Mountain Crystal Tetra (Protocheirodon pi, leptagoniates pi)
Mountain Crystal Tetras are very peaceful and active fish; however, they are pretty shy and have a nervous disposition. Despite this, these fish will settle down relatively quickly in the right aquarium with the right conditions. These Tetras are hardy and undemanding fish that add a unique look to the nano or planted aquarium.
Mountain Crystal Tetras are a schooling fish; therefore, it would be better to keep Mountain Crystal Tetras in a large group of at least ten individuals as they will feel more comfortable, will be less skittish and will display more natural behaviour.
Mountain Crystal Tetras can be housed in a community aquarium, providing you keep them with suitable tankmates. Ideal tankmates should be of a similar size and temperament. These can include small surface-dwelling species such as Hatchetfish and other smaller Tetras, as well as peaceful bottom dwellers such as Corydoras and Whiptail Catfish. However, it would be best if you did not house these fish with aggressive or predatory tankmates, and it is advisable that you have these Tetras as the only mid-water species.
Mountain Crystal Tetras will do best in a blackwater biotope setup with plenty of decors so the fish can establish their own territories. Also, make sure you provide plenty of shade in the form of plants so that this species does not feel too exposed.
Mountain Crystal Tetras have a transparent body that displays tiny black dots on it, and these spots also cover the anal and dorsal fins. These fish also have a black mark on their caudal peduncle. Their swim bladder is parted in two and has a connection on the top, thus forming a figure that reminds one of the ancient Greek letter Pi hence the name.
|Scientific Name||Protocheirodon pi, leptagoniates pi|
|Other Names||Pi Tetra|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 10+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Temperature||76 - 82 ℉ (24.4 - 27.8 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 20|
Natural Habitat of the Mountain Crystal Tetra
Mountain Crystal Tetras are endemic to the major river systems of the central and western parts of the Amazon Basin in South America. These include the Madeira, Solimoes, Purus, and Ucayali rivers. These fish inhabit marginal areas of still to slow-moving backwaters of rivers and streams, often over sandy substrates where they will hang around in submerged tree branches or the roots of aquatic plants.
Other Tetras of interest
What to feed the Mountain Crystal Tetra
Mountain Crystal Tetras feed primarily on small insects and invertebrates obtained from the water's surface in the wild. Therefore you should mimic this in the home aquarium.
It would be better for your fish if you fed them on a varied diet. For example, you can include live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods such as brine shrimp, cyclops, daphnia, mosquito larvae, and bloodworm alongside good quality dried alternatives such as micropellets and flakes, which they will also happily accept.
Providing your fish with a varied diet will result in optimal health and colouration of your fish.
How to Sex the Mountain Crystal Tetra
It is very challenging to determine the males from the female Mountain Crystal Tetras as they are practically identical in appearance. However, sexually mature females will more than likely be fuller-bodied than males when they are carrying eggs, and because of their transparent bodies, you will probably be able to see the eggs.
How to Breed the Mountain Crystal Tetra
Unfortunately, there is no information available on how to breed Mountain Crystal Tetras. However, we can imagine that they would reproduce in a similar fashion to other Tetras in the family Characidae.