Fire Green Tetra (Aphyocharax rathbuni) Species Profile & Care Guide
Green Fire Tetras are a popular and peaceful shoaling species that are perfect for peaceful community tanks or planted aquariums. It would be best if you kept them in groups of 8 or more individuals in a densely planted tank with fine gravel or sandy substrate as well as roots, driftwood or some river rock for them to hide in. Make sure they have plenty of swimming space.
Although these Tetras are known to be very peaceful, care should be taken when choosing tankmates. Make sure you choose faster moving and robust fish as this species has a reputation for fin nipping. Furthermore, it would be best if you avoided long-finned fish such as anabantoids and several Cichlid species.
Green Fire Tetras need a slightly acidic pH, consistent temperature, and although lighting is not essential, they do best in low light conditions. Tall background plants or some floating plants are ideal for bringing out their beautiful green colours.
Green Fire Tetras are slender, almost spindle-shaped species. They have a very distinctive translucent metallic greenish hue on their body, a metallic yellow streak and a red colour splash on the pelvic and caudal fins towards the anal fin region. These fish also have a black patch on the dorsal fin and a red to an orange underbelly.
|Scientific Name||Aphyocharax rathbuni|
|Other Names||Redflank Bloodfin|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||68 - 79 ℉ (20 - 26.1 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 7.5|
|GH||8 - 20|
|KH||4 - 8|
|TDS||36 - 357|
Natural Habitat of the Fire Green Tetra
The Green Fire Tetra can be found in the Paraguay river basin's clear waters as well as Parana and Uruguay river drainages in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in South America. They prefer slower-flowing streams, rivers and tributaries shaded by overhanging trees or floating vegetation in their natural habitat.
Other Tetras of interest
Green Fire Tetras are not fussy eaters and will accept most aquarium foods making them easy to feed. The only thing you need to take into account is the nutritional value of the food and its size, as these fish have small mouths and cannot consume larger-sized foods.
You should provide your Tetras with a varied diet of high quality dried food such as pellets, flakes and granules, as well as regular feedings of live, frozen or freeze-dried food such as daphnia, tubifex, bloodworms and brine shrimp.
Ensure you only feed your fish food they can consume within 3 minutes and remove any uneaten foods.
Sexing the Fire Green Tetra
It is somewhat straightforward to distinguish male from female Green Fire Tetras. Males are slender, more pointed and have white tips on their pelvic, dorsal and anal fins, as well as being slightly brighter coloured. In contrast, females lack the white tips and are generally more rounded in the abdomen than males, especially when they are in spawning condition.
Breeding the Fire Green Tetra
Green Fire Tetras are pretty straightforward to breed. You will need to set up a separate breeding tank with a pH of around 6.5, very soft water and a small air-driven sponge filter. You will also need to add plenty of fine-leaved plants such as Java Moss or Cambomba as the eggs are adhesive, and this will present the cover for them while spawning continues. Little to no lighting is required.
It would help to encourage spawning by conditioning the adults with plenty of live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworm. You will know when the females are ready to breed as their stomachs become noticeably plumper. Some aquarists recommend that you condition the males and females separately to ensure that spawning only occurs in the breeding tank.
Once you have placed the adults into the breeding tank, spawning is likely to occur within 24 hours, usually first thing in the morning. The female may produce anything up to 500 eggs.
The Eggs will usually hatch two to three days later, and they become free swimming 2 to three days after that. Once the babies have reached the free-swimming stage, you can then begin to feed them on infusoria type foods and once they get a little bigger, then move onto newly hatched brine shrimp and fine powdered foods and then bigger still provide them with the same foods as the adults. These fry develop quite quickly, as long as you perform water changes regularly.