Black Neon Tetra

Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
Attractive Aquarium Fish

The black neon tetra, sometimes called the black tetra, is native to Brazil and Paraguay and can be found in the Amazon and surrounding regions.

It is often assumed that they are a tetra but of course they are an entirely different genus altogether.

They are an attractive community fish that are relatively low-maintenance, quite peaceful and are easily sexed.

They are called "black" for obvious reasons with their distinctive coloring running from head to tail.

This type of tetra grows to approximately one and a half inches long (around 4 centimeters) and has red-rimmed eyes as well as the black coloring to distinguish them.

You'll notice that the female of the species are deeper-bodied whereas the males are slightly slimmer in build.

Being peaceful and easy to care for, this tetra is suitable for even small aquariums but can also make a nice addition to a larger community aquarium.

They have an average lifespan of 5 to 7 years and eat both plant and flake food.

Here is an example of this great little tetra (amongst others) on

Black Neon Tetra

Picture Courtesy of:

Did you notice that glowing silver stripe on the black background?

Don't you think it's amazing how animals, ALL animals, have some sort of 'survival mechanism' or to be differentiated from their close cousins?

When I think of this I can often see why people like Darwin got SO excited about how and why nature establishes itself over time. 


So, when keeping these fish, you need to maintain water conditions as soft and slightly acidic though they can tolerate some change to that spectrum.

They particularly enjoy enough area to school and swim and also like the currents caused by your water filter because these conditions mimic their natural freshwater habitat.

Let’s now look at the specifics of these fish which will help you to keep them for a long and healthy life span...

Tank Requirements

They need lots of open swimming space with preferably live plants.

In addition you can include some wooden and rock ornaments...

Feeding Requirements

Flake food, blood worms, vegetable matter etc

Water Chemistry

Water can be "soft" and slightly acidic. The pH should ideally range from 6 - 8

Water Temperature

Between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal...


The black neon tetra will tend to lay its eggs in plant thickets.

I hope this page has been of some help.

More info on the Black Neon tetra...

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