Paracheirodon innesi (neon tetra)

Taxonomy:
Paracheirodon innesi which is also known as the Neon tetra belongs to the Characidae family and Characiformes order. The species may also be known as Hyphessobrycon innesi.
Distribution-Habitat:
The species is native to South America ( upper basin of Peru, Brazil, and Colombia). The Neon tetra occurs in clear water streams and tributaries as well as in black waters. The water conditions are low in minerals and nutrients and rich in humic acids (an indication of soft and acidic habitat). Furthermore, Neon tetra introduced to other countries (Singapore, Spain, the Philippines) for ornamental reasons.
Description:
Neon tetra has a thin body with a green-blue bright line that extends from the head to the tail. There is a red stripe near the tail. The species can be distinguished from the Cardinal tetra by the red line. The Cardinal tetra’s red line begins from the head and reaches to the tail. Furthermore, male Neon tetras are thinner while female Neon tetras have round abdomens. The species grow up to 1.6 inches length (5 cm) with females being broader in breeding conditions and slightly larger than males. The species have a lifespan of 5 years. Habits:
This small, social fish is one of the most popular tetras in the aquarium industry. Neon tetras are not a beginners fish as many believe because they are somewhat sensitive to water parameters. Many aquarists lose their fish because of the stress of the species during transportation.
They are shoaling fish that should be kept in groups of 6 individuals and more. They are also suited for community tanks with peaceful species with a similar size and water chemistry. Some compatible species are corydoras and other peaceful tetras.
Because of the natural habitat of Neon tetra, they should be kept in soft acidic water. You may decorate the aquarium with aquatic and floating Plants, rocks, and woods to provide shelter for stressed fish and give a stunning appearance. A pH between 5.0-7.0, with a temperature between 20-26 Celsius, and hardness between 50-100 mg/l, suits the species.
An aquarium of 50 liters could be enough for a group of 6-8 neon tetras. However, a bigger school of Neon tetras in a larger tank would be much better.
Neon tetras are omnivorous and can eat prepared food and small live-foods such as daphnia, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, etc. In nature, their diet consists of crustaceans, small insects, worms, and plant matter, e.t.c.
Breeding:
Neon tetras are egg scatterers and quite difficult to breed. They reproduce better at 25 Celcius, 5,5-6,6 pH (main determinant), with no light as the Neon tetras’ eggs and fry, are sensitive to the light (after twelve days the young are not sensitive to the light). You may cover the tank to create darkness with papers or other materials. Raise the temperature from 22 Celsius to 25 Celsius with slow acclimatization to prevent stressing the fish. A mixed diet with live food prior spawning attempt may help. Woods and leaves (almond leaves) are essential for breeding Neon tetras as they provide tannins and humic acids. The tank needs good aeration for the optimal health of the eggs. You may use a breeding tank for better results for a pair or three females with three males in a tank.
The male stimulates the female to spawn by pushing his snout to the abdomen. Then the male curves his body in a characteristic S-curve shape and releases the sperm to fertilize the released eggs. Replace the individuals if no eggs have appeared for 2-3 days. Remove the adults If the spawning is successful to protect the eggs. The female lays about 60-120 eggs, which hatch in about 24 hours. Keep in mind that the temperature affects the eggs’ hatching period. For 3-5 days the young feed on the yolk sac, so in that period they don’t need food. After the consumption of the yolk sac, you can feed the young three times per day with infusoria, zooplankton, etc.


Neonsalmler Paracheirodon innesi
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References:

  1. David Alderton 2005, 2008, Encyclopedia of aquarium and pond fish, Published in the United States by DK Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7566-3678-4
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2018, Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi). Retrieved from: https://www.fws.gov/fisheries/ans/erss/uncertainrisk/ERSS-Paracheirodon-innesi_Final.pdf
  3. P. R. A. Pathirana l * and S.C. Jayamanne, Development of a Low Cost Method for Breeding Paracheirodon innesi (Neon Tetra) in Captivity. Retrieved from: http://www.seu.ac.lk/researchandpublications/asrs/2012/20.pdf
  4. KADTAN NITESH VILASRAO 2013, EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE ON BREEDING BEHAVIOR, HATCHING RATE AND LARVAL REARING OF NEON TETRA, PARACHEIRODON INNESI. Retrieved from: http://krishikosh.egranth.ac.in/bitstream/1/5810021429/1/Nitesh%20Dissertation.pdf
  5. Dariusz Kucharczyk1 et al 2010, THE REPRODUCTION OF NEON TETRA, PARACHEIRODON INNESI (MYERS, 1936), UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS. Retrieved from: http://www.uwm.edu.pl/polish-journal/sites/default/files/issues/articles/kucharczyk_et_al._2010_0.pdf
  6. Paracheirodon innesi TSN 163041. Retrieved from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=163041#null

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