For the first time we can offer this interesting and attractive tetra novelty: Hyphessobrycon sp. aff. bifasciatus “Ghost”. The origin of this fish is not known to us. Our breeder received the parents from Vienna. When the young fish obtained with them developed strong red fins, which they lost again when growing up, the close relationship to the Yellow Tetra (Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus) could no longer be overlooked. The “Ghost” has indeed, as one can see with certain incidence of light, still the black pigments, which form the species-characteristic double shoulder stripe of H. bifasciatus. The “Ghost” looks very attractive as an adult fish due to its ghostly transparency in combination with the deep black eyes.
The Yellow Tetra (Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus) was kept and bred in aquariums as early as 1925. It is very similar to the Flame Tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus). In fact, the Flame Tetra was misidentified as H. bifasciatus when it was first imported in 1920. It was not until the “true” H. bifasciatus was imported a few years later that the error was noticed and it was realized that the Flame Tetra was an undescribed species at that time. Both species grow to 4-5 cm in length and come from Brazil, state of Rio de Janeiro. However, the red is a blackwater form and therefore acutely threatened with extinction, while the yellow is very adaptable and still manages well even in nature destroyed by man. Wild catches for aquaristics have, as always in such cases, no influence on the natural populations.
Interesting about H. bifasciatus is that many of the juveniles have bright red fins. This disappears with the growing up. One only wonders: what is this good for? Because what we humans like very much, is noticed by predators: red fins! While taking pictures we noticed that it is mainly young females that have the red fins; during the random catch for the photo session all red-finned animals were indeed presumed females (because of the clearly smaller anal fin), while all animals with a large anal fin were presumed males; they did not show any red in the fins. All fish were about 2 cm long at this time. From then on, the females also lost more and more of their red until there was none at all.
In former times the Yellow Tetra was a popular aquarium fish, because it does not need additional heating in living rooms. 16-22°C is its comfort range, only for breeding it wants it a bit warmer. Nowadays the species is not colorful enough for many. But who knows, maybe the Yellow Tetra experiences a renaissance because of the enormously rising energy prices? Right now is one of the rare opportunities to acquire this fish, because we have wild catches in stock.
We have also posted a short video about the “Ghost”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl0fC7VsUAU
For our customers: Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus WILD have code 259653, H. sp. aff. bifasciatus “Ghost” code 259713 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer