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Maximum size : 10 cm

Golden Mascara Tetra - Cyphocharax multilineatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Prepare to be captivated by the exquisite allure of the Golden Mascara Tetras (Cyphocharax multilineatus) adorned with their strikingly handsome appearance and remarkable resilience. While renowned for their peaceful and non-territorial nature, it's worth noting that these fascinating creatures may occasionally exhibit displays of aggression towards other species. Therefore, optimal companionship for these tetras can be achieved through the companionship of either a pair or a harmonious group.

A key consideration when caring for Golden Mascara Tetras is to provide them with ample space to gracefully navigate their relatively large size within the aquarium. These majestic tetras revel in an environment abundant with flourishing vegetation, encompassing a variety of aquatic plants, marsh plants, and the graceful branches and roots of driftwood. To further elevate the immersive experience, adding dried leaf litter releases enchanting tannins, creating a stunning blackwater effect reminiscent of their natural habitat.

Behold the awe-inspiring visage of the Golden Mascara Tetras, characterized by a greyish body with a mesmerizing greenish tint that intensifies along the dorsal region and the regal head. The caudal peduncle of these tetras is elegantly rounded, accentuated by a distinguished dark blotch. Intriguingly, their dorsal and lateral surfaces proudly showcase a captivating pattern of horizontal stripes composed of prominent dark spots adorning the centre of each scale. Delighting the observer, the lower surface of their head radiates a silvery-white hue, harmoniously complemented by a relatively broad longitudinal dark stripe that gracefully stretches from the snout to the posterior region of their expressive eyes.

Golden Mascara Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Golden Mascara Tetras poses a significant challenge due to their strikingly similar physical characteristics. Nonetheless, a noticeable feature can be observed in females when they reach a state of readiness to spawn. At this stage, the females will exhibit a slightly plumper body shape, reflecting the presence of mature eggs within their abdominal region.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCyphocharax multilineatus
Year Described1927
Other NamesStriped Characin, Golden Curimata
OriginsBrazil Venezuela
Max Size10 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asPairs
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH8 - 20
72 - 80
22 - 26

Natural Habitat

Embark on a captivating journey to the pristine waterways of Brazil and Venezuela in South America, where the alluring Golden Mascara Tetra reigns supreme. Found exclusively in the beautiful Upper Negro River in Brazil and Venezuela, as well as the upper reaches of the illustrious Orinoco River in Venezuela, these tetras have established their aquatic realm within these remarkable regions.

Thriving amidst the tranquil embrace of moderately flowing currents, these tetras elegantly navigate the shallow depths of the crystal-clear blackwaters that gracefully meander through streams and rivers. The substrate beneath their graceful fins consists of fine sand and submerged rocks, providing an ideal environment for their vibrant existence. Moreover, these enchanting habitats boast a flourishing array of aquatic vegetation, further enhancing the mesmerizing allure of the Golden Mascara Tetra's aquatic domain.


Regrettably, there exists a shortage of available information regarding the breeding process of the esteemed Golden Mascara Tetra. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to infer that their reproductive behaviour aligns with that of other species within the Characin family. A separate breeding tank is imperative to successfully breed these tetras, boasting soft, acidic water, subdued lighting, and a profusion of lush vegetation. Utilizing spawning mops as a conducive medium for egg deposition proves to be highly effective. Additionally, it is advisable to incorporate a mesh with appropriately sized gaps, allowing the eggs to descend to the tank bottom while safeguarding them from the parents' reach.

Facilitating the spawning process necessitates the introduction of live food into the breeding tank, effectively stimulating the desired behaviour. The readiness of the female to spawn becomes evident as she becomes more active, traversing the tank with heightened vigour. Promptly transferring her to the breeding tank is advised. Subsequently, introduce one or two of the healthiest and most vibrant males, whose presence will encourage the female to release her eggs by nudging her gently. The female will scatter her eggs onto available plants or spawning mops, with some potentially descending to the tank bottom. The diligent male will expeditiously fertilize the eggs.

Upon completion of the spawning process, it is crucial to remove the adult fish, as they are prone to consuming the eggs if given the opportunity and display no further parental involvement. In addition, to ensure the well-being of the developing eggs and fry, it is recommended to dim the lights, as they exhibit heightened sensitivity to luminosity. The eggs are anticipated to hatch within approximately 24 to 36 hours, contingent upon the prevailing temperature. The newly hatched fry will initially rely on their yolk sac for sustenance. Subsequently, around four to five days after hatching, they will commence free-swimming and can be nourished with infusoria, particularly rotifers, to support their continued growth and development.

Diet & feeding

The Golden Mascara Tetras exhibit an omnivorous feeding behaviour in their natural habitat, encompassing crustaceans, small invertebrates, and an algae diet. However, within the confines of a home aquarium, these Tetras can sustain themselves on a nourishing regimen primarily composed of high-quality dried sustenance, including pellets, flakes, and granules, with particular attention given to products that incorporate algae content. Nevertheless, akin to the dietary preferences of most fish, these tetras thrive when provided with a diverse culinary repertoire that encompasses live, frozen, and freeze-dried offerings.

To ensure the optimal health and vibrant colouration of your tetras, consider supplementing their diet with nutritionally rich options such as Mysis Shrimp, mosquito larvae, daphnia, bloodworm, Moina, and brine shrimp. This varied menu not only caters to their nutritional requirements but also contributes to their overall well-being. In addition, including live and frozen sustenance serves as a means to support their health and promote the development of radiant pigmentation, enhancing the visual allure of these captivating tetras.

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