Coffee Bean Tetra (Hyphessobrycon takasei) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Coffee Bean Tetra is moderately rare in the aquarium hobby. These Tetras are a peaceful shoaling species, ideal for mature softwater aquariums. It is recommended to keep the Coffee Bean Tetras in groups of 6 or more individuals as this will not only make the fish feel more secure but will result in a far more natural-looking and effective shoal.
Coffee Bean Tetra tankmates should also be small and peaceful, as these fish are easily intimidated by bigger or more boisterous species. Ideal tankmates could include small Dwarf Cichlids, Corydoras catfish, some of the smaller Suckermouth Catfish and Pencilfish. Coffee Bean Tetras still have a pretty high price tag, but they are currently being bred in large numbers in Europe and becoming more readily available in the trade.
The Coffee Bean Tetras body is quite pale; however, it can vary from almost white to pale orange with a hint of blue iridescence under the appropriate light. There is a significant black oval mark on the flanks behind the gill plate shaped like a coffee bean which is how this Tetra gets its common name. The dorsal fin also displays a dark spot with yellow colouration below it. The pelvic fins are yellow, and the anal fin is pale orange, and the caudal fin is also a pale yellow. There is a dark vertical stripe that runs through their eyes.
|Scientific Name||Hyphessobrycon takasei|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||75 - 82 ℉ (23.9 - 27.8 ℃)|
|PH||5.5 - 7.5|
Natural Habitat of the Coffee Bean Tetra
Coffee Bean Tetras are endemic to the Araguari river basin in north-eastern Brazil and the Rio Oyapock River system in the French Guiana in South America. They inhabit slow-moving waters stained with tannins from driftwood in floodplain lakes and rivers where there is hardly any plants or vegetation.
Other Tetras of interest
Coffee Bean Tetras will readily accept all kinds of food; however, offer them a varied diet of high quality dried foods such as micropellets, flakes and granules, as well as live and frozen fare such as vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, bloodworms, white mosquito larvae, daphnia and brine shrimp. It would be better to feed the Coffee Bean Tetras once or twice daily, providing only what they can consume within 3 minutes or less.
Sexing the Coffee Bean Tetra
It is pretty straightforward to differentiate male from female Coffee Bean Tetras. The males are slightly smaller and more slender than the females, whereas the females are more robust and have more rounded bodies than the males.
Breeding the Coffee Bean Tetra
The Coffee Bean Tetra is an egg-scattering free spawner, exhibiting no parental care. Adult fish in good condition may spawn in a community tank, and even small fry numbers may start to appear.
If you would like to raise a decent number of fry, you will require a separate breeding tank. The tank should be dimly lit, and the base needs to have some mesh or bundles of fine-leaved plants like java moss; this will protect the eggs from the adults.
Their water should be soft, slightly acidic or neutral, and the temperature should be between 79 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need to provide very gentle filtration through an air-driven sponge filter, and dedicated lighting will not be required as eggs and fry can be a little sensitive to light.
You can breed Coffee Bean Tetras in pairs or small groups; make sure you remove the adults after spawning; otherwise, they may consume the eggs. These Tetras can lay up to a few hundred eggs.
Once the eggs have hatched, the babies will feed on their yolk sacs for a short period. Once the babies become free-swimming, you will need to provide them with microscopic foods such as infusoria and Paramecium. As they develop, you should then offer them microworm or baby brine shrimp.