Neonki – fish from South America. Requirements, types

Neonki are fish from the tetras family, common mainly in South America. Some neonatal species are also temporarily protected, usually during the spawning period. They are very popular fish for aquariums, both those run by beginners and more advanced, for example, the so-called black waters. Check the needs and requirements of neon fish.

Neon signs – species description

Neonki are small-sized fish. All of them, even despite the different colors, have a common feature. What? Check!

Neon appearance

Neon fish have a characteristic, dyed strip running through the entire body. It can be blue, but also red or silver-gold. It depends primarily on the species in question. The body of neonates is elongated, with females usually slightly larger and more rounded on the belly. The intensity of dyeing changes in the daily cycle and also depends on the conditions in the tank. Fish placed in an aquarium with a dark substrate or in the so-called black waters. Neon signs, depending on the species, are 1 to 5 cm long.

Neon signs – behavior

Neonat is a shoal, calm fish, it does not look for interferences with other animals in the tank. It is not aggressive towards other fish, although during the spawning period there are fights between males if there are too many of them in the aquarium. Therefore, it is worth keeping neon signs at least in groups of 8-10 individuals. Then they feel best, not nervous and overly shy.

Neon signs – reproduction

Neonki can be reproduced artificially, but it is not very often. This is mainly due to the slight sexual dimorphism and the need to prepare a separate, dark breeding aquarium. As for neon signs, reproduction is easiest with the Inessa species. Red and black neon rarely multiply in artificial conditions, especially among hobbyists. The same is the case with other species.

It is worth knowing that even if neonates spawn – they belong to the oviparous species – it does not mean success in breeding them. Very often the roe is killed, eaten by adult specimens. Both she and the fry are particularly sensitive to unfavorable conditions in the tank. Light has a particularly damaging effect on them, which is why preparing a reservoir for spawning grounds and fry growth is sometimes difficult.

Neon signs – types

It is worth knowing that different neon lights can swim in your aquarium. The types of these fish are mainly related to their coloration. Some of them arose naturally, others are artificially created for the needs of aquarists. This is how the following are distinguished:

  • neon Inessa – also called neon rapids. The most durable and most common in aquariums. They are relatively durable and have the least required of all types of neon lights. They also reproduce most easily. They have a neon strip all over their body, complemented by a bright red color from the middle;
  • black neon lights – called Axelrod’s rapids. Naturally living in the Amazon River. Reaches sizes up to approx. 4 cm and requires a relatively large tank, min. 60 l. Black neon rarely breeds in captivity. For a black and gray body with a neon stripe along its entire length;
  • red neon lights – called Axelrod neon lights. A natural species from the Amazon basin, under protection during the spawning season. It grows up to 4.5 cm. It is best found in single-species aquariums, in large shoals. Two stripes run across his body – blue and red, both are neon;
  • green neon – called blue rapids. The species occurs naturally in the Rio Negro and Rio Orinoco basins. It only grows up to 2.5 cm in length. A bright green belt runs across his body. They rarely reproduce in aquarium conditions;
  • diamond neon – an artificially bred variety of Inessa neon lights. It grows up to 5 cm, it is very similar in terms of requirements to its relatives. These neon lights have a silvery body with a bright red stripe running from the middle of the body.

When it comes to neon lights, the price of the Inessa species is not excessive and fluctuates around PLN 6. The remaining species and varieties are correspondingly more expensive.

Aquariums with neon lights – how to prepare them?

Here are some tips on how to prepare your neon aquarium.

Capacity and equipment of the aquarium

Depending on the neon species, aquariums with a capacity of at least 40 liters are recommended. Of course, we are talking about single-species tanks. In the case of a multi-species stocking, the aquarium should be adequately larger. In the case of a shoal of more than 10 individuals, it is also recommended to increase the living space.

Neonate aquariums should be equipped with a filter that has at least two different filter media. This ensures cleanliness and oxygenation of the water. Every week or so, it is worth changing about 25% of the water, adding fresh, properly prepared water. The tolerance to temperature changes varies depending on the species. A heater is recommended for some neon signs.

Lighting in the aquarium where neon lights should not be too intense. They are scattered by numerous vegetation, including those floating near the water surface. Appropriate plant species should be selected for a small amount of light. You can also decide on the so-called black waters, imitating the natural living conditions of neon signs.

Neon signs – living conditions

Neon lights need soft water with an acidic or slightly acidic pH. The higher the temperature, the better the fish’s resistance to certain diseases and the greater the likelihood of reproduction. Some species, e.g. black neon, need a higher temperature than e.g. Inessa neon.

Nutrition neon

Neonki are omnivorous fish. You can feed them with ready-made foods in the form of granules or flakes. Mixing plant food, such as spirulina, with dried and frozen natural food will also work well. An interesting addition is fruit. You can cool neon lights once a week for their health.

Neon signs – what kind of fish will they get along with?

As aquarium fish, neonates live well with other species. They get along particularly well with fish of similar sizes, not very aggressive. They can serve as food for large fish.
You already know what neon signs look like, what fish they get along well with and what their needs are. This way you can tell if you want neon lights in your tank. Remember to buy a few individuals at once, because this is how they will feel best.

Fot. André Karwath aka Aka via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5