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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Serpae Tetra - Hyphessobrycon eques : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Serpae Tetra, (Hyphessobrycon eques) is a vibrant, energetic, and resilient fish, making it an appealing choice for aquarium enthusiasts. While they may exhibit mild aggression around slower-moving species, they generally prove to be compatible tank mates. Creating an optimal habitat for your Serpae Tetra is critical to ensure its well-being and contentment. In their natural environment, these fish inhabit blackwater conditions, which can be simulated in captivity by incorporating aquarium-safe peat into the tank. Prior to introducing Serpae Tetras into a new aquatic setup, it is imperative to establish the appropriate water parameters. To maintain their health, it is necessary to conduct a thorough cycling of the tank, guaranteeing ideal pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels. By closely replicating their natural habitat and diligently monitoring water conditions, you can significantly contribute to the flourishing of your Serpae Tetras. Their low-maintenance nature and distinctive features have earned Serpae Tetras a prominent place in the aquarium hobby. These fish possess a flat yet tall body, adorned with a rich reddish-olive hue that transitions to a more striking scarlet along the sides. A notable black, comma-shaped mark can be observed behind the gills, while their dorsal fin exhibits a bold black coloration. These captivating attributes contribute to the Serpae Tetra's enduring popularity among aquarists.

Serpae Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to distinguish between male and female Serpae Tetras. Females typically exhibit a more rounded body shape, while males possess a slimmer physique. Additionally, males display more vibrant and vivid coloration, while females tend to appear somewhat more subdued in appearance.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon eques
Year Described1882
Other NamesJewel tetra, Callistus tetra
OriginsParaguay Argentina Brazil
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 -7 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.8
GH5 - 25
72 - 79
22.2 - 26.1

Natural Habitat

Are you looking for a species that is as beautiful as it is fascinating? Look no further than the Serpae Tetra, which originates from the lush Amazon basin, specifically the Guapore and Paraguay River basins in Brazil, Argentina, and upper Paraguay. In their natural habitat, these captivating fish prefer slow-moving, still backwaters such as lakes, ponds, and streams. They are often found gathering around tree roots and thick vegetation, where they can find both food and safety. If you're looking to add a touch of South American charm to your aquarium, the Serpae Tetra is an excellent choice. With their captivating appearance and charming personalities, these fish are sure to make a lasting impression in any aquatic setting.


When breeding Serpae Tetras, it is essential to maintain specific tank conditions. The aquarium water should be characterized by low acidity, softness, and gentle filtration. Additionally, providing a dimly lit environment with an abundance of dark-leaved plants, such as Java moss, will facilitate egg-laying. To promote spawning, it is advisable to supplement their diet with live food options. Once the breeding process is successful, the eggs typically hatch within approximately 24 hours.

Diet & feeding

Serpae Tetras exhibit a highly adaptable dietary behavior and will readily accept a variety of food sources. These omnivorous fish can thrive on flake or pellet food, ground grains, and even vegetable matter. They also appreciate small live or frozen foods, such as insects, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. However, it is essential to ensure that the food provided is appropriately sized for their diminutive mouths to facilitate comfortable consumption.

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