Black Neon Tetra: Care, Appearance, And More: A Comprehensive Guide

Black neon tetras are easy to care for and make great additions to community aquariums. These tiny fish are known for their striking black and neon blue coloring and are a popular choice for beginner and experienced aquarists alike.

If you’re looking for a fish that is easy to care for, highly active, and visually appealing, look no further than the black neon tetra. These fish are a popular choice for small community aquariums and are known for their distinctive coloring, which includes a bright neon blue stripe and a deep black body. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at black neon tetras, covering everything from their tank requirements and feeding habits to their behavior and ideal tankmates. Whether you’re an experienced fish keeper or just starting out, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know to care for your own black neon tetras.


Black neon tetras, scientifically known as hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. Their striking appearance and fascinating behaviors make them an excellent addition to any aquarium. In this section, we’ll dive into their appearance and what makes them stand out from other types of tetra fish.

Detailed Physical Characteristics Of The Fish

  • Black neon tetras are small fish, usually measuring up to 1. 5 inches in length.
  • They have a slender, streamlined body with a slightly curved back, which gives them a graceful appearance.
  • Their body is black, with a neon blue stripe that runs from the middle of their body all the way to the tail.
  • They have large eyes with a distinct red iris, which adds to their unique look.
  • Their fins are clear with a neon blue or red outline. The dorsal fin is triangular, and the anal fin is short and rounded.

Differences Between Males And Females

  • Male black neon tetras tend to be more colorful than females. They have a brighter blue stripe and more prominent red eyes.
  • Females tend to be wider and more rounded, especially during breeding season.
  • Males are also more active and tend to swim around the tank in search of a mate.

Variations In Color

  • The black and blue neon stripe is the most distinctive feature of black neon tetras. However, the intensity of the blue stripe can vary based on lighting conditions and water quality.
  • In some instances, the blue stripe can appear green, while in others, it may be more of a turquoise color.
  • The red outline on their fins can also vary, with some fish having a brighter red outline than others.

Size Range And Growth Potential

  • Black neon tetras typically grow to a maximum length of 1. 5 inches.
  • They have a relatively slow growth rate, and it may take up to a year for them to reach their full size.
  • These fish have a lifespan of approximately 5 years if they are well cared for.

Uniqueness Of The Fish In Comparison To Other Types Of Tetra Fish

  • Black neon tetras are often confused with neon tetras due to their similar appearance. However, these two species are different, with different behaviors and requirements.
  • Black neon tetras are a hardy species that can tolerate a wide range of water parameters, making them an excellent choice for beginner and experienced aquarists alike.
  • They are schooling fish and require a minimum group of 6-8 individuals to thrive. When kept in a large group, they will exhibit schooling behavior, which adds to their charm.

Overall, black neon tetras are an attractive and fascinating fish species that are relatively easy to care for. Their unique appearance and behaviors make them a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. By understanding their physical characteristics, differences between males and females, variations in color, size range and growth potential, and what makes them unique in comparison to other types of tetras, you’ll be better equipped to provide them with a suitable environment to thrive.

Tank Set Up And Water Conditions

The Ideal Tank Size For Black Neon Tetra Fish

The black neon tetra fish is a stunning fish that will add life and color to your aquarium. When setting up your tank for black neon tetras, choosing the right tank size is important. To keep your black neon tetra healthy and happy, you need to provide adequate swimming space.

The minimum tank size for black neon tetra fish is 10-gallons, but a larger tank is preferred. Keep in mind that overcrowding can cause stress and health problems for your fish.

Proper Substrate And Decoration For The Tank

Having a proper substrate and decoration in your tank is vital for the health and well-being of your black neon tetra fish. A soft substrate such as sand or gravel is recommended. The substrate should be a dark color to enhance the neon color of the fish.

When choosing decorations for the tank, darker colors work best. Black neon tetra fish love hiding, so provide them with plenty of hiding places, such as plants, rocks, and driftwood. Make sure the decorations you choose do not have sharp edges that could harm your fish.

