Alternative to Neon Tetras

Discussion in 'Tetras' started by jinnix, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. j

    jinnix New Member Member

    Hello all. I was planning on adding some neon tetras to my 20lg tank this weekend but I keep hearing how terribly hard they are to keep. We want something bright and colorful with lots of movement. Right now we have four zebra danios, two long-finned leopard danios, and one tiny guppy (he was a happy accident). We were planning on adding Mickey Mouse platys as well, and probably some cherry shrimp for clean up. LFS (respectable place, I trust them tremendously) suggested neon tetras, but now I keep reading that they're difficult to keep alive. Is there a different tetra or even a different species of fish that would be colorful and add to the fun movement in our tank? Or are the neon's not as difficult as I've been reading? Thank you!
  2. T

    The Red Severum Valued Member Member

  3. BDpups

    BDpups Well Known Member Member

    Cardinals look a lot like neons, only better in my opinion. And in my experience with both of them, cardinals are much more hardy than neons.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

  4. Flowingfins

    Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    I agree with BDpups, cardinals are a great alternative to neons.
  5. Dom90

    Dom90 Fishlore VIP Member

    Neon tetras are very sensitive to water conditions and the mortality rate is pretty high. You could try any other 2" tetra really, black skirt tetras, phantom tetras, pristella tetras, etc.
  6. Nympxzie

    Nympxzie Valued Member Member

    As Dom90already said, neons are sensitive to water on top of being inbred so much that they are overall genetically weak.

    Glowlight, cochu blue tetra, cardinals, green and black, and albino neons are the most similar in appearance

    other colorful tetra: black emperor, Columbian tetra, Diamond tetra, sickle tetra.
  7. OP

    jinnix New Member Member

    We take our water to get tested every week and even buy our water from our LFS and they've told us that we haven't had any water problems whatsoever for about two weeks now. We had problems at first until we started getting water from them and now we've been stable. Do you think neon's might still have problems? I am confident in our water quality, are there other factors that make them difficult to keep?
  8. T

    The Red Severum Valued Member Member

    I don't think it matters with Neons. They either survive or die and that has nothing to do with your water quality. Some people may disagree, but with the amount of over breeding of neons, it has destroyed their immune system and stability.
  9. Anders247

    Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    They also don't do well in warmer water (over 74) I have read, they come from a cooler part of SA.
    This would also have to do with them being less hardy....
  10. BDpups

    BDpups Well Known Member Member

    What have you done to your tank up to this point? Tap water won't cause problems that bought water will fix. I would invest in a liquid test kit to keep at home.
  11. chromedome52

    chromedome52 Fishlore VIP Member

    Commercially bred Neons are not genetically weak. They are overtreated with antibiotics in the Asian market, and therefore have no disease resistance when sent to a fish shop, where diseases abound. They are not less hardy when kept in the correct environment. Get some Neons raised in Florida, or wild stock (if you can find it). Then keep them cool, below 75 F.

    Cardinals are more accepting of the higher temperatures of the average home aquarium, but they also get much larger than Neons. I've seen them well over 2" in Discus tanks. I've never seen a Neon over 1.75". The fish now called the "Green Neon", Paracheirodon simulans, is also a warm water species, but stays smaller than the Cardinal.
  12. NinjaTetra

    NinjaTetra Well Known Member Member

    I agree with severum black neons are really cool to keep. Although not colorful, they are eye-catchers, and I'm finding that many people use them in competition tanks.

    ~ <-----thats one of those cool squiggly lines you do before a signature.
  13. E

    Et tu Valued Member Member

    Male endlers are very active & quite beautiful.
  14. Thunder_o_b

    Thunder_o_b Fishlore VIP Member

    Glow lights are nice. Neons have always been easyer to keep than cardinals for me and much less expencive. The thing with neons that many people over look is that they like their water cooler. We keep the tank with our school of neons at 73.

    From our school of 11 glow lights.

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