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Maximum size : 5 cm

Ornate Tetra - Hyphessobrycon bentosi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Ornate Tetra (Hyphessobrycon bentosi) is a charming, personable, and eye-catching fish that adds a touch of elegance to any community or biotope aquarium. Despite their relative hardiness and ease of care, these tetras require pristine water and are not recommended for beginner aquarists. However, for those willing to put in the extra effort, this Tetra is well worth it. To fully appreciate their schooling tendencies, it' s best to keep them in groups of six or more. When interrupted by larger tankmates or water changes, they will usually school tightly, highlighting their natural schooling behavior. If you want to create a natural environment for your Ornate Tetras, you will need to add some aquatic plants and wood structures to provide shelter and cover. The water flow should be gentle, and the lighting should be dimmed to mimic their natural habitat. Incorporating dried leaves, such as Catappa leaves, can also help to create an environment that is similar to the Ornate Tetra' s natural habitat. Not only does this mimic their natural environment, but it also has the added benefit of helping to condition the water, providing the fish with the perfect environment to thrive. The Ornate Tetra has a deep body, similar to that of larger tetras, and boasts a silvery salmon pinkish body with a dark spot around the gills, a faint greyish shoulder patch, and dark red markings with white tips on its fins. Its unique and beautiful appearance makes it a favorite among fish enthusiasts.

Ornate Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing male from female Ornate Tetras is quite simple. Male Ornate Tetras possess elongated dorsal and anal fins, display a more vivid and intense coloration, and are generally slightly larger than their female counterparts. Females, on the other hand, exhibit a plumper physique, particularly when full of eggs, have shorter fins, and are relatively duller in appearance than the males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon bentosi
Year Described1908
Other NamesBentos Tetra, White Tip Tetra, White Fin Ornate, False Rosy Tetra
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
GH3 - 12
TDS18 -215
73 - 82
22.8 - 27.8

Natural habitat

The Ornate Tetra can be found in the lower Amazon Basin, specifically in Obidos, Para, and Brazil. They inhabit a variety of freshwater environments, such as slow-moving creeks, sidearms, tributaries, and flood plain lakes, all with one thing in common: submerged woody structures. These structures provide them with a sense of security and shade from the canopy of riparian vegetation. In terms of water conditions, these Tetras prefer a low mineral content, poorly buffered water, which is stained brown due to the natural discharge of tannins and acids from decomposing organic matter. This habitat is quite unique and requires careful consideration if you wish to recreate it in your aquarium.
 Tapajós - Brazil
Brazil Flag

How to breed the Ornate Tetra

Breeding the Ornate Tetra can be a challenging yet fulfilling task. These egg-scattering spawners do not exhibit parental care, and breeding pairs in good condition will typically spawn in a community tank, but adult fish will consume eggs and fry. Therefore, a separate breeding aquarium is necessary, with water conditions featuring soft and slightly acidic water and fine-leaved plants as a spawning medium. Lighting should be dim to mimic their natural habitat and trigger spawning, and gentle water flow provided by a small, air-driven sponge filter. Maximizing breeding success requires conditioning the males and females in different tanks before breeding and feeding them plenty of small, live food. Selecting the largest and most colorful males and a group of one or two males and multiple females in the breeding tank in the evening is recommended. A mature female' s full-of-eggs belly will be perfectly rounded. Spawning typically occurs in the morning, with females releasing their eggs among the fine-leaved plants. Immediately removing the parents after spawning is essential to prevent egg consumption. The eggs hatch in approximately 24 to 36 hours, with the fry becoming free-swimming five days later. Frequent water changes are necessary, with great care taken not to remove any fry. For the first few days, the fry require infusoria-type foods until they are mature enough to accept microworms or baby brine shrimp. The slow-to-reach-maturity baby fish should be isolated until they are too large to be eaten.

Diet & feeding

To ensure optimum health and growth, it is recommended to provide the Ornate Tetra with a well-balanced and varied diet. High-quality flake foods with a high vitamin content should make up the bulk of their diet. In addition, live foods can be offered to satisfy their natural hunting instincts, and occasional nibbles on algae or plants can provide a nutritious supplement. Feeding several times a day is recommended, but care should be taken not to overfeed. Offering only what the fish can consume in 3 minutes or less will help to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for these Tetras' overall health and longevity.

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