Showing posts with label Tetras. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tetras. Show all posts


PIRANHA - Pygocentrus nattereri

Piranha - Pygocentrus nattereri


Fact Sheet: PIRANHAS - Pygocentrus (Serrasalmus) nattereri


Aagh, piranha!
Photo  by        Joybot 

Piranhas have red throats, razor-sharp teeth to rip flesh with ease, and silvery gold flesh (red-bellies have red bellies, of course). Piranhas are native to South America and Guyana and it's against the law to bring them in and out of most countries. They are quite dangerous and aggressive fish since they reside in schools, which has a tendency to promote a competitive environment.

When planning a piranha aquarium, fish size should be regarded first. Grown piranhas have been known to develop to two feet long in a big enough tank. Piranhas are in addition group swimmers, which means they'll need room to roam. Strive to provide two gallons per each inch of piranha fish. An aquarium six feet long by two feet by two should allow ample hideouts. A minimum fifty-gallon aquarium is recommended.

Red-bellied piranha or Red piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri)
Red-bellied piranha or Red piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri - Photo  by     warriorwoman531  (cc)

Piranhas (Pygocentrus (Serrasalmus) nattereri) are very sloppy eaters. Ten to fifteen percent water switch-outs every seven days will ensure waste not trapped by the filter system is taken away. Regarding filter systems, almost all piranha aquariums will need at least two devices to manage the process, especially if the aquarium is fifty or more gallons. Nitrate concentrations, which have harmful effects on piranhas particularly, should be monitored directly. PH levels ought to stay between six and one half and 6.9 to copy those of the Amazon where piranhas came from.

Water degrees in a piranha enclosure should be about eighty degrees to encourage piranha movements. Many piranha owners employ additional water pump devices to prod piranhas to swim in opposition to the waves as in the River of the Amazon. The practice additionally promotes metabolism levels, stimulating eating habits.

For decoration, it's preferable to keep the fish tank low lighted to encourage piranhas to venture into open water. Man-made fauna is recommended. Any rocks and synthetic centerpieces will need to be tightly fastened, seeing as strong piranhas will hurl pieces around, potentially breaking the glass.

Piranhas' diet consists completely of proteins. Living meaty rations such as non-fatty poultry or beef and fillets of fish may be administered daily or bidaily. Feeder comet fish are a non-expensive choice, but piranhas will dine on practically any variety of meat. Experiment to find what yours favor. Whatever you do, don't leave your fingers in the water too long!

Obviously, piranhas are aggressive fish, which makes your choice of tank mates relatively slim. However, some other aggressive fish can co-exist with them. For example, tetras, cichlids, Oscars, pleco catfish and pacus. These fish are by and large excellent defensive fish, while the plecos have tough outer shells and can grow to larger, intimidating sizes. Pacus resemble piranhas and will fight back. Tetras are quick and small with sensory instincts which allow them to stay clear of piranhas. Piranhas also aren't likely to give chase to such speedy, small cohabitants. Cichlids may or may not coexist with piranhas; they have simply been known to team up against them to survive. Oscars are large and in charge and inexpensive to replace if they're slurped by a fat red-belly.

As a rule of thumb, don't introduce too many new experimental tank mates into your piranha tank. Add them one by one to see how they adapt. Whatever you do, don't get too attached to them until you know they're going to make it!

We hope you've benefited from this informational piece regarding piranhas. Feel free to visit for more piranha aquarium information including photos and videos, additional guides and aquarium resources.


How Do You Properly Maintain a Pet PIRANHA Tank?

English: Aquarium of Lyon in France - Piranhas...
Aquarium of Lyon in France - Piranhas
(Photo credit: 
Owning a pet piranha is not just about setting up their home once and then forgetting about it. There is a little bit more involved in maintaining a piranha tank and I'm hoping that this article will provide you with the necessary steps and guidance.

Although it isn't extremely complicated, maintaining an aquarium does require a little bit of effort on your part. Just feeding your pet fish and watching them swim isn't going to be enough. It is important to monitor the state of the aquarium and the state of your piranhas on a daily/weekly basis. Below is a list of steps that will help you properly maintain your pet piranha's home:

1. Check the water chemistry on a weekly basis. At a minimum, make sure the following levels are maintained:

Temperature Range - 73°F - 81°F
pH Range - 5.5 - 7.0
Hardness - 15° - 20°

2. Keep an eye on algae.

Algae is the green mossy substance you sometimes see on the aquarium walls and decorations. One way to prevent algae is by introducing a few algae eaters to your tank. For example, plecos or snails. An alternative is to scrape the algae once it develops, using a simple algae scraper. (In fact, scraping the walls of your aquarium before the algae appears is also a good step.)

