Neon tetras are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. Neon tetras are a type of tropical freshwater fish, also known as a barb or puffer fish. They are quite hardy and easy to care for in an aquarium. Neon tetras require high-quality water, and have different requirements for breeding and spawning.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most popular types of neon tetra.
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What Are Neon Tetras?
Neon tetras are small in size, and they do not grow too large. They can be mistaken for schooling community fish like African catfish or chubs because of their smaller size.
Their bodies have a distinctive color that changes during the day– neon tetras change colors at sunrise and sunset to hide themselves from predators. When adults develop stripes on their body, these fish become difficult to confuse with other aquarium fishes like pikes; but neon tetras are very hardy and easy to keep, so they don’t need such complicated schemes of camouflage.
The range of the fish is restricted to South-East Asia, including China (Sichuan), Vietnam and Cambodia. Although most often kept in bowls with other animals for community aquariums, for breeding purposes, more than one tank may be needed as large groups can form aggressive schools that hurt each other or others too much. They have amazing potential for parents and very active offspring and they eat small invertebrates including insects, worms and spiders.
Types Of Neon Tetras
Cardinal Tetra or Red Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
One type of neon tetra is the cardinal tetra, sometimes called a red neon tetra. They come in bright blue, turquoise and red colors as well as more subdued versions of each color like orange bellies or lavender on off-white bodies. Elongated body is red in color with characteristic rays of colors that give this particular species a tailed appearance; five longitudinal lines are positioned at each 4th to 7th free rays; 6th to 9th scale rows are vertical, each one formed by two scales that fold together.
Lemon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis)
This neon tetra has a striking yellow and black coloration with distinctive vertical bars on the body, the fins are dark; anal and caudal fins appear whitish in coloration while they have a rich bright orange shade at its base. The scales have sharp ridges along them to distinguish it from Hara species that has faint reddish nape which is just above the underparts of lower jaw.
Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon cataphractus)
The black neon tetra has a striking coloration that makes it appear as if its moving very fast in your tank. Its body color is tinged with lavender to violet rays and pale yellowish fins until the spotting decreases, after than this fish turns back into white and turn more silvery shades of silver when swimming quick like lightning bolt. What’s special about it are the bright green eyes that gives this species a very smart, special and active look.
Cherry Tetra (Gambusia affinis)
A member of the minnow family which belongs to South America, this tetra also has a very distinguishable color variation; it is marked with faint longitudinal lines that appear light brown. Its body surface gradually fades in brown while they have a black horizontal bar extending from head and spine to tail fin cross section. They can be found around Tapajós-Amazon River on the way to sea from Brazil. The most unique feature of this tetra is the heterocarpy that occurs after hatching. For example, Cherry Tetras through about 3 months will continue growing but the other half will be spiny instead; at completion of its life span it can either get a full set or none of them. This condition which typically happens during their growth time when they are quite small, gives birth to many varieties in appearance.
Gold Neon Tetra (Hemigrammus rodwayi)
This type comes with a mixture of gold speckles and hues, and appear orange when they turn around to face you while swimming. They also have distinctive black stripes on their backs and green eyes. Their fiery color, devilish appearances and marvelous breeding qualities are making this neon tetra to the rising stars of fish keeping hobbyists; some people call them “fire angels”.
European Black Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
This type has the characteristic of a black body, which has a rich orange shade up to 1/3 of it in longitudinal lines across its back; lateral skin line are reddish with violet and blue hues on them. Eye is also present between black stripe along upper jaw. Coloration can vary from bluish gray to dark purplish red or bright green as needed for natural habitats.; one single unpaired spot can be seen around eye. It is also said to pick up colors from its environment as a coping mechanism during times of stress. These neon tetras are recommended for those who want variety in color (i.e. turquoise-black) along with a large open swimming space to swim around in because these fish have small bodies compared to other types of neon tetra’s that can become very territorial toward each other when kept together.
Chocolate Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon vilmae)
Chocolate neon tetras have an almost brown-copper-amber coloration with blue and possible green tinges in certain lights. In addition, their body is a lighter shade of brown.
Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans)
Green neon tetras are bright green in color and often have a blue tint to their body as well. These colors blend extremely well when placed amongst other fish of similar hues so it may seem difficult to tell what variety you have without close observation or taking a closer look under the tank light while they are sleeping, etc. When compared with most of the other neon tetras, it is easily found that they are much darker in color than most of the others.
Silver Neon Tetra (Hasemania nana)
Silver tetras have a silver back fork which starts its course at the corner of the eye and extends over their back as far as it can reach, then forks off into two lengthwise stripes running down each flank to near the tail. The lower half of these stripes is usually a bit darker than those on top because they can develop quite deep in color when stressed or already mature fish . These strips are often very distinct against the overall color of their bodies, especially when compared to other neon tetras that also have a contrasting banding pattern. They inherit this as only being silver neon tetras, which isn’t really a different variety at all except for what is in it’s genes and how they look to us humans.
Diamond Head Tetra (Moenkhausia pittieri)
Diamond Head Tetras can be bred pretty easily to create relatively high diversity. The Diamond Head Tetras originate from waters that have lots of vegetation growths because these fishes need to be able to hide amongst these rooted plants in order for them to survive (they’ll also bury themselves and jump out from underneath the leaves/roots when a predator is approaching so as not be seen.) While breeding these neon tetras is not that hard, this can make raising Diamond Head Tetras quite difficult because of their specific needs such as bare-bottom living, low light levels.