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One of the smaller tetra species, they are vividly colored and, like
most tetras, look superb in a proper school of at least 12 individuals.
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||1.5 – 2 inches (3.8-5cm)
||20 gallon long for a proper school
||Will go everywhere but predominantly Lower to Middle level.
||5.5 - 7.5
||Soft to medium: dh range 4.0 - 20.0
||72°F to 77°F (22°-25° C)
Red Phantom Tetra
South America: Columbia; Rio Orinoco Basin.
General Body Form:
Similar to that of the other hyphessobrycons, with lateral compression
and a somewhat diamond shaped body.
Sexing & Coloration:
An overall red sheen on the head and body with a blotch of black just
around the stomach area of the fish. The fins and tail are also orange
colored with outlines of black.
A much more peaceful and beautiful alternative to its similarly looking
cousin, the serpae tetra, the red phantom prefers to be in schools.
In the wild, groupings consist of hundreds to thousands of them. In
most home aquaria such a feat has no hope of being achieved, but a minimum
of 12 specimens will keep them relaxed and lively. Tank should be well
planted or contain lots of wood to give the fish a sense of security.
In the wild these will eat small crustaceans, worms and daphnia. In
the aquarium they will eat most anything offered to them. Such as, Daphnia,
freeze dried blood worms, Brine shrimp as well as flakes and granules.
Quite easily bred, although you'll need to set up a separate tank in
which to do so if you want to raise any numbers of fry. Something around
18" x 10" x 10" in size is fine. This should be very dimly lit and contain
clumps of fine-leaved plants such as Java moss , to give the fish somewhere
to deposit their eggs. Alternatively, you could cover the base of the
tank with some kind of mesh. This should be of a large enough grade
so that the eggs can fall through it, but small enough so that the adults
cannot reach them. The water should be soft and acidic in the range
pH 5.5-6.5, gH 1-5, with a temperature of around 75-80°F. Filtering
the water through peat is useful, as is the use of RO water. A small
air-powered sponge filter bubbling away very gently is all that is needed
in terms of filtration. It can be spawned in a group, with half a dozen
specimens of each sex being a good number. Condition these with plenty
of small live foods and spawning should not present too many problems.
In either situation, the adults will eat the eggs given the chance and
should be removed as soon as eggs are noticed. These will hatch in 24-36
hours, with the fry becoming free swimming a 3-4 days later. They should
be fed on an infusoria-type food for the first few days, until they
are large enough to accept microworm or brine shrimp naupili. The eggs
and fry are light sensitive in the early stages of life and the tank
should be kept in total darkness, something easily achieved by covering
your grow out tank with black bin bags.
A biotope setup would be simple to arrange. Use a substrate of fine
sand and add a few driftwood branches (if you can't find driftwood of
the desired shape, common beech is safe to use if dried and stripped
of bark) and twisted roots. A few handfuls of dried leaves (again beech
can be used, or oak leaves are also suitable) would complete the natural
feel. Aquatic plants are not a feature of this species' natural waters.
Allow the wood and leaves to stain the water the color of weak tea,
removing old leaves and replacing them every few weeks so they don't
rot. A small net bag filled with aquarium-safe peat can be added to
the filter to aid in the simulation of black water conditions. Use dim