3. Clean your filter components.

From time to time you will have to clean the filter and its components. However, it is important to note that not all components should be cleaned at the same time. Over time, bacteria builds up on the filter components and some bacteria is essential for your piranha's health. Most aquarists will recommend cleaning one component per week.

4. General clean-up and water changes.

Replace approximately 20% of the water every week or so. You can do this by using an aquarium vacuum, which allows you to suck debris lying around on the gravel and ornaments while removing some of the water at the same time. Once approximately 20% of the water has been removed, replace it with fresh tap water. Things to note:

a. Use a bucket specifically dedicated for your aquarium (i.e.: do not use any household bucket that you may have used for cleaning the house. Leftover chemicals may harm your piranhas.)

b. Make sure the new water is the same temperature that is already in your aquarium to avoid shocking and stressing your piranhas.

c. Add the new water slowly (i.e.: 4-5 cups every 15 minutes or so).

This may seem complicated at first, however, the more you do it, the faster and easier it becomes!


Fact Sheet: LIPSTICK CHARACIN - Moenkhausia cosmops

Lipstick Characin - Moenkhausia cosmops
Moenkhausia cosmops 

Natural Range 

The upper basins of the rivers Rio Paraguai and Rio Tapajos in Brazil 
Maximum Size and Longevity 
Maximum length reported for Moenkhausia cosmops 
is about 6 cm and life span of 3-5 years. 

Water Quality 
 · Temperature: 24°C - 26°C. 
 · pH: 6.0—7.0 
 · General Hardness: 30—150 ppm. 

Lipstick characins are omnivorous and will readily take most types of aquarium foods. They will accept flake and pellet and also benefit from most frozen foods. We recommend AI Naturals Range Frozen Brine Shrimp, Krill and Tropical Mix for these fish. Ideally, add live foods such as Black worms and Daphnia to their diet as well. 

Best kept in schools (minimum 5 in the group). Different characin species can generally be kept together with no problems. Lipsticks will also mix readily with a wide range of species and are generally an ideal community fish. It is not a good idea to mix them with species that grow very large as predation can be a factor due to their smaller size. Beware of elongated fins on some species as they can be nipped. Note: as they are omnivorous, they can be prone to eating aquatic plants. 

Colour and Varieties 
The name cosmops in ancient Greek means “with a decorated face” and the Lipstick characin certainlyhas a striking one, with red lips, blue eye shadow and a shimmery scale pattern it’s a very attractive little characin. Note: Being new to science only one variant is known to exist. 

This species, like many in its genus, shows no sexual dimorphism at all. This makes sexing of the fish difficult. Best to set up a breeding program with small schools.

General Information 
This species has only recently been described scientifically and is considered to be a close relative of the well known species Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae (Red eye tetra) and M oligolepis (Glass tetra). 

Lipstick characin have only recently (within the last 4 years) started to be imported into the fish keeping hobby and have had great success. Being unique they have fitted in well with many people’s community tanks. 

Given a varied and well balanced diet with enough tank space to openly school, looking after the Lipstick characin is something any fish hobbyist can do. 


Fact Sheet: NIGER TETRA - Big-Scaled African Characin - Arnoldichthy spilopterus

Arnoldichthys spilopterus

Family: Characidae

Species: Arnoldichthy spilopterus – Niger Tetra – Big-Scaled African Characin

Size: 7cm (2 three quarter inch)

Diet: Omnivorous

Tank levels: All

Habitat: Streams in Nigeria

Remarks: It needs plenty of swimming space and plants in which to hide.

Other Names: Arnold’s Red-eye Characin, Red-eye Characin, Red-eye Tetra

Comments: Arnoldichthy spilopterus The lower half of the body is silvery blue-green, shading to a pale belly. The dorsal fin has a white-edged dark blotch, and the caudal fin is grayish silver. Males have an orange and black anal fin and yellowish pelvic fins. Females anal fins have a dark blotch

Wikipedia: The Arnoldichthys spilopterus is kept as an aquarium fish. It is the only member of its genus. It is considered to be a freshwater species that are found in a pelagic range within a tropical climate. The average length of the Arnoldichthys spilopterus as an unsexed male is about 9.6 centimeters or about 3.7 inches. Their diet consists of worms, insects, and crustaceans. When kept in an aquarium for breeding, a female can lay about 1,000 eggs. They can hatch at the time of 30-34 hours. If kept in an aquarium, it is recommended to keep a group of at least five of this species together. The minimum size of an aquarium that is adequate for this species is about 100 centimeters.

