Only rather rarely – every few years – and if, then always in the summer months June-July-August, we receive Hyphessobrycon socolofi from Brazil, in which the back shines conspicuously green; besides, the second cherry-red spot on the tail root is colored particularly intensively red with these animals. We have been observing this phenomenon for many years. We have not found an explanation yet.
In any case they are beautiful animals, an enrichment for every aquarium with peaceful fish!
For our customers: the animals have code 261994 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
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.
The Coffee Bean Tetra is an exceptional species within the so-called Rosy Tetras: no other species has even a hint of such a large shoulder spot. The distribution area of the species is in the lower Amazon basin, the border area between Brazil and French Guyana. There you can find the Coffee Bean Tetra in the tributaries of the rivers Araguari and Oyapock – if you can find it! Because what sounds so easy on paper is not really easy to realize in the huge water worlds of the Amazon.
After Hyphessobrycon takasei had disappeared from the export lists for many years, we have now once again succeeded in importing a larger number of animals. According to our supplier it is still the same catcher who brought the animals before the export stop.
When the fish arrived at our place, we were skeptical at first, if they really were coffee bean tetras, because a big part of them hardly showed a shoulder spot. Within a few days, however, this changed and the H. takasei looked like you would expect them to. But it is interesting how drastically the tetras can change their coloration when disturbed!
Anyway, we are happy to finally offer again this beauty, which reaches about 4 cm in length and is an ornament in any well maintained community aquarium with peaceful fish and abundant plant growth. Our animals are still youngsters and thus do not yet show the whole beauty of the species.
For our customers: the fish have code 262092 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
The tetra Hyphessobrycon cyanotaenia was originally imported as “Lapis-Tetra” from Brazil; that was more than 20 years ago (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/?s=cyanotaenia). Since the breeding was successful this beautiful and easy to keep fish is now a common sight in the trade. The origin was mysterious for a long time, because the scientific description was based on offspring, but today it is known that H. cyanotaenia is native to the upper parts of the Rio Juruena (basin of the Rio Tapajós) and the Rio Guaporé (basin of the Rio Madeira) in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil.
The species characteristic of Hyphessobrycon cyanotaenia is the massive black longitudinal band extending from the posterior margin of the eye to the posterior margin of the caudal fin. This band is accompanied above by a bright blue band across the back.
As wild catch H. cyanotaenia is only rarely on the market, because it belongs to the fixed assortment of many breeders. We have now once again received wild-caught specimens, which differ quite clearly from the offspring we are familiar with due to their very bright yellow colored back. In the few golden animals, which are also included in the import, the back shines particularly intensively.
For our customers: the wild caught specimens have code 259843 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
One of the still very expensive tetra novelties in the aquarium is the very, very pretty Hyphessobrycon procyon from the Rio Aripuanã in the middle basin of the Rio Madeira. It looks confusingly similar to the kitty tetra, H. heliacus, at first glance. H. procyon and H. heliacus form a species complex together with the also very similar H. peugeoti and H. lowae. For differentiation see the article of Hans-Georg Evers in the journal Amazonas No 99/2021: 22-27, there is also a detailed breeding report on H. procyon.
Here therefore only the most important key data: H. procyon reaches a length of 4-5 cm. They are easy to keep tetras, which have no special demands on water and food. For optimal color and fin development soft, slightly acidic water (pH 6 – 6.5) is favorable, as well as secondary plant matter (peat, dead leaves, alder cones). Aquatic plants are not damaged, H. procyon are very peaceful among themselves and against other species of fish. The males like to display among themselves, which is wonderful to look at and ends without injuries. The best way to keep these tetras is in groups of 10 or more, the sex ratio is not important, but there should be at least two males.
Hyphessobrycon notidanos from the upper drainage of the Rio Tapajós in Brazil, which was scientifically described only in 2006, is apparently a quite multicolored animal. So there is the “Red Devil” with much red in the body and blue iris and the “Yellow Devil” with red iris. Both color forms are said to occur together in nature, but they are exported separately. They are really pretty animals, not at all devilish!
In collections from nature there were no specimens over 3 cm length (measured without caudal fin). Characteristic for the species is the pointed, extended dorsal fin of the males, which reaches almost to the adipose fin.
The care of the unfortunately still quite expensive fish is easy and corresponds to that of e.g. king tetras (Inpaichthys kerri). For feeding, the animals greedily accept any common fish food of suitable size. Hyphessobrycon notidanos is completely peaceful and does not damage plants. The water temperature in the wild is around 26°C, a value that certainly deviates occasionally by a few degrees up or down due to weather and seasonal conditions.
For our customers: the “Red Devil” has code 261263 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
At present the small tetras of South America experience a new boom. Numerous species have been and are being described scientifically. Thus also the ornamental fish collectors leave their beaten tracks and look for these animals, particularly since currently peppered prices are paid for the novelties. Naturally, such a thing only works for a short time, then offspring of the particularly attractive species come onto the market, the less attractive ones disappear again and wild catches only come to us once in a blue moon as rarities for a few specialists. But we are still in phase 1 of this development and welcome the novelties enthusiastically.
One of them is Hyphessobrycon negodagua, which was scientifically described in 2001. Its area of origin is in the northeast of Brazil, in the state of Bahia. There, this tetra with a maximum length of 3 – 3.5 cm inhabits the Rio Pratinah, a tributary of the Rio Santo Antonio, which in turn drains into the Rio Paraguaçú, which is one of the important coastal rivers of Brazil without connection to other river systems. H. negodagua differs from almost all other Hyphessobrycon species by the absence of the typical tetra adipose fin in most specimens, the unique coloration of the males in courtship display also makes them distinctive. Freshly imported and not yet acclimated animals are silvery, but acclimated males show already after a few days their fiery courtship dances, during which they turn black, which contrasts very effectively with the white fin seams. The fluttering courtship swim of this pretty species prompted Hans-Georg Evers to call it the “Butterfly Dwarf Tetra”.
The care of the animals is simple and corresponds to that of other small tetras. Incidentally, the species name “negodagua” refers to a mythical man-like monster (Nego d’agua) that lurks at the bottom of rivers and attacks inattentive fishermen at night. Why scientists associated the small, peaceful tetra with this monster, they do not reveal….
For our customers: the animals have code 261232 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only available in small quantities!
At the moment we can offer magnificent, fully grown bred specimens of Hyphessobrycon melanostichos.
Hyphessobrycon melanostichos is very eye-catching due to its bright sky-blue back coloration. The species was scientifically described in 2006 from the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, where it occurs in the upper drainage of the Rio Tapajós. The species is distinguished from all other Hyphessobrycon species by the combination of the following features: a broad, black longitudinal band that begins at the posterior margin of the eye and extends to the posterior margin of the caudal fin; an oval shoulder spot; 16-18 soft fin rays in the anal fin.
It is very interesting that in this fish, similar to Hemigrammus coeruleus, the males develop a distinctly different coloration during courtship; many thanks to Peter & Martin Hoffmann for providing us with the picture of a courtship active male. Such changes in coloration are unusual in tetras of the Hemigrammus-Hyphessobrycon group, usually the colors intensify only insignificantly during courtship.
For our customers: H. melanostichos has code 261834 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.
Text: Frank Schäfer, Photos: Frank Schäfer, Peter & Martin Hoffmann
Carvalho, T. P. and V. A. Bertaco (2006): Two new species of Hyphessobrycon (Teleostei: Characidae) from upper rio Tapajós basin on Chapada dos Parecis, central Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology v. 4 (no. 3): 301-308.
Tetras, which – as Hans-Georg Evers so aptly put it – are magnificently white wine colored, have a hard time in aquarists. In the dealer’s tank there is usually nothing to be seen of the discreet colors and why, many ask, should one buy colorless fish when there are so many colorful species?
This opinion changes, if one gives oneself a jerk, and maintains a troop of perhaps 15 or 20 specimens of such white wine fishes in a well planted community aquarium together with the colorful classics (cardinal tetra etc.). Then you will notice that the “ugly gray ducklings” do not develop into magnificent swans, but they attract at least as much attention as their brightly colored cousins. The magic word is: contrast!
One such contrast fish is Hyphessobrycon dorsalis, which circulated in the hobby as “Hyphessobrycon minor” before its scientific description in 2014. It is the slimmest representative of the so-called “Rosy Tetras”, which are well characterized within the large group of small tetras by their white-black-white dorsal fin coloration. By the way, the fish from which the scientific description is based came from our facility. We imported them from Brazil via Manaus at that time, and our current import also comes from this source.
For our customers: the animals have code 261362 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer