Green neon tetra

Aquarium fish: Green neon tetra (Paracheirodon simulans)
Size: 2.5 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 21-35 ° C
Aquarium volume: 40 l

Green neon tetra (Paracheirodon simulans ) – a tiny, attractively colored, freshwater aquarium fish from the tetras family.


South America . The species occurs in the upper Rio Negro basin in Brazil, in the upper Rio Orinoco basin in Venezuela and Colombia, and in the Inirida River in Colombia. In contrast to its cousins ​​P. innesi and P.

axelrodi , it lives only in slow to moderately flowing black waters. These habitats are usually characterized by a sandy bottom, overhanging coastal vegetation, sunken boughs, branches and leaves decaying in the water. The water there is usually acidic, with a slight carbonate hardness, and due to the high content of humic substances, it is colored tea-colored.

Characteristics and disposition

It grows up to 2.5 cm in length. Upper body olive green, greenish or blue-green.

A shiny green-blue stripe runs from the mouth to the base of the tail through the center of the torso. It resembles a neon innesa , but it is slightly smaller and has less red color under the neon stripe, which is the longest and most even of the genus Paracheirodon . The characteristic iridescent blue-green band contains pigment cells called iridophores, which reflect light thanks to crystalline guanine plates called schematochromes. In the light, the light diffracts on the piles of these plates, creating iridescent colors. One hypothesis is that the intense blue sideband function of Paracheirdon species may have evolved as a predator avoidance strategy.

Researchers found that the bright colors of these fish are less noticeable in black waters, except when viewed at an angle of about 30 ° above the horizon, so that their mirror images projected from below to the surface of the water can confuse predators. The sex of the fish is difficult to distinguish. Males are usually a bit smaller and more slender when viewed from above. Green neon are gentle fish that swim in large shoals. It is recommended to keep a flock of at least 10 in an aquarium .

More of them look prettier, are bolder and exhibit more interesting behavior. They prefer to stay in the middle zone of the aquarium.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous species. In natural habitats it feeds on small invertebrates, crustaceans, algae and fruit that falls into the water. In the aquarium, they can be given dry food, regularly supplemented with live or frozen food (e.g.

bloodworm, mosquito larva, daphnia, daphnia).


A 40-liter aquarium, densely planted in places and with a sandy bottom, will be suitable for a small group of simulans neon. Dry roots, branches and leaves will give the tank a more natural character. Decaying alder leaves and cones can also be a valuable source of additional food for the fry and desirable humic substances. Neon lights feel best in not very bright lighting.

In such conditions, it is possible to grow less demanding plants, such as, for example, Mikrozorium, Cryptocoryna, Java moss or Rożdżnia. The fish are sensitive to any contamination and fluctuations in water parameters, therefore they should never be introduced to newly established, unstabilized aquariums.


The reproduction of simulans neon is not easy . It requires a separate, shaded spawning tank, in which we place large clumps of small-leaved plants or artificial aquarium mops. Water for reproduction must be specially prepared, it should be very soft, 1-5 dGH, acidic, pH approx.

6, temperature approx. 26 ° C. A small sponge filter with an adjustable water flow can be used for filtration, so that the circulation is not too strong. Simulans neons can be reproduced in groups, in a 1: 1 ratio of males to females, but we will obtain better results by breeding them in pairs . Before planned spawning, females should be separated from males (e.g.

with a partition) and fed more frequently with live or frozen food. When the females are thicker and the males are more intensely colored, choose the thickest female and the prettiest male and move them to a separate aquarium in the evening. Spawning usually starts the next morning. If spawning does not take place after a few days, you can try with another pair. Neonki most often, among small-leaved vegetation, scatter up to 130 eggs.

Adult specimens eat the eggs, so after noticing the eggs, it is necessary to separate the parents. Hatching takes place within 24-36 hours, and after another 3-4 days, the larvae begin to swim freely in the aquarium. In the first period, they require the smallest micro-foods in liquid or powder, until they are large enough to consume small live foods, such as artemia larvae or micro nematodes. Attention. Both the roe and the fry in the early stages of life are very sensitive to light.


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