Neon tetra

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Neon tetra
Paracheirodon innesi neon tetra.jpg

Neon tetra ( Paracheirodon innesi )

Sub-cohort : Ostariophysi
Order : Tetras (Characiformes)
Family : True tetras (Characidae)
Genre : Paracheirodon
Type : Neon tetra
Scientific name
Paracheirodon innesi
( Myers , 1936)

The neon tetra ( Paracheirodon innesi , syn .: Cheirodon innesi , Hyphessobrycon innesi ), also called neon tetra or neon fish , is a freshwater fish from the upper Amazon basin . It occurs in the Río Putumayo , in the upper Amazon from Iquitos to São Paulo de Olivenca and in parts of the Rio Purus . After the goldfish and the guppy , it is one of the most famous freshwater ornamental fish .

The 3.5 to 4 cm long animals form swarms. The neon tetra feeds on small invertebrates .

His specific epithet innesi refers to William T. Innes, the former editor of the formerly leading American aquarium magazine "The Aquarium".


The characteristic, iridescent , blue-green band extends laterally from the nose to the base of the adipose fin . The abdomen is silver-white. The red color extends from the middle of the body to the base of the caudal fin. The blue-green color of the light strip changes to dark purple at night, the red strip fades. Investigations allow the conclusion that the discoloration serves as camouflage when inactive. The changes are based on louvre-shaped iridophores .


The neon tetra belongs to the genus Paracheirodon and in the family of the real tetras (Characidae). The genus Paracheirodon is currently not assigned to any subfamily. It belongs with some other closely related genera of the subfamily Stethaprioninae .


The neon tetra is numerically the most traded aquarium fish. It is kept as a schooling fish in groups of five or more animals. Most of the animals traded are offspring that were reproduced in large ornamental fish farms in East Asia. Neon tetra are free spawners and their breeding is demanding, therefore only recommended for experienced aquarists. You have to let the animals spawn in a darkened extra aquarium and then allow the males to fertilize the eggs. You can then remove the parents, as they do not care for the brood.


Individual evidence

  1. Diel color changes in the neon tetra Paracheirodon innesi (English), John N. Lythgoe and Julia Shand, doi: 10.1007 / BF00001090 (accessed December 16, 2009)
  2. S. Yoshioka, B. Matsuhana, S. Tanaka, Y. Inouye, N. Oshima, S. Kinoshita: Mechanism of variable structural color in the neon tetra: quantitative evaluation of the Venetian blind model. In: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface. Volume 8, number 54, January 2011, pp. 56-66, doi : 10.1098 / rsif.2010.0253 , PMID 20554565 , PMC 3024824 (free full text).
  3. Light-reflecting properties of the iridophores of the neon tetra, Paracheirodon innesi , Hiroshi Nagaishi, Noriko Oshima, and Ryozo Fujii, doi: 10.1016 / 0300-9629 (90) 90229-L
  4. Neon Tetras Tank and Temp (English)

Web links

Commons : Neonsalmler ( Paracheirodon innesi )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files