Black Neon Tetra: A Comprehensive Guide

Black Neon tetra

Table of Contents

Black Neon Tetra: A Comprehensive Guide

Black Neon Tetra, scientifically known as Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, is a captivating species for aquarium enthusiasts. These small, sleek fish are adored for their striking appearance and peaceful demeanor. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Black Neon Tetras, from their ideal tank mates and tank size to their size, lifespan, and more.

Welcome to the fascinating world of aquariums, where the beauty of aquatic life unfolds in the comfort of your home. In this edition of our home aquarium magazine, we dive into the captivating realm of Black Neon Tetras. These small but striking fish have enthralled aquarium enthusiasts for generations, and their unique charm is sure to capture your heart as well.

The Black Neon Tetra, scientifically known as Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, is a jewel of the aquarium world. With its ebony-colored body adorned with a vibrant neon stripe, this species brings elegance and vibrancy to any aquatic setup. But there’s more to these fish than just their appearance.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of Black Neon Tetra care and maintenance. From choosing the right tank mates to understanding their size, lifespan, and temperature preferences, we will equip you with the knowledge you need to create a thriving aquarium environment for these mesmerizing creatures.

As you embark on this journey, you’ll discover the art of aquascaping and the joy of nurturing a harmonious aquatic community. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist looking to expand your collection or a beginner taking your first steps into the world of aquariums, the Black Neon Tetra is a wonderful addition to any tank.

So, join us as we explore the world of Black Neon Tetras, uncovering their secrets, dispelling myths, and providing you with expert advice on their care. By the end of this article, you’ll have a deep understanding of these enchanting fish, setting you on a path to aquarium success. Let’s begin our journey into the world of Black Neon Tetras together.

Black Neon Tetra Tank Mates

Selecting suitable tank mates for your Black Neon Tetras is a critical aspect of maintaining a harmonious and thriving aquarium ecosystem. These peaceful and sociable fish can coexist with a variety of other species, provided certain considerations are taken into account. In this 500-word section, we’ll explore the ideal tank mates for Black Neon Tetras, the importance of compatibility, and provide a helpful table summarizing some excellent choices.

Ideal Tank Mates:

When it comes to choosing tank mates for Black Neon Tetras, it’s essential to prioritize species that share their peaceful temperament and environmental preferences. Here are some excellent choices:

  1. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata): Guppies are colorful, active fish that complement the vibrant appearance of Black Neon Tetras. They share similar water parameter requirements and peacefully coexist, creating an eye-catching display of colors in your aquarium.
  2. Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras spp.): Bottom-dwelling Corydoras are a popular choice due to their peaceful nature and playful behavior. They help keep the substrate clean and are a delightful addition to the aquarium.
  3. Rasboras (e.g., Harlequin Rasbora or Ember Tetra): Rasboras are schooling fish like Black Neon Tetras, and they form a harmonious community together. Their small size and peaceful disposition make them great companions.
  4. Danios (e.g., Zebra Danio or Pearl Danio): Danios are active swimmers and share similar water temperature preferences. They add movement and energy to the upper levels of the aquarium.
  5. Mollies (Poecilia spp.): Mollies are another compatible choice, especially in slightly brackish water conditions. Ensure proper salinity levels if you decide to keep Mollies with Black Neon Tetras.

Compatibility Considerations:

While there are numerous suitable tank mates, it’s crucial to consider a few compatibility factors when creating your aquatic community:

  • Temperament: Avoid aggressive or nippy species that might intimidate or harm Black Neon Tetras. Cichlids, for instance, should be kept separately to prevent conflicts.
  • Size: Ensure that tank mates are of similar size to prevent predation. Larger fish may see smaller tetras as potential prey.
  • Water Parameters: Compatibility in terms of water temperature, pH levels, and water hardness is essential. Select species that share similar environmental requirements to prevent stress or health issues.
  • Schooling Behavior: Keep in mind that both Black Neon Tetras and their tank mates may exhibit schooling behavior. Maintaining a group of at least six individuals of each species ensures their social needs are met.

Tank Mate Compatibility Table:

To assist you in making informed choices, here’s a table summarizing some excellent tank mates for Black Neon Tetras:

SpeciesTemperamentSize (Inches)Water ParametersSchooling Behavior
Black Neon TetraPeaceful1.572-78°F (22-26°C), pH 6.0-7.0,Yes
Soft to slightly hard water
GuppiesPeaceful1.2-272-82°F (22-28°C), pH 7.0-7.5,Yes
Moderately hard water
Corydoras CatfishPeaceful2-372-78°F (22-26°C), pH 6.0-7.5,Yes
Soft to moderately hard water
Harlequin RasboraPeaceful1.272-77°F (22-25°C), pH 6.0-7.0,Yes
Soft to slightly hard water
Zebra DanioPeaceful2-2.564-75°F (18-24°C), pH 6.5-7.0,Yes
Moderately hard water
MollyPeaceful3-475-82°F (24-28°C), pH 7.5-8.5,No
Moderately hard to hard water

In conclusion, selecting the right tank mates for your Black Neon Tetras can enhance the beauty and dynamics of your aquarium. By prioritizing compatible species with similar temperament and environmental preferences, you can create a harmonious aquatic community that not only thrives but also provides endless enjoyment for you as an aquarist. Remember to monitor the well-being of all inhabitants and make adjustments as needed to ensure a serene and flourishing underwater world.

Avoid Aggressive Species

It’s essential to avoid aggressive or larger fish that might intimidate or harm Black Neon Tetras. Cichlids, for instance, should be kept separately to prevent conflicts.

Adult Size

Black Neon Tetra Size: These fish typically grow to around 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.

Size Comparison

To give you a better idea of their size, let’s compare Black Neon Tetras to some common aquarium fish:

Fish SpeciesSize (Inches)Size (Centimeters)
Black Neon Tetra1.5 inches3.8 cm
Guppy1.2 – 2 inches3 – 5 cm
Corydoras Catfish2 – 3 inches5 – 7.6 cm
Harlequin Rasbora1.2 inches3 cm
Black Neon Tetra
Black Neon tetra

Black Neon Tetra Female

Distinguishing between male and female Black Neon Tetras can be challenging, but there are subtle differences.

Sexual Dimorphism

Females: Typically, female Black Neon Tetras are slightly larger and rounder than males. They may appear plumper when carrying eggs.

Black Neon Tetra Tank Size

ank size and setup play a pivotal role in the health and happiness of your Black Neon Tetras. These beautiful fish, known for their striking contrast of dark bodies and neon stripes, deserve a carefully designed environment that mimics their natural habitat in the slow-moving waters of South America. In this 500-word section, we’ll explore the nuances of tank size, aquascaping, and water conditions to ensure your Black Neon Tetras thrive.

Tank Size:

When it comes to selecting the right tank size for your Black Neon Tetras, bigger is often better. While it’s possible to keep them in a 10-gallon (38 liters) tank, a larger aquarium, such as a 20-gallon (76 liters) or even 30-gallon (114 liters) setup, is preferable. The benefits of a larger tank become evident when considering the well-being of your fish.

In a larger tank, there’s more water volume to dilute waste and maintain stable water parameters. This stability reduces the likelihood of sudden fluctuations in water quality, which can be detrimental to the health of your Black Neon Tetras. Moreover, a larger tank allows for a more diverse and interesting aquascape, providing ample space for decorations, plants, and other tank inhabitants.


Creating a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing environment within your aquarium is a rewarding aspect of fishkeeping. For Black Neon Tetras, it’s important to replicate their natural habitat, which typically includes slow-moving streams and tributaries in South America.

Here are some key elements to consider when aquascaping for Black Neon Tetras:

  1. Substrate: Use fine gravel or sand as the substrate, which resembles the soft riverbeds where these fish are found.
  2. Plants: Incorporate live plants such as Amazon Sword, Java Fern, and Vallisneria. These not only mimic their natural environment but also provide hiding places and help maintain water quality.
  3. Décor: Include driftwood and smooth rocks to create hiding spots and mimic the submerged branches and rocky areas of their native waters.
  4. Lighting: Use moderate lighting to mimic the dappled sunlight that filters through the dense vegetation in their natural habitat.
  5. Water Flow: Black Neon Tetras prefer slow to moderate water flow. Ensure your filter isn’t creating strong currents that can stress them.
  6. Schooling Behavior: These fish are known for their schooling behavior, so having a group of at least six is recommended. Ensure there’s plenty of open swimming space for them to school comfortably.

Water Conditions:

Maintaining optimal water conditions is vital for the health of your Black Neon Tetras. Here are key parameters to monitor and maintain:

  1. Temperature: Keep the water temperature in the range of 72 to 78°F (22 to 26°C). Use a reliable aquarium heater to achieve and maintain this temperature.
  2. pH Level: Black Neon Tetras prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0.
  3. Water Hardness: Aim for soft to slightly hard water with a dGH (degree of general hardness) between 2 and 12.
  4. Ammonia and Nitrites: Regularly test and ensure that ammonia and nitrite levels remain at zero. These compounds are toxic to fish and must be kept in check.
  5. Nitrates: Keep nitrate levels below 20 ppm through regular water changes and proper filtration.