This species is considered to be vulnerable to becoming an endangered species. In Nigeria, this species is found in less than ten different areas. Another influence that affects the population of this species in its natural state is oil exploration, deforestation, and pollution. There is also a population trend that is decreasing due to the fish trade that the Arnoldichthys spilopterus has become a part of for the aquatic system and commerce.

By Gary Bolton
This fish comes from the “Tropical Fish” family species of fish. I hope you enjoyed this fish profile that I put together to help people to choose the right fish for the right aquarium tank setup you may own, or be thinking of buying in the future.
Article Source: EzineArticles


PIRANHA FISH - Feeding Your Pet Piranhas

Contrary to common belief, piranhas do not only eat live food. In fact, they do not only eat meat. Piranhas are omnivores, which means that they can eat just about anything (meat as well as greens.) It is important to keep your piranha's diet varied. Piranhas can be taught to eat dead food. When feeding your piranha dead food, it might be best to splash it around a bit (to mimic live behavior) just long enough to grab your piranha's attention. When feeding your piranhas live food, it's extremely important to understand the risks involved. Many of these feeders are in poor health, and can carry diseases which may pass on to your piranhas. Make sure to quarantine any live feeders before feeding them to your piranhas.

English: Piranhas_Zagreb Zoo_Croatia
(Photo credit: 


shall feeders (minnows, pinkies, frogs, etc...)
Small insects

Piranhas are not particularly picky fish when it comes to food. They will eat just about anything edible that is dropped into the tank. If you have just purchased your piranhas and they are not eating, do not worry. It might take your piranhas awhile before they start eating. Piranhas take time before they get comfortable and acquainted to their new environment, so they might not eat much during the first few days or even weeks. There are a couple of things that you can do to help speed up this process. You can:


Piranhas do not like the light much. They come from murky waters so turning down the lights will help reduce their stress.

Doing this will help stimulate your piranha's appetite. Be careful not to over-do it though. 1-2 degrees should be fine.

Not doing so will leave your piranhas feeling exposed, and this will only prolong the settling down period.

The most important thing you can do is to give it time. Piranhas will not starve to death, so try feeding it a bit every once in awhile. After a certain period of time, your piranhas will get used to their new home and begin to feed normally.

Big Al's Aquarium Services, Ltd.


Tips on Raising Healthy CARDINAL TETRA

The cardinal tetra or Paracheirodon axelrodi is native to the Amazon River. Cardinals are among some of the most colorful freshwater fish varieties available commercially. They are a member of the family Characidae.

English: Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
(Photo credit: 
Cardinal tetras and neon tetras look very similar in appearance. There are, however, subtle differences in body markings that can be used to distinguish them from one another. Cardinals have a red stripe or band that extends from their head to the base of their tails. Neon tetras have the same band but it starts mid-body and runs back to the tail rather than extending the entire length of the body. The cardinal tetras color palette tends to be a little more vibrant than that of neon tetras. Adult cardinals are a little larger than neons.

Cardinals reach approximately 2 inches in length. Even though they are a smaller variety of fish, cardinals need ample room to swim. They are not well suited for cramped living conditions. They are mid-tank swimmers and prefer a longer rather than taller swimming environment. This makes them the perfect candidate for wall mounted aquarium lines.

Cardinals are docile in nature. They function well in a community environment devoid of more aggressive species. They are a shoaling fish. The addition of several to your fish tank will help them mimic their behavior in their natural habitat. Cardinals do not thrive as a solitary fish. Under ideal conditions you can expect your cardinals to have a five year life span.

Like all natives to the Amazon River, the cardinal tetra thrives best in soft, slightly acidic water. A 6.8 pH level is premium. Aquarium stores sale water conditioners specifically for Amazon fish species. The cardinal functions best in water temperatures ranging from 70-79°F.

They are omnivores. There is no need to worry about specialty fish food products when raising tetras. Any freshwater tropical fish flakes will work

It is difficult to distinguish males from females. They are identical in color. The female's body tends to be a little rounder when they are carrying eggs.

Unlike bleeding heart tetras, cardinals will spawn in captivity. They are most likely to breed at night or in a dimly lit tank. Cardinal tetras are egg layers. They scatter their eggs. Like all tetras, cardinals will eat their eggs. A good way to prevent this from happening is to add a layer of marbles to the bottom of your fish tank. The eggs will slip through to the bottom where they will be safe until hatching time.

Here are some handy tips to follow if you intend to breed tetras. Keep them in a separate breeding tank provided with floating plants. They won't breed in hard, alkaline water. You can filter the water through peat or add thin layer to your substrate to imitate perfect mating conditions. Make sure the peat contains no chemical additives.

