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Maximum size : 4 cm

Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetra - Hyphessobrycon paepkei : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras (Hyphessobrycon paepkei) are a coveted gem in the world of aquarium enthusiasts, known for their rarity and allure. In addition, these Tetras possess a peaceful nature, making them a delightful addition to any aquarist's collection. With their resilient disposition, they readily adapt to a range of water conditions, although it is important to note that very hard water may impede the full expression of their vibrant colours. To create an optimal environment for your Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras, a planted aquarium with a dark substrate and areas of subdued lighting will truly showcase their beauty and promote their overall well-being. While these Tetras are generally peaceful, it is essential to be mindful of their interactions with long-finned species, such as Fancy Guppies or Bettas, especially when kept in inadequate numbers. 

To ensure the thriving harmony of your Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras, it is recommended to maintain a group of six to eight individuals. A shoal of these captivating fish not only enhances their natural behaviour but also creates a visually stunning spectacle within your aquarium. In the presence of rival males, you may even witness spectacular displays of fin flaring, adding an enchanting dynamic to the aquatic realm. When considering suitable tankmates for your Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras, seek out other small and peaceful species that share similar temperament and size requirements. Corydoras Catfish, Hatchetfish, Rasboras, smaller Loricariidae, small to medium-sized Barbs, Anabantoids, and West African Dwarf Cichlids all make excellent companions. Additionally, due to their sleek form, these Tetras can coexist harmoniously with larger Cichlids, such as Angelfish and Discus. It is crucial, however, to avoid housing them with significantly larger or more boisterous species, as this may cause undue stress to these delicate creatures.

Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras is a relatively straightforward task. Males exhibit distinct physical characteristics that set them apart from females. They typically possess elongated dorsal and anal fins, which create a visually striking appearance. Furthermore, males tend to be larger in size, possess a leaner physique, and display more vibrant colours compared to their female counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon paepkei
Year Described2014
Other NamesNone
OriginsBrazil Brazil
Max Size4 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH1 - 12
75 - 82
23 - 27

Natural Habitat

Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras originate from the enchanting Rio Demini Basin, nestled in the verdant landscapes of Brazil in South America. These captivating Tetras thrive in the tranquil embrace of heavily vegetated forested areas, seeking solace under the protective canopy of plants and among submerged roots. Their natural habitat reveals a gentle, unhurried flow of water, adorned with the warm hues of yellowish-brown, as tannins and other mystical compounds seep from the decomposing organic tapestry. The resulting acidic waters offer a unique haven for these remarkable Tetras to call home.


A dedicated breeding tank is essential to breed Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras and maximise fry production successfully. Creating the optimal conditions in this specialised environment will greatly enhance the breeding process. Begin by ensuring the tank is dimly lit, providing a sense of seclusion for your fish. Next, introducing bundles of fine-leaved plants such as java moss or spawning mops will offer suitable surfaces for the fish to deposit their eggs. Another option is to cover the tank bottom with mesh, allowing the eggs to fall through while preventing adult fish from reaching them.

Water parameters play a crucial role in fostering a conducive breeding environment. Maintaining soft and acidic water is vital, with a pH level ranging between 5.5 and 6.5. The water hardness should be kept between 1 and 5, and a temperature of 80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended. Incorporating peat filtration and the use of reverse osmosis (RO) water can further contribute to the ideal breeding conditions. A small air-powered sponge filter is recommended to maintain water circulation, providing a gentle current without disrupting the delicate breeding process.

There are two approaches to spawning Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras. The first option involves grouping several males and females together in the breeding tank. Conditioning the fish with ample amounts of small live or frozen foods will promote successful spawning. Alternatively, you can opt for a pair spawning method. This involves conditioning the females and males separately in their respective tanks. Once the females exhibit prominent signs of egg development and the males display their most vibrant colours, carefully select the widest female and the male with the best colouration and transfer them into the breeding tank during the evening. The following morning, your fish should initiate the spawning process.

To safeguard the eggs from being consumed by the adults, separating them as soon as they are observed is imperative. Typically, the eggs will hatch within 24 to 36 hours, with the fry becoming free-swimming around five days later. Therefore, during the initial stages of their development, providing the fry with infusoria-type food is recommended until they reach a size suitable for consuming baby brine shrimp or microworms. Additionally, minimising exposure to light during this critical phase is crucial, maintaining a darkened environment whenever possible.

By creating an optimal breeding tank and following these guidelines, you can increase the chances of successfully breeding Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras and witness the marvel of new life unfolding.

Diet & feeding

Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras exhibit a versatile feeding behaviour and readily accepts a wide variety of food options. While they are not overly selective, providing them with a well-rounded diet to support their health and vibrant colours is essential. Therefore, offering a combination of high-quality dried foods, such as flakes, micropellets, and granules, is recommended. Additionally, incorporating live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods, such as white mosquito larvae, bloodworms, daphnia, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, will further enhance their nutritional intake. By providing this diverse range of food sources, you can ensure that your Gold Shoulder Rosy Tetras receive the essential nutrients they need to thrive in the aquarium.

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