Green Neon Tetra Habitat, Behavior, Aquarium Care Guide

If you are an aquarium hobbyist and looking to keep various types of fishes, then there is a new strong contender to add to your collection – Green Neon Tetra. The common name for this fish is Green Neon Tetra, False Neon, etc. Scientifically known as Paracheirondon Simulans, they are most suitable for those desiring colorful tropical fish. Although the Simulans have particular needs, their flashy appearance and exclusive behavior might be considered for an interesting buy.

Green Neon Tetra in a Nutshell

They are a kind of species that you can keep in the aquarium and requires a medium level of care. Usually small in size, you may keep these fishes in tanks having 10 gallons of water. They are omnivorous by habit, and you must maintain the tank temperature at 64 to 80 degree Fahrenheit. The PH factor should be between 4- 6.5. They originate from the Amazon basin, Rio Negro, and Rio Orinoco region. They are a type of community fish.

Where did the green neon tetra originate from?

They are inhabitants of the Rio Jafaris and were first identified in the fresh waters of Rio Ornico. Donned by the natural habitat of the river basin, Green Neon Tetras are mostly used to swim in the tree-littered water. You will find them swim naturally in the calm waters of the tributaries. This fish is typically suitable for a black water habitat having high acidity and are naturally found in water with plants and debris from hanging branches, driftwood, and decaying organic materials.

What sort of tank habitat do the Green Neon Tetras require?

While you are looking for a tank habitat for Simulans, make sure preferring a 10 gallon one with abundant plant life and sediment made from sand. This type of environment supports their natural tendency of hiding inside shades. You require keeping a dim lighting arrangement, especially during the time of hatching. Make sure not to add any extra nitrates or ammonia inside the tank. The tank should have an acidic environment with plants in soft water and also a temperature range which is suitable for the Simulans.

They thrive in the middle to upper layers of the tank. The hardness of the water should be between 18-143 ppm.

How does the Green Neon Tetras look like?

Originally found in the rivers of South America, the Green Neon Tetras are similar in appearance like the neon tetras. However, they are slightly smaller in size compared to the neon tetras having red patches over the body. The blue-green areas belonging to the upper body is much prominent. Their body is quite slim-built compared to neon tetra, and it grows to a maximum length of 3.4 cms. Although you may rear or keep them as an aquarium fish, they are not that popular like neon tetra or cardinal tetra.

What special features does a Green Neon Tetra possess?

Like any other tetras, the Green Neon Tetra is known for its bright coloration. They have a greyish silver base with a long turquoise colored lateral strap on either side and usually possess red and green coloration on the head, caudal fin and also ventral region.  These tetras have a torpedo-shaped body with golden scales. The patterns of the fish are generally caused by parasites and hence, are not the actual colorings of the fish. The intensity of the body color is actually influenced by the lighting of the water.

However, identifying the sex of the fishes could be a problem because of their dimorphism. The males are generally smaller compared to the females while the females appear a bit bulbous than the males.

What is the life expectancy of Green Neon Tetra?

Under suitable conditions, a healthy Green Neon Tetra may live up to 2-3 years.

What is the typical behavioral pattern of Green Neon Tetras?

The Green Neon Tetra is relatively a trail variety, and it requires a lot of water to thrive. Since these fishes thrive in the wild, while you put them in the aquarium, they have a normal tendency to hide in corners. Simulans are the best variety to co-exist with other fishes, but because of its habitat conditions, they are not the best variety to put in the community. Since these tetras are smaller in size, they can easily fall prey to larger fishes.

Green Neon Tetras can easily be brought up into a group of six, and they have a normal tendency interacting with their peers. They are the kind of shoaling, schooling fish that move together in groups of own species, especially in times of danger. Although they interact in a group, these tetras never exhibit unison in the type movement.

Mating of Green Neon Tetra can occur at any time while in captivity. You will normally find the females lay more than 100 eggs in shaded areas, as UV light might prove to be harmful to the development of fries.  The young fishes are quite viable from day one, so the tetra parents are never seen taking care of the fries.

What sort of diet does your Green Neon Tetra require?

The Green Neon Tetra usually lives on micro foods such as insects, worms, zooplankton, and crustaceans. These foods are prepared commercially, and you may opt for them to feed your aqua pets. The commercial food ranges from frozen to freeze-dried worms, daphnia, and crushed flake foods. You may choose to feed your Green Neon Tetra with a variety of dried flake, freeze diet and frozen foods. However, make sure that the food prepared should be small in size so that the Green Neon Tetra can consume it easily.

