The Tetra fishes are brightly-colored small freshwater fishes that are hardy and easy to raise in tanks. They are preferred by most beginners precisely because of this reason. The most popular of the lot are the Neon tetra fishes and the Red tetra fishes.
- Red Tetra Fishes: The red tetras or the flame tetras, get their name from their color. They usually possess a flaming red rear and a mostly silver head. There will be two dark vertical lines on the sides, a little above the dorsal fin. The males and females of this beautiful species can be distinguished by the coloration difference of their anal and pectoral fins. While males have a black tip on their anal fins, females have a darker pectoral fin.
- Neon Tetra Fishes: Neon tetra gets its name from its bright coloration. They have two horizontal, iridescent stripes along their body. A blue one from its nose to its fin, and a slightly thicker red one from the middle of its body to its tail fin. They grow to an average length of 4½ centimeters. They stripes change color during night to a gray or black. Neon tetras are omnivores.
Breeding: Nine month old tetras are usually used for breeding. Male and female tetras can be distinguished in a number of ways. Males are usually more brightly colored females and have a slimmer structure. Females, when ready for spawning, show a bulge in their abdominal region. Before transferring the chosen tetras into the breeding tank, a net should be spread at the bottom of the tank and aquatic plants should be placed everywhere. This is to protect the eggs from their own parents, as they tend to eat it. The nets will let the eggs pass through but not the fish. Once the female has laid eggs, both the female and male fishes should be removed from the tank. After that the tank should be covered to prevent light from entering it as the fries are sensitive to light. The eggs will hatch in about 36 hours. The amount of light entering the tank can be gradually increased in a period of one week. Provide sufficient food to the fries so that they grow healthy.