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Black Neon Tetra

black neon tetra

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Scientific Name:   Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi      
Min. Tank Size:   20 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   72-82°F      
pH:   5.5-7.5/0-12°dGH      
Size:   1.5"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in shoals with 6 or more of their own species; can be kept with other Tetras, Livebearers, Rasboras, Danios, Corydoras, Gouramis and Dwarf Cichlids.

Black Neon Tetra

Popular among novice and experienced aquarium hobbyists alike, the Black Neon Tetra is native to the Paraguay basin in Southern Brazil. These fish tend to inhabit small bodies of water like creeks, tributaries and flooded forest areas where the water is stained with tannins. Black Neon Tetras can be identified by their silver bodies which are ornamented with two horizontal stripes - one white stripe above a second black stripe. The eyes of this species may also be colored with two thin bands, red over yellow. Though their names would suggest otherwise, these fish do not particularly resemble Neon Tetras.

Tank Set-up

Black Neon Tetras are a highly adaptable species and can be kept successfully in a variety of tank environments. This is one of the reasons they are so popular and can usually be found in most local fish stores or online. These fish thrive in well-maintained tanks and show particularly well in heavily planted tanks. However, they will tend to look washed out in sparsely decorated setups so be sure to include plenty of live plants if you want to see its best colors. The Black Neon Tetra prefers dim lighting and will benefit from some leaf litter or a small bag of peat in the tank or filter to mimic its natural blackwater conditions.


The Black Neon Tetra will readily accept a variety of foods and will eagerly eat most aquarium foods available. For optimum health and coloration, feed a varied diet of live/frozen foods such as brine shrimp, Daphnia, and bloodworms along with a high quality flake.


Breeding Black Neon Tetras is generally considered to be quite easy. These fish can be spawned in pairs or in groups and conditioned on small live foods. If you choose to condition these fish in groups, select the largest and most colorful pair for spawning. Use dim lighting in the breeding tank with the addition of some Java moss or a spawning mop for the female to deposit the eggs on. Once introduced to the breeding tank, the pair should spawn within 24 hours and the eggs will hatch after another 24 to 36 hours. Remove the parents once spawning has occured.

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