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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Red Base Tetra - Hemigrammus stictus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Red Base Tetra is a charming and peaceful shoaling fish that is well-suited to community aquariums with similarly-sized and temperate tankmates. To create a harmonious aquarium, it is best to house Red Base Tetras with other Tetras, Pencilfish, Apistogramma Dwarf Cichlids, smaller Loricariids, and Corydoras. Alternatively, they can be kept with Barbs, smaller Rasboras, Anabantoids, and West African Dwarf Cichlids. Their versatile body shape also makes them compatible with larger Cichlids such as Angelfish or Discus. To ensure the well-being of these social fish, it is crucial to keep them in groups of at least six individuals. This allows them to engage in natural schooling behavior, making them less stressed and more comfortable in their environment. Red Base Tetras are versatile in their aquarium needs and can thrive in either densely planted or biotope aquariums. Sand is an excellent substrate for them, and driftwood roots or branches can be used to decorate their tank. Dried leaves are also a great addition to mimic their natural habitat by staining the water with tannins. Subdued lighting is ideal for this species. With an oval body, the Red Base Tetra has a beautiful golden-silver coloration with a distinct black dot just behind the gill plates on either side. Their caudal peduncle is a vibrant red, and the rest of their fins are translucent. A unique feature of their appearance is the top half of their iris, which is a stunning red color. To maintain their health and vibrant colors, it is recommended to feed Red Base Tetras a varied diet consisting of flakes, granules, and pellets as their primary diet. Supplementing their diet with live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, or similar options will give them the necessary nutrition to maintain their health and vibrant colors.

Red Base Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the sexes of Red Base Tetra is a fairly straightforward task. Typically, females are larger and more robust in physique, whereas males are slightly smaller and exhibit a more streamlined body shape in comparison to their female counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHemigrammus stictus
Year Described1909
Other NamesBloodtail Tetra
OriginsGuyana Brazil Venezuela Colombia
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 8 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.2 - 7.2
GH8 - 12
TDS71 - 375
73 - 79
22.8 - 26.1

Natural habitat

Red Base Tetras are found in the Amazon, Negro, and Orinoco River Basins, as well as coastal rivers in Venezuela, Guyana, and Colombia in Brazil, South America These remarkable fish thrive in slow-moving rivers, tributaries, and floodplain lakes, where they can forage for food and explore their natural habitat. With their bright red colouration and distinctive markings, the Red Base Tetra is a true marvel of nature and a testament to the incredible biodiversity of the region. As you observe the Red Base Tetra in its natural habitat, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of conservation efforts to protect and preserve these delicate ecosystems. These fish serve as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all life on our planet and the need to work together to ensure a sustainable future. With its distinctive natural habitat requirements and fascinating behaviour, this species is sure to impress even the most discerning aquarists. Prepare to be entranced by the stunning beauty of the Red Base Tetra and the wonders of the natural world.
 Orinoco - Venezuela
Venezuela Flag
 Rio Negro - Colombia
Colombia Flag

How to breed the Red Base Tetra

To produce a healthy brood of Red Base Tetra fry, a dedicated breeding tank is required. The tank should be dimly lit and well-furnished with fine-leaved plants such as java moss or spawning mops, providing ample space for the fish to lay their eggs. An alternative method is to use a mesh cover to catch the eggs, which should be small enough to prevent the adults from reaching them. Encouraging the fish to breed involves ensuring that the water in the breeding tank is soft and acidic, with a higher temperature than usual. Filtering the water through peat is a beneficial technique. A gentle air-powered sponge filter is all that is required for filtration. Breeding in groups is best, with around six males and females being ideal. Conditioning them with plenty of small live foods is known to trigger spawning. Alternatively, breeding in pairs can be done by conditioning the fish separately in female and male groups in separate tanks. Once the females are noticeably full of eggs, select the largest and healthiest female and the most vibrantly colored male and transfer them to the breeding tank in the evening. Spawning should occur the following morning. It is crucial to remove the parents as soon as the eggs are spotted, as they will eat them if given the chance. The eggs will hatch within 24-36 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming approximately three to four days later. As they are sensitive to light, it is best to keep them in the dark. Feeding the babies infusoria or equivalent will ensure their healthy development.

Diet & feeding

To provide the Red Base Tetra with a balanced and nutritious diet, a combination of flakes, granules, and pellets should serve as their primary source of food. While this species is relatively adaptable to various food types, occasional treats of live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, or similar will provide them with essential nutrients and enhance their overall health and coloration.

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