After they have spawned remove the adult fish from the breeding tank. Cardinal tetra fry hatch in about 24 hours. Once they hatch, they can be fed liquid fry food, infusoria, or rotifers. Both are readily available at fish specialty stores. Larger fry will thrive on small amounts of hard-boiled egg yolk ran through a food processor. Powdered eggs will also work.

Aquarium keeping is a fun and rewarding hobby. Freshwater aquarium fish care is the easiest and most economical way to enter the field of aquarium ownership. Less than a decade ago freshwater or saltwater fish were the only options available. But that has all changed.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Keeping pet jellyfish is the latest trend in the world of aquariums. Pet jellyfish are a happy medium between the ease of freshwater fish and the demands and expense of keeping saltwater specimens alive and healthy. Jellyfish have much slower metabolisms than saltwater fish. Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums are less expensive to set up and maintain than saltwater tanks. If you find the idea of raising pet jellyfish intriguing, find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.

    Article Source: EzineArticles



Breeding South American Tetras

There are several hundred species of tetra. Not all of them breed in the same way. A few of them that have different breeding patterns are: the Splashing Tetra which actually lays its eggs out of the water, the Rummy nose tetra which can be made permanently sterile by calcium ions in the water, the Glass Bloodfin tetra which likes harder water than most South American tetras, and the Emperor Tetra which is not a strongly schooling fish. As well as these, the tetras vary enormously in their ease of breeding, and particularly in the necessity of exactly the right sort of water.

English: Emperor tetra Nematobrycon palmeri fe...
Emperor tetra Nematobrycon palmeri  

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, despite these differences between the different species there are some things common to most of the South American Tetras.

The tetras, in general, are egg scatterers. All the tetras I know have external fertilisation so both males and females will need to be in the spawning tank together. They need very soft acidic water. The temperature varies with the different species, but mostly they will be stimulated to breed by a small rise in the water temperature.

A breeding tank set up for tetras will be scrupulously clean. Although in nature, the fish will lay their eggs over plants, many people prefer to use a synthetic spawning medium because it is easier to clean. For breeding, many of the tetras require water that is not only extremely soft, but also very low in total dissolved salts.

Although not all tetras will eat their own eggs the great majority will; sometimes in surprisingly large numbers in the wild. Tetras in general are also cannibalistic to their own babies. Because of these two things it is normal to remove the parents after spawning.

Tetras do not usually produce babies in community aquariums, but I have known several cases where they have done this. Naturally, they have been easily bred ones like the Black Widow Tetra.


Keeping NEON TETRA Fish As Pets

Neon Tetra fish (Paracheirodon innesi) are a very popular aquarium fish, especially amongst beginner fish keepers. It is estimated that each month, 1.5 million neon tetra fish are imported into the United States, mostly from Singapore, Hong Kong, or Thailand.

Neon tetra fish are a freshwater fish that originate from western Brazil, south east Columbia and eastern Peru. They are found in their natural environment in both blackwater and clearwater streams. They have bright colors and an iridescent stripe so they are visible in dark blackwaters.

peace with my buddies
Photo Flickr - Leino88 

Like other tetra species, the neon tetra has a blunt nose and a spindle shaped body. A glistening blue line runs along either the side of their body from the nose to the adipose fin. They also have a red stripe that runs from the center of the body to the base of the tail fin. The rest of the body is silver in color.

At night, when the fish is resting in shelter, the bright colors will be turned off and the fish will appear dim. This is normal. If however, the aquarium is lit and the fish are still dull after some time, they may be stressed or ill, or their diet is not correct.

Neon tetras are a schooling fish. They should be kept in groups of at least five, but preferably ten or more. If kept alone they will become stressed and spend the majority of their time hiding. They will grow to a maximum adult size of about an inch. They are a peaceful fish and can be kept in community fish tanks with other non-aggressive fish of roughly the same size. The neon tetra is probably the most robust of the tetra species when it comes to water conditions. They look very beautiful when combined with other species of tetra. It is not recommended to combine the neon tetra with any larger or more aggressive fish as they will most likely become prey.

As a general rule of thumb when choosing a fish tank for your fish, allow one gallon of water per inch of fish. So if you were going to keep ten neon tetras in your tank, you would need to select at least a ten gallon tank for your fish. An aquarium kit [] or aquarium starter kit is a great way to purchase everything you need to get started for a very reasonable price. The aquarium kit will often include a filter, water conditioner, fish tank and fish food at a minimum.

