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Black Neon Tetra

(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 1.5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 12 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.5-7.0
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Brazilian Amazon   • Family: Characidae
• Species: Tetras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Black Neon Tetra native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi) originate from the smaller streams and tributaries of the Rio Paraguay drainage portion of the Brazilian Amazon. Due to their popularity and ease of breeding most if not all Black Neon Tetra found within the aquarium hobby are commercially bred at fish farms. Commercially bred Black Neon Tetra are very hardy and can tolerate a fairly wide range of aquarium conditions.

Farm raised fish are also generally less expensive due to their large numbers being bred and help reduce pressure on wild fish populations. Black Neon Tetra are a mainstay in both planted aquariums and community aquariums, where they are typically kept in schools of individuals. They are suitable for beginning aquarium hobbyists and hobbyists with smaller nano style aquariums.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Black Neon Tetra in the home aquarium.

Black Neon Tetra have a very peaceful disposition, thus they should be housed with other small to medium sized peaceful community species. They do best when housed in groups of 6 or more individuals in a well planted aquarium that emulates their natural Amazonian habitat. Ideal tank mates include: other Tetra, Hatchet Fish, Cory Cats, Rasbora, Gourami, peaceful Barb species and some smaller Cichlids like Rams Cichlids.

The Black Neon Tetra will have a difficult time competing with boisterous species like many Barb species and Danio species for food and territory. Also do to their small adult size, the Black Neon Tetra is not well suited for aquariums with Angelfish or larger Shark or Catfish species who will often eat the sleeping Tetra during the nighttime hours.

The natural river habitat of the Black Neon Tetra is comprised of slowly moving river tributaries that with leaf covered river bottoms, plenty of tree root structures, filtered light from the jungle canopy above and a soft sandy river substrate. The waters of their natural habitat are also stained a brown tea color from the fallen leaves of the jungle canopy above.

Ideally aquariums housing Black Neon Tetra should have areas containing root structures, some vegetation, diffused lighting in some areas and low to moderate water currents. While this species can adapt to a variety of tropical community aquarium habitats, they should be provided with some key elements of their own natural habitat.

Most importantly some areas of the aquarium should contain wood root, plants and low water currents. Aquariums with darker substrates and dense vegetation will help bring out their brilliant silver, white and black coloration and provide them with a good sense of security.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Black Neon Tetra and provide a healthy diet.

Black Neon Tetra are an omnivorous species that will readily accept a variety of flake, crisp, freeze-dried, frozen or live foods. A typical tropical species staple flake will satisfy their complete nutritional needs; however, they can be offered bloodworms, brine or other similar foodstuffs to give them some variety in their diet.

Ideally the Black Neon Tetra should be fed 2 to 3 times per day small amounts of food that they will consume within a 5 minute period.

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