The serpae tetra, scientific name Hyphessobrycon eques, also referred to as jewel tetra or callistus tetra, is a species of tropical freshwater fish of the characin family (family Characidae) of order Characiformes.
Serpae Tetra profile
It is native to the Amazon River drainage in Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, and northern Argentina.
The fish could be present in sluggish shifting or nonetheless backwater together with, ponds, small lakes, and streams.
In the wild, it types aggregations round vegetation and tree roots and thrives when the water temperature is 22-27 °C (72-82 °F).
The Serpae Tetra is a brightly colored, enticing tropical freshwater fish that’s a favorite with many aquarists.
These fish are very straightforward to look after, making them a great selection for the newbie who desires a small, long-lived fish that’s hardy, tolerant of a range of water situations, and straightforward to breed.
Serpae tetras are popular flame-colored fish that transfer in vibrant red colleges by way of your aquarium. They’re fairly popular in a community aquarium due to their magnificence and ease of care, although they’ll grow to be mildly aggressive when amongst slow-moving species.
Add a school of six or more serpae tetras to your aquarium together with crops, rocks, and caves to maintain them, and luxuriate in watching as they discover.
Serpae Tetra Distribution
As at the moment understood (see beneath) H. eques has an unlimited distribution all through a lot of the Amazon drainage in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia plus the Río Paraguay in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, the higher a part of which is linked to the Amazon by way of the rio Guaporé.
The type locality is ‘Villa Bella, Obidos’, referring to the city of that name on the Amazon river in Pará state, Brazil, positioned between Santarém and Oriximiná.
Wild populations range in color pattern relying on origin, particularly within the fins plus the size and form of the humeral spot, and a few populations have beforehand been described as species in their very own right.
Serpae tetras originate within the Amazon basin, inhabiting the Guaporé and Paraguay River basins in Argentina, Brazil, and higher Paraguay. Most specimens at the moment offered within the aquarium commerce are captive bred quite than wild-caught; the species isn’t endangered.
In the wild, this species prefers nonetheless and slow-moving backwaters resembling lakes, ponds, and streams. They typically congregate around tree roots and thick vegetation the place they’ll discover each security and meal.
This species is a part of a gaggle often called the blood tetras, referring to their red coloration. Considerable confusion and debate have continued over species inside this group, as they’ve sturdy similarities.
Serpaes are similar to, however not identical with, Hyphessobrycon swegles, additionally referred to as the red phantom tetra.
Serpae Tetra Appearance
Serpae tetras are deep-bodied fishes with the same old tetra form. The body is long, flat, and oval-shaped, and the fish reaches an average size of round 1.5 inches at maturity.
The body coloration is a surprising, deep reddish shade that flashes like a gemstone beneath aquarium lighting. There’s a big comma-shaped black spot located simply behind the fish’s gills.
The dorsal fin is principally black tipped with white, and the opposite finnage is red. The anal fin has a splash of white on the main tip and is edged with black.
Something to be careful for when buying the Callistus tetra are fishes that seem light in shade, which is an indication of getting old on this species and is very noticeable within the black mark behind the gills.
If you wish to breed your fish, you must intention to purchase a combination of women and men. Female tetras are typically fatter and fewer brightly colored than males.
Behavior and Compatibility
H. eques is infamous as an aggressive community inhabitant with a repute for nipping the fins of tankmates though this behavior tends to be most pronounced when inadequate numbers are bought or the house is restricted.
It’s a gregarious species forming unfastened hierarchies, with rival males regularly battling with one another for feminine consideration and positioning inside the group.
A gaggle of a minimum of 8-10 specimens needs to be thought of as the minimal requirement since this will increase the chance that the fish will likely be distracted by one another quite than their tankmates however will lead to a more efficient, natural-looking display.
Males will even present higher coloration within the presence of conspecific rivals.
That mentioned it’s comparatively boisterous and doesn’t make a perfect companion for very shy, slow-moving, or long-finned fishes resembling many livebearers, cichlids, and anabantoids.
Robust fishes inhabiting comparable biotopes in nature, particularly comparably-sized, open water-dwelling characids maybe represent the very best selections however different potential choices embrace gasteropelecids, lebiasinids, smaller callichthyid or loricariid catfishes, and a few small-to-medium-sized cichlids.
If geography isn’t a problem many rainbowfishes and cyprinids are additionally appropriate, however, you should definitely analyze your selections completely before purchase.
Serpae Tetra Diet and Feeding
In their natural atmosphere, serpae tetras eat small stay meals resembling bugs, invertebrates, and worms. In the aquarium, they may settle for just about any meals fairly readily, together with flake, pellet, freeze-dried, and frozen meals.
To maintain them in prime situation and produce out their colors, feed a great number of meals sorts, together with stay meals when obtainable.
Serpae Tetra Colors and Markings
The deep red shade of the serpae tetra provides to its recognition. The body of the serpae is flat and tall. A black comma-shaped spot is present simply behind the gills.
