Betta Trading

Neon Tetra Fact Sheet

Neon Tetras at Betta Trading are $1 each or 10 for $9.   They have been this price at Betta Trading since the 3rd of July 1990.

The Neon Tetra, Paracheirodon innesi is one of the most popular aquarium fish. Its maximum length is a little over 3cm. The Neon Tetra is closely related to the Cardinal Tetra Paracheirodon axelrodi and the Green Neon Tetra Paracheirodon simulans. It is less closely related to the hundreds of other tetra species.  The Neon (innesi) was named after William T. Innis.


Neon Tetras are a good fish for a community aquarium of small fish. Some other fish they can be kept with them are small Rasboras, small tetras and live bearers like platies, swordtails and guppies. Peppered and Bronze catfish are suitable scavengers for a tank of Neons.

I do not recommend putting Neons with large fish like Black Sharks, Gold Gouramis and Tin Foil Barbs. In the wild, Neon Tetra sized fish are a natural food for Angel Fish.

Origin and Temperature

It comes from the Amazon River.  This is a tropical area and the Neon Tetra is a tropical fish.  Neons should have heated water, unless they can be kept in a room that never gets cold.  I suggest an aquarium heater with the thermostat to about 23 or 24 degrees C.  Neons do not like very warm water; temperatures over 30 degrees should be avoided and sustained temperature above about 26 degrees C are bad for them.

Water Conditions

The Neon comes from water that is almost incredibly soft and moderately acidic. However, they can be kept successfully in water with Ph ranging from 5.5 to 7.4. They can live in reasonably hard water, but if you want to breed them, considerable care will be necessary to recreate the water conditions of the wild neon. For a community aquarium, I suggest a neutral Ph.

A community aquarium should have plants or other cover. This both looks good to humans, and provides some security to the fish. With plants, the fish actually show themselves more.

The Neon is a schooling fish; I recommend a school of four or more. A school of Neons in an aquarium is a very beautiful sight. The Neon loses its colours in the dark, but regains them quickly when it gets light again.




Neon Tetras will eat all common aquarium foods including flakes. Dry fry food is also good for them. It is not only a suitable size,  but is also is higher in protein and other nutrients than most fish food. Live food is good for Neons, as it is for other fish. Frozen blood worms are readily available, and Neons love them.

Neons like the Betta food sold by Aqua one and it is a useful supplement to a good quality flake food.  This Betta food is smaller than is ideal for a fighting fish, but is an excellent size for Neons. 

Pest Fish

I find it difficult to envisage this fish as an ecological vandal but care should be exercised to prevent the release of any pet into the wild.

Steve Challis