Tag Archives: tetra

Moenkhausia simulata

14. June 2019

We obtained a somewhat irritating import of a very rare species of tetra last week from Peru. In all probability, it is Moenkhausia simulata; however, our new import differs slightly from the previously known M. simulata in coloration. All other tetra species with a pattern of several horizontal stripes (Astyanax lineatus, A. kullanderi, A. superbus, Bario spp., Hollandichthys spp., Hyphessobrycon hexastichos, Markiana nigripinnis, Moenkhausia agnesae, M. latissima, M. rara, M. simulata and Pseudochalceus lineatus) either look completely different and/or have a completely different distribution area. Possibly, the fish imported by us is a scientifically undescribed, M. simulata very similar species.

The sex-difference is particularly interesting with this species. Our fish are currently 4-5 cm long and obviously sexually mature. The  adipose fin of the males is clearly bigger than that of the females and rusty-black with the dominant male in the aquarium. Among themselves, these tetra are quite robust. As large as possible, well structured aquariums and as large a number of specimens as possible ensure that the aggressive actions are not reflected in fin damage. Otherwise, the care requirements of the fish do not differ from those of other species that have been cared for in the aquarium for a long time, e.g. the Buenos Aires tetra (Hyphessobrycon anisitsi).

For our customers: the animals have code 269453 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hyphessobrycon peruvianus

27. May 2019

Three species of tetra in northern South America are obviously close relatives to each other and often confused: Hyphessobrycon loretoensis from Peru, H. metae from Colombia, and H. peruvianus, again from Peru. From these, H. loretoensis has been portayed here: http://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/hyphessobrycon-loretoensis_de_1188.html.

Currently we were able to import the second Peruvian species once more, H. peruvianus, in wonderful, large specimens. It can be distinguished best from its close relative, H. loretoensis, by the coloration of the caudal fin. In H. peruvianus the black longitudinal band extends far in the caudal fin. Above and below it is often accompanied by red spots. The lobes of the caudal fin are hyaline. In H. loretoensis the black band ends shortly after the caudal fin origin. The caudal fin is completely red.

Regarding the aquarium maintanace there is no great difference between the two species, both are extremely beautiful fish that fit perfectly for any blackwater community tank.

For our customers: the fish have code 261453 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Hyphessobrycon: ancient Greek, means “small Brycon”. Brycon is another genus of tetras. peruvianus: means “originating from Peru”. loretoensis: after the Loreto province in Peru. metae: after the Rio Meta.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Moenkhausia heikoi

12. October 2018

For the first time we could import, even if only in very limited numbers, this tetra from the Rio Xingu described only in 2004. The animal became known in 2001, when Rainer Stawikowski presented the fish as “Hemigrammus sp. Xingu” in the journal DATZ. The scientific description took place in 2004, twice and almost simultaneously: by Géry and Zarske as Moenkhausia heikoi and by Lima and Zuanon as Astyanax dnophos. Since the work of Géry and Zarske appeared 5 days earlier, the name M. heikoi is valid.

This species is characterized by its large eye with a conspicuous light spot. The fish live in nature in cave-like structures between rocks in the rapids of the Xingu. Of course, they are very difficult to catch there, which is why they only appear very rarely on the market and at high prices.

For our customers: the fish have code 269513 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Jupiaba sp. „Cherry Spot“

29. August 2018

We were able to import a new species of tetra from Venezuela which does not resemble to any species known to us. According to the collector the animals were collected in small brooks in the surroundings of Puerto Inirida. There are no doubts that our new imports belong to the Astyanax relationship in the broadest sense, most probably to the genus Jupiaba. However, the diagnistic character of Jupiaba – elongated, sharp pelvic bones – are not visible in life fish. But our animals remind in respect of the shape of the body in J. pirana and in respect of the longitudinal band in J. antheroides. Unique in our fish is the black pigmented lateral line organ and the prominent caudal spot which is accompanied by two brillant red spots. Currently the fish are about 7 cm long, very lively and with a slight tendency to panic. The settlement of the animals is so far without any problems.

For our customers: the fish have code 209353 on our stocklist. Please note thta we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Aphyocharax paraguayenis

22. August 2018

This small, about 4.5 cm maximum length reaching tetra belongs to the most attractive species of tetra at all. The species is very hardy and undemanding and can be easily bred in huge numbers. It is a fish of the subtropical regions and doesn´t even require a heater. In the wild, water temperatures between 16 and 30°C occur. However, one must keep in mind that temperature changes in nature usually take a lot of time.

Sadly the dawn tetra (this is one of the popular names applied to this fish by hobbyists) has one disadvantage: it sometimes bites of parts of fins and scales from other fish. It is still a mystery why this nasty behaviour sometimes appears. But probably, similar as in tiger barbs or flame tetras, the behaviour only appears when the school of dawn tetras is too small. Larger schools of 20 or more specimens have enough to do with conspecifics and usually leave other fish alone.

Another opportunity is to keep A. paraguayensis in a single species tank or only combined with some catfish. For example Corydoras hastatus lives in nature along with the dawn tetra in mixed schools. This is a fascinating look!

