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The green neon tetra, also known as Paracheirodon simulans, is a small freshwater fish that is popular among aquarium hobbyists. It is closely related to the more commonly known neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) but has distinct differences in appearance.
key characteristics of the green neon tetra:
Appearance: The green neon tetra has a slender body with an iridescent blue-green coloration on the top half of its body and a silver-white color on the lower half. It has a horizontal blue stripe running along its side, starting from the eye and extending to the base of the caudal fin. The green neon tetra is smaller than the neon tetra, reaching about 1.2 inches (3 cm) in length.
Habitat: Green neon tetras are native to the blackwater streams of the upper Orinoco and Negro rivers in South America, specifically Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. They inhabit slow-moving waters with dense vegetation, submerged branches, and leaf litter.
Water Parameters: To keep green neon tetras healthy, it's important to replicate their natural habitat conditions as closely as possible. They prefer soft, acidic water with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.0. The temperature should be maintained between 72°F and 82°F (22°C to 28°C). Good water quality is essential, so regular water changes and filtration are necessary.
Tank Setup: Green neon tetras are schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least six individuals. They are relatively peaceful and can be housed with other small, non-aggressive fish that have similar water requirements. A well-planted aquarium with ample hiding places and subdued lighting will help these fish feel secure. Adding dark substrate, such as black gravel or peat, can enhance their coloration.
Feeding: In the wild, green neon tetras feed on small invertebrates, insects, and plant matter. In captivity, they readily accept a varied diet. High-quality flake food, supplemented with live or frozen foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms, will ensure a balanced diet for these fish.
Compatibility: Green neon tetras are generally peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful community fish, such as small tetras, rasboras, and peaceful dwarf cichlids. Avoid keeping them with larger, aggressive fish that may see them as prey or harass them.
Breeding: Breeding green neon tetras can be challenging, as they require specific conditions and care. It usually involves providing a separate breeding tank with soft, acidic water, fine-leaved plants for egg laying, and a diet rich in live foods. The eggs are adhesive and will stick to plant leaves. After spawning, the adults should be removed from the tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry. The eggs typically hatch within 24 to 36 hours, and the fry can be fed infusoria and later, baby brine shrimp.
Green neon tetras are a beautiful addition to a well-maintained aquarium. With proper care and suitable tank conditions, they can thrive and display their vibrant colors.