ANIMAL: Black Neon Tetra Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi Type of Animal: Characin Habitat: River basins w/ subdued lighting, open water for swimming, & dark substrate, tributaries, rivers, floodplains, streams, tea-stained blackwaters, acidic creeks, acidic flooded forest areas, acidic sand banks, oxbows, prefer pH of 5-7.5 (acidic (like soft water) to neutral-basic transition) & temps of 68-82 F Location(s): S Brazil near Paraguay Appearance: Small elongated fish w/ plain basic coloration & 2 distinct adjacent longitudinal stripes, white above black, 2 thin distinctive color bands across top, red above yellow, females rounder than males Food/Diet: Plant detritus, algae, brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, moina, worms, fallen fruit, plant matter Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in aquariums, zoos, aquaculture, & pet trade Lifestyle: Schools of 6-45 fish Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Fry Group: School Weight: Male: 0.003 oz Female: 0.004 oz Gestation: 1-2 days Life Span: 3-5 years in wild, 5-8 years in captivity Body Length: Male: 1 in Female: 1.5 in Tail Length: 0.4 in They’re egg scatterers, w/ females laying sticky adhesive eggs over vegetation or in open water. A single female can produce hundreds of eggs in a year. They usually spawn in early morning. Sexually mature at 6 months old. These are fairly active fish. These fish tend to be very peaceful & docile. Male coloration becomes livelier at breeding time. Fry become juveniles at around 5 weeks old. Tend to be midwater to surface swimmers. Fun Fact(s): They’re somewhat related to piranhas. These fish 1st became popular in aquarium trade in 1960s. These fish can flash in reflected light. Hyphessobrycon means “little/small bites.” Get name from coloration & shininess. They do great in community tanks w/ other small peaceful tropical fish species. These fish are skilled jumpers, doing so if they’re frightened. 2nd part of scientific name honors Herbert Axelrod, founder of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine in 1952. He died in 2017. Very popular in aquarium trade & very easy to keep. Sometimes called Black Tetras, which is also name of another tetra species.
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