Black Diamond Neon Tetra Care Tips

black diamond neon tetra

Last updated on September 15th, 2022 at 10:31 pm

The black diamond neon tetra, also known as the Paracheirodon innesi var. black diamond, can be tricky to keep alive because of its sensitive nature and high sensitivity to water quality and temperature fluctuations.

Neon tetras are an incredibly popular fish choice among many aquarium hobbyists and owners of public aquariums, but that doesn’t mean they’re the easiest fish to keep alive. The black diamond neon tetra is even more delicate than the average neon tetra because of its coloration and high sensitivity to water conditions and environmental changes.

A black diamond neon tetra will require slightly different care than most other species of fish, but with the right information, you can help to keep your black diamond neon tetra thriving in your aquarium.

If you follow these easy tips on how to keep your black diamond neon tetra alive, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying this beautiful and interesting species!

Origin and descriptions

The black diamond neon tetra, scientifically named Paracheirodon innesi var. black diamond, is a popular variety of neon tetra that originates from Suriname and Guyana. One look at its silver-diamond body glistening in water and you’ll be sure why it has been dubbed with such a fancy title. However, as pretty as they are, they require special care if you want them to live long and healthy lives.

The black diamond neon tetra is named for its deep black color and rhomboid markings (giving it a diamond look). This schooling fish is happiest when kept in groups of at least six and ideally more than 10.

The paracheirodon innesi var. black diamond requires soft water with a low pH and temperature between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. These fish are omnivores that will accept flakes, freeze-dried bloodworms, and tubifex worms. They can be fed twice daily; only feed what they can consume within two minutes. To reduce aggression among tank mates, remove any uneaten food after 30 minutes.

Species profile

black diamond neon tetra

The black diamond neon tetra belongs to the family Characidae and is part of a group called characins. Characins are small, freshwater fish native to South America. They are very similar in appearance to their cousins, black mollies (Poecilia sphenops).

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A black version of the classic neon tetra, the black diamond neon tetra is an exceptionally colorful and highly active nano fish!

In community aquariums, especially planted aquariums, the black diamond neon tetra is an excellent choice. Neon tetras in this form are fairly new to the hobby and are not commonly found. Beginners and experts will appreciate how peaceful this fish is!

They have an average lifespan of three years, but can live up to five years with proper care. They grow up to two inches long and prefer temperatures between 77-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Black diamonds like to be kept in schools of six or more individuals. They will eat flake food, frozen bloodworms, and brine shrimp.

It’s important to feed them at least twice a day because they are prone to overeating if left unsupervised for too long. A common problem among black diamonds is fin rot due to poor water quality or improper diet. They also suffer from ich if not treated properly.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the black diamond neon tetra is Paracheirodon innesi var. black diamond


Black diamond neon tetras are found in streams and lakes in South America. While they can tolerate both cold and warm water, they do best at temperatures ranging from 18–22 degrees Celsius (64-72 degrees F). Because they can’t survive for long in water above 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees F), it’s important that their habitat be kept clean and well-oxygenated.

Poor water quality is one of the main reasons why they die early. It’s also crucial that you provide them with a sufficient amount of cover, such as floating plants or wood pieces. They will hide under these objects if startled by sudden movements or disturbances in their environment.

The perfect place for a black diamond tank would be on a table away from direct sunlight; you want them to feel comfortable and safe in their home.


Black diamond neon tetras are very small, growing to a maximum size of 1-2 inches (2.5-5.1 cm) in length.

Tank size

Due to their small size, the minimum recommended tank size is 10 gallons (38 liters).

Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Striped Kribensis)

Tank requirements

Many people put their new fish in a too-small tank. Your black diamond neon tetras should be kept in at least 10 gallons of water. Though small, these fish require very clean water. A bare-bottom tank with no gravel or plants will help ensure optimal conditions for them.

Be sure to use an aquarium heater and a reliable filter that can handle even very small tanks such as those suitable for 5 gallons of water or smaller. You don’t want a dirty environment for these delicate little fishes. If you do not have any experience with aquariums or keeping fish, it is best to purchase a pre-established tank.

This way you won’t have to worry about having enough money to buy all of the equipment necessary for setting up your own system.

