Paracheirodon innesi is one of, if not the most common fish in the aquarium hobby, but not under that latin name. You might know it under its much more popular name: the neon tetra. Its bold colors and unfussy nature have earned it a position as a starter fish for beginners for decades, and they are commonly the first fish to ever be put into a new tank, or even a first time hobbyist’s new tank. This fish is that same neon tetra, but in a different, golden color form. This fish has the same base coloration as the standard neon tetra, but they are covered completely in a dusty gold colored iridescence on top of it. These fish are not albino, as you can tell by their dark pupils, and you can also still see the blue stripe and red anterior wash of the normal neon tetra underneath their golden scales. The blue and red are covered, and therefore a lot more subtle than they normally would be on a neon tetra, giving this fish two different looks depending on your angle, lighting, and even sometimes the time of day.
The neon tetra is a fish that can thrive in many different types of water parameters, which plays heavily into it being such a great beginner fish. They are typically collected from small tributaries which feed the Amazon river, where the water is slowly flowing, and the decaying branches and leaves stain the water brown like a very dark tea. These rotting organic things leach tannic acid into the water, which lowers the ph, sometimes very drastically to a ph of as low as 4 or so. These fish in the aquarium, however, are readily adaptable to a higher ph, even up to 8 or so, and do not seem to have a problem with hard water (which they would never see in the wild). The most important thing when keeping these little tetras is that the water remains clean, because the conditions in the wild are acidic enough where nitrogenous compounds are essentially completely nontoxic and neutralized, which is not the case in most home aquariums. These tetras prefer a planted tank that has a lot of botanicals in it, in order to make them feel secure enough to be out and about. Like any you would find in the hobby, our gold neons are tank bred, and are larger than you would typically see them, about 1¼ inches or so, and they will most likely grow another half inch or so.
These tetras are very peaceful, so they can be added to a likewise peaceful community aquarium, with tank mates that are all about the same size as the gold neon, so that it is not outcompeted for food or bullied by larger fish. When a group of these are swimming around in your tank, they will easily stand out amongst your other fish, since this color is rarely seen in fish, and almost never seen in plants, so you’ll never have trouble seeing your fish! These shoaling fish do not ship individually bagged.
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