Maximum size : 4 cm

Coffee Bean Tetra - Hyphessobrycon takasei : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Coffee Bean Tetra (Hyphessobrycon takasei) is a stunning and moderately rare addition to the aquarium hobby, making them highly sought after. These peaceful shoaling fish are ideally suited for mature soft water aquariums, and to maximize their comfort and safety, it's advisable to keep them in groups of six or more individuals. Doing so not only boosts their sense of security but also results in a more natural and effective shoal appearance.

When selecting tankmates for Coffee Bean Tetras, it's crucial to choose small and peaceful species that won't intimidate them. Ideal tankmates may include small Dwarf Cichlids, Corydoras catfish, some of the smaller Suckermouth Catfish, and Pencilfish.  Although these Tetras still come with a relatively high price tag, they are currently being bred in large numbers in Europe, making them more readily available in the trade.  

For an optimal habitat for Coffee Bean Tetras, it is advisable to establish an aquarium with well-aged water enriched with ample driftwood to create shaded environments. The gradual release of tannins from the driftwood contributes to the acidification of the water, imparting a natural, translucent tea-coloured hue. Augmenting these effects, peat filtration can further assist in achieving the desired water parameters.

Although the natural aquatic habitat of this species is not characterized by an abundance of aquatic vegetation, a modest introduction of aquatic plants can enhance the fish's sense of security and overall well-being. Care should be taken to maintain subdued lighting, with tannins and floating plants serving to diffuse brighter illumination. The selection of darker substrate and background elements will accentuate the vivid and captivating colours of these aquatic inhabitants.

Under appropriate lighting, the Coffee Bean Tetra exhibits a pale body ranging from almost white to pale orange with a hint of blue iridescence. This Tetra derives its name from the large black oval mark behind the gill plate shaped like a coffee bean. Additionally, a yellow-coloured dark spot is visible on the dorsal fin, while its pelvic fins are yellow, the anal fin is orange, and the caudal fin is yellow. Finally, a dark vertical stripe marks their eyes, accentuating their captivating appearance.

Coffee Bean Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Coffee Bean Tetras is a relatively simple process. Males are discernibly smaller and more slender in appearance than their female counterparts. In contrast, females have a more robust build and exhibit more rounded body contours than their male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon takasei
Year Described1964
Other NamesNone
OriginsBrazil , Guyana
Max Size4 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.5 - 7.5
GH 10-25
Ideal Temperature
75 - 82
23 - 27

Natural Habitat

The Coffee Bean Tetra is indigenous to the Araguari River basin in north-eastern Brazil and the Rio Oyapock River system in French Guiana, South America. These fascinating creatures are perfectly adapted to thrive in slow-moving waters stained with tannins from driftwood in floodplain lakes and rivers, where the presence of vegetation is minimal. These habitats provide a unique environment that supports the growth and survival of the Coffee Bean Tetra. In addition, their natural surroundings imbue them with remarkable qualities and characteristics that make them genuinely remarkable specimens.


The Coffee Bean Tetra, a notable egg-scattering free spawner, exhibits no parental care during breeding. However, in the presence of optimal conditions, adult fish in good health may spawn in a community tank, which may result in the emergence of small fry numbers. For those desiring a substantial quantity of fry, a separate breeding tank is a necessity.

The breeding tank should have dim lighting, with a base featuring mesh or bundles of fine-leaved plants like java moss to safeguard the eggs from the adults. The water should be slightly acidic or neutral, soft, and maintained at a temperature ranging between 79 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Dedicated lighting is unnecessary as eggs and fry can be sensitive to light. When breeding Coffee Bean Tetras, pairing them or forming small groups is advisable. Upon spawning, it's imperative to remove the adults, lest they consume the eggs.

These Tetras are known to lay up to several hundred eggs. After hatching, the fry will feed on their yolk sacs for a short duration before becoming free-swimming. At this stage, providing microscopic foods like infusoria and Paramecium is essential. As the fry continues to develop, offering microworm or baby brine shrimp is advisable.

Diet & feeding

The Coffee Bean Tetra, a versatile fish species, is highly receptive to various forms of sustenance. While they are willing to consume different types of food, it's crucial to provide them with a balanced diet consisting of high-quality dried foods such as micropellets, flakes, and granules, coupled with live and frozen alternatives such as vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, daphnia, and brine shrimp. To promote optimal health and vitality in Coffee Bean Tetras, it's advisable to feed them once or twice daily, providing only what they can consume within a span of three minutes or less. This feeding regimen helps to ensure that they receive the necessary nutrients without overfeeding, which can be detrimental to their well-being.

Other Tetras of interest