Toucan Tetra (Tucanoichthys Tucano) Fish Species Profile

The Toucan Tetra is unique and is not regularly seen, making them highly sought after in the aquarium hobby. They are peaceful, friendly by nature and are a shoaling fish rather than a schooling fish. You can often see the rival males sparring regularly for territory.

This Tetra is not ideal for community aquariums due to their small size, but nano tanks or small planted aquariums will be perfect for this little Tetra. It would be best if you provided these Tetras with plenty of hiding spaces.

It is best to keep 8-10 of these fish together as this will stop the fish from being so shy, and you will be able to see them displaying much more exciting behaviour.

The Toucan Tetras upper body and head are bright gold, and the belly is white. The lower gill displays a pinkish blush colour. Most of the fins are transparent, but in some individuals, the gold colouration extends through the top lobe. The sides of the body display a distinct dark stripe, starting at the gill and tapering off to the caudle peduncle.

Scientific NameTucanoichthys Tucano
Other NamesNone
OriginsSouth America
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 7 years
Maximum Sizeup to 2 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature68 - 74 ℉ (20 - 23.3 ℃)
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH8 - 16
KH4 - 7
TDS180 - 250

Origins of the Toucan Tetra

Toucan Tetras are native to the upper Rio Negro and Rio Uaupes regions in the Amazonas State of Brazil in South America. They inhabit blackwater streams, creeks and rivers that are covered with dead branches and leaf litter and have overhanging riparian vegetation.

The water is clear but is heavily-stained with tannins from decomposing organic material.


In the home aquarium, Toucan Tetras will happily accept dried foods of a suitable size such as high-quality granules and flakes. Still, they should also be offered daily meals of small live and frozen foods such as daphnia, artemia, bloodworms, and tubifex. Make sure you diversify their diet to keep them healthy and to provide them with their best colours.

Sexing the Toucan Tetra

It is relatively simple to determine which fish are males and females. Males are much more intensely coloured than females with a pinky-red pigmentation in the dorsal, caudal and anal fins whereas the females are duller and seem to be more rounder bodied than the males especially when full of eggs.

Breeding the Toucan Tetra

Breeding the Toucan Tetra has been accomplished, and in a properly structured, established aquarium, small quantities of fry may start to appear without intervention.

Conjugal males will form temporary territories based around a solid surface such as a piece of wood or a plant leaf, which he will defend against other fish or fish of the same species in the proximity.

After spawning occurs, the male will remain with and protect the eggs until they hatch and become free-swimming which is usually around 24 hours. The fry has an iridescent greenish-blue colour pattern during the early stages of life.

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Date Added: 10/6/2020 - Updated: 10/6/2020 6:20:18 PM