Thursday, March 22, 2012

Neon Tetra

Paracheirodon innesi
Like yesterday's animal, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, today's creature is also popular within the pet industry. In fact, the Neon Tetra is one of the most commonly kept tropical fish out there.

In the wild, these little guys can be found in tropical freshwater rivers of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. They are found in clear and blackwater areas, but not in whitewater, and are found in groups due to their social, shoaling nature.

Male and females Neon Tetras look identical, though the females sometimes have a slightly rounder shape, where the males are more straight and streamlined. Both sexes sport a shiny blue stripe that runs head to tail, as well as a bold red line that traces down the back half of the body.

Though Neon Tetras hail from South America, most of the fish found in the Pet Trade are imported from Southeast Asian farms where they are bred in captivity.

Many places advertise them as great beginner fish, there are still many considerations to take before owning them. They need to live in groups in order to be happiest, 5 is the minimum, but at least 10 are recommended. And despite the small size they do need a good amount of space- at least 1 gallon per fish. The Tetras are also very sensitive, and need stable water conditions.They are shy and are compatible with many other species, though larger fish will bully them, so it's best to keep them with species that are on the small to medium size. They are also suceptible to Neon Tetra Disease Pleistophora, a parasitic disease that is typically fatal.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Peru, Colombia, Brazil
Size : Body Length up to 1.2in (3cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Characiformes
Family : Characidae -- Genus : Paracheirodon -- Species : P. innesi

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