Flame tetra is a small freshwater fish, also known as Red Tetra or Rio Tetra. It belongs to the Characin family Characidae.
First introduced to aquariums in 1920 by C. Bruening in Germany, it was described scientifically by Dr. George S. Myers in 1924.
Today, many flame tetras are bred in captivity and are popular in the aquarium trade. However, their wild population in Southeast Brazil faces threats.
In 1978, Cuba made a postal stamp featuring this fish. Flame tetras form schools with competitive alpha males.
Their diet consists of small insects, worms, and plants.
In an aquarium setting, keep them in groups of at least five and provide a minimum tank size of 60 cm (24 inches).
You can check out what this fish looks like over here.
Flame Tetra Interesting Facts
- Flame tetras, also known as Red tetras or Rio tetras, were first introduced to aquariums in 1920 and are popular pets today.
- These fish prefer slow-moving streams with sandy bottoms and live in schools with competitive alpha males.
- Their diet consists of insects, worms, and plants; females lay 200-330 eggs on rocks, plants, or debris for fertilization.
- In captivity, they need a minimum tank size of 60 cm (24 inches) and thrive in groups of at least five individuals.
Flame Tetra Habitat
Flame tetras are tropical fish native to South America, specifically Brazil.
They live in streams and coastal rivers near Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay basin, middle Rio Paraíba do Sul basin, Rio Guandu basin, and upper Rio Tietê drainage (upper Rio Paraná basin in São Paulo).
These fish live in slow-moving streams with dark-brown or clear water and sandy bottoms, often shaded by forests.
They prefer habitats with plants and shallow waters up to 50 cm deep. However, they may be extinct in the wild.
These fish prefer freshwater environments with a pH level between 5.8 to 7.8 and water hardness between 5 to 25 dH.
They like temperatures between 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C), and swim close to the bottom of their habitat (benthopelagic).
|Water Temperature:||72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C)|
|Water pH:||5.8 to 7.8 pH|
|Water Hardness:||5 to 25 dH|
Flame Tetra Physical Characteristics
Size: 1.0 inch (2.6 centimeters)
Flame Tetra is a small fish, reaching a maximum length of 1.0 inches (2.6 centimeters).
This fish has 11 to 12 dorsal soft rays, 24 to 29 anal soft rays, and 31 to 32 vertebrae.
It stands out from other similar species by having two vertical elongated humeral spots and no caudal peduncle blotch.
Some of the other features that distinguish flame tetras from related species are:
- They have 5 to 8 maxillary teeth.
- Their caudal fin is clear (hyaline).
- Both their humeral spots are easily seen, and there’s no dark longitudinal stripe.
- They have 5 or 6 scale rows between the lateral line and the pelvic-fin origin.
Flame Tetra Reproduction
Flame tetras are oviparous, which means they reproduce by laying eggs.
Females lay about 200 to 330 eggs on rocks, plants, or submerged debris.
Males then release sperm to fertilize the eggs. Eggs hatch within 2 to 3 days.