Max Size: 4cm

Red Phantom Tetra (Hyphessobrycon sweglesi)

Red Phantom Tetras are a peaceful community fish that will thrive in shoals of 8 or more individuals. However, it would be better if you brought a mixed-sex group as these species form temporary dominance hierarchies. The males will compete for female attention, display more exciting behaviours, and show better colouration when kept in more significant numbers.

It is essential that you take care when choosing tankmates as these Tetras prefer a comparatively lower tropical water temperature. In addition, this species is not as hardy as the Black Phantom Tetra, so it would be better if you only added them to a well-established aquarium.

Ideal tankmates for Red Phantom Tetras would be similarly-sized Characids, Hatchet fish, Pencilfish and smaller Catfish. You can also house them with Loaches and non-predatory, small-to-medium-sized Cichlids.

Red Phantom Tetras prefer a shady, well-planted aquarium containing floating plants, such as water lettuce, duckweed or Salvinia. The aquarium would look better with a sandy substrate and some driftwood branches and roots. Adding dried leaf litter would further emphasise the natural feel and will also offer extra cover for the fish.

Red Phantom Tetras have a silvery transparent body and possess a circular black spot behind their gill plate. The females of this fish also have a black band present on their dorsal fin edged above and below by creamy-white. All their other fins are red, as is the upper rim of their eyes.


Red Phantom Tetra
Red Phantom Tetra
Red Phantom Tetra
Red Phantom Tetra
Red Phantom Tetra
Red Phantom Tetra
Red Phantom Tetra School
Quick Facts
Scientific NameHyphessobrycon sweglesi
Other NamesNone
OriginsColombia, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 18
TDS18 - 215
68 - 73℉
20 - 22.8℃

Natural Habitat



In the home aquarium, the Red Phantom Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to differentiate between the male and female Red Phantom Tetra. The males will appear slightly larger than females, will develop extended anal and dorsal fins but lack the black band on their dorsal fin. In contrast, females appear smaller, are deeper bodied than males and have a black bar on their dorsal fin.

Other Tetras of interest

Adonis Tetra(Lepidarchus adonis)
African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Arowana Tetra(Gnathocharax steindachneri)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 01/10/2021 12:36:59 - Updated: 02/12/2021 17:37:16