Green neon tetra (Paracheirodon simulans)


The individual members of the neon family all have similar colourings, making it tricky to tell them apart. The neon tetra, cardinal tetra fish and blue neon tetra all have a red-blue colour. The different proportions of colours are what make them distinct. In keeping with its name, the blue neon tetra has the largest proportion of blue in its scales and just a small strip of red on its abdominal area.

Paracheirodon simulans comes from South America and is mainly found in the Rio Negro in Brazil. Reaching a maximum size of 3.5 cm, the blue neon tetra is the smallest member of the characin family. The females are plumper than the males, but their small size tends to make it difficult to tell the sexes apart. They can live for up to 5 years.

Aquarium and water

The aquarium should have a volume of at least 60 litres. To create an appropriate habitat, the water temperature should be between 23°C and 27°C; these fish love warmth. The water should be slightly acidic (pH value: approx. 5.5 – 6.5). Neon tetras prefer a water hardness of approx. 3 – 10° dGH.

Keeping conditions

Blue neon tetras are true shoaling fish and should therefore be kept in a large shoal with an appropriate number of creatures. They are very peaceful fish, making them well-suited to community tanks. However, they should only be mixed with other peaceful, small fish of the same size. This means they mix particularly well with small catfish. Blue neon tetras prefer the middle regions of the aquarium.

Planting and decoration

Paracheirodon simulans prefer aquariums with dense, delicate plants in which they can hide. Naturally, there should also be plenty of room for the fish to swim. Floating plants and roots can also be added to the aquarium. A dark substrate will set off their blue colouring particularly well.


These fish are omnivores, but mainly eat very fine-grained food. Tetra Micro Crisps and Tetra Micro Pellets are particularly suitable. If you wish to give your Paracheirodon simulans a special treat, you can also feed them Tetra Delica Brine Shrimps – a natural food that makes a welcome change.