|Inland waters of Brazil, Colombia & Peru. Most specimens in the aquatics trade are captive-bred.
|pH: 5.0-7.5, dH: 1-12 degrees
|No special requirements
|In mature specimens, females may appear slightly fuller.
|Flake, granules and frozen foods
Perhaps the most popular tropical aquarium fish in the world, Neons have been in our aquaria for nearly a century and were rare and expensive gems in the days when global travel to countries like Peru was no small undertaking. Their first importation involves names which would go on to be more familiar as honorary binomials "“ Rabaut, Cochu, Innes and Myers are all men whose names can be seen today as scientific epithets of fishes that you can find elsewhere in the Databank. Their journey to the wider world even involves the ill-fated Hindenburg airship transporting the first of them to Chicago. Nowadays, this fish is far cheaper (having dropped from around £425 each in 1935 "to around £21,000 today) but remains one of the most attractive aquarium fish ever discovered.
In their wild Amazonian home waters, Neons are mostly found in blackwater habitats that generally contain large quantities of dead leaves and waterlogged wood, their bright colours serving to make them visible to one another in water that can be the colour of black tea. Light levels are subdued, and strongly acidic water makes life difficult for bacteria and parasites, which impacts the development of this fish's eggs, even after generations of captive breeding.
Thanks to their familiarity, not many people keep Neons in biotope aquaria but millions of them thrive in community tanks filled with local tap water. As the classic community fish, these tetras are compatible with most species that won't regard them as a snack. Happy Neons will spread through the lower regions of the aquarium, with males establishing discreet territories in a similar way to many tetras. This behaviour often goes unnoticed as the females are more shoaling either way these are fish that should be kept in large groups and you've only got to look at the spectacle of a couple of hundred in a stock tank to see that in action.
Two close relatives in the same genus can be confused with this fish: Cardinals (P. axelrodi) have more extensive red colouration and Green neons (P. simulans) are smaller with far less red. As you might expect for a popular fish with a long history of captive breeding, a number of fancy forms can be found including albino and diamond strains, together with a long-finned version. Wild imports are perhaps the rarest of all and are very rarely seen. Those fortunate enough to find them should expect to keep them in soft, acidic conditions that duplicate their native waters.
For delivery before Christmas, orders must be placed on or before 3pm on Wednesday 20th December. We cannot guarantee delivery of these orders pre-Christmas as we are reliant on our couriers, but will use our best endeavours to get orders placed on this date out to you before Christmas. For full details of our festive delivery and opening times click here
Please note: online orders placed after 3pm on Friday 22nd December will not be dispatched until the New Year. For full details of our festive delivery and opening times click here