Designed around upon the FBAS comprehensive list of commonly-kept species, these Care Sheets are categorised as those found in FBAS Show Classes.

Details of all species referred to in these Fish Care Sheets can be found in the FBAS Booklet No 6 - National Show Fish Sizes. Click HERE for information.


                                  Characins Tetras          01/02/2001

Genera: Cheirodon, Hemigrammus, Hyphessobrycon, Paracheirodon, Pristella.

Family: Characidae.

Geographic Origin: South America. Very widespread throughout.

Common Names: Cardinal Tetra, Neon Tetra, Serpae Tetra, Lemon Tetra etc.

Compatibility: Generally speaking, these fish are very compatible with one
                      another. One exception is possibly the Brass or Yellow Tetra
                      Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus. This fish can be a 'fin nipper'.

Minimum Aquarium Size: As they are mainly fish that grow to less than 50mm
                                      (2), they can be safely kept in a 600mm x 300mm
                                      x 300mm (24 x 12 x 12) inch aquarium.
                                       Larger aquariums however, are always preferable.

Temperature: Generally between 24o28oC 75o/82oF , although many will be
                     quite happy at lower temperatures.

Habitat:These fish really show their best colours in a well planted aquarium,
             perhaps furnished with bogwood and a dark substrate.
             Water movement provided by a power filter is ideal.

Water Parameters: These fish come from areas where the water is soft and
                              acid and will always do best under these conditions.
                              Most Tetras however will readily adapt to hard alkaline
                              water though not for breeding purposes. Water should be
                              clean and clear. Fish will benefit from a 25% water
                              change weekly.

Health: Not generally noted for having health problems.

Diet: Will readily accept all forms of dried, frozen and live foods.

Plants: Not plant eaters. All species of tropical plant are acceptable in the

Breeding Notes : Egg-scatterers. Use dense bunches of fine-leaved plants, or
                          nylon mops, as egg receptacles when spawning.
                          Fertilised eggs may be adversely affected by wrong water
                          conditions and/or exposure to light.

Availability: Probably the most available of all tropical fish. Only select fish
                   that are alert and swimming with fins erect. Inspect closely for
                   signs of disease. Reject lethargic, damaged or hollow-bellied

Show Class: FBAS Show Class Ca or C.

© FBAS 2001. PWC/RDE                                     Fish Care Sheet 14 1/1

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Last updated June 2005