Black Neon Tetra

 

 

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Black Neon Tetra

The black neon tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi) is a neon tetra in name only. The true neon tetra is Paracheirodon innesi so you can see from the name that the two, although both in the characin family, are entirely different species.

 If you’re unfamiliar with the scientific naming of fishes, one interesting fact about the black neon tetra is that the genus, herbertaxelrodi, is named after Dr. Herbert Axelrod who is one of the world’s foremost experts on aquarium fish.

Found in the Mato Grosso area of Brazil, the black neon tetra is a peaceful member of the characin family and an excellent addition to the community tank. Like most other tetras, this 1 to 2-inch fish does best in a small school of its own kind. In a well-planted fish tank with an open area for shoaling, the black neon tetra makes a striking display if given subdued lighting and a dark substrate.

The male black neon tetra is more slender than the round-bodied female. The black stripe that extends from the base of the caudal fin all the way to the edge of the gill cover of the black neon’s body is highlighted further by a parallel stripe that ranges from white to a pale, luminescent green.

If you look closely at the black neon, you’ll see that the ebony stripe is bordered with a thin silver line. These characteristics help differentiate this tetra from the black line tetra and also probably attribute to its pseudo-neon look. The black neon’s fins are nearly transparent but for an olive-yellow tinge. Eyes are large and capped with a bright red semi-circle.

The black neon tetra is omnivorous like many of its characin cousins and will eat a standard diet of flake food. However, a live food diet begun about two weeks before spawning helps promote successful breeding.

 Live foods supplementing the black neon’s diet will also help the tetra maintain optimal color.

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