Black Neon Tetra Fish: Characteristics, habitat, care and more

The Black Neon tetra fish or Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi in scientific terms is a species that lives in freshwater, endemic to the Paraguay basin in southern Brazil.  Know all about them below


Kingdom: Animalia  Phylum: Chordata  Class: Actinopterygii  Subclass: Neopterygii  Order: Characiformes  Family: Characidae Genus: Hyphessobrycon  Species: H. Herbertaxelrodi

The Black Neon Tetra’s Main Characteristics

Shape – Morphology

Fusiform. They are bulky fish with big caudal, dorsal and pelvic fins compared to their small size. Moreover, they have the Characid’s typical adipose fin.  Neon Tetras can be easily identified by their neon strip of white to greenish enamel that contrasts with a rich black velvety color beneath them.

Body Color

Bright, with a characteristic black stripe that encompasses the whole body, and right on top of it, a finer yellowish color. The eyes’ upper part is colored by a red fire hue.


Up To 4 cms.

Sexual Differences:

Usually the female is stouter than the male. The line that crosses the body, in females is less continuous and perfect than in males and consequently the black part of the females is irregular.

The Black spot in the center of the side in the male is practically black, with some blue scales at the edges, with the middle are totally black. In the female, the entire black surface is dotted with blue scales.

Natural Habitat

Hyphessobrycon Herbertaxelrodi is native to South America; In Brazil, Mato Grosso and in the river basin of Paraguay and Río Taquari. It mainly dwells in forested areas, in the tributaries of slow currents. The water of these biotopes is often stained brown with tannins and other chemicals released from the decomposition of organic matter, and are very acidic.

Black Neon Tetra Fish: Matto grosso Brasil

Black Neon Tetras in Aquariums.

They must be kept in an aquarium with a capacity of at least 60 liters, in order to maintain several individuals. They need enough space to swim so they require the aquarium to have a minimum length of 60cm long.

Your fish tank must have a lot of plants, roots, trunks, but with open spaces for swimming. A dim lighting is quite recommended for this species, preferably sieved with floating plants. It’s preferable to use dark substrate and Peat filtering is also highly advisable.


Tetra neon fish are peaceful shoals’ fish that dwell the aquarium’s middle areas.


23º to 28ºC  Centigrade.


This is an undemanding fish in terms of water hardness being able to withstand hardness of up to 15-16 º Gh, although waters that round 6 Gh are the most suitable for them. The ph must be acid, from 5.5 º to 6.5 º.

Feeding Black Neon Tetras

Tetra neon fish are omnivorous creatures that accept any type of food, lyophilized, frozen, flakes, etc…

The Black Neon Tetras  Reproduction

Tetra Neons aren’t difficult to reproduce in captivity. They require a breeding aquarium of around 20 liters. Employing synthetic green mops so that the eggs are deposited in them and are less likely to be eaten by parents, is a very recommended practice for this species.

The pair with the red larva should be fed previously. After the laying of the eggs the parents must be removed. At 36 Hours the larvae will hatch. They can be fed from the first moment using very fine crushed food. We invite you to read our article tetra fish, to learn about the whole family.

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