Neon Tetra – Paracheirodon axelrodi

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The neon tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) is one of the most readily available freshwater fish, being sold all around the world.

One of the greatest things about this fish is its natural instinct to school, so it is almost a necessity to own more than one. They look their best when schooling in groups of six or more.

These fish are rather easy to care for, but die from the Neon Tetra Disease. This species of fish likes its water with a pH of 6.0-7.8. The temperature of 68-78 degrees is what this fish desires, but is often hard to accommodate since so often kept in planted tanks with a warmer climate.

There is another species of fish, which is very similar in appearance. It is the Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) the main characteristics are the same; the blue band is on average the same size. The difference in the two is that the cardinal has a very large red band, which starts at the bottom of the blue, reaches from the tail of the fish to mouth, and stretches to the bottom. The problem with this fish is that it is much more demanding than its cousin the neon. It prefers its water very acidic and a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6.4. One of the positive things about this fish is its willingness to live in a warmer environment, one with a temperature of around 73-82 degrees. They both grow to about the same size, and are often sold in the same tank, as Neon Tetras. Take a close look at the red bands before purchasing either species.

The Neon Tetra disease is a disease that hits hard, and often. It is not constrained to the neon tetra, affecting all other tetras and most other fish. Some of the symptoms of this disease are as follows:

Fish begins to lose coloration
cysts developing to make the body appear lumpy
Difficulty swimming
Curved spine may appear
Secondary infections such as fin rot and bloating

There is not yet a treatment; therefore the best thing to do is to put the fish asleep, by putting it into a bowl of ice water. The worst thing to do is leave it in the tank because it will spread and kill the other inhabitants.

Sexing the neon tetra is not really a science; the female will be a little larger.

Neon Tetra

Cardinal Tetra

Neon Tetra Disease

Last update: 2006-02-06 08:53
Author: D9HP

Filed under Fish Profiles, Freshwater.