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Maximum size : 3.5 cm

Golden Tetra - Hyphessobrycon moniliger : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Golden Tetras (Hyphessobrycon moniliger) are exquisite and tranquil fish that add a touch of elegance to any aquarium. These remarkable Tetras, though somewhat rare, are a prized choice among aquarists seeking beauty and serenity. Whether housed in a nano tank or a community aquarium, Golden Tetras are versatile and adaptable, making them a delightful addition to any setup.

To ensure the well-being of Golden Tetras, it is essential to keep them in groups of six or more. This not only fosters a sense of security but also creates a captivating shoal that mirrors their natural behaviour. When selecting tankmates, choosing small and peaceful fish is crucial, as Golden Tetras can be easily intimidated by larger or more boisterous companions. Suitable tankmates may include fellow Characids of similar size, small Dwarf Cichlids, Pencilfish, Corydoras Catfish, and smaller Suckermouth Catfish.

Creating an environment that emulates their natural habitat is key to the thriving of Golden Tetras. An established and well-furnished aquarium provides a sense of comfort and security. The addition of a soft, sandy substrate, complemented by carefully arranged driftwood branches and roots, offers a perfect backdrop for their vibrant colours. Incorporating bogwood and providing ample shaded areas further enhances their habitat. Aquatic plants, including floating varieties, not only enhance the aesthetics but also contribute to the overall well-being of these Tetras.

To achieve a truly authentic environment, consider adding dried leaves such as oak or Indian almond. These not only provide a natural feel but also encourage the growth of beneficial microbe colonies. These microorganisms play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance within the aquarium, promoting the health and vitality of the Golden Tetras.

When it comes to their physical characteristics, Golden Tetras are a sight to behold. Sporting a light golden hue across their stomach region and head, their eyes shimmer in a captivating blend of light orange and red. A dark blotch adorns their caudal peduncle while their sides emanate a mesmerizing yellowish glow. The reddish-orange tip of their pelvic fin and anal fin adds a touch of vibrancy, beautifully contrasting with the whitish-grey caudal and dorsal fins. Some individuals even boast reddish dorsal, caudal, and anal fins, adding a touch of individuality to their already captivating appearance.

In conclusion, Golden Tetras are a true treasure for aquarists seeking elegance and tranquillity in their aquariums. With their peaceful nature, captivating colours, and shoaling behaviour, these Tetras bring harmony and beauty to any aquatic setting. By providing them with a well-designed habitat and compatible tankmates, you can witness the full splendour of these stunning Golden Tetras as they grace your aquarium with their presence.

Golden Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the male and female Golden Tetra is relatively straightforward. The males exhibit slightly larger body sizes, slimmer physiques, and more vibrant colouration compared to the females. Notably, the males also possess more pronounced and elaborate finnage, further enhancing their visual distinction. On the other hand, the females have a slightly smaller size, a more robust build with rounded bodies, and exhibit more subdued colouration in comparison to their male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon moniliger
Year Described2002
Other NamesNone
Max Size3.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.0
GH5 - 15
75 - 82
23 - 27

Natural Habitat

Golden Tetras are native to the middle Rio Araguaia and Rio Tocantins Basin in Central Brazil, South America. These stunning fish thrive in the captivating environment of shallow, slow-moving waters adorned with fallen branches and intricate root systems. The presence of decaying plant material adds a touch of mystique to these habitats, as organic acids and tannins delicately stain the water a rich shade of brown. 

Immersed in this natural tapestry, Golden Tetras find solace among abundant aquatic plants while seeking shelter beneath the protective canopy of overhanging riparian vegetation. It is within these enchanting surroundings that these Tetras reveal their true beauty, a testament to the captivating allure of their native home.

 Araguaia River - Brazil
Brazil Flag


Regrettably, there is a limited amount of available information regarding the specific breeding methods for the Golden Tetra. However, based on the breeding behaviour of other Hyphessobrycon species, it is likely that Golden Tetras exhibit similar reproductive patterns. Therefore, these Tetras are classified as egg-scattering free spawners, displaying no parental care.

While it is possible for adult Golden Tetras to spawn in a community tank, if you intend to raise a significant number of fry, it is recommended to establish a separate breeding tank. This breeding environment should feature subdued lighting, and the tank base should be equipped with mesh or bundles of fine-leaved plants, such as java moss, to safeguard the eggs from the adults. Maintaining suitable water conditions is crucial, with a preference for soft, slightly acidic to neutral water and a temperature range of 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure gentle filtration, an air-driven sponge filter is highly recommended. Dedicated lighting is unnecessary, as eggs and fry can be sensitive to intense light exposure.

Golden Tetras can be bred in pairs or small groups; however, removing the adults promptly after spawning is imperative to prevent them from consuming the eggs. A single female can lay several hundred eggs during a spawning event. After hatching, the fry will rely on their yolk sacs as a source of nutrition for a brief period. Once they become free-swimming, it is vital to provide them with suitable microscopic foods such as infusoria and Paramecium. Their diet can be supplemented with microworms or baby brine shrimp as they continue to develop.

In conclusion, while detailed information on the breeding process of Golden Tetras is limited, it is possible to create a conducive breeding environment by following general guidelines for Hyphessobrycon species. Furthermore, by establishing a separate breeding tank with appropriate conditions and providing the necessary nutrition for the fry, aquarists can increase the likelihood of successful breeding and the subsequent growth of the Golden Tetra population.

Diet & feeding

In order to maintain optimal health and vibrant colours in your Golden Tetras, it is important to provide them with a well-rounded diet. These Tetras readily accept a variety of food options. Offering a combination of small live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods such as mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and vitamin-enriched daphnia and artemia will ensure their nutritional needs are met. Additionally, supplementing their diet with high-quality dried foods like flakes, micropellets, and granules further enhances their dietary diversity. Finally, it is recommended to feed your Tetras twice daily, providing an amount that can be consumed within a span of three minutes or less. This feeding regimen helps maintain optimal water quality and prevents overfeeding, promoting the overall well-being of your Golden Tetras.

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