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Neon Tetra Fish

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Neon Tetras
Linda Paquette

Neon tetras are one of the most popular community fish and an
excellent choice for those new to fish keeping. Their purchase
size is often under of an inch and at full size, they reach a
big 2 inches in length. If you like color in your aquarium fish,
the Neon tetra will add real sparkle and flash to your aquarium.

A silver fish that darkens to iridescent blue along its backbone,
the neon tetra also sports a bright red tail. In addition, these
active little fish like to school in groups of 6 or more, so a
tank of neon tetras continually flashes with red, silver-white,
and blue!

Although in the same family as the Piranha, neon tetras are
completely unaggressive fish and if kept with more aggressive
types are more apt to become prey than predator. The main diet of
neon tetras is tropical flake food with tubifex worms,
bloodworms, or brine shrimp introduced as an occasional treat.

Maybe because of their size, neon tetras do like an aquarium that
provides them with lots of places to hide. This makes them
wonderful fish to keep in a live plant aquarium. In addition, a
dark substrate is closer to their natural surroundings. Other
good hiding places for neon tetras can include pieces of
driftwood or fish caves. Tetras in general also like highly
oxygenated acidic water, so another accessory you should consider
is a good aeration system.

One major problem with the neon tetra is its susceptibility to
neon tetra disease. When you buy your fish, inspect them closely
for any signs of disease or weakness. Physically a sick fish will
be paler in color than the healthy ones, but an easy way to spot
illness is when a neon prefers to be alone rather than joining in
its school. Unfortunately, there is no cure for neon tetra
disease. In its advanced stages, the fish becomes crippled. It
loses use of its tail and its spine is noticeably curved. Neon
tetra disease is a degenerative disease, believed to be caused by
environmental factors. Because of this, it isn't thought to be
contagious, but it will keep affecting your school until you have
rectified the conditions that cause it. Common causes of neon
tetra disease include poor water conditions and harassment by
other fish. Neon tetras are also very sensitive to loud noises
and bright lights.

Linda is editor of Tetra Fish and Cichilds sections on

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