|How to care for neon tetras|
Neon tetras are among the most popular of all aquarium fish, but they have a reputation of being difficult to keep. They are a South American, freshwater fish, native to the blackwater and clearwater streams of southeastern Colombia, eastern Peru, and western Brazil. In their native habitat you can expect neon tetras to have a lifespan of up to ten years, however under aquarium conditions that is usually closer to five years. Of course in a general community tank it is not uncommon for individuals to start dropping off before the week is out, with further deaths every few days thereafter until your shoal completely expires. This is usually a result of unfavourable water conditions, or more worryingly neon tetra disease - Pleistophora hyphessobryconis.
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For optimum conditions with an aquarium, neon tetras will be at their happiest in a densely planted tank with subdued light and plenty of hiding places, a dark substrate and an ideal temperature of 21–25 °C, cooler than usually found in most tropical aquariums. To resemble their native Amazon environments provide a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 and a KH of 1.0 to 2.0. It is also recommend to carry out frequent water changes. Be aware that if your Neon Tetras have been raised in an aquarium with a significantly different water chemistry, a rapid change in conditions can cause more harm than good. To be on the safe side, neon Tetras should always be gradually adjusted to new water conditions.
Neon tetras are a shoaling fish and as such display nervous characteristics if only a few are kept together. If possible try to keep them in as large a shoal as possible to reduce stress as this will lower the fish's immune system allowing disease to take hold. Three or four neon tetras do not make a shoal, so when purchasing fish you are looking for at least a dozen individuals - preferably considerably more.
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Neon tetras are naturally omnivorous, meaning that they feed on plant matter as well as crustaceans, worms and other small aquatic insects. Under aquarium conditions they readily accept both processed and live foods, including flake, frozen and freeze-dried foods. Avoid feeding just flaked foods, instead supplement with occasional treats such as daphnia, brine shrimp, bloodworms. Maintaining a varied diet will help to prevent physiological issues due to nutrient deficiencies.
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO CARE FOR CARDINAL TETRA
HOW TO CARE FOR CONGO TETRA
HOW TO CARE FOR NEON TETRAS
HOW TO CARE FOR PENGUIN TETRA
HOW TO CONTROL NEON TETRA DISEASE
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