Hyphessobrycon flammeus – Flame Tetra
Meyers described the Flame Tetra in 1924 and gave them their scientific name Hyphessobrycon flammeus. The family name Hyphessobrycon consists of two parts: brycon is old Greek and can be translated into biter, hyphesson means a little smaller. Combined it means something like small biter. The species name flammeus means flaming a reference to the red colour of this specie.
Hyphessobrycon flammeus can reach a total length of around 4 centimeters. Their back is grey/blue, their flanks are shiny yellow at the front which transforms in red towards their tail. Their belly is whitish and behind their gill plates you can find two vertical shoulder marks. The Flame Tetra has roughly the shape of a club and is laterally flattened. Their anal fin extends beyond their dorsal fin.
Rio de Janeiro, South America.
This species needs an aquarium with plenty of free swimming space. Put some dense planting around the edges so they can take cover when needed. A dark substrate brings out their colour better. Also dimmed lighting or some floating plants like Pistia stratiotes or Limnobium laevigatum to provide some shades will be beneficial to their colouration.
The Flame Tetra does not like to swim in fast flowing water. Make sure the water is flowing slowly.
Temperature: 20 – 24 degrees Celsius
pH: 6 – 7,5
GH: 4 – 12
In the wild the fish have to deal with fluctuating temperatures. Keeping the fish for long times at their minimum or maximum advised temperatures can shorten their lifespan.
Hyphessobrycon flammeus are omnivorous, they will eat black mosquito larvae, cyclops, daphnia, flakes, small granules etc. Feeding them Daphnia will bring up their nice red colours. Make sure to provide a variety of foods to keep them healthy and colourful.
The Flame Tetra is a true schooling fish and should be kept together with plenty of conspecifics, if so you will have peaceful, colourful species. If you keep them in a too small a school they can become aggressive. Keep them in a school of minimum 6 to 8 specimen. They can reach an age of 3 to 5 years. You can find them mainly in the middle of the water.
Breeding Hyphessobrycon flammeus – Flame Tetra
If you want to keep the fry alive it is best to breed them in a separate breeding tank. To prepare the parents for spawning you can set up a dimly lit tank. Add lots of fine leaved plant or spawning mops. Between the leaves or spawning mop strings they will deposit the eggs. pH should be around 5.5 to 6.0 for the eggs to hatch. DH should be very low at DH 1 to 5 and a temperature between 26 to 28 degrees Celsius.
To make sure the females are full of eggs keep them apart from the males. This will increase the number of eggs.
The eggs hatch after 24 tot 36 hours. Three tot four days after hatching the wrigglers will start to swim free. The parents will eat the eggs and fry, remove them after spawning. The only take really small foods like infusoria, freshly hatched brine shrimp and powdered flakes.
Also see the article Breeding Hyphessobrycon flammeus.
Coby – Rikpad
John de Lange