You may also feed your fish with tubifex worms, flake foods, baby brine shrimp, Cyclop– eeze, which can be fed a couple of times. The amount of food the fish can consume within 3-5 minutes would be ideal.

How will you do proper maintenance of your Green Neon Tetra?

The arrangement of fish keeping looks best when the substrate is sandy along with some driftwood and branches. If you add dried leaf litter, that would give a natural feeling and also tends to offer a natural cover for the fish. Addition of leaf would help to make a microbe colony, and also help decomposition to start.

The decomposed leaves would produce humus that would enrich the water for the fish. In case you use natural peat, it would be unsustainable and also environmentally destructive.

The species will do well in a dimly lighted aquarium, but adding aquatic plants like Microsorum, Cryptocoryne, Taxiphyllum, and other floating vegetables would make the aquarium very much susceptible for the fish to thrive healthily.

The green neon tetra is sensitive to deteriorating water conditions; hence, you should avoid adding to immature aquaria.

What essential facts about Green Neon Tetra hobbyists need to know?

•    The Green Neon Tetra is not as colorful as common neon tetra.

•    When you see a particular fish is not shoaling with other fishes that is actually a symptom that the fish is disease affected. Therefore, you should remove that fish at once.

•    Despite some sexual dimorphism, both male and female Green Neon Tetra will have turquoise stripes on its body.

•    They are a type of shoaling fish and have a tendency of getting together. But under safer circumstances, this tendency dissipates and they are left on their own.

•    The shoal of this tetra looks attractive together, but while single, they are simple-looking.

What is the ideal condition for the breeding of your Green Neon Tetra?

The males are slimmer and have a straight blue line along the side. Try to maintain the water temperature at 25 degree Celsius, with a pH level of 5 or lower along with subdued lighting. The fishes lay eggs over fine leaves that hatch within 24 hours. You must feed the newly hatched fries with liquid food for about 10-12 days. Make sure that they feed on the newly hatched brine shrimp.

What type of diseases does the Green Neon Tetra get affected with?

While the fish is in captivity, there are high chances of getting infected with diseases. The most common disease the fish can be affected with is itch. It’s a small ball like appearance near the fin region. Whenever you see the fish running against the wall of the aquarium and rubbing its fins, you must know that it’s affected by itch.

The common type of disease your Green Neon Tetra usually gets affected is caused through a parasite that enters through the mouth and gets inside the gut. Finally, it attacks the muscle and produces cysts, where you notice white patches.

What measures should you follow to get rid of spreading of diseases of your loved Green Neon Tetra?

•    Try to quarantine the fish which is newly introduced in the tank. You may keep it separate and then add to the tank of your choice.

•    Cycling of aquarium water is very much required. Do not introduce more than 2-3 fishes per week. Maintain enough water in the tank and do not stretch the time to cycle, else the protozoan disease might spread.

•    In case you see a sick fish, you may immediately add some commercial dechlorinator into the water, which is also known as stress-zyme. You can even consider this process as a short term solution to remove unsuitable, harmful water from the tank.

•    Take water samples every 6 hours to check if there is a hike in the ammonia or nitrite level. It’s better to make small changes or even move the fish to a mature tank until the completion of recycling.

•    In case you observe some difference in the swimming pattern of fish, it is very likely that its disease affected. Sick fish will avoid food and become sluggish. You may immediately quarantine any unhealthy fish you notice in the tank.

•    If you find the fish is sinking at the bottom of the aquarium, then it can be a sign of serious health problem. You may take a sample of water to check the nitrate level. If the fish is gasping for breath, then it’s always better to separate it from the rest.

•    Protozoan invasion is very common, and when affected, the fish becomes dull colored and shows an abnormal bend from the spine. You will observe bloating of the fin or appearance of cyst on the body. Removing this type of fishes from the tank is the best solution in such cases.

What sort of aquarium care will you give to your very own Green Neon Tetra to thrive healthily?

•    Although very small in size, the Green Neon Tetra is not very suitable for Pico aquariums which are about 3-5 gallon in capacity. The streams they originate from has a larger volume of water passing, thereby the water parameters are quite stable.

•    Since they are small-sized and of shy nature, these tetras are quite compatible with the environment which does not have semi-aggressive species like catfish, barbs, and angelfish. They will prove to be good only in biotype setups where you may house them with smaller peaceful kind of fishes.

