Max Size: 2.5cm

Reed Tetra (Hyphessobrycon elachys)

Reed Tetras are a peaceful species that shoal naturally in the wild. Therefore, they are happier, more vibrantly coloured, and more active when kept as a group of 8 or more individuals instead of singly.

Reed Tetras tend to be timid and should not be kept with large or aggressive fish who may bully or eat them because of their small size. Therefore, ideal tankmates for these Tetras would include other small and peaceful species such as small Tetras, Pencilfish, Dwarf Cichlids like Apistogramma or Mikrogeophagus, smaller Suckermouth Catfish and Corydoras Catfish.

The ideal aquarium for Reed Tetras should be furnished with plenty of driftwood to create plenty of shady areas. The driftwood will gradually release tannins into the water that will help acidify the water whilst giving it a natural, brown colour like their natural habitat. Adding peat filtration can also help in this respect. You should also add dense planting, both floating and rooted, which will help to make the fish feel secure. In addition, the lighting should not be too bright, and darker substrate and background choices will help show off these fish's stunning colours.

Reed Tetras have silver bodies and a broad anal fin lobe. These fish also have a combination of elongate dorsal and pelvic fins in mature males and a large prominent black spot on the caudal peduncle. You will also see white colouring on both sides of the black spot, and all other fins are translucent.

Tank Mates

1 ideal tank mate ideas for the Reed Tetra include:

Staeck Endler(Poecilia wingei)
Quick Facts
Scientific NameHyphessobrycon elachys
Other NamesVeilfin Tetra
OriginsArgentina, Brazil, Paraguay
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
75 - 81℉
23.9 - 27.2℃


Reed Tetra
Reed Tetra
Reed Tetra
Reed Tetra
Reed Tetra
Reed Tetra
Reed Tetra
Reed Tetra


Reed Tetra/Veilfin Tetra - Hyphessobrycon elachys Freshwater Nano Aquarium Fish Profile & Care Guide

Natural Habitat

Reed Tetras are endemic to the Rio Parana and Rio Paraguay Basins in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina in South America. They inhabit shallow, moderately murky channels, swamps, and small tributaries where the water is soft, acidic, rich in tannins from leaf litter and densely covered with aquatic vegetation.


While not fussy eaters, Reed Tetras will thrive on a varied diet of high-quality dried foods such as flakes, micropellets and granules, as well as frozen, live or freeze-dried foods such as daphnia, cyclops. Bloodworm, mosquito larvae and brine shrimp. Variety is the key to maintaining optimal health and colouration of your fish.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively simple to distinguish the males from female Reed Tetras. Mature males develop elongated dorsal and pelvic fin rays, and the anterior portion of the anal fin also has a wide lobular shape. In addition, the males are usually slightly larger than females, and their colours are a tad brighter. In contrast, females are likely to be slightly smaller, fuller-bodied and a little duller than males.


Reed Tetras have been successfully bred in the home aquarium. Unfortunately, there is not much information or records on producing these fish; however, they are likely to spawn similarly to other Hyphessobrycon species.

It would be more beneficial to condition a breeding pair before spawning with live foods such as mosquito larvae or brine shrimp. Choose the male that is the most colourful and the biggest healthiest female.

The fish will require a separate breeding tank to produce the highest amount of fry. The breeding tank will need to contain soft acidic water with a dark substrate and dim lighting, and the temperature should be increased by a few degrees than their regular aquarium.

It would be better to ensure that you have plenty of fine-leaved plants in the breeding tank, such as java moss; spawning mops will work just as well. Adding floating plants is also recommended as this will help keep the light subdued.

Spawning typically occurs in the morning. The female will scatter several hundred eggs onto the plants and substrate. Once spawning has occurred, it is advisable to remove the parents; otherwise, they will eat the eggs and fry if given a chance.

The eggs will usually hatch around 24 to 36 hours later, and the fry will become free swimming three to four days after that. The fry is relatively easy to raise, and you should feed them on Infusoria type foods until the fry is big enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimp.

Other Tetras of interest

African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
Black Neon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
Black Phantom Tetra(Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 19/10/2021 12:00:07 - Updated: 02/12/2021 17:39:03