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Von Rio Flame Tetra

(Hyphessobrycon flammeus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 1.5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons   • Water Conditions: 70-84° F, KH 3-10, pH 5.5-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: South America, Eastern Brazil   • Family: Characidae
• Species: Tetras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Von Rio Flame Tetra native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Von Rio Flame Tetra is commonly found within the aquarium hobby under the names Von Rio Tetra, Von Rio Flame Tetra, Flame Tetra, Fire Tetra, Rio Tetra, Red Tetra or simply under their scientific name Hyphessobrycon flammeus. Despite the name the fish remains the same, and this case the fish is a beautiful Tetra species that is at home in a variety of tropical community or planted aquariums. Schools of Von Rio Flame Tetra will even do well when kept with peaceful Cichlid species like Angelfish, Severum, Acara or other similar Cichlid species.

Von Rio Tetra originate from small coastal river tributaries, creeks and backwaters of Eastern Brazil around Rio de Janeiro and surrounding areas. They inhabit slow moving creeks, backwaters and smaller river tributaries. They live in schools of individuals and move about through the submerged vegetation looking for small worms, crustaceans and insect larvae on which to feed. Living in large schools and staying close to submerged root and plants affords them protection from a variety of larger predators.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Von Rio Flame Tetra in the home aquarium.

Von Rio Tetra are a peaceful species who do well in most tropical community aquarium and planted aquarium setups; however, they are more boisterous than many of the smaller Tetra species like Neon Tetra or Ember Tetra.

They prefer to live in schools of individuals with at least 6 or more individuals. They are active swimmers who dart about more so than swim and will nip at each other in a social manner. Keeping them in larger schools helps to eliminate any aggression, provides them a sense of security and helps to increase their red coloration as the males and females compete for one anothers attention.

The ideal tank for keeping Von Rio Tetra will have plenty of live or ornamental plants, driftwood and areas of diffused lighting. Either floating plants or large pieces of driftwood can be used to create areas in the tank that have diffused lighting, which will allow the them to retreat from the bright aquarium lights when they feel threatened. They will appreciate consistent gentle water flow and warm, slightly acidic water conditions.

A small group of Von Rio Tetra will do fine in an aquarium of 2o to 30 gallons, with a larger group of adult specimens needing at least 40 to 50 gallons or more to thrive. In addition to areas of plants and submerged wood, Von Rio Tetra need plenty of open swimming room and plenty of water movement in order to replicate their native river habitat.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Von Rio Flame Tetra and provide a healthy diet.

Wild Von Rio Tetra feed on a wide variety of foods including: small crustaceans, small worms, algae, small insects and insect larvae. They are very hardy feeders and will quickly adjust to commercial aquarium foods.

Hobbyists should feed a variety of foods comprised of flake, frozen and freeze-dried foods designed for freshwater tropical omnivores. A mix of foods will help ensure that they receive all the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain a healthy immune system.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Von Rio Flame Tetra in the aquarium environment.

Von Rio Tetra are egg layers who reach sexual maturity at around 6 months of age. Hobbyists looking to breed them will want to establish a breeding group of 10 to 16 fish equally split between males and females. The breeding group should be kept in an aquarium in the 10 to 29 gallon range, with either live plants or a spawning mop in order to give them a place to deposit their eggs in a similar fashion as they would in nature.

In their natural habitat the Von Rio Tetra would while clasped together perform a roll-over breeding process in moderately dense vegetation in order to both deposit their eggs and fertilize them. This style of spawning works best in vegetation or spawning material that isn't too dense, as the fish need to be able to move about within the plants or spawning mop.

The tank should have more subdued lighting and the plants or spawning mops spread out in different areas of the tank in order to give the fish options on where to lay their eggs. Feedings should be kept small and consist of high quality frozen foods or live foods. Aquarium filtration for the breeding aquarium should consist of either a air powered sponge filter or a small power filter with a sponge over the intake tube. Lastly, the ideal water parameters for stimulating breeding in Von Rio Tetra is water that is soft and acidic, a pH around 5.5 to 6.5 and a water temperature between 80° F and 84° F.

After the fish have successfully spawned the adult fish should be removed from the breeding aquarium so that they do not eat the eggs or the fry when the hatch. The eggs will hatch within 24 to 36 hours, with the fry becoming free swimming in 3 to 4 days. The young fry are sensitive to bright lighting and poor water conditions, thus lower lighting and daily 25% partial water changes will greatly increase the chance of the fry reaching maturity. Be sure to use the water change process as an opportunity to remove any leftover foods that accumulate on the bottom of the aquarium so that they do not degrade the water quality.

New born fry should be fed micro foods like infusoria, brine shrimp nauplii or other similar items designed for newly hatched fry. The fry grow rapidly and will reach adulthood by 6 months of age, during which time the foods fed to them should increase in size as the fish grow. Baby brine, crushed flake foods or mico-worms make excellent food choices for young fish until they can eat traditional flake, frozen and freeze-dried foods.

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