The Fish Guru

Unleashing the Beauty of Black Neon Tetras: Tank Requirements Diet and Breeding

Black Neon Tetra Overview

Black neon tetra, also known scientifically as Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, is a popular freshwater fish species among aquarium enthusiasts. This fish is known for its unique coloration, which combines a bright blue-green stripe at the top and a black stripe along the bottom.

These attractive features make the black neon tetra one of the most sought-after fish for home aquariums. Description and appearance:

The black neon tetra is a small fish species, which can grow up to 3cm in length.

The male black neon tetra is slightly slimmer and more vibrant than the female, but it’s not easy to tell them apart. This fish’s striking coloration makes it easy to distinguish it from other fish species.

Its top half is bright blue or green, while the bottom half is black. Natural habitat:

The black neon tetra is native to the freshwater rivers and tributaries of Brazil and Paraguay.

These fish species are usually found in the lower region of the water and are often seen swimming with other fish species in schools. In the wild, these fish survive on a diet consisting of insects and small crustaceans.

Tank requirements:

Before purchasing a black neon tetra for a home aquarium, it is crucial to understand its tank requirements to provide a comfortable habitat for the fish. Black neon tetras should be kept in a minimum rectangular tank that is spacious enough to accommodate a schooling group of at least six fish.

The tank should be densely planted with tall and short plants like Amazon sword. Adding leaf litter to the tank would mimic their natural habitat, and they love to swim around it.


Black neon tetras are peaceful, non-aggressive fish, making them a great addition to a community tank. They thrive in the company of other small, peaceful catfish and schooling fish that are not too large or aggressive, such as dwarf cichlids.


Feeding black neon tetras is relatively easy since these fish are not picky eaters. They thrive on commercial fish flakes and pellet foods.

However, feeding them frozen or live foods occasionally will add a variety of nutrients to their diet, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. Behavior and breeding:

Black neon tetras are peaceful, schooling fish, which means that they feel comfortable in groups of six or more fish.

These fish usually spend most of their time swimming around the tank and are active throughout the day. Breeding black neon tetras is relatively simple as they are egg-scatterers.

To encourage breeding behavior, the tank should have a densely planted area with a wide surface area for the female to lay eggs. The eggs will hatch in less than a week, and the fry will feast on microorganisms until they are big enough to eat commercial fish food.

Tank Requirements:

Tank size:

Black neon tetras need a minimum rectangular tank size of 10 gallons, although larger tanks are ideal for creating a comfortable and spacious habitat. Planting:

Densely planted aquariums help black neon tetras thrive in the home aquarium.

Amazon sword and other tall and short plants provide hiding places and simulate the fish’s natural environment. Water conditions:

The black neon tetra thrives in water conditions that are soft and mildly acidic, with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5 and a temperature range of 72F to 82F.

Maintaining good water quality by performing frequent water changes is especially important for ensuring the health of the fish. Conclusion:

In conclusion, black neon tetras are an attractive and easy-to-care-for fish species, making them a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts.

Caring for black neon tetras requires an understanding of their natural habitat, tank requirements, and dietary needs. By providing a spacious, densely planted aquarium with peaceful tankmates, maintaining good water quality, and feeding them a variety of foods, black neon tetras can thrive in the home aquarium for years.


When choosing tankmates for the black neon tetra, it is essential to keep in mind that these fish are peaceful species and should be kept with other peaceful fish as well. A school of six or more black neon tetras will make them feel more secure in the tank, especially when kept with other schooling fish of the same or similar size.

Small catfish, such as Corydoras, are suitable tankmates for black neon tetras as they prefer to stay at the bottom of the tank, while black neon tetras remain at the top. Dwarf cichlids, such as German blue rams, are also compatible tankmates for black neon tetras.

These cichlid species are peaceful and adapt well to live in a community tank, given that the aquarium’s water parameters and setup meet their requirements. Schooling fish such as harlequin rasboras, ember tetras, and neon tetras work well with black neon tetras.

Blue-eyed rainbowfish and guppies also have a compatible temperament as they are non-aggressive fish and have a similar diet. On the other hand, aggressive species should be avoided as tankmates for black neon tetras.

Hungry species that will eat everything in the tank, or bullies that chase and nip at other fish, can harm or cause stress to black neon tetras. For instance, bettas and angelfish are notoriously aggressive and may hurt black neon tetras.

Predatory fish species such as cichlids or puffers that bully other fish may also harm black neon tetras. Diet:

Black neon tetras are omnivorous fish species and will consume most commercial fish flakes or pellet foods designed for their kind.

A balanced diet consisting of high-quality commercial fish flakes and pellets is sufficient to maintain their health. The recommended feeding frequency is twice a day, with a small portion each feeding.

Supplemental foods such as frozen and live foods are optional, but they help diversify their diet and provide essential nutrients. Frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia are suitable sources of protein, minerals, and vitamins.

These foods usually come in cubes or can be thawed before adding it to the tank. Avoid overfeeding, as it can lead to poor water conditions and health problems caused by excess waste.

Black neon tetras feed at the top of the water and on the substrate. They are known to be voracious eaters and may eat until they are full.

However, some fish species’ aggression can intimidate black neon tetras and prevent them from eating their food. To avoid this, it is best to feed them in a separate feeding area or add food at different locations in the tank to ensure they get their fill.

In conclusion, knowing the types of fish that can mix with black neon tetras is essential for a peaceful community aquarium. Peaceful tankmates like dwarf cichlids, small catfish, and schooling fish would make excellent companions for black neon tetras.

Aggressive species and those that are always hungry should be avoided, even if they are compatible with the water parameters. When it comes to feeding black neon tetras, a well-balanced diet consisting of commercial fish flakes, along with supplemental frozen and live foods, will keep them healthy and active.

Feeding them two or three times a day and providing space for all fish in the aquarium to feed will help maintain a peaceful and healthy aquatic environment. Behavior and Breeding:

Black neon tetras are known for their peaceful schooling behavior and the ease of breeding in a controlled environment.

Understanding their behavior and breeding patterns is essential for a successful breeding program. Schooling behavior:

Black neon tetras are social fish and prefer to be kept in a group of six or more individuals.

They form tight schools that swim together and move in synchronized motions. These tight schools are a defense mechanism against predators as their collective movement confuses predators and makes it harder for them to single out individual fish.

In the wild, black neon tetras tend to school in dispersed areas with plenty of vegetation to hide in when under threat. In the home aquarium, it is vital to create an environment that mimics the black neon tetras’ natural habitat to keep them comfortable and happy.

Breeding behavior:

Breeding Black neon tetras is relatively easy, and it can be achieved in a controlled environment by replicating their natural habitat. The first step towards breeding black neon tetras is setting up a breeding tank that is separate from the main tank.

This breeding tank should be densely planted with fine-leaved plants like Java moss, as these plants provide hiding spaces for the fish. To encourage breeding behavior, it is essential to keep the water temperature between 75F to 82F.

Black neon tetras prefer water that is slightly acidic (pH: 5.0 to 6.5) and soft (dH: 3-10), so the water in the breeding tank should be adjusted accordingly. Breeding usually happens in the early hours of the morning, and it is usually triggered by raising the water temperature slightly.

The fish will pair up and begin to spawn by laying their eggs among the plants in the breeding tank. After fertilization, the eggs usually hatch within two to three days, and the fry remain attached to the plants, feeding on their yolk sacs for up to five days.

Once the fry hatch and begin to swim freely, they will need to be fed frequently with live food or finely crushed commercial fish food. It is crucial to ensure that the fry have enough space to swim around and access to an adequate supply of food at all times.

The breeding tank should be monitored regularly to maintain good water quality and keep the fry safe from predators. In conclusion, Black neon tetras have peaceful schooling behavior that makes them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.

Breeding these fish is relatively easy, and it is crucial to simulate their natural habitat to encourage breeding behavior. A separate breeding tank, dense planting, and specific water conditions are necessary to successfully breed black neon tetras.

New hobbyists should research thoroughly and have the necessary equipment and resources before attempting to breed black neon tetras to prevent any harm to the fish and maintain good water quality. In conclusion, understanding the tank requirements, suitable tankmates, diet, behavior, and breeding patterns of Black Neon Tetras is essential for creating a peaceful and flourishing aquarium.

These social fish prefer to be kept in a group of at least six individuals in a rectangular tank with dense planting and specific water conditions. Keeping them with peaceful and compatible tankmates such as small catfish and dwarf cichlids, feeding them a balanced diet with supplemental live or frozen foods, and creating a controlled environment that simulates their natural habitat during breeding will help maintain their health and promote successful breeding.

Black Neon Tetras are an easy-to-care-for species and a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts because of their striking appearance and peaceful nature.

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