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Blue Neon

(Paracyprichromis nigripinnis)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 4"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 76-82° F, pH 8.5-9.5, KH 15-25
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Lake Tanganyika   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: African Cichlid   • Aquarium Type: African Cichlid, Rift Lake

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Species Information

Blue Neon native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Blue Neon a is possibly the least aggressive cichlid on the planet. Endemic to Lake Tanganyika, Blue Neons are extremely peaceful and prefer to school together in groups of 8-10 (without any problems); they completely tolerate conspecifics and actually seem to be friendly with each other; the same can also be said in regards to heterospecific tank mates.

Blue Neons have a brick-red to bright red base color with several, spaced neon-blue horizontal lines down the length of the body (from the face all the way to the caudal fin); they also have neon-blue tipped fins with neon-blue markings throughout; this is how they received their well deserved nickname.

The Blue Neon is a perfect choice for beginners, all the way to expert hobbyists; they are also extremely popular and are readily available through online retailers and local stores.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Blue Neon in the home aquarium.

The Blue Neon requires an aquarium of 55 gallons or more and should be housed in a Tanganyika biotope system: A light, find sand substrate with rock rubble and plenty of dark rocks (contrasting substrate and rock shades bring out the color in the species) that make multiple caves and crevices providing shelter, territory, and multiple areas to explore (rock structures should reach the surface of the aquarium if possible). Ample swimming space is appreciated as well as decent water movement.

Live plants are appreciated and add to natural biological filtration as well as more territory and shelter; African Water Ferns, Anubias, and Vallisneria are good choices and will do well in alkaline conditions. Blue Neons can easily coexist with other tranquil Tanganyika cichlids and have been known to do very well with Xenotilapia and other Sand-dwellers as well as Cyprichromis and Featherfins.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Blue Neon and provide a healthy diet.

The Blue Neon is a carnivore and feeds on small invertebrates, small crustaceans and plankton from among the rocks and substrate in their natural environment. In the aquarium their diet should consist of a variety of live, frozen, and freeze-dried bloodworms, daphnia, plankton, brine shrimp, and mysis shrimp, as well as vitamin-enriched flake foods and pellets. Feed what will be consumed in a few minutes, one to two times daily.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Blue Neon in the aquarium environment.

Blue Neons are are maternal mouth brooders. The female cichlid will lay her eggs (usually a clutch of 10-15) on a sub-vertical surface (mainly a rock or a cave wall) the male will be in position to fertilize them. The female will gather the eggs into her mouth until the fry are ready to be released (3-4 weeks). The fry can be fed and raised on Artemia nauplii, baby brine shrimp, and finely-crushed flake food.

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