Hoplocharax goethei

23. December 2022

Do you know this tetra? The species is unusual in several respects! First of all there is its strange species name, goethei. Was the species named after our poet prince and universal genius, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe? Unfortunately no. It was dedicated to the controversial eugenicist Charles Matthias Goethe (1875-1966). But that is rather beside the point. The little fish – it grows to only 3-4 cm in length – looks at first glance like perhaps the most common tetra in Amazonia, Hemigrammus bellottii, but it belongs to a completely different family and is actually a closer relative to predatory tetras such as the freshwater barracudas of the genus Acestrorhynchus. What you can’t see with the naked eye is that the dentition of Hoplocharax goethei is not made up of jagged incisors like Hemigrammus bellottii but of needle-sharp fangs! Nevertheless, this miniature predator is a peaceful animal that will not harm any of its equally sized tankmates. Maybe the fish prefers to eat fish larvae in nature, who knows? In the aquarium it accepts any common fish food, including dry food. By the way, the bright red eye of Hoplocharax goethei is much more brilliantly colored than in any other tetra species.

Until recently Hoplocharax goethei was imported rather accidentally as cardinal tetra bycatch from Colombia and Brazil; these were mostly single specimens. For some years we have been able to import a somewhat larger number of animals from Venezuela from time to time. Maybe one day we will even succeed in breeding them? 

For our customers: the animals have code 258853 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer