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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Rainbow Copella Tetra - Copella vilmae : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Enter the fascinating realm of Copella Rainbow Tetras (Copella vilmae), a tranquil and captivating species of small fish. These lovely Tetras offer both ease of care and the pleasure of breeding, making them a delightful addition to any aquarist's collection. However, it is worth noting that the scarcity of these Tetras makes them a rarity in the market, seldom offered for sale.

Copella Rainbow Tetras are inherently shoaling fish, thriving when kept in well-sized groups comprising eight to ten individuals. By maintaining them in more significant numbers, you foster a sense of security, reducing skittishness and creating a more captivating and natural-looking display within your aquarium. However, careful consideration should be given to their tankmates, as their relatively small adult size renders them vulnerable to larger, more boisterous fish that may perceive them as a potential snack. Optimal tankmates for the Copella Rainbow Tetras include smaller species of Dwarf Cichlids, Pencilfish, Corydoras Catfish, Killifish, and other small blackwater Tetras.

The Copella Rainbow Tetras exhibit a slender physique characterized by a beautiful pinkish-red body colouration. An intriguing feature of these Tetras is a broken stripe pattern, which appears as distinct dark patches on their bodies. Notably, their rather large and upturned mouth is accompanied by acutely pointed teeth. A striking dark band commences at the snout, extending towards the eye, potentially continuing through the operculum in certain species. Additionally, their dorsal fin showcases a vivid flash of red colouration, complemented by a dark blotch. The caudal fin, distinguished by its remarkable forked shape, exhibits an upper lobe larger than the lower lobe, both of which display flashes of red. Notably, Copella Rainbow Tetras lack an adipose fin and rely on their prominent pelvic fins during spawning.

Rainbow Copella Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Differentiating between male and female Rainbow Copella Tetras is a relatively straightforward task. Males typically exhibit a larger and longer physique compared to females, accompanied by more pronounced fin extensions, which often display vibrant hues. Furthermore, during the spawning phase, males may develop a distinctive feature, a thick, dark bar extending posteriorly along the body from behind the opercle. This characteristic further aids in distinguishing the males during their reproductive state.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCopella vilmae
Year Described1963
Other NamesNone
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.5 - 7.5
GH3 - 12
TDS18 - 143
68 - 82
20 - 27

Natural habitat

Immerse yourself in the captivating allure of the Rainbow Copella Tetra, an endemic species from South America's picturesque landscapes. These Tetras find their home in the Rio Preto, a tributary of the Caures River, nestled in the north-western region of Brazil near Belem. Additionally, they have been discovered in the Rio Amazonas at Letícia in Colombia, further expanding their geographical presence.

In their natural habitat, the Rainbow Copella Tetras thrive within the gentle currents of slow-flowing blackwaters that grace the meandering rivers and creeks. These serene waters are adorned with a substrate consisting of soft sands interwoven with fallen leaves, driftwood, and branches from the surrounding trees. Shaded by a lush forest canopy, with Ficus trees prominently lining the landscape, these habitats offer a tranquil haven for the Rainbow Copella Tetras.

How to breed the Rainbow Copella Tetra

Regrettably, there is currently limited available information on the specific breeding techniques for the Copella Rainbow Tetra. However, it is reasonable to assume that breeding methods akin to those employed for other fish within the same genus may yield favourable results.

To initiate the breeding process, it is recommended to set up a small dedicated breeding tank equipped with a sponge filter and adorned with an abundance of Java Moss or floating plants. Lowering the water level to approximately 10cm from the top provides an optimal environment. Creating a moist microclimate between the tank cover and the water surface by arranging the flow of water from the sponge filter to splash the tank's sides and surface fosters favourable breeding conditions.

During the spawning ritual, the male and female Copella Rainbow Tetras will synchronize their jumps and utilize their enlarged pelvic fins to cling to their desired spawning sites, which can be the aquarium lid or the sides of the tank. Each leap typically results in the deposition of around a dozen eggs, and a single pair may lay over 100 eggs. In cases where multiple females are present, the male will engage in mating with each of them. Multiple nests may be established within the breeding tank.

Following the completion of spawning, removing the females from the breeding tank is imperative. The male will now assume the role of guarding the eggs. If the male has established multiple nests, he will remember their locations and attend to each one by splashing water over them in succession. After approximately two to three days, if the eggs are fertile, they will hatch, and the fry will be released into the water. At this stage, removing the male from the breeding tank is necessary.

The fry are initially small and requires nourishment from live foods. Paramecium and infusoria serve as suitable initial food sources. Additionally, the fry will find sustenance within the Java Moss and floating plants. After around ten days, the fry will have grown sufficiently to consume vinegar eels or newly hatched brine shrimp. Regular partial water changes should be conducted to maintain optimal water quality.

While specific breeding techniques for the Copella Rainbow Tetra may require further research, implementing these general guidelines and maintaining vigilant attention to water quality will enhance the likelihood of successful breeding endeavours.

Diet & feeding

Rainbow Copella Tetras exhibit a willingness to accept high-quality dried foods in the form of appropriately sized flakes and granules within the aquarium setting. However, it is highly recommended to supplement their diet with daily servings of small live and frozen foods for optimal health and vitality. These may include nutrient-rich options such as Moina, baby brine shrimp, and grindal worms, contributing to maintaining the Tetras' well-being.

For added dietary variety, offering small insects like Drosophila fruit flies or small crickets can be considered. However, ensuring that these live prey items are fed adequately before being provided to the Tetras is important. This precaution helps ensure the nutritional needs of the Tetras are met while promoting their overall satiety.

By providing a well-rounded feeding regimen that encompasses both dried and live or frozen foods, aquarists can nurture and sustain the optimal condition of Rainbow Copella Tetras, fostering their continued health and vigour.

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