- Scientific Name
- Paracheirodon innesi
- 5–8 years
- 5 cm (2") long
- Tropical, fresh water, dense vegetation
- Amazon River Basin
Tetra fish are sensitive communicators with remarkable hearing. They’re relaxing to watch, and they swim in large, colourful schools. However, their colour can fade in highly mineralized water, so be sure to check your water quality with a water test strip or kit or let PetSmart test for you for free.
Tetras need room to swim, so choose a 20-gallon tank or larger. Rocks, driftwood, and plants provide shade when fish need a break from the aquarium light. Tetras swim at mid-level, so you can create a beautiful, diverse environment by adding fish that swim near the top (like the Fancy Guppy) and bottom (like Plecostomus) of the tank.
Originating from murky jungle waters like the Amazon River, Tetras are sensitive to bright light. Limit use of the aquarium light to eight hours a day and offer plenty of hiding spots and floating vegetation for shade. A shaded environment will reduce stress on your Tetras and make their neon colours pop.
Temperatures between 23 and 28 °C (72 and 82 °F) are just right for Neon Tetras. Buy a heater with five watts of power per gallon of water in your aquarium. Prevent hot spots and temperature variations in large tanks by using two smaller heaters, one at each end of the aquarium, instead of a single, more powerful one.
Every week, replace 10% of the water with fresh, conditioned water. Vacuum gravel, check filter cartridges, and replace 25% of the water once a month. Test water regularly or let PetSmart test for you for free. Always dechlorinate tap water before adding it to the tank, and avoid soaps and detergents, as these can be toxic to fish.