freshwater community4


Blue Neon

blue neon

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Scientific Name:  Paracyprichromis nigripinnis      
Min. Tank Size:   65 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   7.5-9.0/10-25°dGH      
Size:   4"      
Diet:   Carnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer    


Best kept in a biotype tank with other peaceful Lake Tanganyika species; should be kept in shoals with at least 8 of its own kind.

Blue Neon

Endemic to the largest rift lake in Africa, Lake Tanganyika, the Blue Neon is also called the Neon Cichlid and the Herring Cichlid. These fish are similar in appearance to the Leptosoma, having an elongated, sardine-like body shape. Male Blue Neons are vibrantly colored, having an orange body striped with blue or purple lines. Females are less colorful than the males of the species and juveniles tend to be gray in color. Blue Neons tend to inhabit rocky areas of the lake and travel in large schools of hundreds of fish.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, Blue Neons prefer sandy substrate in a tank heavily decorated with large rocks and caves. Dark substrate and rock formations will help bring out the bright colors of this species and will also provide places for these fish to hide. Because this species is somewhat sensitive to changes in water chemistry, avoid performing any large water changes and make sure the water chemistry of any water added to the tank matches the chemistry of the main tank.


Blue Neons are planktivores by nature, feeding largely on zooplankton in the wild. In captivity, however, these fish are likely to accept a variety of foods. Small live and frozen foods are recommended for this species to enhance their natural coloration. Feed a variety of live, frozen, and freeze-dried bloodworms, Daphnia, brine shrimp or mysis shrimp, as well as a high-quality vitamin-enriched flake food or pellet as part of the regular feeding regime.


These Cichlids are a mouthbrooding species - the female takes the fertilized eggs into her mouth and incubates them until they hatch. Though these fish rarely spawn in captivity, breeding can be encouraged by using a separate spawning tank decorated with large caves and rock formations. The water in the breeding tank should be kept at a pH between 8.0 and 9.0 and a temperature between 75 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. After the female takes the eggs into her mouth she will typically keep them for 3 or 4 weeks before releasing the free swimming fry.

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