From the upper Amazon in Peru comes the beautiful garnet tetra, which grows 3-4 cm long. The very peaceful animal actually has characteristics like a carbuncle, a gemstone, which in fairy tales has the ability to make the owner invisible: because the eye and tail root of Hemigrammus pulcher shimmer like gemstones, but the individual fish in the troop is thus difficult to spot for prey predators. Within the species the luminous markings serve for recognition of conspecifics in the dark home waters.
Perhaps in the first moment one passes it by carelessly in the pet shop, because in the bright dealer tank it does not appear very colorful, but this changes when the carbuncle tetra comes into a well planted aquarium with subdued light! As is common with tetras, the male is smaller and more delicate than the female. The garnet tetra is an ideal combination to the neon tetra, which comes from the same region.
For our customers: the animals have code 257002 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
In 1957, when the first Green Tetras or Neon Costello (Hemigrammus hyanuary) were imported, the tetras were absolute fashion fish. Otherwise the comparison with the neon or cardinal tetra can hardly be explained, because H. hyanuary – which by the way is named after Lake Hyanuary in Brazil – is really nicely colored, but it has little in common with a neon fish. Much more striking is the animal’s contrasting tail root pattern.
The Neon Costello is widely distributed in the upper Amazon region. Mostly bred ones are offered, we have currently pretty Peru imports in stock. In aquariums with sandy bottom and subdued light, as it can be well achieved by floating plants, the animals are most beautiful. They should be kept in a group (10-20 specimens) at temperatures between 23 and 25°C (for breeding 2-3°C higher).
For our customers: the animals have code 256492 af our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
From Venezuela we recently received „feather tetras“. This is what we used to call tetras that have a striking black stripe in the anal fin, accompanied by a white line in front of it. In general, however, the term “feather tetra” is alternatively used to species of the genus Hemiodus or Hyphessobrycon copelandi. Our “feather tetra” was first identified by us as Hemigrammus unilineatus.
Hemigrammus unilineatus is the type species of the genus Hemigrammus. It has a double, namely Moenkhausia hemigrammoides. The only externally visible difference between these two species is the lateral line, i.e. the sensory organ running over the flanks of the fish. In Hemigrammus this sideline runs over half the body length (Hemi: half, grammus: drawn), in Moenkhausia it runs over the whole body length. This feature can be seen on sharp photos.
Until recently, Moenkhausia hemigrammoides was thought to occur only in the Guyana countries, while Hemigrammus unilineatus occurs there and also in large parts of Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia; this explains why we first called our new imports H. unilineatus without much thought. But now we found the time to take a closer look at them and lo and behold: they have a complete lateral line, so it must be Moenkhausia hemigrammoides!
By chance, a study has just been published – in September 2019 – which for the first time describes the occurrence of M. hemigrammoides in Colombia (rivers Ariari and Inirida, both tributaries to the Rio Guaviare in the upper Orinoco basin), which makes the occurrence of the species in Venezuela very likely.
Moenkhausia hemigrammoides are very lively fish that constantly play with each other and rush through the aquarium in lightning-fast turns. The fish grow to about 4 cm in length (in nature the size of adult animals is between 2.1 and 3.3 cm, measured without caudal fin) and are therefore a real enrichment of the aquarium, even if they are not very conspicuous in colour.
For our customers: the animals have code 268653 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
Géry, J.(1965): Notes on characoid fishes collected in Surinam by Mr. HP Pijpers, with descriptions of new forms. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 35 (1): 101–126.
Méndez-López, A. & A. Urbano-Bonilla (2019): Moenkhausia hemigrammoides Géry, 1965 (Characidae, Stethaprioninae) in Colombia: new records and comments on morphology. Check List 15 (5): 867-874
One of the most common tetras from the Amazon and Orinoco is Hemigrammus bellottii. The species is easily recognizable by the golden longitudinal stripe and the red eye; other pattern elements (tail spot, fin coloration etc.) are usually missing. Only a shoulder spot can be present from time to time – depending on the mood.
Now we have received tetras from Venezuela, which differ in some points from the “normal” H. bellottii. On the one hand dorsal and anal fins show pretty, white seams, the dorsal fin and tail fin have beautiful orange-red color portions and on the other hand a (albeit small) tail spot is present. Possibly our current “bellottii” from Venezuela represent a scientifically not yet recorded species.
For our customers: the animals have code 256033 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
It is very difficult to determine gold tetras. The golden coloration is the skin reaction on a harmless infection with a parasite. If a tetra feeds the faeces of a fish-eating bird that contains the eggs of the parasite – a worm – in the intestine of the fish the eggs hatch and the larvae of the worm encapsulate in the muscle tissue of the fish. Their presence cause the production of the golden colour in the skin of the fish. Such a golden fish can be spotted much better than a normally coloured animal by a fish-preying bird. The opportunity for the parasite to find the final host – the bird – grows. If such a golden fish is really eaten by a bird the encapsulated larvae become active again, grow to adult specimens, mate and produce eggs that leave the bird with its faeces. So the circle becomes closed. If the golden fish are not eaten they have no disadvantage against normally coloured conspecifics. This is prooved by decades of experience with golden tetras in the aquarium. The golden ones also become as old as normal tetras.
Initially only one species of golden tetra became known to science eg the the golden form of Hemigrammus rodwayi. As the true nature of this golden gloss was then unknown the fish were described as a species on their own, Hemigrammus armstrongi. The golden gloss covers a great number of pattern that is usually indispensable for determining a species. Today we know a great number of golden tetras belonging to a vast number of different species, although they usually appear only as single specimens in most species.
We obtained a good number of large, 4-5 cm long gold tetras from Brazil. Initially we were not able to identify the species. The shape of the body and the presence of small hooks on the anal fin of the males (which sometimes entangle in the meshs of a net) made it very likely that the species belongs to the genus Hemigrammus. When the light comes from behind, a golden line is visible that is runnung all over the body, similar as it is seen in the glowlight tetra, Hemigrammus erythrozonus. After some days of settlement the fish developed a pattern in the tail fin as it is known from the species Hemigrammus levis. However, most probably a number of species hides behind what is currently termed „Hemigrammus levis“ scientifically, but our capabilities to determine the fish more exactly are depleted now.
Hemigrammus levis becomes 4-5 cm long and is a peaceful schooling fish, comparable to the rummy nose tetra. So our new imports can be recommended as gorgeous inhabitans for community tanks with South American fish.
For our customers: the animals have code 256703 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
We obtained from our proofed breeder three species of tetra which are hardly – if ever – available in the trade, all German bred. Hyphessobrycon melanostichos, H. nigricinctus, and Hemigrammuscoeruleus. Especially H. coeruleus is now available in larger numbers (yippieh!), the remaining two species are only in small numbers in our stock.
For our customers: H. melanostichos has code 261832, H. nigricinctus 261463, and H. coeruleus 256322 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively the wholesale trade.
Text: Frank Schäfer Photos: Frank Schäfer & Peter Hoffmann
Until now we were able to present this beautiful tetra – which has been described scientifically only in 2015 – to you only as a very rare bycatch (see http://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/hemigrammus-rubrostriatus/). But finally we managed a larger importation of that beauty from Venezuela. The fish are about 4-5 cm longer, adult and in full colour. They belong obviously to the most attarctive small species of tetra at all. The tail pattern is similar to the Head-and-Tail-tetras (Hemigrammus ocellifer and H. falsus), but the bright tailspot is blood red instead of yellow; the gorgeous red horizontal stripe is as bright as in Hyphessobrycon amapaensis and the golden-yellow belly shines like that of the Kitty tetra, Hyphessobrycon heliacus. Additional the red and white pattern of the fins is very nice in H. rubrostriatus. If a tetra would have been designed as an ideal community fish, this is it!
If it comes to the requirements of the fish: Hemigrammus rubrostriatus – we suggest Red-Stripe tetra as a common name – is as easy to keep as its congeners that live in aquaria for almost a century now. Any tap water will do for keeping. However, soft, slightly acidic water and the addition of humic acids from dead leaves, peat, alder cones, roots etc. will increase the intensity of the colours.
For our customers: the fish have code 257473 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Among the most sought after species of tetra is Hemigrammus coeruleus. The species attains a maximum length of about 6 cm and look even pretty in the regular coloration – a bit similar to the well known glowlight tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus). But when the fish come in breeding condition, they look really spectacular! The males become so deeply red that one might think to see a different species! Sadly the fish is hardly available as wild collected ones. We recently obtained only 5 specimens! But we expect in the very near future a good number of German bred ones.
For our customers: the fish have code 256314 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Frank Schäfer, Peter & Martin Hoffmann (male in breeding condition)
The common Glowlight Tetra, Hemigrammus erythrozonus, originates from Guyana. The species is very popular in the aquarium hobby. But only few hobbyists know that there does exist a comparatively close relative of the common Glowlight in Colombia and Brazil: the Golden Glowlight, Hemigrammus bellottii. The latter is often found along with the Cardinal (Paracheirodon axelrodi) and it is a very nice contrast fish to the Cardinal in a community tank. Usually the Golden Glowlight is imported only by chance, as a by-catch of the Cardinal. But from time to time we manage to import a larger number of the pretty fish. The fire red upper eye and the golden stripe look very nice in a rather dark equipped tank.
For our customers: the fish have code 256032 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer