Blue neon is an exotic fish that is especially popular among modern aquarists, distinguished by its original attractive appearance. Due to its color, it seems that it glows in the dark. Despite their origins, neons are very unpretentious in content, which is the reason for their popularity.
Origin of the species and description
Blue neon was first found in the waters of rivers in Peru. Then the Frenchman A. Rabo in 1935 first discovered a representative of the species and described it. The fish made such a strong impression on Rabo that he brought several individuals to the USA, as well as to Old Europe, where they began to actively breed them in Germany. and France did not succeed. In 1936 neon actively began to breed and transport to other countries. The success of the Germans in breeding Blue Neons was due to the fact that the water here is much softer than in other countries. Namely, this is what the neon population loves so much.
Video: Blue neon
On average, representatives of the species in natural conditions live 4-7 years. In aquariums, they can live from 1.5 to 4 years. Moreover, the most curious thing is that Blue neon lives least of all at a water temperature of 27 degrees and above. And most of all, the fish can live at 18-19 degrees. As you can see, with an increase in water temperature, life expectancy is sharply reduced.
Although Blue Neon lives in the tropics in nature, the water itself is usually hidden by dense thickets, so it does not have time to warm up too much. In addition, in nature, fish have the freedom to choose a comfortable habitat.
Appearance and features
Blue neon is a relatively small fish (3-4 cm). The male is often about 1 cm smaller than the female. A characteristic feature of the fish is the presence of a bright blue stripe passing through the entire body. Due to its bright shade, it creates a kind of glow effect. That's where the name came from. In the middle, this stripe can cast a slightly silvery, smoothly turning into an olive undertone. From the middle of the abdomen to the very tail there is a bright red stripe, which can usually be even a little wider than the blue.
Interesting fact: Male and female neons are distinguished solely by the stripe. In the male, it is perfectly even. But the female is slightly curved, the abdomen is not even round during the spawning period.
In males, the swim bladder is located near the anus itself, but in females – near the spine. Neon Blue fins should normally be transparent and belly grey. By the way, it is very interesting that the brightness of the Blue Neon shade is a clear indicator of his state of health. A sick fish loses color intensity and may become almost colorless. The same goes for older specimens.
In addition, the immediate comfort of the fish also affects the intensity of the color. If she is satisfied with the conditions of detention, she has a bright intense color. If something is wrong or the fish is simply stressed, it can also become discolored.
But do not immediately panic. Not always a change in color is the result of something negative. At night, the fish also loses the intensity of their color. When the Blue Neon rests, it again begins to shine in all its glory as before. There are quite logical explanations for this: at night, the fish loses its vigilance and tries to be the least noticeable to the enemy.
Modern aquarists are increasingly faced with various hybrids. In this case, the usual description of Blue neon may be slightly different.
Interesting fact: Blue neon should not be confused with Blue. The latter is missing the red stripe and the blue one is getting darker.
Where does blue neon live?
South America is the birthplace of neon. Here they live in fresh water. The streams and rivers of Colombia, Brazil and Peru, especially the top of the Amazon, are the places where neons are most common and from where they began their journey around the world.
Initially, they got into aquariums from the Putumayo River. German aquarists were so passionate about these exotic fish that they immediately started breeding them, from where they were then distributed to many countries. Under natural conditions, blue neon prefers clear waters with a moderate current. There they find areas where they can choose open space or algae thickets. By the way, it is in the thickets that they prefer to rest or wait out the bad weather.
Blue neons inhabit such reservoirs in South America, most of which are covered by tropical forests. Because of this, they often have to be in poor lighting conditions. That is why in this matter the fish is extremely unpretentious. Blue neon spends most of its time in the lower and middle parts of the reservoir. Fish do not live in sea waters.
Recently, more and more often this fish is associated with aquarism. Not everyone manages to meet neon in natural conditions, because it is an exotic fish that lives far away. But in home aquariums, it is often found. Almost every person who has been breeding fish at least once has come across these beauties.
Although their dimensions are very small, but because of their briskness, the aquarium they need is quite spacious. Ideal conditions for keeping fish will be water 20-23 degrees. They also love light, so you need to provide them with a lamp. At the same time, the lighting should still be moderate, it is important to create darker areas as well. To do this, a few plants are placed in the aquarium at the bottom. It is also important to filter water and supply it with oxygen. Since the fish do not jump out of the water, it is not necessary to cover the aquarium.
That is, the key factors for the normal life of blue neon are:
- clean water;
- optimal temperature;
- sufficient darkness;
- no fast flow.
This will be enough to make Neon Blue feel as comfortable as possible. Now you know how to keep blue neon. Let's see what you need to feed the fish.
What eats blue neon?
Under natural conditions, Blue Neon can feed on small crustaceans, plankton, or small insects that fall to the surface of the water. Plant food does not appeal to them. This should be taken into account when forming the menu of a fish that lives in an aquarium at home.
In an aquarium, blue neon is absolutely unpretentious in matters of its diet. It is enough to feed him with any food that is suitable for this category of small aquarium fish. They equally well consume both dry and live food. A real delicacy for blue neon will be bloodworms or tubifex. From dry food, it is best to choose proven daphnia.
You should also follow a number of simple rules:
- live food must be present at least periodically in the diet – this is necessary for the normal development of fish;
- it is enough to feed neons only 1 time per day . It is important not to overfeed the fish, as they are particularly prone to obesity, which will negatively affect their life expectancy in the future;
- Feed is better to give little by little. Blue neon is not a bottom fish. He prefers to eat food from the surface or from the water column, but not from the bottom. That is why it is better to give in several portions, waiting for the fish to eat a part so that it does not have time to settle to the bottom;
- feed should be given small so that the fish can capture it normally;
- neons do not feel full so clearly, so you should not give them more than they should, considering them hungry. Under natural conditions, they are quite active and are always in search of food. Aquariums don't have these conditions, so they simply can't expend so much energy.
