Fun Black Neon Tetra Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Oct 20, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Learn some black neon tetra facts about this beautiful, almost transparent species of fish.

Black neon tetras, like most tetras, are beautiful and peaceful fish that make a great addition to any aquarium. Their small transparent-looking body and fins are sure to attract anyone.

A black neon tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi) is your typical tropical fish originating from Southern Brazil and is found in the Paraguay Basin. They prefer acidic waters as their natural habitat and they are well-known for their roles in making any aquarium lively, especially when paired with other colorful tetras.

Their body is usually a glowing greenish-black color and they are slightly taller than other tetras with a neon stripe across their body.

They grow up to 1.5-1.6 in (3.81-4.06 cm). This unique appearance makes them stand out even in the most colorful aquariums.

These lively fishes are bred in aquariums worldwide and are sold in large numbers to aquarium enthusiasts. Let's have a look at these interesting facts, and if you do like these, then do read our tang fish and tetra facts too.

Black Neon Tetra Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black neon tetra?

A black neon tetra is a type of fish. They are known for being small and beautiful.

What class of animal does a black neon tetra belong to?

The very peaceful black neon tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi) fish belong to the class of Actinopterygii.

How many black neon tetras are there in the world?

There is no official number of black neon tetras in the world. Since these small fish are almost completely bred in aquariums, their numbers are known only to be increasing. They are a common fish bred in the pet trade, and their numbers have not declined recently.

Where does a black neon tetra live?

This species of fish's life is spent in peaceful environments. They are native to the Paraguay Basin of southern Brazil and, although it is a freshwater fish, black neon tetra fish are mostly kept in aquariums with other tetras to enhance the beauty of aquariums. They are particularly loved due to their 'neon' presence.

What is a black neon tetra's habitat?

A black neon tetra fish is a small freshwater fish that generally prefers living in acidic waters in nature. Whilst they prefer soft waters, they are also known to withstand hard waters as well.

These fishes are commonly kept in aquariums around the world. The ideal black neon tetra fish aquarium temperature must be closely set between 70-81 F (21.1-27.2 C), with the pH value of the water between five and seven.

Who do black neon tetras live with?

A black neon tetra is an easy-to-care-for, peaceful fish that can be an easy addition to any aquarium as long as they don't have any aggressive or large tank mates with them. They prefer to be kept in groups as the black neon tetra is a schooling fish.

A black neon tetra school ideally consists of six or more black neons in 20 gallons of water, including their tank mates. Their tank mates can be any small or non-aggressive fishes like other tetras, rasboras, gouramis, and danios.

How long does a black neon tetra live?

The average black neon tetra lifespan is approximately five years in captivity and five years in natural freshwater too. However, their untimely death can be caused by disease or by just the slightest change in their water condition.

Therefore keeping their aquariums in the right condition is of the utmost importance, as the slightest change in this can make this fish stressed, which then lowers its lifespan.

How do they reproduce?

The black neon tetra's breeding process is comparatively simple. However, in order for them to have a better breeding session, it is important to make sure that their surrounding requirements are ideal.

For instance, during the breeding season, it is important to maintain the hardness of their water, along with the acidic levels of the water (hardness must not be more than four degrees, and pH levels must be between six and seven). The breeding tank should also be kept under dim lighting.

When it comes to the breeding phase of this fish, the suitable age for breeding is after reaching one year of age.

Since these fishes live in peaceful schools, breeders pick the best pair of fishes fit for breeding and put them in a separate tank with a volume of approximately 10 gallons.

After this, the breeding pair must first be feed adequately with live plants in order for them to gain a good amount of nourishment, as a properly balanced diet is important for successful breeding and health of these fish.

The water temperature must be gradually raised from 75 F (23.9 C) to 80 F (26.7 C), which encourages the fish to breed.

Good quality filtered water, and the presence of soft floating plants in the aquarium helps with this too. During the spawning process, the pregnant black neon tetra tends to scatter around 100 eggs in the entire tank.

After this, the adult breeder fish must be safely removed from the tank (before the eggs hatch) to prevent them from eating their own eggs or their newborn babies.

The eggs will hatch in approximately 31 hours, after which the babies need a few days to become stable enough to start their own new life cycle.

One important thing that must be kept in mind by breeders is that these little newborn offspring must not be directly put in a tank with other adults as they might be killed straight away.

What is their conservation status?

The peaceful black neons' conservation status is Not Evaluated, but it is safe to say that these beautiful fishes currently have a healthy population worldwide.

Black Neon Tetras Fun Facts

What do black neon tetras look like?

Black neon tetras, with the scientific name Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, have a distinguished torpedo-shaped body attached to transparent fins and a round head. They have a unique set of colors, which helps them stand out when compared to other tetras.

