Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
You have asked for our feedback on what you have in your tank, so I am giving mine. I do not normally criticize another aquarist's tank because it is your tank, not mine, and you have the right to have what you want. However, when I see problems with the fish that are due to that environment, I feel some comment is in order. So this will be a criticism, and I ask you to recognize that it is made in the best interests of the fish, and nothing else.
The neons are washed out in colour due to their environment which is highly unsuitable. These fish are characins that occur in certain streams in Amazonia. They are shoaling fish (OK on that aspect, you have a group of 10) that live in soft water very dimly lit due to overhanging vegetation, with a very dark substrate and full of bogwood, leaf litter, branches. All this provides security and protection. This fish, like all others we keep, are programmed by nature through thousands and millions of years to "expect" this environment, and when they are removed from it they feel threatened and under stress. It does not matter that they may actually be safe, they do not understand this; they only know that the protection they expect is not there, and to them it is a very real danger. The fact that this species, the Neon Tetra, is commercially raised and not wild-caught does not alter what nature has instilled into the species.
When fish are stressed, their colours fade. Fish in store tanks frequently have little or no colouring, for exactly the same reason as above. Bring them home to a well-planted aquarium with wood, etc., and within hours they colour up and sparkle and shine. It is not usually because the water is "better" than in the store, it is solely due to the environment in which they find themselves.
Fish under stress will suffer health problems that otherwise they would avoid. Stress weakens the immune system, in fish as in humans, leaving them vulnerable to parasites, aggression, dietary issues, and most likely early demise. They will never "calm down" until they are in an environment that affords them the protection and security they expect.
I am an aquarist who feels strongly that to maintain our fish in the best condition and health we must understand what they require (water parameters, environment which includes suitable tankmates, wood, rocks, substrate, plants...) and be prepared to provide that as best we can. To do less is not fair to the fish. We have profiles on this site with many fish included, these give this type of information to assist all of us in providing good care for our fishes. You can use the link second from left in the blue bar to go to the profiles, or click on shaded names in posts to see that fish's profile.
It wouldn't be fair of me not to offer some suggestions; providing some shelter is first priority. This could be plants and wood, as in their natural habitat, but it can also be something different, such as caves, decor with tunnels, etc. A darker substrate--fish are used to being above something dark so they "blend in" from above. Floating plants to shade the light would help a lot. Fish prefer a "roof" over their heads in a sense. The glowlight tetra, like the neon, is a shoaling characin requiring similar surroundings and it also must be in a group of at least six. You don't mention your water parameters (hardness, pH, temperature) but the tetras and the livebearers do not share the same needs in water, although the tetras in the case of these two species can adapt somewhat to slightly basic water which is what the livebearers require.
Last edited by Byron; 07-16-2010 at 07:59 PM..