A fantastic lemon tetra

3. June 2009

The lemon tetra, Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis, belongs to the most important ornamental fishes and can be found in almost any pet shop. Like in so many other very common species no one gives a thought on them. But even the lemon tetra keeps a lot of secrets…..

The origin of the lemon tetra was not known until 1980, although the species has already been scientifically described in 1937. The scientific description based on specimens imported for the ornamental fish trade and so the origin could be given only vaguely as „probably Amazon river“. Although breeding the lemon tetra is not that easy (not every pair will spawn readily and females have to spawn very often for otherwise their eggs become infertile etc.) no wild caughts came in anymore. So it lasted until 1980 when Gery found that the natural range of the species lies in the lower Amazon basin, to be more precise in the lower and middle Tapajós between Itaituba and Jacare Acanga, and in brooks flowing towards the Rio Curua do Sol. Other sources give also the Xingu and the Tocantins.

The ancestors of our new lemon tetra which we can offer in wonderful German bred specimens are said to originate from Bolivia. They differ from the well known lemon tetra due to their brillant orange basic colour and the lack of the typical black border of the anal fin. According to our breeder the breeding behaviour is also different. So it is very likely that our new lemon tetra belongs to a so far undescribed species.

Keeping the new lemon tetra is very easy and even beginners can do it. One should keep the up to 4.5 cm long animal in little groups in well structured aquaria. Every individual will form a small territory after settlement and defend it against congeneers. They feed on any commercial and living fishfood, tempertaure can be between 22 and 28°C. In soft and slighlty acidic water they become most beautiful, but these water conditions are not necessary for a successful keeping.

For comparison: the classical lemon tetra

For our customers: the new animals, called „Orange Bolivia“ by us, have code 261632, the classical lemon tetra code 261603 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale market.

Text Frank Schäfer, Photos: Frank Schäfer and H.-J. Mayland/Aqualog archieves