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Optimal Water Temperature, Ph Level, And Hardness

Black neon tetra is sensitive to water conditions, so maintaining the right temperature and ph level is crucial for their survival. The optimal temperature for black neon tetra fish is between 75 and 82 degrees fahrenheit. The ph level should be between 6.

0 and 7. 0, and the water hardness should be between 5 and 12 dgh. Make sure to monitor the water conditions regularly using a quality water testing kit.

The Importance Of Adding Live Plants

Adding live plants to your tank is an essential part of creating a healthy and natural environment for your black neon tetra fish. Live plants help to oxygenate the water, remove harmful chemicals and provide a hiding place for your fish.

Plants also provide a natural food source for your black neon tetra, and they love to nibble on them. Some of the best live plants for your tank are java moss, amazon sword, cryptocoryne, and java fern.

Appropriate Lighting Requirements

Lighting is essential for the growth and development of live plants in your tank. The right lighting will also enhance the beauty of your black neon tetra fish. The recommended lighting for a black neon tetra tank is between 2 and 4 watts per gallon of water.

Provide your tank with natural daylight, or you can use an led light fixture that mimics natural daylight. The lighting should be on for 8 to 12 hours a day, and it should be turned off during the night to mimic natural lighting conditions.

With the above tips, setting up a tank for your black neon tetra fish should be easy. Remember to maintain the optimal water conditions, provide plenty of hiding places, and add live plants to promote a natural environment for your black neon tetra fish.

With careful consideration and maintenance, these beautiful fish will thrive in the peaceful setting of your aquarium.

Feeding And Health

Black neon tetra fish are a perfect addition to any aquarium. Their vibrant black and neon-blue coloring, coupled with their small size, make them a mesmerizing sight to behold. These freshwater fish require minimum effort to maintain and care for.

Feeding and keeping your black neon tetras healthy should be at the top of your list.

Types Of Food Black Neon Tetra Fish Prefer

Black neon tetra fish are omnivores, which means they prefer a varied diet. They can eat anything from flakes and pellets to live or frozen food.

  • High-quality flakes and pellets
  • Live or frozen food such as daphnia, bloodworms or brine shrimp

How To Feed Them And The Frequency Of Feeding

Overfeeding your black neon tetras can lead to health issues such as bloating and constipation. It’s recommended to feed them twice a day with small portions.

  • Feeding small amounts several times a day is better than feeding larger amounts once a day
  • Keep track of feeding times and amounts

Common Health Issues And How To Prevent Them

Black neon tetras can suffer from common health problems such as ick, fungal infections, and swim bladder disorder.

  • Quarantine new fish for about a week before introducing them to the existing fish in the aquarium
  • Regularly check water levels and change the water in the aquarium
  • Maintain a clean aquarium

The Signs Of Illness And How To Handle Them

It’s crucial to keep an eye on the physical condition of your black neon tetras.

  • Lethargy or inactivity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Visible parasites or odd discolorations

If you observe any of these signs, it’s best to separate the affected fish and seek the advice of an aquatic veterinarian.

How To Maintain A Clean And Healthy Aquarium

Maintenance of a clean and healthy aquarium is vital to the survival of black neon tetras.

  • Regularly monitor and maintain water temperature and ph levels
  • Clean the aquarium at least once a month, changing 25% – 30% of the water to keep the environment clean and healthy
  • Clean and replace the filter on a regular basis

By following these guidelines, you can keep your black neon tetras healthy and vibrant, ensuring they remain a beautiful addition to your aquarium.

Breeding And Rearing

Black neon tetra fish are popular aquarium fish, distinguished by their sleek-shaped body and striking black and iridescent blue-green stripes. Breeding and rearing these fish are rewarding activities that require a good understanding of the process. In this section, we will discuss the key factors to consider when breeding and rearing black neon tetras.

Differences Between Male And Female Black Neon Tetra Fish

Before breeding black neon tetras, it is essential to distinguish between male and female fish. It helps to ensure successful breeding and creating a healthy environment for the fry.

