Pink Tail Chalceus (Chalceus macrolepidotus)
The Pink Tail Chalceus is a timid, very active, shoaling species that you should maintain either individually or in groups of six or more individuals in an appropriately sized aquarium. Smaller groups will not work, as these fish will quarrel fiercely with one another. However, these fish make excellent members of a giant community aquarium, are somewhat hardy, and pretty easy to look after as long as you provide them with well-filtered and well-oxygenated water and plenty of open area for them to swim in.
Ideal tankmates for this species are similarly-sized Characins such as Leporinus, Silver Dollars, Mylossoma and Brycon sp, as well as large Loricariids, Pimelodiids, and Cichlids such as Geophagus or Satanoperca sp. It would be better to avoid species that dwell on the surface unless your tank is massive because these fish are pretty territorial when mature. It would be best if you also avoided much smaller fish as they will get eaten.
Pink-tail Chalceus can attain a considerable size. Therefore, these fish will require an aquarium that is at least 4ft in length or around 240 litres when they are juveniles, and before long, they will need a tank at least 6 feet long and, ideally, much more significant.
You will need to place the aquarium in a relatively quiet location as this species is a very skittish fish that can be easily startled. Therefore, you must provide them with many shaded hiding places within the aquarium and have a sturdy, tight-fitting lid to prevent them from accidentally jumping out.
You will need to choose their decor with care as anything sharp can cause them injury whenever they decide to dash for cover; a sandy substrate with water-worn rocks or smooth pieces of driftwood are ideal. It would be best if you also planted some robust plant species such as Java Fern and Anubias spp at the sides and back of the aquarium, leaving a generously sized open swimming space in the centre. You can also spread some hardy floating vegetation over the more tranquil aquarium areas as they will provide natural surface cover, which should help reduce nervousness.
With its eye-catching bright pink to red tail, this large, torpedo-shaped, silvery Characin possesses rather large silver iridescent scales on its upper body, gradually getting smaller as they descend the belly. These fish also have large eyes and display a dark spot near the gill cover, and their fins range from a dark red to pale orange or yellow. The upper part of the iris can also be either orangey or yellow.
|Scientific Name||Chalceus macrolepidotus|
|Other Names||Pink Tail Fish, Pink Tail Shark, Pink-tailed Characin, Red-tailed Chalceus.|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Intermediate - Advanced|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||up to 15 years|
|Temperature||73 - 82 ℉ (22.8 - 27.8 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 20|
Pink Tail Chalceus are endemic to Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Peru, where they can be found throughout the Negro and Orinoco River Basins in South America. They primarily inhabit the surface layers of fast-moving, clear, highly oxygenated waters in rivers and streams.
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Diet & Feeding
The Pink Tail Chalceus is a carnivore that feeds primarily on insects and crustaceans. Therefore, it would be best to provide them with live, frozen, or freeze-dried food such as prawns, mussels, clams, bloodworm and chopped earthworms, along with floating dried food such as pellets or carnivore flakes in an aquarium environment. In addition, it is recommended that you give these fish several small feedings daily.
Breeding Pink Tail Chalceus is considered very difficult, if not impossible, and there are very few recorded instances of home breeding, and details are very scarce. All that is known is that they require a giant aquarium. If you are lucky enough to have these fish successfully breed, the only indication you might have will be that many small eggs will have adhered to the plants in your aquarium.
According to one successful breeder, depending on the temperature, the eggs should hatch within 48 hours, and the fry becomes free-swimming four days after that. The babies are apparently quite large and can be fed brine shrimp nauplii as soon as they have consumed their yolk sacs.