Ornate tetra

Aquarium fish: Ornate tetra (Hyphessobrycon bentosi)
Size: 4.5 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 24-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Ornate tetra (Hyphessobrycon bentosi) – a small, freshwater aquarium fish with characteristically decorated fins.In older literature it was described as Hyphessobrycon bentosi bentosi and H. ornatus .


Decorative swillers come from South America. The species lives in shallow coastal waters all over the Amazon.

Characteristics and disposition

Swifters are mobile fish with a social disposition to other species.

They grow up to about 4.5 cm in length. The males can be identified by the slightly larger anal and dorsal fins. They are also slightly larger, slender and slightly more intensely colored than the females. Fish living in shoals, therefore it is recommended to keep a larger group of mines. 6 individuals, preferably 10 or more.

They feel better in the herd and present much more effectively, especially when the males compete with each other, raising their fins. Often confused with the rose beetle (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus), which has white-edged anal and dorsal fins.

Nutrition and feeding

Not very picky fish, you can feed it with a dry mixture supplemented with frozen and live food.


Decorative swillers require an aquarium with dimensions of at least 60x30x30 cm, not too densely planted, to provide these gregarious fish with a large swimming space. Dark substrate recommended, not too bright lighting and moderate current.

Fish prefer soft, slightly acidic water. Their natural habitat is “black waters” – sandy bottom, roots, dry leaves. They are not the best company for larger and more vigorous fish (eg Scalar , Paletka). Good company will be cuirass ( panda cuirass ), microorganisms ( fringe, beckforda ), small cichlids ( Bolivian cichlid ), razbors ( razbora hengela ), dyes, some labyrinths.


If we want to raise more fry, we need to prepare a 30-liter spawning aquarium.

Shade the tank and place in it small-leaved plants, e.g. java moss. We can also use a mop and a net for the bottom. Suitable water temperature is 28-29 ° C. Filtering it through a peat filter or RO filter will help.

The water should be soft and acidic in the range of 5.5-6.5 pH and hardness 1-5 ° dGH. An air cube is enough to oxygenate the water. When breeding rapids in a group, it is advisable to keep the proportions, there is one male for each female. By breeding in pairs before the planned spawning, we separate males from females and for several days we feed them abundantly with live and frozen food. When the females will be fuller around the abdomen and the males will acquire more intense colors, select the thickest female and the most beautifully colored male and in the evening we transfer to the breeding aquarium.

Spawning usually takes place in the morning of the next day. Adult fish eat their eggs, therefore, after spawning is finished, catch them as soon as possible. Hatching lasts 1-2 days, after another 3-4 days the fry begin to swim in search of food. At the beginning we feed the fish with micro foods until they can eat Daphnia, bloodworm larvae, etc. Eggs and fry are very sensitive to light.


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