When setting up your tank for your new neon tetra, try to mimic their natural habitat. Your aquarium should have a dark colored gravel and dense planting, with plenty of hiding spots. Also allow an open space for swimming. Neon tetra fish are active when kept in a shoal, and will spend the majority of their time in the middle to lower levels of your tank. Adding a floating plant to your habitat will help to darken your aquarium which your fish will love.

Keep the water temperature in your tank to between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH levels in the tank should be between 5.0 and 7.0, and the dH range 1-2. As with all fish species always gradually adjust your neon tetra fish to new conditions. Failing to do so can cause harm to your fish.
Neon tetra fish are not fussy eaters. Feeding them flake food, freeze dried food and frozen food is all acceptable. Vary their diet to prevent malnutrition. Use a variety of high quality tropical flake food and occasionally as treats brine shrimp, bloodworm and daphnia, as an example.

Groups of neon tetras are naturally very beautiful to watch in an aquarium owing to their bright, glistening colors. They are a great fish to keep as they are peaceful and can be more decorative than wall paintings and mesmerising than the television when kept in your living room!

    Spring Cleanout Sale Now On! Free Shipping on Corner Aquariums - []
    Article Source: EzineArticles


GLOWLIGHT TETRAS Are Not Easy to Breed As They Are Not Known for Parental Care

Glowlight tetras fish is a nice-looking species with bright colors. As they are not very expensive and are available easily, they are picked up both by beginners as well as experienced fish-keepers.

Innovative breeders have recently developed number colorful varieties for this fish to choose from. As they do not require elaborate maintenance, keeping them is an enjoyable experience. However if you want to breed them, there are some specific things which you should keep in mind.

English: Tetra Glowlight Hemigrammus erythrozonus
Tetra Glowlight Hemigrammus erythrozonus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breeding Glowlight tetras fish is considered moderately difficult by the fish-keepers. First of all, it is difficult to find out their sex because apparently there are no signs. You can take the help of a pet store while in bringing them home so that you can buy them in proportion of two to three females per male.

In the open nature, they can double their population in 15 months. However, their natural environment is difficult to replicate, the breeding becomes harder. In addition, Glowlight tetras fish are not famous for providing parental care to the young ones, so you have to look after the eggs as well as the fry.

When they are fully grown up and ready for spawning, you should shift them in the same proportion to a separate tank which you may call in breeding tank. Before that, you should feed them for at least 4 to 5 weeks very good food including live food. The breeding tank should be well decorated with live as well as artificial plants and there should be very low light in the tank. The temperature of the tank should be in the range of 78-84° F and the hardness of the water should be moderate.

Usually, the experienced breeders will keep males and females separately before bringing them together in the breeding tank. Once they are brought together, the pair will swim upside down and finally the female will start releasing the eggs. The fish will spawn on the leaves of the plant and there will be around 150 to 175 eggs at one time.

Some eggs will stick to the leaves of the plant while the others will fall down to the bottom of the tank. You should set up a spawning grate or glass beat at the bottom to take care of the eggs.
Once the spawning is over, you should immediately remove the adults from the breeding tank, otherwise they can eat the eggs. The hatching will take one or two days. The new ones will start swimming within about four days. You should feed them some special food like crushed flakes or baby brine shrimp.

The young ones are very delicate and if you are not keeping them in well-conditioned aquarium, they will not survive.

During their growth period, the water of the breeding tank should be absolutely clean and well treated. You should change the water frequently. Never change the entire water, but replace about 25 per cent of the water at one time. During their growth, there should be low lighting in the tank. You can increase the lighting gradually as they grow. They will develop the famous yellow stripe on their body in two to three weeks.

The fry will finally grow in about 4 to 6 weeks and then once they are adults, you can shift them safely to the main aquarium.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



The Diamond Tetra fish, better known to aquarium lovers as the Moenkhausia pittieri, is a member of the family Characidae and was originally found living in the Venezuelan Lake Valencia and a few select Venezuelan rivers. Male species of the fish may grow between two to 12 inches, but females are usually smaller. Though not a brightly colored fish, the Diamond Tetra is a silver color with greenish-colored highlights, and it stands out due to its beautiful reflective scales. In baby Diamond Tetras, the shimmering effect of its scales hasn't developed yet, but it will become evident as it ages.

Adult diamon tetra (Moenkhausia pittieri), fem...
Adult diamon tetra (Moenkhausia pittieri) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aquarium Environment
In terms of aquarium environment, the Moenkhausia pittieri should always be part of a school with a minimum of six fish. These should include others of their own species, and fish of others species should be around the same size. Within this school, one male will always be the dominant one. This male tolerates the others, but is always in control. Diamond Tetras have an ideal pH range of 6.6 to 7.0 and temperature preference of 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit (26-28 degrees Celsius), and if kept outside of this range, might take on a different appearance. Also, these fish like having lots of plants in their aquarium, and are luckily not very picky when it comes to feeding time. Moenkhaussia pittieri will love you for offering living food, but can eat anything from flakes to frozen food. Having learned a bit about this type of fish and its basic requirements, steps towards breeding it can now be taken.

