Neon Tetra breeing project - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2018, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Neon Tetra breeing project

Id like to get any critique from anyone that has done this. I love Neons and cant get enough... they are cheap enough, but I worry about introducing disease and quite literally I buy out my LFS each and every week. I have 2 tanks stocked with them and other fish. My 75 has about 80 Neons along with 20 Rummynose, 20 Cardinals, 3 Thomasi, 3 Nigerian Reds, and 12 Celebes rainbows. Id like to get to 120.
The other is a 150, Ive got 5 total species of tetras, but I want a huge group of Neons. Ive got maybe 100 now? Adding as many more as I can today with the exception of 12 or 14 that Ill split between 2 breeding tanks.
Both tanks are fully cycled, planted, and established.
11.4 has an AC50 and a sponge filter inside. Floating plants, hydrocotyle japan, lots of moss on the floor, some big hygro compacta plants... its pretty dense. I was going to start aging water with peat and using that for water changes as well as some new mopani and IAL or oak leaves for tannins. I was just going to feed live BBS and leave the main light off so it only gets the secondary light for the planted HOB. Between the covers and tannins the tank should be pretty dark. Maybe leave them in there until I see eggs or 2 weeks and then remove them and see what comes up?

The other is a 2.6 and I was going to follow the same method. Both tanks are empty now so no QT issues. The 2.6 will only get light from the spillover from the tanks next to it. I figured Id cut the lights after the fish have clearly acclimated and I observe the first signs of breeding??

Any suggestions or insight? If this works I figure a couple decent size broods would provide the remainder of what I need and I could try breeding Green Neons or Green fire tetras as those are difficult to come by locally.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 10:54 PM
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sounds like an awesome idea. I would be curious to see at what size the fry develop their blue glow.
I do like the simplicity of Neons, despite being popular and cheap they continue to be one of the brightest commonly available tropical fish.
I always thought they would do great alongside glowlight tetras because their colors are pretty much opposite.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 01:00 AM
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IMO, the only way its going to be worth it is if you get a high yield from the spawn. You dont want to be hatching BBS every day for two months for only ten fry.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 01:11 AM
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For such a small fish, neons can be a lot of effort to breed. Generally you need very soft water. You might want an RO unit if your going to need a lot of water, otherwise, you can use distilled water mixed with tap water to get the required soft water.

Neon fry are very small, and require infusoria as their first food. You'll need to set up a few cultures of it. Once you get the fry to the point where then can eat newly hatched brine shrimp, your home free. I once kney a breeder that told me that banana peels made the best media for infusoria but I have never tried it.

One advantage you do have is that you don't need large tanks to breed neons.

Good luck with your project. You will find that comparatively few people have bread them, even among people really into breeding fish.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ChrisX View Post
IMO, the only way its going to be worth it is if you get a high yield from the spawn. You dont want to be hatching BBS every day for two months for only ten fry.
I raise a batch of BBS each and every day for my fish as it is. They love it and they are so much more healthy and vibrant. So those are already available daily.
This isn't about saving a buck really... more about HOPEFULLY having healthy fish that I raised myself to add to the tanks so I'm not freaking out about what they may be carrying and how long it can be dormant.... plus like I said I just can't get enough locally. Ive bought my LFS out for maybe 6 weeks now?? I think they and some others are getting tired of it. They won't buy more than 50-75 at a time because they don't have the tank space. They really specialize in saltwater since thats where the money is. Im sure they arent making much on $1 Neons and $1 lemon tetras and $1 glowlights.
I'll try breeding glowlights in the other tank once I figure out which tank setup works for the Neons.
They did give me a few smaller chunks of mopani when I picked up my last 40 so I added those to the 2.6. Going today to look for oak leaves for the 11.4.

Bump: This is the 2.6. I'll be packing both with moss trimming from my big tanks... which grow like gangbusters.
This will be their new home along with about 100 Neons, 30 Glowlights, 15 Lemon Tetras, 20 Black phantom tetra, and 25 Pristilla tetras.