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Here are the differences between male and female black neon tetras to look out for:

  • Females are typically a bit larger and plumper than males, with a rounder belly when they are ready to breed.
  • Male black neon tetras have a slightly slimmer and more streamlined body shape and tend to have brighter blue markings.

The Mating Process And How To Encourage Breeding

Black neon tetras are relatively easy to breed, but it is essential to create the right conditions for the mating process. When the female fish are ready to breed, they will seek out a suitable mate. It is common to witness breeding activity in the morning hours, as that is when the fish are most active.

To encourage breeding, follow these steps:

  • Ensure that you have more females than males in the breeding tank, typically on a ratio of 2:1.
  • Provide a breeding cone, a vertical leaf or artificial plants for the females to lay their eggs.
  • Keep the water temperature between 75°f to 80°f and maintain a slightly acidic ph level of 6. 0 to 6. 5.
  • Reduce the water flow in the breeding tank, as the eggs are fragile and can dislodge easily.

Ways To Maintain A Healthy Breeding Environment

Maintaining a healthy breeding environment is crucial to increase the chances of success.

  • Use a dedicated breeding tank to prevent adult fish from consuming eggs or fry.
  • Keep the breeding tank clean by doing regular water changes to maintain good water quality.
  • Add some broad-leafed plants to the breeding tank to provide some cover for the fish and a surface for the females to lay their eggs.
  • Ensure that the tank has a secure lid, as black neon tetras are known to jump out of the water.

Steps To Take To Increase The Survival Rate Of Fry

Once the eggs hatch, the fry will attach themselves to the breeding cone or vertical leaf for a few days. They will then swim freely in the tank, feeding from the attached egg sac.

  • Keep the fry in a separate rearing tank until they are large enough to be introduced to a community tank.
  • Feed the fry with baby brine shrimp, finely crushed flakes, or powdered food.
  • Do not overfeed the fry, as it can contaminate the water and cause health issues.
  • Keep the water quality good by doing regular water changes, and avoid making sudden changes to water temperature or ph levels.

Caring For Young Black Neon Tetra Fish

Caring for young black neon tetras requires attention to detail to ensure that their development is healthy.

  • Ensure that the young fish have a suitable diet and are getting enough food to grow.
  • Monitor the water temperature and ph level regularly and do water changes as needed.
  • Keep the tank free of debris or uneaten food that can contaminate the water.
  • Introduce the young tetras carefully to the community tank to avoid any aggressive behavior from adult fish.

Breeding and rearing black neon tetra fish are rewarding and exciting activities. With proper attention to the right environment, diet, and water quality, enthusiasts can enjoy a thriving and healthy population of these beautiful fish in their aquariums.

Frequently Asked Questions For Black Neon Tetra: Care, Appearance, And More

1. How Big Do Black Neon Tetras Grow?

Black neon tetras grow up to 1. 5 inches in size and are relatively small in size.

2. How Long Do Black Neon Tetras Live?

Black neon tetras have an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years under optimal conditions.

3. What Kind Of Care Do Black Neon Tetras Require?

Black neon tetras require a well-maintained aquarium with a balanced diet, suitable water parameters, and a peaceful environment.

4. Can Black Neon Tetras Coexist With Other Fish Species?

Yes, black neon tetras are peaceful schooling fish and can coexist with other compatible fish species in a community aquarium.

5. What Is The Ideal Water Temperature For Black Neon Tetras?

The ideal water temperature for black neon tetras is between 72-78°f, with a ph level of 6. 0-7. 0.


To sum up, black neon tetras are impressive fish that serve as a great addition to your fish tank. They thrive well in well-maintained tanks with water temperatures between 72°f to 80°f and a ph range of 6. 0 to 7.

5. These small fishes are lively and active, making them a delight to watch. Moreover, they are easy to feed, and their diet can be supplemented with flakes, pellets, and live organisms. Black neon tetras are peaceful and social creatures, which makes them great for community tanks.

However, they are sensitive to water-changing conditions, and water parameters should be carefully maintained. If these conditions are met, you can enjoy the beauty, versatility, and playful nature of the black neon tetra in your tank, making it an excellent addition to your collection.

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