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Serpae Tetra

(Hyphessobrycon callistus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 6.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: South America   • Family: Characidae
• Species: Tetras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Serpae Tetra native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Serpae Tetra or Red Minor Serpae Tetras are a common schooling fish found throughout South American waters. They are a popular species that has been imported for the aquarium trade for a long time. Their attractive red coloration and distinctive black markings along with their hardy disposition have made them popular with freshwater community aquarium hobbyists.

They are generally considered a peaceful species, but will nip at fins a little bit if house singularly, thus it is best to keep them in small groups of 4 or more in smaller aquariums and larger schools in bigger aquariums capable of housing many fish.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Serpae Tetra in the home aquarium.

Serpae Tetras do very well in a wide variety of tropical freshwater community aquarium setups, as they can be kept with a wide variety of tank mates and themselves have only modest aquarium requirements. Since they are a schooling fish, they do best when kept in groups of at least 4 or more individuals. They need clean and stable water conditions, but do not have any special requirements in regards to water parameters, lighting or water movement.

Their ideal aquarium environment would contain plenty of plants and driftwood along with low to medium water currents and medium lighting. They also do best with tank mates that have peaceful or semi-aggressive dispositions.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Serpae Tetra and provide a healthy diet.

Serpae Tetra are an omnivorous species that will readily accept a variety of flake, crisp, freeze-dried, frozen or live foods. A typical tropical species staple flake will satisfy their complete nutritional needs; however, they can be offered bloodworms, brine or other similar foodstuffs to give them some variety in their diet.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Serpae Tetra in the aquarium environment.

Serpae Tetras will breed within the aquarium environment when provided with proper water conditions. A breeding pair or male and small group of females should be placed into a small breeding aquarium of approximately 10 gallons of slightly acidic water 6.0 to 6.5, medium to low lighting, with some plants, driftwood or similar aqua-scaping.

A power filter or internal bubble filter with sponge or foam covered intakes should be used so that the fry do not get sucked into the filtration. After eggs have been laid and fertilized, the parents should be removed from the aquarium so that they do not eat the newly hatched fry. The fry should be fed baby brine shrimp or crushed flake foods until they are large enough to move to regular foods.

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