For our customers: the fish have code 206512 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudochalceus kyburzi

10. August 2018

After many years we finally were able again to import this very beautiful tetra from Colombia once more. This species attains usually a length of about 5 cm, the largest one reported had about 8 cm in length. In respect of the general look and the behaviour Pseudochalceus kyburzi can be best compared with the emperor tetras (Nematobrycon). By the way: the species name – kyburzi – was chosen to honour the discoverer of the emperor tetra, William A. Kyburz of Colombia, at the time a famous exporter of ornamental fish.

For our customers: the fish has code 283802 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hyphessobrycon piranga

11. June 2018

Currently we can offer exclusively some top-rarities among the tetra family, all German bred. One of them is Hyphessobrycon piranga, which was introduced in the hobby by Peter and Martin Hoffmann in the German magazine Datz (issue 11/2017) under the unusual name of „Hyphessobrycon sp. non-red devil“. Despite the fact that the new tetra has a lot of red colours it is obviously not identical with the probably still undescribed species that is known as „Red Devil“ in the hobby and that develops inter alia much larger fins. The „non-red devil“ was described officially in march 2018 under the name of Hyphessobrycon piranga. The new species occur from rivers in the upper rio Tapajós catchment. 

The males of the pretty species have red fins, while the females remind one a bit in black neons (H. herbertaxelrodi) or H. nigricinctus. In the wild the fish are mature at a size of about 2 cm standard length (without fins), but in the aquarium they will grow a bit larger. The photographed bred ones are about 3 cm long. The photo made by Peter Hoffmann shows a pair of the breeders.

This tetra is a beautiful, easy to keep and very lively fish.

For our customers: the fish have code 261552 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text: Frank Schäfer, photos: Frank Schäfer & Peter Hoffmann

Exodon paradoxus

6. April 2018

For many aquaristis the Bucktooth tetra, Exodon paradoxus, is simply the most beautiful tetra from South America. The splendid fish glitter and glimmer like diamonds and they never stay still. They hunt and hit their conspecifics permanently and an uneducated watcher may become quite concerned that the fish will eventually hurt each other. But this doesn´t happen. In the wild, Exodon paradoxus feed almost exclusively on scales of other fish. Their highly specialized teeth enable that. Like a flash they attack their prey and the victim doesn´t understand what actually happened. The game of the Bucktooth tetras has two purposes. First: the game fools the potential victims and makes them „believe“ that the Bucktooth tetras are not interested in them. And second: for sure this permanent swimming is a perfect training for the small predators.

The species has a very wide distribution in South America. It can be found in Guyana and the whole Amazon and Orinoco basins. E. paradoxus attains a maximum length of about 7.5 cm. Keeping this fish is not complicated, but the tank should be large and the fish should be kept in a school as large as possible. Any type of usual fish food will be accepted readily. However, in respect of eventually planned tankmates one must be very careful. Best choice are catfish, for they have no scales at all and so they don´t fit the prey scheme of the Bucktooth tetras.

For our customers: the fish have code 253502 on our stocklist. Pleae note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hemigrammus levis Gold

7. March 2018

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.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Distichodus lusosso

26. February 2018

The longsnout distichodus has a very wide distribution in the Congo basin. The species attains a length of up to 40 cm; we recently obtain extremly charming, small juveniles. D. lusosso is an omnivorous fish; a great part of the food is plant material, so a planting of the tank is usually not possible. One should keep D. lusosso either in larger groups (10 or more specimens) or solitary. If the longsnout distichodus is kept in too small groups the fish are usually very pugnacious against conspecifics.

For our customers: The fish have code 126002 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusivekly supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Anostomus anostomus

19. February 2018

The Striped Headstander is one of the most beautiful species of tetra from South America. It really looks like the big brother of the Threestripe pencilfish, Nannostomus trifasciatus. Anostomus anostomus attains a maximum length of about 15-18 cm. Sadly there are hardly ever exportations of ornamental fish from Guyana currently, so the beauty became rare in the hobby. But now we were able once again to import a good number of young adults, about 9-12 cm long. One of the most famous aquarium books in German, the Aquarien Atlas, says: who never kept this fish not an aquarist at all! There´s nothing left to say …

For our customers: the fish has code 205506 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Two new tetras from the Rio Negro region: Hyphessobrycon paepkei and H. cf. agulha

5. May 2017

In a shipment containing Hyphessobrycon socolofi (Socolof´s bleeding heart) we found an extraordinary large number of bycatches. Allmost half of the shipment were another species, obviously a close relative of H. ornatus (Rosy tetra). We took a closer look and found the the bycatches were the Goldshoulder rosy tetra, H. paepkei. This species has been described only a few years ago, the type specimens also originated from our fishhouse. Usullay onyl a few specimens could be selected from shipments of other species, but this time we had quite a good number. So we decided to assort them. A nasty buisiness, but now we were able to offer the beautiful Goldshoulder rosy tetra for the first time on a regular basis. Regarding keeping this fish: it does not differ in any respect from well known, closely related aquarium fish, like the phantom tetras or the rosy tetras.

Another new species also reached us in former times in single specimens only from the Rio Negro region. Without any doubts the animals are identical with the tetra illustrated on page 472 of „the bible of tetra lovers“, Gery´s „Characoids of the world“. The caption says „Hyphessobrycon agulha, or close to it“. In contrast to all the different varieties of tetra that look similar this one has very attractive red stripes in the caudal fin. This new tetra is also comparable in respect of aquarium demands to a very well known one, namely the Black Neon, Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi.

Hyhessobrycon cf agulha

For our customers: Both species were available in limited numbers only and are sadly sold out already.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Copella arnoldi

2. May 2017

The Splashing tetra (Copella arnoldi) is very famous due to it´s unique way of spawning. The pair jumps out of the water and deposites the eggs on the underside of plant leafes hanging over the water surface (in the aquarium they often spawn on the top glass). After spawning the male guards the clutch and splashes water in regular intervalls over the eggs to avoid drying. The offspring hatches within 36 hours.

This fascinating behaviour is one of the „must have seen“ events in the life of every real enthusiast. However, one tends to forget sometimes the fact that the Splashing tetra also is a real beauty! Currently we have fully grown animals in stock. The Splashing tetra inhabits in the wild savannah creeks in the Rio Xingu basin in Brazil; however, nowadays almost exclusively bred specimens can be found in the trade.s

For our customers: the fish have code 219554 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hyphessobrycon melanostichos

28. April 2017

In our latest newsletter I made a regattable mistake: I used pictures of Hyphessobrycon cf. melanostichos instead of pictures of the „real“ Hyphessobrycon melanostichos in the post; H. cf. melanostichos differs a lot from the „real“ species in life colours. So here are now pictures of the „real“ H. melanostichos, the fish we currently have in stock. It is very interesting that in tis species the male changes a lot in coloration, as we have seen it in Hemigrammus coeruleus. This is very unusual in species of the Hemigrammus-Hyphessobrycon-relationship, in which the males usually only get a bit brighter coloration during courtship.

Hyphessobrycon melanostichos has a striking bright skyblue dorsal coloration. The species has been described scientifically in 2006 from the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil; here H. melanostichos is found in the upper reaches of the Rio Tapajós basin. The species is distinguished from all other species of Hyphessobrycon by the comobination of the following characters: „a conspicuous longitudinal broad black band, beginning on the posterior margin of orbit and reaching the distal tip of middle caudal fin rays; humeral spot vertically elongate and distinct from lateral band; and 16 to 18 branched anal-fin rays.“ (Carvalho & Bertaco, 2006)

The coloration (of preserved fish) is the same in Hyphessobrycon cf. melanostichos, but this form has 19 branched anal fin rays. Moreover in the original description of H. melanostichos a freshly preserved male is illustrated, obviously a breeding animal. The coloration of this specimen fits perfectly to the one of the mating male we can illustrate here (it is one of the parents of the fish we currently have in stock). So we have no doubt anymore that we now have the „real“ Hyphessobrycon melanostichos in stock, while the status of the H. cf. melanostichos remains the subject of further investigations.

For our customers: the „real“ Hyphessobrycon melanostichos has code 261832 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

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: top rarities, German bred

27. April 2017

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 Hemigrammus coeruleus. 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

Hemigrammus rubrostriatus

5. April 2017

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.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Phenacogrammus interruptus Albino

15. March 2017

Currently we receive beautiful cultivated albino Congo Tetras (Phenacogrammus interruptus) from Southeast Asia. Like in all true albinos the eyes of the fish are red due to the genetically caused lack of black body pigment (melanin). In many other species of fish albinos have a uniform whitish, yellowish or flesh-coloured body. Not so in the Congo Tetra. The iridescent colours of the body of that species are also extant in the albino variety. This makes the fish look so extraordinary nice.

Lexicon: Phenacogrammus: from ancient Greek, meaning “with tricky line”; this refers to the fact that the shape of the lateral line cannot be used to distinguish this genus from other genera. interruptus: Latin for “interrupted”. Refers to the shape of the lateral line.

For our customers: the fish have code 159454 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively the wholesale trade.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Hemigrammus coeruleus

3. March 2017

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)

Hemigrammus bellottii – the Golden Glowlight Tetra

24. February 2017

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

Gnathocharax steindachneri

10. February 2017

In the natural habitat of the cardinal tetra food sources are very scarce. So it is really astonishing how many species can exist there. However, many of them stay very small. Good luck for the aquarium hobby, for they all make very good ornamental species!

Even a predatory species of that biotope is such a dwarf: Gnathocharax steindachneri. It attains a maximum length of only 5 cm and belongs to the closer relationship to the freshwater barracudas (Acestrorhynchus), what is clearly visibly by the structure of the fangs and teeth. However, Gnathocharax is not dangerous for other fishes larger than approx. 1 cm. Most probably the species feeds on fish and insect larvae in the wild.

Currently we were able once more to import this most interesting species of tetra. It is perfectly suitable for community tanks with cardinals and other tetras. Here Gnathocharax loves to swim along with conspecifics in the upper third of the water column. The fish feed readily on any type of usual fish food, even dry food is taken from the very first day on, despite the specialized dentition.

For our customers: the fish have code 254653 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer