Pristella maxillaris

Aquarium fish: Pristella maxillaris (Pristella maxillaris)
Size: 4 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 22-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Pristella maxillaris (Pristella maxillaris) – a small, freshwater aquarium fish from the tetras family.


Prystelka Barwna lives in densely covered, mostly marshy waters in Venezuela, Guyana and the Brazilian Amazon basin.

Characteristics and disposition

One of the most popular Tetras. Reaches 4.5 cm in length. The fish are characterized by a tricolor spot on the dorsal fin.

The differences between the sexes are hardly visible. Males are usually a bit slender, and their swim bladder when viewed against the light is more pointed than in females. Adult females are usually slightly larger and fuller around the belly. There is also a breeding variety of gold and albino. Color Prystlets are gentle, gregarious fish that swim in the middle parts of the aquarium.

The species is recommended especially for beginner aquarists, due to its durability, price and availability in stores. In a larger group, fish feel much better and exhibit more interesting behavior. The recommended minimum is 6 pieces.

Nutrition and feeding

Fish can be given small live, frozen and dry food, regularly supplemented with green food.


The flock of Prystelek requires an aquarium with dimensions of at least 60x30x30cm, densely planted in places, with a large swimming space.

The fish look most attractive in the tank with dim lighting and dark ground. They can be kept in a social aquarium with smaller, quiet species such as cichlids, cuiras, armors, microorganisms, tetras, barbs and other tetras.


Fish are fairly easy to breed, but rearing fry may be difficult. A spawning tank with dimensions of 45x25x25cm, dimly lit, in which we place clumps of plants with delicate leaves, e.g. java moss, is required.

Alternatively, we can use artificial mops and cover the bottom with a mesh with fine meshes. The water should be soft and acidic in the range of pH 5.5-6.5, dGH 1-5 ° and temperature approx. 28 ° C. Filtering the water through peat or using an RO filter will help. A small sponge filter is sufficient for aeration and filtration.

Prystlets can be bred in larger groups while maintaining the female to male ratio – 1: 1. We feed the fish abundantly with live and frozen food and soon we will have offspring. As soon as we observe eggs, we catch the adults. In a densely overgrown aquarium, we can leave eggs and catch hatched fry. However, it is best to breed fish in pairs.

We are raising many more young people in this way. In this method, males should be separated from females and fed abundantly with animal foods. When the females appear fuller around the abdomen and the males are more intensely colored, we choose the thickest female and the most beautiful male and transfer them to the breeding aquarium in the evening. Spawning usually takes place in the morning of the next day. If we do not observe fry for a few days, we try it with another couple.

Adults eat their eggs, so after a successful spawning, they should be caught immediately. Hatching occurs within 24-36 hours. The young begin to swim freely after the next 3-4 days. We feed the fry with micro foods until they can eat larger foods. Both the roe and the fry are very light sensitive.


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