Tetra-Black Neon

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The Black Neon Tetra has a peaceful nature, very energetic and is an excellent addition to any community aquarium. However, it is advisable not to house them with large, aggressive fish, or they may be outcompeted for food or eaten. These Tetras are a schooling fish and prefer to be in groups of at least six.

The Black Neon Tetra has a silver body with two distinct adjacent longitudinal stripes which run along the length of its body; one sizeable black bar and a smaller white line above it. It also has two distinctive bands above its eye, which are yellow and red.

Quick Facts
Scientific Name Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
Other Names Black Tetra
Family Characidae
Genus Hyphessobrycon
Origins South America
Temperament Peaceful
Aquarium Level Middle - Top
Difficulty Beginner - Intermediate
Shoaling Yes
Best kept as Groups 6+
Diet Omnivore
Reproduction Egg-Scatterer
Lifespan 3 - 5 years
Water Conditions
Water Type Freshwater
Temperature 20 - 26.1 ℃
PH 5.5 - 7.0
GH 1 - 6
KH 1 - 2

Natural Habitat of the Black Neon Tetra

Black neons Tetras are native to the Taquari and Paraguay River basins of southern Brazil in South America where they inhabit creeks, small tributaries, areas of flooded forests, and sandbanks.

In their natural habitat, the water is very acidic. It is stained a tea-brown colour from an excess of tannins released from the breakdown of decaying organic matter and leaf litter along the bottom substrate.


In the home aquarium, the Black Neons are not fussy, and they will eat anything they are offered. However, the ideal diet should be varied to provide them with their best colours and optimum health. This should include high-quality flakes and granules as well as live and frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, Moina and brine shrimp.

It would be best if you fed Black Neons several times a day, but only provide them with an amount they can consume within 3 minutes or less.

Breeding the Black Neon Tetra

You can breed Black Neon Tetras relatively easy if the water quality is right. Condition a breeding pair before spawning with live foods such as mosquito larvae or brine shrimp. Choose the male that is the most colourful and the biggest healthiest female.

A separate breeding tank will be required to produce the highest yield of fry. The tank will need to contain soft acidic water with a dark substrate and dim lighting, and the temperature should be increased by a few degrees. Make sure you have plenty of fine-leaved plants as a spawning medium and floating plants to help keep the light subdued.

Spawning usually occurs in the morning. The female will scatter several hundred sticky eggs onto the plants and substrate. After spawning has occurred, remove the parents, or else they will almost certainly eat the eggs and fry.

The eggs will hatch around 22 to 26 hours later, and the fry will become free swimming three to four days after that.

The fry is relatively easy to raise, and you may feed them commercially prepared foods, finely crushed flake foods or newly hatched brine shrimp.

Young fish should be kept isolated until they are big enough not to get eaten by the adults. You can then place them back into the standard aquarium.

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