Interesting fact: In artificial ponds, once a week, neon needs to do a “fasting day” , otherwise they can get fat to such a large size that they eventually die.
Character and lifestyle features
Neon – schooling and very active fish. Representatives of this population prefer to stay in groups and do not move alone even for short distances. Blue neon has a cheerful disposition and does not show hostility towards other fish, as well as representatives of its flock.
The fish lives in warm waters, so there is no particularly seasonal change in behavior. Although neons are very active, they still have a craving for adventure, so these fish do not have any active migration under any circumstances. To make blue neon feel comfortable in the aquarium, you need to immediately purchase several of them. This will save the representatives of the species from unnecessary stress. Separately, it is difficult for them to be. In addition, if you buy more fish in turn, this will create a stressful situation for both a beginner and an old-timer.
If, nevertheless, it is planned to settle different fish in one aquarium, then for the peaceful Blue Neon neighbors, one should also select good ones, similar in size and character. Since blue neons are not averse to resting at night in a secluded place, it is best to create comfortable conditions for them in the form of dense thickets at the bottom. It can be artificial or natural plants, grottoes.
The fish will appreciate all this, because there you can easily find a secluded place and hide. If the owner's plans do not include the installation of an additional lamp, this will not upset the blue neon.
Social structure and reproduction
Usually blue neon prefer to live in small flocks. This is a fish that does not tolerate loneliness. That is why it is customary to keep at least a couple of these fish in aquariums. At the same time, neon cannot be called highly organized. They do not create families, do not care about offspring. Between October and January, blue neon spawns. To do this, the fish chooses a secluded place in the thickets of algae, away from the turbulent streams of water.
It should be taken into account the fact that in nature, blue neon multiplies during the rainy season. At this time, the maximum amount of soft water enters the reservoir. Ultimately, the acidity is reduced to such an extent that the water can safely be called distilled. That is why, if it is planned to breed neon at home, then special conditions will need to be created for the fish: the cleanest reservoir with a high oxygen concentration. In addition, spawning occurs in especially darkened thickets of algae. Therefore, at the bottom, you will need to first place a sufficient amount of vegetation.
For 1 time, the female can lay up to 250 small-sized eggs. No subsequent care for the offspring of blue neons is provided. The male and female immediately leave the place where the eggs were laid. In just 4-5 days, small fry are born. From the very moment of birth, the fry are very active, feed on their own and grow very quickly.
If we talk about breeding fish in an aquarium, then there they will need to create conditions that are as close to natural as possible. This will require at the time of laying eggs, and also until the very appearance of the fry, create twilight in the water. In addition, immediately after the spawning process is completed, adults should be transferred to another aquarium, as they can eat both eggs and fry in the future.
Natural enemies of blue neon
Blue neon is a very friendly fish, which usually rarely comes into any conflict with other inhabitants of the reservoir. However, they have one drawback in terms of safety – their bright color. Even in poorly lit areas, they are perfectly visible, making them a clear target for the hunter. But from natural enemies, they easily manage to elude almost any enemy.
The exception is one of the main enemies – man. The reason is that blue neon in some areas is actively caught for subsequent sale. Against this background, it is the person who is most often called the main enemy of blue neon. But in fact, this is far from the only danger for the representatives of the population.
In addition to people, they are actively hunted by various predatory fish that can live in these very reservoirs. Large predators can swallow neons in whole flocks. But they mainly try to stay in hard-to-reach places, where too large a predator simply cannot get. Also, birds that live near water bodies and simply catch these bright fish from the water can pose a danger to blue neon. The same goes for small animals.
If we talk about the content of the Blue neon in the aquarium, then other types of fish can encroach on it. It doesn't have to be much larger species. It is enough that the representatives of the population behave more aggressively. Even when choosing calm fish, you should pay attention to the fact that there are several neons in the aquarium – then they will feel more confident. By the way, it's quite possible to get neons of different colors – they fit perfectly with each other.
Population and species status
It is impossible to provide accurate data on the number of representatives of the population, since Blue neon inhabits quite a lot of water bodies. According to approximate statistics, the most common fish in Brazil – there its population is about 10-15 million individuals. By the way, local tribes in Brazil make a living by catching Blue Neons. Subsequently, they exchange fish for food.
It should be understood that due to favorable conditions and active reproduction, the population of neon is not declining today. Although the water area of their habitat is not so extensive, but the reservoirs are often located far from industrial zones or places of active human habitation. Therefore, nothing particularly threatens Blue neon.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that representatives of the species are actively bred in artificial conditions. For this reason, you should not be afraid that Blue Neon may disappear altogether. By the way, it is precisely because of the active breeding of neons in artificial conditions that they are practically not caught in natural reservoirs.
Moreover, work is actively continuing on the breeding of new species. That is why the population even increases to some extent, if we take into account those representatives of the species that are in private aquariums. By the way, thanks to this, the fish became available all over the world, despite the fact that its natural conditions are geographically very limited.
Another factor contributing to maintaining the proper number of individuals, — good fish health. They practically do not get sick both in natural conditions and when kept in an aquarium.
An interesting fact: If the fish are kept in an aquarium in which there are sick fish treated with drugs, the composition which have copper, then the amount of medicine should be halved. This is due to the increased sensitivity of neon to copper.
Thus, blue neon is rightfully considered one of the most popular fish among aquarists. This beautiful and extremely unpretentious fish in terms of care has won the hearts of home aquarium lovers all over the world. In nature, it is also found quite often in its habitat. Rainforest pools inhabited by such inhabitants seem to be places from fairy tales.