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Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
For such a small fish, neons can be a lot of effort to breed. Generally you need very soft water. You might want an RO unit if your going to need a lot of water, otherwise, you can use distilled water mixed with tap water to get the required soft water.

Neon fry are very small, and require infusoria as their first food. You'll need to set up a few cultures of it. Once you get the fry to the point where then can eat newly hatched brine shrimp, your home free. I once kney a breeder that told me that banana peels made the best media for infusoria but I have never tried it.

One advantage you do have is that you don't need large tanks to breed neons.

Good luck with your project. You will find that comparatively few people have bread them, even among people really into breeding fish.
Thank you! I don't know anything about infusoria so ill check it out and get some going. So.... what's the normal process for separating the parents?? Do you look for eggs? (Which would be hard since they're light sensitive) or do you just give them some time, hope there are some in there and then remove the adults?
I have to do some more work in the 11.4. Having hard time just dumping my only 2 Beckfords pencils in a big tank from which I'll never be able to catch them... and since adding the Neons it turns out I still have a single male and a single female Gertrude rainbow... I'd love to get lucky and get some Neon, Pencil, and Rainbow fry...

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 03:13 PM
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I raise a batch of BBS each and every day for my fish as it is. They love it and they are so much more healthy and vibrant. So those are already available daily.

This isn't about saving a buck really...
I was talking about the time and effort to raise fish that can be purchased for $1.

If you want 150+ neons, breeding your own might be good to avoid disease. I still have 25 Neons in my 10g QT. They seem pretty hardy and are all "jumbo" now. Although some may have SBD. After eating, some swim nose down.

Maybe get a UV sterilizer to stave off any minor disease.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I was talking about the time and effort to raise fish that can be purchased for $1.

If you want 150+ neons, breeding your own might be good to avoid disease. I still have 25 Neons in my 10g QT. They seem pretty hardy and are all "jumbo" now. Although some may have SBD. After eating, some swim nose down.

Maybe get a UV sterilizer to stave off any minor disease.
That's a really good idea!
I've failed at breeding EVERYTHING thus far. The Gertrudes managed to keep jumping out. I got fry, but none of them made it without being eaten. I'm sure I'll continue to buy Neons, but it would be cool to attain some breeding success. I'm also going to get some peat (natural pesticide free) and let it soak in a bucket that's maybe half RO and half tap to get some stained soft water to do water changes. I would really like for this to be successful, but I'm also planning on enjoying the learning experience.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 03:45 PM
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I bred glowlight tetras a few times, and also considered doing this with neons for my 155 gallon tank. I've also been buying almost all the stock at LFS the past couple weeks, but 20-30 is enough for me at this point. Maybe when I retire I'll do some breeding - a tank of 50 neons and 50 glowlights would be pretty cool...

I was successful at spawning each time, and usually ended up with maybe 7-10 adults from each spawn. Egg fungus was the biggest obstacle. I used RO water, with a little tap to get GH to about 1. I also used a bag of peat, and heard that you might want to put peat pellets on the bottom under egg crate to help combat the fungus. For conditioning, I got 10 of the the best, healthiest stock I could find, and fed them live and frozen food for a few weeks. I didn't change that tank's water for a while - try not to unless fish are dying or not looking well. You want to try to simulate conditions in the wild where water levels drop in the dry season, and then big rains hit which trigger spawning. In the evening I would then move two males and one female into the breeding tank with a cork/yarn spawning "mop" (don't feed anything in that tank) and in the morning they should spawn. If you can have cracks of daylight hit the tank in the morning, that's what I read and what worked for me. I used a bathroom and had the door slightly cracked to let in daylight. You may be able to use 3-4 males and two females and get more eggs - I didn't try that. If they spawn, remove the adults and keep the tank completely dark. In about five days start feeding the infusoria.

If they don't spawn by mid-morning, you can remove the adults and try again the next night.
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