The dorsal fin, edged with white, is predominantly black, and all different fins are red. The anal fin is edged in black with a splash of white on the main tip.
These colors fade because the fish ages, significantly the spot behind the gills. Females are plumper and fewer brilliantly colored than their male counterparts. In captivity, long-finned variations have been produced.
Serpae Tetra In the aquarium
Serpae tetras want water temperatures starting from 72–79 °F (22–26 °C). They will typically do higher and exhibit their finest colors in tender, neutral to barely acidic water.
As with some other education fish, they thrive in giant teams and need to be saved in colleges of a minimum of six fish. The tank needs to be well-planted, offering shelter and hiding spots.
Common to those fish is a ‘sputtering’ or ‘twitching’ type of swimming, during which their actions appear more spastic versus different fish.
Instead of swimming easily or for long distances at a time, Serpae Tetras transfer in comparatively brief spurts, except confused. This is their regular behavior and by itself need not alarm aquarists.
If any aggression is seen within the fish, it’s normally amongst conspecifics, particularly if they’re saved in giant teams the place they’ll set up a pecking order (a behavior much like Puntius tetrazona).
Serpae tetras could be delicate to poor water high quality so that you’ll need to make use of a high-quality filtration system that doesn’t create an excessive amount of circulating because the species prefers sluggish water.
The water temperature needs to be between 72o to 82o with a pH within the range of 5.5 to 7.5 and hardness between 5 and 20 dGH. These tetras are a freshwater species and can’t tolerate a brackish atmosphere.
Water high quality
The Serpae Tetra is simple to look after, though you could maintain the water clear.
Decomposing natural matter causes the degrees of dangerous nitrates and phosphates to extend, and water evaporation can affect the water hardness.
For that cause, you’ll need to hold out 25% to 50% water modifications each different week.
Serpae Tetra Tankmates
The serpae tetra is mostly thought of as a peaceable fish and may at all times be saved in colleges of a half dozen or more. However, in smaller teams, they’ve been identified to nip fins, aggression that’s most frequently directed at its personal type, particularly throughout feeding occasions.
Ideal tankmates embrace different lively fish of comparable or bigger size, resembling barbs, danios, and bigger tetras. Bottom-dwelling catfish and loaches are additionally appropriate tankmates.
Avoid retaining this species with fish that have long, flowing fins or which are slow-moving, resembling angelfish or bettas. Also, keep away from retaining them with smaller species of fish as they might get harassed.
Serpae tetras are more than likely to point out aggression at feeding time; place meals at a number of areas or use a number of feeding rings to assist cut back nipping at feeding time.
Serpae Tetra Habitat and Care
The serpae tetra is most at a house in an Amazon habitat. In nature, this fish is accustomed to quiet waters with roots and natural particles. Using peat or blackwater extract helps mimic any such tender, acid water.
A dark-colored substrate is finest, with considerably subdued lighting. Leave an open swimming house with driftwood, crops, and décor across the edges to offer hiding locations.
Keep the water motion sluggish inside the tank. Though serpae tetras are straightforward to look after, they aren’t beneficial for a newly set-up tank, as they’re delicate to modifications in water parameters.
Differences between the sexes are slight and most obvious when serpaes are able to spawn. Males are more brightly colored and slimmer, and the dorsal fin is totally black.
In females, the dorsal fin is paler. Females are additionally fuller within the body, even when not spawning.
Serpae Tetra Breeding
Serpae tetras are comparatively straightforward to breed as pairs or in teams of roughly an equal variety of women and men. The key to profitable breeding is to arrange a tank with the right habitat for spawning and subsequent grow-out of the fry.
Set up a small tank with the dark-colored substrate, very dim lighting, and spawning mops or fine-leaved crops, resembling java moss or Myriophyllum.
The water needs to be very tender, no more than 6 to eight dGH, and pH roughly 6.0. Provide mild filtration, resembling an air-driven sponge filter. Keep the water around 80 F (27 C).
Condition the spawning pair with quite a lot of meals, together with stay meals if possible. Males will grow to be more colorful and females will grow to be noticeably plump when able to spawn.
Eggs will likely be scattered over the crops or spawning mop. Once the eggs have been laid, take away the adults as they may devour the eggs. Turn off all lighting within the tank, because the eggs are extremely delicate to light.
In one to 2 days the eggs will hatch, after which they may feed on their yolk sack for a number of days. Once they’re free swimming, they may feed on infusoria and freshly hatched brine shrimp.
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This species of tetra is a really hardy species that doesn’t typically endure from any particular illnesses. That mentioned these fish can grow to be confused very simply if the water’s high quality within the aquarium is poor.
Stress lowers the animal’s autoimmune system, making the fish more prone to frequent fish illnesses, resembling Ich, pores and skin flukes, and bacterial infections. Learn more about angler-fish-predators.