They have a red dash on their nose, which makes them easier to recognize, and the rest of their body has a soft mix of gray and white colors.

This fish has a distinguished pair of stripes starting from its gill to its tail.

The first stripe is of sparkling white color, which glows in the dark, and the second one right below the first one is a band of pitch-black. This black stripe is the reason behind the fish being called a 'black' neon tetra.

neon tetra fish

*Please note that this is an image of a neon tetra, not a black neon tetra specifically. If you have an image of a black neon tetra, please let us know at

How cute are they?

These small black neon tetras are known for their cute, calm, and peaceful nature in any aquariums they are part of. Their striking contrast when living among other small tetras is sure to make any aquarium lively.

How do they communicate?

The forms of communication for black neon tetras are not currently clear. They prefer living among their schools and one exciting action of theirs is how they tend to chase after other fish without displaying any aggression. They do it with a playful attitude.

How big is a black neon tetra?

When it comes to the typical black neon tetra size, they grow up to 1.5-1.6 in (3.81-4.06 cm) and they are 10 times smaller than goldfishes living in ponds. These black neons are known for their small size.

How fast can a black neon tetra swim?

A black neon tetra's swimming speed is not officially measured, but they are known to be fast swimmers in still waters. They do not swim well against currents.

How much does a black neon tetra weigh?

The black neon tetra weighs just 0.004 oz (0.12 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

They do not have a gender-specific name. The male and female of this species tend to look almost exactly the same. The only way to distinguish between the two is by analyzing the size of their bellies. Females tend to have a larger and rounder belly than males.

What would you call a baby black neon tetra?

There is no specific name for a baby black neon tetra, but you may call the baby a 'fry' like other baby fish.

What do they eat?

They prefer feeding on live plants, brine shrimp, flakes, and worms.

Are they aggressive?

The black neon tetra is a calm fish. They tend to live in schools of five to 10 black neons an do not display aggression among these groups.

Would they make a good pet?

Lots of people keep black neon tetras in their aquariums due to their beautiful appearance and calm nature. They are hardy fish that can adapt really well to various aquatic conditions and get along very well with other fishes.

If you want to take care of a black neon tetra, their aquatic conditions must be dealt with carefully. They need a 10 or 20-gallon tank size (a 20 gallon planted aquarium is the best pick), and a timely and balanced diet of flakes, live plants, or worms.

The black neon tetra water temperature must range from  70-81 F (21.1-27.2 C).

The lighting must be dim, with the water pH levels between six and seven. Their waters must be soft in order to create the ideal conditions to take care of a black neon tetra.

Did you know...

When it comes to black neon tetra care, the ideal water conditions for a black neon tetra fish (also called schooling fish) are required. A fixed pH level ranging between six to seven (acidic water) is required and, as you know the ideal black neon tetra temperature ranges from 70-81 F (21.1-27.2 C).

They prefer dim lighting or fluorescent light, which gives it a good natural look, and these proper water conditions are important for their healthy survival.

Flake food provides the best-balanced diet for tetras, fulfilling their various vitamin needs. They also like feeding on live foods like freeze-dried worms and mosquito larvae.

Black neon tetras may pass away if they are kept in stressful conditions or inappropriate water conditions. They also require a planted aquarium to live healthily. For the black neon tetra, disease is another risk that owners must be aware of in order to prevent their early deaths.

When it comes to the black neon tetra vs. neon tetra differences, the main difference is that regular neon tetras come in a variety of colors like yellow, red, orange, and blue. A black neon tetra is also more tolerant to hard water than the regular neon tetras.

Having your own black neon tetras

The black neon tetra care process may seem complicated but is worth the effort to make your aquariums look beautiful and they are relatively hardy fish. Since their natural habitat is the freshwaters of the Amazon, we need to replicate a similar environment in our tanks.

If you want to own a black neon tetra make sure you have the right-sized aquarium, ideally holding 20 gallons of water. Make sure you have enough fishes in the tank.

Black neons are schooling fishes, and they need to live in groups of more than six. Their aquariums also need to be planted with aquatic plants and they require soft water. The pH level of the water must not fluctuate and should be maintained between six and seven.

The temperature of the water must be set between 70-81 F (21.1-27.2 C) and the lighting must be dim. Finally, a properly balanced diet must be provided in proper intervals to help your fish thrive!

How to tell if your black neon tetra is male or female?

Males and females of this tetra species look mostly the same. The only way to distinguish between males and females is by noticing their bellies as females tend to have a larger belly when compared to males.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish, including the cownose ray or the eel.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our black neon tetra coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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