Max Size: 2.5cm

Domino Tetra (Neolebias powelli)

The Domino Tetra is a very small peaceful, timid fish that is best suited to a well-planted or nano aquarium. These Tetras will fare much better in a species only aquarium; however, you can combine them with other micro Tetras, Killifish from the genus Aphyosemion and Dwarf Cichlids such as Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Dwarf Shrimp also make good tankmates for this fish. You should not maintain these fish alongside other species you typically find in a community aquarium; otherwise, they will be intimidated or outcompeted for food.

It would be best to keep these Tetras in a group of at least ten individuals, preferably more, as this is essential for this small fish's well-being.

Domino Tetras will thrive in an aquarium designed to resemble their natural habitat. The setup can include subdued lighting from floating plants, a dark substrate and multiple areas for shelters. Plant species that do not require much light, such as Java fern, Microsorium Pteropus or small species of Anubias, will be ideal for the aquarium.

Domino Tetras have a yellowish-orange body colouration that displays anything from 1 to 4 emerald green to iridescent turquoise spots. In addition, they also have orange colouration on the top half of their iris, and all their fins are transparent.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameNeolebias powelli
Other NamesPowell's Dwarf Tetra
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan1 - 2 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 20
KH0 - 8
72 - 78℉
22.2 - 25.6℃

Photos of the Domino Tetra

Domino Tetra

Natural Habitat

Domino Tetras are only found in the Niger Delta in Nigeria in West Africa, where they inhabit small bodies of moderately flowing water in creeks, streams and ponds with plenty of vegetation.

Unfortunately, the quality of the Domino Tetras habitat continues to decline due to oil exploration activities. As a result, Domino Tetras are considered critically endangered.

What to feed the Domino Tetra

In the home aquarium, the Domino Tetra will accept good-quality dried foods such as flake, pellets and granules of a small enough size. However, you should also provide your Tetras with daily meals of small live, freeze-dried and frozen food such as baby brine shrimp, Moina, daphnia and grindal worms, tubifex or bloodworms.

How to sex the Domino Tetra

It is somewhat difficult to differentiate between male and female Domino Tetras as they look almost identical. However, females usually have slightly more rounder bodies than males and are typically very marginally duller.

How to breed the Domino Tetra

Although there isn't much information available, Domino Tetras have been successfully bred in the home aquarium. In a well structured, mature aquarium, small numbers of fry may start to appear without human intervention.

It would be best to set up a separate breeding tank if you would like to increase the yield of the fry. The tank should be dimly lit and contain bundles of fine-leaved plants such as java moss. Spawning mops are also suitable and work very well. These mediums will give the fish somewhere to scatter their eggs. You could also cover the base 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.

You can spawn Domino Tetras in a group of half a dozen individuals containing both males and females. However, spawning should not bestow too many problems if you condition them with plenty of live and frozen foods.

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 needs to be 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. The couple should spawn the following day.

In both situations, the adults will consume the eggs if given a chance, so make sure you remove them as soon as you notice some.

The eggs will hatch in around 24 to 36 hours, and the fry will become free swimming about a week after that.

It would be better to feed the fry with infusoria type foods for the first couple of weeks until they are big enough to accept baby brine shrimp and microworms.

The fry is very sensitive to fluctuating chemistry, so it will be better to not perform any water changes during their first few weeks of life.

Other Tetras of interest

African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
Black Neon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
Black Phantom Tetra(Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 18/01/2022 09:39:14 - Updated: 18/01/2022 10:06:29