Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)

Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi

Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi

The Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi) is a peaceful, shoaling fish that is native to the Paraguay basin of southern Brazil.

The Black Neon Tetra has the typical elongated appearance of most tetras. The body is an iridescent blend of deep obsidian black paired with two distinct, adjacent, neon longitudinal stripes of yellow-green or white,  above black.   The eye has two thin but distinctive red above yellow color bands across the top, which gives it a fluorescent orange look.

Despite its common name the Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi) has no resemblance to the Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi),  which belongs to a totally different genus.

Black Neon Tetras make a great addition to any soft water community aquarium.  They are a peaceful shoaling species that only grow to a maximum length of 1 1/2 inches and get along well with other tetras, rasboras, loaches and plecos.

Black Neon Tetras thrive in slightly acidic water in groups of 5 or more fish and do best in a densely planted tank, with a dark sandy or very fine gravel substrate, some driftwood or bogwood roots, a few rocks, and some floating plants to diffuse the lighting. These fish swim at the top level of the aquarium and do not eat from the bottom of the tank therefore, they should be housed with pygmy corydoras or other bottom feeders to help keep the tank clean.

The Black Neon Tetra is an egg scatterer. To encourage breeding, select fish that are at least one year old and condition the prospective parents with live foods such as mosquito larvae, microworms, brine shrimp or daphnia.   The sex of the fish can be determined by its body shape.   Females are much deeper in their body than males.

Spawning normally occurs early in the morning hours but can be induced by placing the breeding pair in a dark tank and gradually increasing the light levels until spawning occurs.   The female will lay several hundred adhesive eggs over plant leaves in the breeding tank, which will hatch out in 24 to 30 hours.   The breeding pair should be removed from the tank as soon as spawning has concluded or they will eat their eggs.

In the wild the natural diet of Black Neon Tetras consists of small invertebrates and plants. In an aquarium environment they will accept live or frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, freeze dried bloodworms and tubifex, micro pellets and quality flake foods.

When available for purchase, Black Neon Tetras are usually 3/4″ to 1-1/2″ in size.

Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi

Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi







Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 72-77° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.5-7.0
Max. Size: 1½”
Color Form: Black, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Farm Raised
Family: Characidae

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