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Hyphessobrycon megalopterus



    A commonly sold aquarium fish. Suitable for begginers. These fish can certianly be a stunner in a well planned tank and put on a dazzling display.

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 1.75 inches (4.5cm)
Tank: Min. Length 24 inches (at least 20 gallons for a small school)
Strata: Will go everywhere but predominantly Lower to Middle level.
PH: 6.0 – 7.5
Hardness: Soft to medium: dh range 2.0 – 18.0
Temperature: 71°F to 82°F (22°-28° C)


Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genera: Hyphessobrycon
Species: megalopterus

Common name:


Black Phantom TetraDistribution

    South America: From the Paraguay, Mamore and Guapore’ river basins in Brazil and Bolivia.

General Body Form:

    Typical for most genera of Hyphessobrycon, the Black Phantom is approximately teragonal in body shape.

Sexing & Colouration:

    Males tend to be more pale and silver in color almost blending in with the tank istself. Only when sparring or defending territory will they change. Turning almost completely Black and enhancing it’s eye patch. It’s dorsal and anal fins are black. The dorsal fin is higher then the females with a slight bend at the tip. Eye patch for both genders are black bordered with an irridescent border ranging from silver to a gold/green. Females tend to be generally darker then their male counterparts when not displaying. They too are marked with the irridescent eye patch. They can be distinguished by their adipose, pelvic and anal fins which are reddish in color and their body can turn to more of a copper color when displaying. though nothing as dramatic as their male counterparts. But still they are an eye catcher with that splash of red.


    A densely planted tank with driftwood is ideal. With sand or small pebble to larger river rock, best for a substrate that will not wash out it’s colorful apperance.


    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 granuals. In my experience they will not snub algae wafers or shrimp wafers.


    To stimulate the breeding behavior you will start off by using live or frozen foods such as blood worms, daphnia and brine shrimp. Lowering the pH to 5.0 – 5.6 will also stimulate the breeding behavior. Low light and heavily planted are important. Black Phantom eggs are prone to fungus so proper water care is a must, any eggs found with fungus should be removed Black Phantom will scatter roughly 300 eggs. Parents should be removed to prevent them from snacking on the eggs and fry.

Personal Expierence:

    I find these are a great community fish. They do get along with other fish like tetras and Rasbora. They can be curious mine always check out to see what my panda corys are doing, they have learned when the pandas converge to one spot it means there is something tasty at the bottom of the tank be it algae or shrimp wafers. Besides my Rasbora these are hardy fish and would be great for any beginner. I have watched many hours of their display dances. The males fanning out dorsal and anal fins and cocking to the side to display the eye mark. Sometimes they do come to blows but with nothing more then a possible torn fin which quickly heals. They can get territorial with other fish but advancing and quickly retreating with their fins fanned out is as far as it goes.


5/5 - (17 votes)


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