Loreto Tetra (Hyphessobrycon loretoensis)
Loreto Tetras are a very peaceful and active species making them an ideal resident of the well-researched community aquarium. However, these Tetras are not as hardy as most other Tetras and can be somewhat sensitive to fluctuating waters; therefore, they are probably not ideal for the beginner aquarist.
Loreto Tetras are best kept in groups of at least eight individuals alongside other schooling fish to provide security, and you’ll be rewarded with a more natural-looking display. Of course, on the odd occasion, you may find your fish squabbling amongst themselves in a group. Still, as long as your aquarium is spacious and there is plenty of visual barriers or hiding places for them to retreat into if necessary, no actual harm should follow.
Tankmates should be of similar size and peaceful temperament and include other small Tetras, Hatchetfish, Pencilfish, non-predatory, small to medium-sized Cichlids, Corydoras Catfish, and small Loricariids.
Loreto Tetras has a slender, silvery-opaque body that possesses a continuous, solid dark lateral stripe with a shimmering gold line above that. Their caudal fin is almost entirely a reddish-orange colour with white tips, and their dorsal and anal fin is translucent with whitish tips. The rest of their fins are transparent.
|Scientific Name||Hyphessobrycon loretoensis|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||71 - 82 ℉ (21.7 - 27.8 ℃)|
|PH||5.0 - 7.0|
|GH||3 - 15|
|TDS||18 - 143|
Loreto Tetras are endemic to the upper Amazon River Basin, with their range extending westward from Leticia in southern Colombia, as far as the upper Rio Napo Basin in Ecuador and Peru and lower Rio Ucayali in Peru. In addition, there are copious records from the Pichuna and Rios Loreto-Yacu in Colombia and the Rio Aguarico, forming a border between Peru and Ecuador. Still, presumably, it also transpires in other tributary systems in the region.
Loreto Tetras inhabit minor tributaries and forest streams that are covered with roots, dense vegetation and an abundance of leaf litter. They presumably occur in flooded forests during periods of high water. The water in the natural habitat is soft and acidic and is stained brown from the tannins in the decomposing leaves and wood.
Other Tetras of interest
Diet & Feeding
In nature, Loreto Tetras are omnivorous that feed on crustaceans, small invertebrates, fallen fruit, algae and suchlike. In the home aquarium, they may survive on a diet of good quality dried foods. Still, like most fish, they fare better when offered a varied menu containing live and frozen Chironomid larvae, Mosquito larvae, Daphnia, Moina and similar.
Loreto Tetras can be somewhat tricky to sex. However, sexually mature females usually are noticeably rounder-bodied and tend to grow slightly larger than males.
Loreto Tetras are pretty easy to breed, although a separate breeding tank will need to be set up if you would like to increase the fry yield.
The breeding tank will need to be dimly lit and contain bundles of fine-leaved plants such as Java Moss. Spawning Mops will also work just fine, as would plastic grass-like matting or a layer of glass marbles. These mediums will give your fish somewhere to deposit their sticky eggs. It is also advisable to cover the bottom of the tank with some mesh. This mesh should have large enough holes so the eggs can drop through it but small enough to prevent the parents from reaching them.
The water itself should be slightly acidic to neutral pH with a marginally higher temperature than the community aquarium. It would be beneficial also to include an air-powered sponge filter or air stone to provide water movement and oxygenation.
You can spawn Loreto Tetras in a group, with half a dozen individuals of each sex being ideal. It would be best if you then conditioned them with plenty of live and frozen foods, then spawning should not bestow too many issues.
Alternatively, you can spawn these fish in pairs. The best way to achieve this is to condition the male and female groups in separate tanks with a good-quality diet of live and frozen foods.
Once the females are visibly full of eggs, and the males present their best colours, select the healthiest female and the best-coloured male and place them into the breeding tank. The couple should spawn the following morning.
In both situations, the adults will consume the eggs if given a chance, so it would be best to remove them as soon as you notice them. The eggs will typically hatch in around 24 to 36 hours, and the fry will start swimming freely 3 to 4 days after that.
It would be better to feed the fry with infusoria type foods for the first few days until they are big enough to accept baby brine shrimp and microworms. Unfortunately, the eggs and the fry are sensitive to light in the initial stages, so it would be better if you kept the lights dim or maybe even off.