•    Green Neon Tetra is a shoaling type of fish and prefers a group of at least 6-10. While the males compete for female attention, they exhibit some characteristic coloration, which is often worthy of observing.

•    An ideal tank set up for the Green Neon Tetra should have a sandy substrate, plenty of vegetation and plentiful areas in the aquarium which is dimly lighted. You must set the aquarium in plenty of driftwood and floating cover plants so that the fish feels comfortable.

•    You may add to the acidic water some dried leaves, peat and black water extract so that they provide a supplement of food. The decomposition of food will bring microbes that will help to feed your Green Neon Tetra. 

Lesser known facts about Green Neon Tetra every hobbyist should know

The freshwater fishes are an excellent option for fish owners. Well, here are some interesting facts that hobbyists need to know.

•    Green Neon Tetras are a fascinating group of fishes having over 1100 species. They are wonderfully striped and possess various colors.

•    Green Neon Tetras love being in a school. If alone, they feel stressed. As a first time hobbyist, try purchasing three or more fishes at a time so that they are in a comfortable position.

In spite of being a shoaling fish, this tetra appears to be individual unless there is some threat when you will find them together.

•    The tetras are dwellers of the Amazon basin. They thrive in slightly acidic water. You must maintain a tank, a minimum of 30 gallons in capacity so that the fishes have more space to swim comfortably.  They need clean space with temperature ranging from 70–80 degree Fahrenheit. Well, you need to change 25-30% of the water on a regular basis.

•    There is an annual festival that takes part in Barcelos, Brazil, a place known for harvesting tropical fish for home aquariums. They focus a lot on ornamental fishes. As tetras are the main focus of this event, you will find a lot of varieties of Green Neon Tetras here.

•    Green Neon Tetras are omnivorous in nature. They eat anything starting from algae, seaweeds or brine shrimps. Their food habit makes them possible to thrive with other species.

What are the steps you need to follow while setting up tanks for your Green Neon Tetras?

The species can be the most desirable ones that originate from the Amazon basin, but when kept inside aquariums, it’s essential you maintain the right conditions.

•    Buy a large aquarium: The capacity of the aquarium you buy should be at least 30 gallons. Prefer broad base aquariums so that it could accommodate bigger shoals.

•    Try cycling your tank without any food. Clean your aquarium of any harmful bacteria that might cause harm to your fishes. Check the water level so that it reads 0 parts of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before you start adding fishes to it.

•    You must add a good filter and fill the tank with fresh water. After testing the water regularly, you will come to know how long it takes for the ammonia to break down to nitrite. Continue the test until all parts of the tank come to a zero.

•    You must add a mesh to the filter intake; else the smaller Green Tetra fishes can get stuck inside it. The filter is also instrumental in protecting your fish from bacteria outside.

•    You may enrich the aquarium environment by adding aquatic or semi-aquatic plants inside. Adding leaf litter and driftwood would help to replicate hiding places for your Green Neon Tetras.

•    You must monitor the pH factor of the water, which should be stable at around 5.5 to 6.8. You may get pH testing strips in the local market, and follow the given instruction to check the pH level each time you change the water.

•    In case you want to soften the water, you can add peat bags which might help the Green Neon Tetras for survival. Peat may discolor the tank water a bit, but it will bear a natural look like any swamp water.

•    While in the aquarium, you should maintain dim lighting to maintain a perfect condition and hiding place for the Green Neon Tetras. This will create the same effect as their natural habitat.

•    Control the temperature of the tank at around 70-80 degree Fahrenheit. Try and purchase an adjustable heater that will help to maintain the temperature inside the tank. For breeding, the ideal temperature should be 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

•    Clean the tank regularly to maintain the percentage of nitrates and phosphates, which could resist diseases. You have to change at least (25-50) % of the tank water every other week, to combat the spread of any disease. If possible, scrub any algae regularly from the wall of the tank, filter or any other décor.

•    Add tank mates that will be compatible with the species you want to keep.

•    You must make sure the new arrivals should be well-quarantined. This phenomenon will help protect your fishes from the spread of diseases.

•    You must feed your fish a varied diet at least 2-3 times a day.  To keep your fishes healthy, monitor, and do regular research on the diseases it might be affected with and keep a check on that accordingly.

Arindom Ghosh
 

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