Fire Ant Tetra (Hyphessobrycon myrmex)
The Fire Ant Tetra is a relatively new species, only discovered in 2017. These Tetras are a truly unique South American characin that exhibits sexual dichromatism.
Fire Ant Tetras may be kept in a community aquarium; however, due to their small size and timid nature, you should only keep them alongside other small, small Characins.
Fire Ant Tetras are a schooling species in nature; therefore, it would be best to keep these fish in a group of 10 or more individuals for their comfort and overall appearance. In addition, keeping these Tetras in more significant numbers will give your aquarium a more natural-looking display.
Fire Ant Tetras can be kept in either a heavily planted nano aquarium or a standard South American river biotope setup. The aquarium should have a sandy substrate, dense planting, leaf litter and driftwood branches and roots placed in a way that will form many shady spots. Floating plants will also help subdue the light to make them feel less nervous.
The males of the Fire Ant Tetras have a reddish-orange body colour that becomes less intense towards the dorsal fin. The male's head is mostly red with silver pigmentation and an orange Jaw.
The dorsal portion of their eye is intensely orange, and the anterior margin is light orange, and the posterior margin is silver. All their fins are intensely orange to red, except for the dorsal fin, which is hyaline, with a few orange specs at the base of the last three to four branched dorsal-fin rays.
In contrast, the females and the juvenile Fire Ant Tetras bodies are a pale yellow colour. The female's head is also pale yellow, and their jaw is a light yellow. Their eyes are silvery with a yellowy-orange pigmentation. The adipose and dorsal fins are light yellow, and the remaining fins are pale orange.
Both male and female Fire Ant Tetras exhibit a dark lateral stripe down their sides and above their caudal fins.
|Scientific Name||Hyphessobrycon myrmex|
|Other Names||Ant Tetra|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 15|
|TDS||36 - 179|
|72 - 82℉|
22.2 - 27.8℃
In the home aquarium, the Fire Ant Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.
Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.
It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.
This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.
It is super easy to differentiate between male and female Fire Ant Tetras. Adult males are usually darker and more brightly coloured than females. In addition, the adult males anal fin is straight to slightly concave, whereas the female's anal fin is always concave. In contrast, the females are usually much lighter and not as vibrantly coloured as males.