If you have recently adopted a happy school of neon tetras, you are probably really enjoying yourself while observing these amazing creatures and are perhaps considering of breeding them.
One of the things you certainly want to know is whether neon tetras are livebearers or egg layers. Neon tetras are egg layers, or more precisely, egg scatterers. They spawn by releasing the eggs into the water which get fertilized by the male afterward.
With a bit of effort, you may be soon observing some super-tiny neon fry around your aquarium. Indeed, this is not such a complicated mission, as long as you are able of offering the right conditions to them and to spend some time monitoring your fish.
They will certainly require some extra care from you during their most delicate life phase.
How do Neon Tetras Reproduce?
When perfect mating conditions are met, it is quite simple for neon tetras to reproduce. It all starts with the female showing she is ready. Her belly will become even more rounded than usual, signalizing that eggs are ready to be released.
The male will happily swim around his lady, mostly in a funny square pattern. When the dance is over, she will now release her eggs into the water, literally scattering them around over the tank bottom and various plant surfaces.
Next, the male has to fertilize such eggs. After 24 hours or so, baby neon fish are already swimming around the tank.
Ideal Tank Conditions for Breeding Neon Tetras
Neon tetras are not normally able of breeding unless the tank conditions are perfect enough to trigger their mating season. Indeed, if you are fearing of having hundreds of babies across your established tank, you may put your mind at ease.
When wanting to breed your adults, you need to pick the healthy ones which are at least 12 weeks old and place them into a breeding tank. Such a tank needs to feature appropriate water parameters, starting from the temperature, which should be around 77-degrees Fahrenheit.
At the same time, it has to be soft and slightly acidic. Therefore, the pH level should be anywhere between 5 and 6. Please note that the water should be impeccably clean for ideal health conditions to occur, and a simple sponge filter in the corner will do simply fine.
Next, your pets should have a decreased source of light. Some owners even like to wrap a few tank sides with paper, but this is not really needed as long as the room corner where you keep them is slightly dark. Preferably, there can be some java moss at the bottom, for a softer and safer landing.
How Often do Neon Tetras Breed?
Neon tetras seem of being able to reproduce as many times per year as the ideal conditions are occurring. During one single spawning, the females can produce and release to up to 100 eggs at once.
Not all of them will be fertilized and hatch into fry, but at least half of them will probably go through a successful hatching process.
Can Neon Tetras Breed in Community Tank?
Being schooling fish by nature, it is possible for neon tetras to occasionally breed into community tanks as well. However, this happens quite rarely, as the perfect mating conditions need to be met.
If your fish happen to breed in an established tank, all of your fry will probably be eaten before they even get a chance to hatch. Indeed, neon tetras are known to eat both their own eggs (and even fry) and those of other fish.
If you wish to intentionally breed your neon tetras, it is necessary to isolate the conditioned pair inside a separate tank.
The parents must be removed from such tank as soon as the eggs are fertilized, or they will otherwise eat them out.
How to Care for Neon Tetra Fry?
Taking care of neon tetra fry is not that complicated, but it does require a certain level of effort from you. To begin, please allow your baby fish to live in a dark area of your home.
When just hatched, their tiny iridescent bodies are overly sensitive to light and need to avoid any such source in order to thrive. This should last for approximately 5 days.
When it comes to feeding, they require highly nutritious yet tiny meals, so they can grow healthy and quickly. Therefore, the best option you can offer to your baby fish is infusoria.
This can either be made from the comfort of your home or can be purchased inapposite pet stores. As soon as they start resembling to little fish, they are able of feeding on slightly more solid food, such as baby brine shrimp.
Your neon tetra fry should be kept in an isolation tank for about 3 months. During such periods, they are ridiculously small and delicate, so make sure to avoid any spikes in water parameters by regularly collecting all food residues across their tank.
Once they are grown enough to not become a meal of adult tetras, you may release your babies inside your established tank, to happily join their community.
Neon tetras are extremely small pets and do not require lots of space to thrive in captivity. Moreover, they are happiest when kept in large schools. The larger, the better.
Therefore, it is not unusual for their keepers wanting to reproduce them from time to time, especially if they own a big enough tank to house all the babies once they grow up.
If you have decided to breed your favorite adult specimens, it is not such a complicated process. All you need is a separate tank with ideal water parameters, a dark corner of your home and a bit of patience.
You may be soon facing several dozens of little fish swimming around, so please always have enough space to house them as soon as they grow up. You should allow at least one gallon of water per every inch of body length of your fish.