Breeding Diamond Tetra Fish
The most difficult process of breeding Diamond Tetra fish is getting the right pairs together. Mature males have longer fins than females, especially when it comes to dorsal fins. Though females will most likely be smaller than the males, females that are ready for breeding often appear to be of a stockier shape. After selection of a pair of Diamond Tetras is complete, they should be separated and conditioned with good food. During the conditioning phase, they should be fed their preferred live food and also some frozen food. This should last for around 10 days.

While conditioning is going on, a separate spawning tank should be prepared. It doesn't have to a very large tank, but needs to include lots of plants, especially those with dense leaves. The conditions in this tank should be similar to the tank that the other Diamond Tetras live in, though at first, there should be no light in the spawning tank. Soft water should always be used over hard water. Gravel is not required, but some netting should be included towards the bottom of the tank. It should be far down enough to give the breeding pair enough space to swim. The holes in the netting also need to be large enough for the eggs to fall through to the bottom of the tank. The spawning tank should also be placed in a quiet area of the home where there can be no disturbances to the fish.

After the allotted time for conditioning has expired, the selected pair should be placed in the spawning tank in the evening when it is dark, and again, no lights should be used in the vicinity of the tank. In the event that the pair of Diamond Tetras is compatible, spawning might take place immediately upon the fish being placed in the spawning tank or might not take place until a day or two afterwards. Sometimes the lighting that is present in the environment where the tank is situated will help speed up the process. Though the male may spend most of his time following the female, when the time has come for spawning, the female will release the eggs at the same time as the male releases the sperm. The eggs must then become fertilized, in which case it is helpful to have soft water in the tank. The netting is very important here, because Moenkhaussia pittieri tend to eat their eggs, and in order to prevent this, the eggs must fall through the netting, separating the eggs from their parents. After spawning has taken place, the male and female fish should be removed from the spawning tank and returned to their regular aquarium.

Though the eggs may see movement within 36 hours, it can take up to a week before the baby fish are capable of swimming around their spawning tank. The fry will be very hungry, but in an aquarium with lots of plants, will find things to eat in their first few days. After that, fry food is acceptable, and once they are large enough, appropriately sized live food is good for them. Keeping the spawning tank clean while the fry are developing is very important. Because they grow so quickly during their first few weeks, baby Diamond Tetras soon look like the adults, though smaller. Their coloring will be plain at first, with their breathtaking shimmering scales being fully developed around the time the fish are 9 months old. Once they have reached a size that wont put them in danger, they can be moved into the adult tank and the spawning tank can be utizilized again with a new pair of adult fish.

Breeding Diamond Tetras can be a challenge, mainly because it may take several tries to find a compatible pair of male and female fish. It is important to keep the adult Diamond Tetra environment healthy so as not to adversely impact their well-being and ability to spawn at a later time. Likewise, the spawning tank should be kept clean and the temperature, pH, and softness should be checked regularly. Enough time and resources should be spent on the conditioning portion of the breeding process, as it is of great importance. Keep different types of food, including fry food, on hand at all times, even if you are doubtful that spawning could occur. Within several weeks or months, you will be rewarded in all your efforts as you watch the eggs hatch and can see your fry growing up and gaining those beautiful shimmering scales the Diamond Tetra are known for.

    By Leslie Bogaerts
    Having had fish tanks for over ten years, enjoying freshwater tropical fish [], I now decided to write about my experiences on [].
    Article Source: EzineArticles



The bucktooth tetra (Exodon paradoxus) is an interesting and unique addition to the home aquarium, but it brings along various challenges that must be met for its successful keeping. Most of these difficulties revolve around its nasty behavior in captivity. In fact, some aquarists may argue that, ounce for ounce, E. paradoxus is one of the most aggressive fish available in the hobby.

English: Bucktooth Tetra (Exodon paradoxus) at...
Bucktooth Tetra (Exodon paradoxus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bucktooth tetra is native to the Amazon River Basin and Guyana areas. When one hears the name, it brings about images of large, protruding teeth, but in reality, the appearance of E. paradoxus is not that extreme. A casual examination of the mouth reveals that E. paradoxus has serrated lips but not the pronounced dentition that one might associate with a name like bucktooth tetra.

