Steel Blue Tetra (Hyphessobrycon weitzmanorum)
Blue Steel Tetras are peaceful and undemanding and will acclimate to various water conditions. However, very hard water may prevent these Tetras from reaching their full potential in colour.
Like many other Tetras, planted aquariums with darker substrates or subdued areas will provide the best home for your fish and will result in more vibrant colours and improved health. However, even though they are peaceful, these Tetras may nip the fins of long-finned species such as guppies or Siamese Fighting Fish, especially if the Tetras are kept in smaller numbers.
It would be best if you maintained Steel Blue Tetras in a group of 5 or more individuals. Not only will they fare much better when in the company of their own kind, but it will also result in a far more effective, natural-looking shoal and make your fish feel more secure. In addition, you may also see some fascinating displays of fin flaring by rival males if several are present.
Ideal tankmates for your Steel Blue Tetras would be other small and peaceful species such as Hatchetfish, Loaches, Corydoras Catfish, Rasboras, small to medium-sized Barbs, Dwarf Gouramis and West African Dwarf Cichlids. In addition, because of their shape, you can also keep these Tetras with larger Cichlids such as Discus and Angelfish. Unfortunately, Steel Blue Tetras can be easily intimidated, so make sure you do not house them with much larger boisterous species.
Steel Blue Tetras have a darkish blue to almost black body colour. This is because they have a high concentration of dark chromatophores evenly distributed over the lateral surfaces of the body. In addition, these Tetras display two vertically elongated humeral spots, including somewhat rounded margins. These Tetras also have orange colouration on their anal, caudal, pelvic and dorsal fins.
|Scientific Name||Hyphessobrycon weitzmanorum|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 5+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|PH||5.5 - 7.5|
|GH||1 - 12|
|75 - 82℉|
23.9 - 27.8℃
The Blue Steel Tetra comes from the upper Rio Araguaia Basin in Brazil in South America. They inhabit large, clearwater streams with a slow-flowing current and plenty of aquatic vegetation and submerged wood in the form of roots and fallen branches. These waters are often stained brown from the release of tannins and other chemicals, and their substrate is usually sandy.
Other Tetras of interest
What to feed the Steel Blue Tetra
Steel Blue Tetras will readily accept all kinds of food; however, it would be best to offer them a varied diet. Their diet should consist of high quality dried foods such as micropellets, flakes and granules, as well as live and frozen fare such as vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, daphnia and brine shrimp. In addition, it would be better to feed your Steel Blue Tetras once or twice a day, only providing them with what they can consume within 3 minutes.
How to Sex the Steel Blue Tetra
It is relatively simple to distinguish between the male and female Steel Blue Tetras. Males will typically develop extended anal and dorsal fins as they grow and are usually larger, slimmer and more colourful than females. In contrast, the females have shorter fins, and their bodies are generally rounder, especially when spawning.
How to Breed the Steel Blue Tetra
Unfortunately, there is limited information on how to breed Steel Blue Tetras; however, they probably produce similarly to other Hyphessobrycon species.
To successfully breed Steel Blue Tetras and increase the yield of fry, you will need to set up a separate breeding tank. The breeding tank must be dimly lit and contain bundles of fine-leaved plants such as java moss to give your fish somewhere to deposit their eggs. Spawning mops will work just as well. Alternatively, you can cover the bottom of the tank with some mesh with large enough holes for the eggs to drop through but small enough so the adults cannot reach them.
The water should be soft and acidic, with a pH level of between 5.5 and 6.5. The waters hardness should be between 1 and 5, and the temperature needs to be between 80 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, filtering the water through peat is helpful, as is the use of RO water. Lastly, the tank will require a small air-driven sponge filter to provide a gentle current.
You can spawn Steel Blue Tetras in a group, with half a dozen individuals of each sex being an ideal number. Make sure you condition your group with plenty of small live, frozen or freeze-dried foods, and spawning should not bestow too many problems. Alternatively, you can spawn your fish in pairs, conditioning female and male groups in separate tanks. Then, once the females are noticeably full of eggs, and the males display their best colours, select the plumpest female and best-coloured male and transfer them into the spawning tank that night. Your fish should then spawn the following morning. In either situation, the adults will eat the eggs if given a chance; therefore, you must separate the eggs as soon as you spot any.
The eggs will usually hatch between 24 and 36 hours later, and the fry will become free swimming around five days after that. Therefore, it would be best to feed the fry on an infusoria type food for a few days until they are big enough to take brine shrimp nauplii, microworm and crushed flake food.
The eggs and fry are sensitive to light in the early stages of life, and you should keep the tank in darkness if possible.