Black Neon Tetra Aquarium Fish | Feeding And Breeding

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

Black neon aquarium fish has long been considered one of the most popular fish for aquariums. This is a wonderful aquarium fish, hardy, unpretentious and refined. As a rule, we are accustomed to seeing a bright blue or turquoise stripe on their sides, so the name “Black Neon Tetra” may confuse some potential buyers. After all, how can the glow be black?

Black Neon Aquarium Fish

Few Details About Black Neon Aquarium Fish

Black neon (lat. Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, eng. Black Neon Tetra) is a representative of the haracin family from the water bodies of Brazil. It is widespread in the upper basin of the Paraguay River, and chooses various swamps and flooded forest areas as its habitat.

A typical biotope of black neon tetra is brownish water enriched with tannins from decaying leaves and driftwood of sunken plants. In such areas, there are usually very dense thickets of underwater vegetation.

Looking at this fish, one can immediately understand that it belongs to tetras. It has a small size, not exceeding 3 cm, a high body flattened on the sides, large eyes and an adipose fin at the base of the caudal peduncle.

Black Neon tetra fish Info

How To Specify Black Neon Tetra

The species of black neon is identified mainly by its color. The fish has a dark olive back, a silvery belly, and a bluish-black blurred stripe on the sides. On top of it, there is a distinct light turquoise thin stripe. Just giving the fish a resemblance to the famous blue and red neon’s. The upper part of the iris of the eyes is often colored red.

These fish keep mainly in the water column, they can be in different parts of the aquarium, huddling in a school only in times of danger. Each individual takes its own position. As it were, hangs in space, supporting its body in the chosen position with the help of short jerks.

Against the background of other bright fish, including those next to their spectacular blue counterparts, black neon may seem faded, but in comparison with them, it is much more hardy. So it can be recommended even for beginners.

Related : Freshwater Sharks For Aquarium

Conditions For Black Neon Fish

Although this fish is quite hardy and can adapt to different conditions, this does not mean at all that it is not mighty. In addition, this animal has a rather sophisticated beauty that needs to be emphasized by a suitable environment.

It’s easy to create the conditions for black neon tetra. To keep your pets healthy and beautiful, follow these guidelines:

  • Fish do not require massive containers for their living. For a group of 8-10 tails, 40 gallon fish tank will be enough.
  • In an aquarium with black neons, it is better to put dim lighting. Since strong bright light can be a stress factor for them, from which the fish start to get nervous and jump out of the water.
  • It is better not to use too bright artificial décor in a pond with these dark fish. Painted castles and coral reefs, colored soil, colorful plastic plants of unnatural colors. All this will distract attention from our humble hero.
  • When furnishing an aquarium for black neon, it is better to focus on the natural biotope of fish and use only natural decorations in the design – winding driftwood, river sand as soil, dried leaf litter at the bottom, and dense thickets of vegetation.
  • This fish’s natural habitat is characterized by “black water” enriched with tannins coming from decaying dried leaves. To achieve this effect, you can use different conditioners or different decoctions from the bark and cones of trees. Dried leaves and brewed tea will also help achieve the desired result.

Recommended water parameters:

  • temperature: 20-28 ° C;
  • acidity: 5.0-7.5 pH;
  • hardness: up to 12 ° dH;
  • weekly change of 25% water.


Being in nature micro-predators willingly eating various aquatic invertebrates. In captivity black neon’s perfectly feed on almost all types of live, dry and frozen food.

When giving food to these fish, you must first of all pay attention to the size of the food pieces and the speed with which they sink to the bottom. Black neon tetra that live in the water column and have a snout raised upward, pick up the fallen food extremely reluctantly. Therefore, any bottom animals, for example, catfish or shrimps, must be adjacent to them.

Black Neon tetra fish Feeding


Unlike regular blue or red neon’s, black neon aquarium fish is much easier to breed and can reproduce on their own under good conditions in aquariums. However, usually, the offspring in the common tank does not survive. The caviar is eaten by snails or catfish, and the parents themselves are not averse to feasting on the young.

If you decide to practice breeding these spawning tetras, then you should try to spawn in a separate small aquarium.

  • Usually, a small container is used for these purposes – 5 gallon tank. Particular attention should be paid to the parameters of the water, which should be soft and slightly acidic. At the bottom, it is necessary to put a different spawning substrate. Small-leaved plants, a green washcloth, or even leaf litter. It is better to place a separator grid on top of the substrate so that producers do not eat the swept away eggs.

It is also recommended to place a weak small filter in the spawning box. Ideally, an airlift is suitable, but a regular “barbus boats” of low power can also be used. The main thing is that he does not create a strong current and does not suck the fry into himself. Aeration of water will not interfere.

Black Neon tetra fish

Recommended parameters for a spawning aquarium:

  • Hardness: 4-5 to 2 ° dKH;
  • Acidity: 6.5-7.0 pH;
  • Temperature: 26 ° C.
The light in the spawning box can be omitted.

A week before spawning, they begin to prepare producers. They are usually segregated by gender, seated in different containers, and fed daily with nutritious protein food.

Although these do not pronounced sexual dimorphism. Experienced aquarists can easily distinguish males from females “by eye”. Female tetras are large, have a rounder abdomen, and males are small, slender, but brighter.

For spawning, group spawning of fish is more practicing. Many different individuals are planted in the aquarium, they independently break into pairs and spawn.

More About Breeding Black Neon Aquarium Fish

In the spawning grounds, fish are launched in the evening, the aquarium is shaded. As a rule, spawning begins the next morning, which lasts 2-3 hours. After it, the parents are placed in a common aquarium, and the spawning grounds are completely shaded.

It is not recommended to feed adult blank neon tetra in the spawning grounds, and if they do not spawn for two days, then it is reasonable to transplant them back for feeding. Also, to stimulate spawning, some breeders resort to different tricks – some add a few drops of copper sulfate to the water, others add a light tea-colored decoction from alder or oak bark.

Check the aquarium 4 hours after spawning. If whitened eggs are observed in the clutches, then they must be carefully removed with a pipette.

Black Neon Living habit

The incubation of eggs lasts about a day, and after another 4-5 days, the larvae begin to swim and search for food. The starting food for them is “live dust”. As soon as the juveniles grow up, they can be transferred to feed of a larger fraction – egg yolk, brine shrimp nauplii, and micro worms.

In order for the tetra fry to grow faster, it is recommended to make daily changes of 10-15% water and to carry out frequent feeding in small portions – at least 6 times a day.


Like most of their fellows, black neon’s are peaceful and active. Therefore, they are considered fish ideally suited for common aquariums with other commensurate peaceful neighbors – barbs, poecilia , zebra fish, and other small carp.

These fish cannot be started in pairs or in small numbers, because they are schooling and require a large team. In small groups, black neon tetra will hide in rocks and generally feel very insecure. They will not get lost in a flock with other types of neon’s.

Obligatory neighbors for these characins fish are small bottom fish. They also do not touch shrimp. If you are the owner of large or predatory fish, then it is better to refuse to purchase neon tetra, because they will perceive these little ones exclusively as food.

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