Though this may initially seem disappointing to hobbyists looking for a fish with large, visible teeth, E. paradoxus has tremendously powerful jaws for its size, and its teeth are more pronounced and well developed in comparison to that of various community tetras.

The color scheme of E. paradoxus is beautiful: a bright, metallic-silver base accompanied by yellow fins with orange and red tips. Throughout the body are casts of yellow, red, and green. There are also two large black spots, one near the middle of the body and the other at the base of the tail. When maintained under optimum water quality and good lighting, the metallic sheen of the body often reflects blue and purple iridescence.

In the wild, E. paradoxus is a shoaling species with carnivorous tendencies. Insects, small fish, shrimp, and other forms of meaty fare make up the bulk of its diet, but the bucktooth tetra is also a well-known lepidophage (scale eater). This specialized form of feeding creates a problem for aquarists, making almost any fish kept with E. paradoxus at risk for injury.

Keeping the Bucktooth Tetra
E. paradoxus offered for sale at most aquatics stores usually measure 2 to 3 inches long, but they are capable of growing to around 6 inches. It is a slow-growing species, but for every inch that the fish puts on in length, a substantial amount of bulk and body mass is acquired. The bucktooth tetra spends most of its time midwater, but all levels of the aquarium are explored when food is added to the tank or the activity of another inhabitant catches its attention.

Being an extremely active fish, adult specimens must be kept in aquariums that are both long and wide. The minimum size would be a standard 55-gallon aquarium, but, as always, the bigger the better. E. paradoxus is highly adaptable to a wide range of water parameters, but extremes should be avoided. An ideal pH range would be roughly 6.2 to 7.4. Large, frequent water changes are enjoyed, and the bucktooth tetra often becomes even more active after routine maintenance.

The bucktooth tetra is not a picky eater in captivity and will accept various foods, such as brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, bloodworms, chopped earthworms, beef heart, cut fish fillet, as well as flake and pellet foods to balance out nutrition. I have a few spare tanks in which I breed feeder guppies and gutload them with veggie flakes before offering them to my various smaller predatory species.

My E. paradoxus are remarkably precise and efficient predators, often snatching guppies at the water surface extremely quickly. The only way I can tell that they are actually catching the guppies is from the small lumps in their stomachs. When any type of food hits the water, it sparks a feeding frenzy unparalleled by most other aquarium species.

Tank decor can include pieces of driftwood, rocks, slate, pots, and artificial caves. Driftwood with a root-system-like appearance makes for striking scenery, as a school of E. paradoxus will endlessly zip in and out of the root-like structures throughout the day. Although bucktooth tetras spend most of their time out in the open, hiding places are utilized to take an occasional break from their seemingly endless activity.

E. paradoxus show their colors best when maintained with a dark substrate and live plants accompanied by a dark background. Suitable plants include broad-leaved species such as Amazon swords and Java fern, as well as various grass-like plants such as Vallisneria species.

Floating plants are also appreciated by E. paradoxus for providing shaded areas and creating a more realistic environment. To find out more, you can check out Buck Tooth Tetra.

    By Jon T Cole
    Hi, I'm a traveler, fishes fanatic, reader and teacher. I hope to share my fishes experiences with you through my articles. If you like my articles, do share with your friends. I thank you for that first.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Fact Sheet: PENGUIN TETRA - Thayeria boehlkei and T. obliqua

The Penguin Tetra is actually two related species, Thayeria boehlkei and Thayeria obliqua. The easily seen differences between these species are quite small. Both species have a tendency to swim in a tail down position, but this is more pronounced in Thayeria obliqua. Thayeria obliqua has a shorter black line than Thayeria boehlkei, and Thayeria obliqua grows a little bigger although these are both small fish.

Penguin Tetra (Thayeria boehlkei)
Penguin Tetra (Thayeria boehlkei) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The species most often available in aquarium shops is Thayeria boehlkei. Some people prefer to keep the name Penguin Tetra for Thayeria obliqua and call Thayeria boehlkei the False Penguin Tetra. There are several other common names for this fish, some of them, like Penguinfish, Penguin Fish, etc are also based on its perceived resemblance to a penguin, while others like Short Striped Thayeria do not. In Australia, it is often sold as a Hockey Stick Tetra. Certainly the shape of the prominent black line is reminiscent of the shape of a hockey stick.

Thayeria boehlkei grows to about one and a half inches (4cm) long while Thayeria obliqua can get a little bit bigger. They come from the Amazon River and its tributaries in Brazil and Peru, preferring slow moving stretches with a lot of plants.