Tank mates

Some of these fish can be kept with other species, but you have to pay close attention to their activity levels. For example, if you’re planning on housing black neons with live-bearing fish such as guppies or mollies, do so only in a large tank with plenty of space and hiding places; they will become stressed otherwise.

Other good tank mates are goldfish, mollies, platys, cories, danios, and other livebearers. Avoid keeping them with fish that are very territorial or aggressive like cichlids, bottom-dwelling catfish, barbs, gouramis, and bettas.


black diamond neon tetra

If you have a group of black diamonds and want to breed them, don’t worry. The hard part (getting them to reproduce) is often more trouble than it’s worth and many people end up giving up. The first thing you need to do is get a male and female together in one tank. It doesn’t matter what size tank they are in as long as there are no other fish that could eat their eggs or fry.

The next step is getting them ready for breeding by feeding them well. Feeding these fish at least once every day should be enough to ensure they are healthy enough for breeding. Just make sure not to overfeed them or they will become obese and won’t be able to swim properly, which can lead to an early death. Once your fish are fed regularly, wait until nighttime before turning off all lights so that they can start spawning right away.

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After some hours, turn on a very dim light so you can see if any eggs have been laid. You may notice some small white dots on plants or rocks around your aquarium. Those are probably eggs! Be careful when removing them from your tank because they are very fragile and can easily break. Once you’ve collected all of your eggs, place them in a container with water from your aquarium. Make sure that it has air holes to allow oxygen into the container.

Keep them there until they hatch into larvae. At this point, you will need to feed them live food such as baby brine shrimp or daphnia so that they grow quickly. They will also need clean water, so add dechlorinator to remove chlorine and chloramine from tap water.

Repeat the steps daily until they reach maturity. This process can be time-consuming but it is definitely worth it when you see your beautiful new addition swimming happily in its new home!

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

They are very peaceful! Black diamond neon tetras are one of those few species where male and female fish have different patterns.


black diamond neon tetra

The black diamond neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi var. black diamond) is an extremely low-maintenance fish with just a few requirements. Because they are such a hardy species, you can house them in most community tanks and put them through many different environmental conditions without any problems whatsoever.

However, if you want to have healthy black diamonds for as long as possible, there are some things that will help ensure their survival.

What they eat

Black diamond neon tetras are omnivorous, meaning they eat a diet consisting mainly of plants and animals. They also feed on small insects. Most live foods—like worms and brine shrimp—are too big for them to consume, so they’re best fed a combination of flake foods and live or frozen daphnia. They’ll also eat freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex worms, or mosquito larvae. A nutritious diet will help promote their overall health and longevity.


black diamond neon tetra

The average lifespan of black diamond tetra fish is 3-6 years.

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Parasites and diseases

Neon tetras are sensitive fish. The biggest threats to them are parasites and disease. One of their most dangerous parasites is ich, which can easily spread through a tank given it’s small size and close proximity to fish. Treat any sign of ich with Maracyn or Maracyn 2 by Aquatronics.

These medications will cure your fish in 3-5 days, but will not prevent reinfection without quarantine procedures. Quarantine new fish for at least two weeks before introducing them into an established tank. This will give you time to treat for any diseases they may have and ensure that they don’t infect other inhabitants in your aquarium.


When keeping any fish, or any pet for that matter, it’s always important to consider who might be interested in eating them. A good rule of thumb is the bigger they are, the more dangerous they are. Black diamond neon tetras grow to around 2 inches long, so a dedicated predator would need to be at least as big as that—and that predator could still kill several fish before getting full.

Some common predators are piranhas, pike, bass, and catfish. There are also some smaller fish that will pick off neon tetras as well. One of these is a small tropical fish called a bloodfin tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi). Bloodfin tetra grows to about 2 inches long and have been known to eat neon tetras in captivity.

Do they make good pets?

Yes. Black diamond neon tetras are suitable for an aquarium environment. They can be kept in groups or as singles and are a good choice for an aquarium containing live plants since they like to hide out amongst them. They do not school with each other, so only one should be kept in a community tank if you want it to show its best colors. Keep plenty of places available for it to hide such as driftwood, artificial plants, or pipes.