By meticulously considering tank size, aquascaping, and water conditions, you can create an environment that not only showcases the beauty of your Black Neon Tetras but also ensures their long-term health and happiness. Remember that a well-planned aquarium not only benefits your fish but also enhances your enjoyment as you watch these captivating creatures thrive in their carefully designed aquatic home.

Recommended Tank Size

Black Neon Tetra Tank Size: A minimum tank size of 10 gallons (38 liters) is suitable for a small group of Black Neon Tetras. However, a larger tank of 20 gallons (76 liters) or more is preferable, as it allows for a more stable environment and better schooling behavior.

Black Neon Tetra Lifespan

Understanding the lifespan of Black Neon Tetras helps you plan for their care and longevity in your aquarium.


  • Black Neon Tetra Lifespan: On average, these fish live for about 3 to 5 years. However, with proper care, they can sometimes exceed this range.

Male or Female Lifespan

There is generally no significant difference in lifespan between male and female Black Neon Tetras.

Black Neon Tetra Size in Centimeters

To provide precise information, it’s essential to know the size of Black Neon Tetras in centimeters.

Metric Measurement

  • Black Neon Tetra Size in Centimeters: They typically reach a size of approximately 3.8 cm when fully grown.

Black Tetra Size

Black Neon Tetras are sometimes confused with Black Tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi). Let’s clarify their size differences.

Black Tetra Size

  • Black Tetra Size: Black Tetras are slightly larger, reaching around 2 to 2.5 inches (5 to 6.4 cm) in length.

Black Neon Tetra Male vs. Female

While distinguishing between male and female Black Neon Tetras can be challenging, there are subtle differences to look for.

Male vs. Female Differences

  • Males: Typically, males are slightly smaller and slimmer than females. Females tend to have a more rounded belly.

Black Neon Tetra Temperature

Maintaining the right water temperature is crucial for the health and happiness of your Black Neon Tetras.

Ideal Temperature Range

  • Black Neon Tetra Temperature: Keep the water temperature in the range of 72 to 78°F (22 to 26°C) to mimic their natural habitat in South America.

In conclusion, Black Neon Tetras are captivating and peaceful fish suitable for community aquariums. By providing them with the right tank size, compatible tank mates, and appropriate temperature, you can ensure their well-being and enjoy their presence in your aquatic world. Remember that understanding their size, sexual dimorphism, and lifespan is essential for their proper care and maintenance.

In conclusion, our journey into the captivating world of Black Neon Tetras has revealed a wealth of knowledge about these mesmerizing aquarium inhabitants. These small, yet vibrant fish have proven time and again to be a delightful addition to home aquariums. As we wrap up our exploration, let’s recap the key takeaways:

First and foremost, understanding the importance of selecting suitable tank mates for Black Neon Tetras cannot be overstated. These peaceful fish thrive when surrounded by equally gentle companions like guppies, corydoras catfish, and rasboras. Avoiding aggressive species ensures a tranquil and stress-free environment for your tetras.

Size matters in the world of aquariums, and being aware of the Black Neon Tetras’ compact stature is crucial for proper tank planning. With an average size of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), these fish can comfortably reside in a tank as small as 10 gallons (38 liters). However, a larger tank of 20 gallons (76 liters) or more is recommended for a more stable and harmonious community.

When it comes to lifespan, Black Neon Tetras typically live for 3 to 5 years, with no significant difference between males and females. Proper care and a suitable environment can extend their longevity.

Maintaining the right water temperature, ranging from 72 to 78°F (22 to 26°C), is essential for their well-being, ensuring they thrive in conditions reminiscent of their natural habitat in South America.

As you embark on your Black Neon Tetra journey, armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to create a thriving and beautiful aquatic haven in your own home. Remember, the rewards of keeping these fish extend beyond their striking appearance; they provide a sense of serenity and wonder, transforming your aquarium into a living work of art.

We hope this comprehensive guide has deepened your appreciation for Black Neon Tetras and inspired you to embark on or enhance your aquatic adventure. With their grace, beauty, and peaceful demeanor, Black Neon Tetras are more than just fish; they are living jewels that brighten any aquatic landscape. So, let the allure of these aquatic gems continue to grace your aquarium, and may your journey into their world be as vibrant as the neon stripe that adorns their sleek bodies.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Aquarium Enthusiast

I love sharing my knowledge about all things aquarium related. I have been keeping aquariums for over 20 years and cannot imagine a life without an aquarium. 

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