Water conditions

The Penguin Tetra is actually two related species, Thayeria boehlkei and Thayeria obliqua. The easily seen differences between these species are quite small. is a tropical fish. 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) is a suitable temperature to set your thermostat. The water they are used to in the wild is soft and acid, but in captivity they will adjust to neutral pH and some hardness. The penguin Tetra does better in clean water and care needs to be taken with the water quality. They are sensitive to Ammonia, Nitrite and excessive concentrations of Nitrate.


Like many tetras, the Penguin Tetra is an easily fed omnivore. It will eat all normal aquarium foods, but will enjoy some live food like mosquito larvae and Daphnia. Frozen foods, including frozen blood worms are also appreciated.


The Penguin Tetra is a peaceful schooling fish. I suggest a minimum of four, and preferably more be kept together. They can be kept with most small, reasonable peaceful fish, including: Red Eye Tetras, Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, Silvertip Tetras, Gold Barbs, Cherry Barbs, Pristella Tetras, Rummy Nose Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Scissortail Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Swordtails, Platies, Mollies, Zebra Danios, Glowlight Tetras, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Black Widow Tetras, Rosy Barbs, Tiger Barbs, Paraguay Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras and Colombian Tetras, as well as the Corydoras catfish like the Peppered Catfish.

A school of Penguin Tetras can usually even be kept with slow long finned fish like Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies and Endlers Guppies.


There is not much difference between the sexes of the Penguin Tetra, but when in breeding condition, the females get a rounder belly.


Thayeria boehlkei is the Penguin Tetra most likely to be available in shops and this fish is reasonably easy to breed. I suggest a water level lowered to about 6 inches (15cm) acidic and very soft water with a temperature of about 27 degrees C (81 degrees F). There should be fine leaved, bushy plants in the breeding tank.

The Penguin Tetra is a prolific breeder in the sense of producing a lot of eggs. A female of this little fish with a very well rounded belly can produce as many as 3000 eggs. These are very small. The male produces a large amount of sperm to try to fertilize all these eggs, and this can contribute to fouling the water. Partial water changes are recommended to maintain the high quality of water that the fry need. The addition of an aquarium fungicide is recommended to help protect the eggs from fungus early on. The eggs should hatch in as little as 12-18 hours. The babies are very small, and need protozoa (infusoria) at first.

Pest Fish

Although the Penguin Tetra is a delight in an aquarium, as with all pets, do not allow them to get into ecosystems they are not native to. Aquarist are frequently blamed for this, and there is no doubt that there are cases of accidental, or deliberate, release of fish by aquarists, but my own research suggests that the worst culprits for this historically have been governments and their departments.

By Steve Challis

Steve Challis has many other fish fact sheets and other articles on

Article Source: EzineArticles


GLOW LIGHT TETRA - A Lovely and Peaceful Member of Your Community Tank

Brings live to your community tanks

Many freshwater fish-keepers have a warm spot in their heart for a little fish with a big name, the 1 ½-inch hemigrammus erythrozonus... or mush easier to say, the glowlight tetra. Like its little cousin, the neon tetra, the glowlight is an easy fish to keep in a community tank. In fact, many neon keepers, tired of battling neon disease, move towards the glowlight tetra.

Tetra Hemigrammus erythrozonus, Glowlight tetra
Tetra Hemigrammus erythrozonus, Glowlight tetra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The glowlight tetra is pastel peach in color with a horizontal red-gold stripe that spans the length of its body. Originating in Guyana, South America, the glowlight does well in a fresh water tank of slightly acid but peat-softened water that is kept between 74F and 82F. Glowlight tetras generally occupy the bottom third of the tank, except for feeding time when they will swim to the top.
The male glowlight tetra is more slender bodied than his mate, although it may be difficult to tell them apart until the female is full of eggs. 

Glowlight tetras are easier to breed than many other tetras like the neon and the cardinal tetra. However, providing them with a soft water environment is a critical factor for breeding. In fact, when breeding glowlight tetras, it may help to erect a special breeding tank. After your females have laid their eggs, you will need to remove adult fish from the tank until the fry hatch since glowlights have been known to eat their own eggs. Glowlights scatter their eggs among fine-leaved live plants. Clean, fresh water and live foods can encourage breeding. However, when changing water, be careful that you don't remove so much that it causes your tank to recycle.

Like many tetras, the glowlight tetra is a schooling fish and prefers to swim in the company of at least seven of its peers. Another common characteristic of many tetras is sensitivity to bright light. Lighting in a glowlight tetra aquarium should be filtered. This is easily achieved with aquarium plants. Artificial plants will suffice (unless you intend to breed your fish), but the glowlight tetra finds that real plants are a delicacy along with its usual fare of tropical flake food, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp.