Black Line Tetra (Hyphessobrycon scholzei) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Black Line Tetra is a very peaceful species that makes an excellent member of the community aquarium and will get along with most species of fish. However, they will not compete well with very boisterous or much larger tankmates.
The Black Line Tetras are quite hardy so are therefore suitable for the beginner aquarist. These fish are a sociable schooling fish so you should house them with six or more of their species.
The Black Line Tetras ideally should not be kept in an aquarium with soft plants as they will happily consume them so if you do require plants, it is recommended you only buy hard plants for this fish.
The Black Line Tetras primary body colouring is silver that displays an obvious defined black line that moves horizontally along the middle of the body hence the name. This fish also has a dark splotch visible on the tail fin, but all other fins are transparent.
|Scientific Name||Hyphessobrycon scholzei|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||72 - 82 ℉ (22.2 - 27.8 ℃)|
Natural Habitat of the Black Line Tetra
The Black Line Tetra is endemic to the Lower Amazon River basin in Paraguay and southern Brazil in South America. They inhabit small and shallow clean, clear to brownish streams, rivers and tributaries that have a slow-flowing current and are heavily vegetated. Their substrate is usually sandy.
Other Tetras of interest
In the home aquarium, the Black Line Tetras will readily except high quality dried food such as flakes and granules. Still, they would fair better if you also offer them live and frozen fare such as bloodworm, daphnia, mosquito larvae and Moina.
Sexing the Black Line Tetra
Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to differentiate male from female Black Line Tetras. However, sexually mature females tend to be slightly larger and noticeably deeper-bodied than that of the males.
Breeding the Black Line Tetra
Ideally, it would be better if you prepared a separate breeding tank with a low level of light and mature water as well as plenty of plants. Spawning mops will work just as well. It would be better if you also conditioned the breeding pairs with plenty of live or frozen food such as bloodworm or mosquito larvae this will help to encourage reproduction.
When the female is ready to spawn, you will notice her swimming more actively around the tank, and the males bumping into her. The female will then swim amongst the plants, scattering her eggs as a male swims behind or alongside her fertilising the eggs. Typically when the females lay their eggs, they will attach them to plants. Some eggs may drop to the bottom of the tank. Females may lay up to 800 eggs during a single spawning.
When the female has stopped scattering her eggs, and the male has fertilised them it is then advisable to remove the adults from the breeding tank because they will have nothing more to do with the eggs and they may consume them if given a chance.
It would be better if you kept the lights off and the tank dark as Tetra eggs and fry are especially susceptible to the light.
Generally, the eggs will hatch in a day or two depending on the condition of the water and the temperature then three to four days after that the fry will become free-swimming. After the first week or so, you may gradually start to increase the lighting.
The newly hatched fry will firstly feed on their yolk sac but, once they have consumed their yolk sack and once they become free-swimming you can provide them with infusoria or rotifers.