Bucktooth Tetra (Exodon paradoxus)
The Bucktooth Tetra is unsuitable for a community aquarium and is better kept in a species only tank. It will continuously attack any silver-coloured or shiny tankmates, removing them of scales and fins very quickly. Even larger predatory species are not safe. However, scaleless and non-reflective fish are generally left alone.
You will need to house these fish in a large group; otherwise, they will pick one another off until only a single fish remains. In large shoals, they can target no individual, and it is usually only unhealthy or sick specimens that are killed, although you should still expect occasional losses.
The Bucktooth Tetra has an elongated light silvery-tanned transparent body and has two distinct black spots, one before the tail and another below the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin is bright red. The name of this Tetra is quite contradictory, considering Bucktooth Tetras show no signs of any actual teeth.
|Scientific Name||Exodon paradoxus|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Intermediate - Advanced|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|PH||5.5 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 20|
|72 - 82℉|
22.2 - 27.8℃
Bucktooth Tetras are native to Rio Branco, Guyana, Columbia, and the Amazon and Tocantins River Basins in South America. They inhabit floodplain lagoons and parts of rivers flowing through savannah-like grassland.
Flowing waters characterise these biotopes over sandy substrates. Here the Bucktooth Tetras congregate at the surface of the water. It is rare to find these Tetras anywhere that plant growth is abundant.
Other Tetras of interest
What to feed the Bucktooth Tetra
It would be best to feed the Bucktooth Tetra a varied diet compromising predominantly meaty foods such as chopped prawns, bloodworms, earthworms muscles and lancefish. If you are lucky, some individuals may even accept high-quality dried foods such as flakes, pellets, and granules. Make sure any tankmates are receiving enough food, as Bucktooth Tetras are rough and greedy feeders.
How to Sex the Bucktooth Tetra
It is pretty tricky to distinguish the males from females; however, mature males are slimmer than females and tend to have slightly elongated anal and dorsal fin rays.
How to Breed the Bucktooth Tetra
The Bucktooth Tetra is somewhat difficult to breed, although you will need to set up a separate breeding tank if you would like to boost the yield of fry.
The tank should be dimly lit and contain bunches of fine-leaved plants such as java moss. Spawning mops are also suitable. These mediums will give the fish somewhere to deposit their sticky eggs. You could also cover the bottom of the tank with some mesh. This mesh should have large enough holes so the eggs can fall through it but small enough so that the parents cannot reach them.
These Tetras can be spawned in a group, with half a dozen individuals of each sex being ideal. However, condition them with plenty of live and frozen foods and spawning should not bestow too many problems.
Alternatively, you can spawn them in pairs. Under this process, the fish are conditioned in female and male groups in separate tanks with a high-quality diet of frozen and live foods. The temperature is raised by a few degrees higher than usual in the main tank and somewhat acidic water.
When the females are gravid and the males present their best colours, pick the healthiest female and the best-coloured male and place them in the breeding tank. You can sometimes induce spawning by performing a massive 50 per cent water change with slightly warmer water than what's already in the tank.
In both situations, the adults will consume the eggs if given a chance to remove them as soon as you notice them.
The eggs will usually hatch in around two to three days. There is very little information about the fry's raising, but they will likely accept small live foods such as newly hatched brine shrimp.
There will probably be some cannibalism, so make sure you keep a close eye on the young as they develop and make sure you have several tanks ready to move the different sized fish into.