helps it keep its intense colors brighter. Examples of live foods would be mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, or daphnia.

The food that this pet eats mustn’t be significant because it could choke. It should be food that it can take comfortably. You also have to remember that these animals are omnivores to offer them plants from time to time as food. They would also be a good choice. You can opt for tomato pieces or small lettuces.