Where Do Tetra Fish Live in the Wild: Habitat, Behavior & Diet
Tetra fish are native to the waters of South America. These colorful freshwater fish were introduced through more detailed photographs and was fully known and acknowledged in 1977. They reproduce quickly and multiply easily. While they can be seen in ponds and aquariums, many of them are caught as bycatch when fishers target another type of fish for their nets.
This article will explore where tetra fish live in the wild as well as their distribution, behavior, reproduction, and natural diet.
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Where Do Neon Tetras Live in the Wild?
Neon tetras are a type of fresh water fish native to the Amazon River in South America. Neon Tetras can be found most of the time under gravel and some even tolerate brackish water. They also normally would range widely between riversides and fresh waters such as ponds of small size. They can develop a fungus in the gut that they eat which will clog up your pump causing it damage overtime but neon tetra’s are among one of the few fish that may be kept in tanks with no cover because most times, they live on small sources where there is food, filth or even fine gravel.
In the wild, these tetras don’t mind living in streams and rivers with a lot of vegetation or not. That is due to neon tetra being known for its ability to tolerate low oxygen levels but still be able to swim quickly by employing their rapid movements that are developed from long periods spent swimming through rapids. Most neon tetras will only live about three years so you need proper upkeep in the form of feeding it.
How Are Neon Tetras Distributed in the Wild?
Neon Tetra distribution extends from Mexico, Central America and Colombia into northwestern Brazil on the Amazon river delta. There is also a population in Lake Victoria one of Africa’s largest lakes that has been introduced by man to make use of their ability to remove algae from lake bottoms by scraping off parts with hard scales when only an adult size of 4 ½ inches to 6 inches. In addition, there is a small population in the Blackwater River in Arkansas.
How Do Neon Tetras Behave in the Wild?
Neon tetras are not aggressive fish but they do have a territorial nature when it comes to their own territory. Neon tetras can be kept with other types of fish such as cichlids, livebearers, guppies, barbs, swordtails and mollies but it is best to keep them with others of their own species for the least chance of them spawning when bred with a different fish. Neon tetra like to live in groups but stay within their territory and will not retaliate if another one of its kind enters parts that are already occupied by another group member.
Neon tetras school together in small groups of 6 to 12 individuals. When they are swimming, neon tetras actively stay within their territory that is called home area by touching its scales as well as rub against objects under the surface for signals about territorial markers. These neon tetras produce a unique pheromone when contacting surfaces or other fish about potential family size, male dominance and territory markers. Neon tetras swim erratically to make it easy for their predators not to find them while they are looking into a good hiding place under the structure or decorations on rocks.
Neon tetras are unique fish in that they have no emotions meaning there is never a time where they should show any signs of aggression or ferocity while interacting with other fishes. They typically align themselves when performing basic activities involving spawning, egg-laying and brooding offspring. This makes it easy to interact with and observe your neon tetras without them being too alarmed by other living creatures.
How Do Neon Tetras Reproduce in the Wild?
When neon tetras decide to spawn, there comes a time where they require privacy on the spawning grounds due to aggressive behavior syndrome. When this happens in the wild where there might be presence of other species, it is likely that both are ready for breeding but just not satisfied at this moment so one simply will leave while the other will initiate the motion. In this time, both have to adjust their urge for spawning in a very short period since they are ready and must not hold back too much due to aggressive behavior syndrome that could disrupt their sexual session causing more distress than if it happens on its own schedule.
Neon tetras love to spawn near fast-flowing bodies of water like places that remind them or hint at a potential spawning location. This includes areas with crevices, heavily planted pools and streams but these are not the only things which trigger their breeding behavior. The right physical conditions can also trigger neon tetra spawning impulsions including lights as well as soundwaves when fish electric noise is displayed by any object in nature.
In captivity, neon tetras are especially attracted to swimming in aquaria which contain plants, which is common for most aquarium owners. They enjoy coming at night when there are no lights on so they can feed and be safe from outside predators under the security of all-black water conditions while making sounds with their electric bodies that irritate other fish since it signals how tense neon tetra populations are at this moment nearby.
What Do Neon Tetras Eat in the Wild?
Neon tetras in the wild love to feed on small and easy prey like blood worms, daphnia, cyclops shrimp fry as well as heads of other wild caught fishes. When being bred or after they spawn in a nearby water where there is a high prey population, then neon tetras look for earthworms which are very common at times of heavy rains.
While earthworms are common to see at rainy time, they often require special chemical treatments with rearing conditions in order for them to flourish and emerge from their slumber and come back after period of hibernation that sometimes can last until a week or more depending on location.