Black Neon

Schwarzer Neon
Tifr, BlackNeonTetra1, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Black Neon is also called Black Flag Tetra. The freshwater fish lives in the waters of Mato Grosso. It likes to live in groups.

What distinguishes the Black Neon?

The Black Neon has a characteristic appearance. It lives in groups, whereby it tends to swarm when threatened.
If they are kept in an aquarium, they are usually found in the upper to middle water layers. The fish are free spawners and can live up to 10 years.


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The appearance

The black neon is a smaller fish species with a body height of up to 4 cm. It has a slender body, which is flattened on the sides. It can be regarded as streamlined.

On top the body is grey-brown to brown. The edges of the scales provide a fine net pattern. Underside the black neon is silver coloured. It carries a two-part longitudinal band. The upper half is either bright light blue or green to yellow-green shimmering. It reaches up to the caudal fin. The lower half is black and reaches up to the base of the caudal fin. The coloured shining part of the longitudinal band led to the naming.

The dorsal fin is short and high. It has two single and nine branched fin rays. The caudal fin is long and has 4 single and 21 branched rays. All fins are transparent with a light yellow shimmer.

Sex differences

The females of the black neon become bigger than the males with 4 cm of height. The body is also fuller, the belly line visibly curved. The males have a slimmer body and a less curved belly line.
The females are less distinctive in colour than the males, which shine more strongly.

Water values

To thrive, the black neon needs the following water values:

  • Water temperature between 22° and 28° C
  • pH value 5,5 to 7,5
  • Water hardness 2 to 15 dGH

Feed and nutrition

The Black Neon is an omnivore. It exterminates worms, plants and small crustaceans. It accepts both flake food and live food.

The ideal aquarium

As already mentioned, the Black Neon prefers group life. It can be socialized with other characins, but also with barbs. The group should contain at least 8 fish.

The aquarium should hold at least 100 L and be 60 cm long, preferably longer. There must be enough space for swimming. A light current is welcome.

Dark ground and dimmed light are optimal, the black neon loves aquatic plants with many hiding places.

Keeping conditions

The Black Neon is easy to keep and therefore a good beginner fish. Here again the most important things in brief:

  • At least 8 fish
  • enough swimming space and hiding places in the aquarium
  • warm, soft water
  • varied food

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