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Maximum size : 2 cm

Toucan Tetra - Tucanoichthys tucano : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Toucan Tetra (Tucanoichthys tucano) is a unique and highly coveted species within the aquarium hobby. Possessing a peaceful and amicable demeanor, this shoaling fish is often observed engaging in lively territorial sparring matches between rival males. Due to their small size, the Toucan Tetra is not suitable for community aquariums. However, nano tanks or small planted aquariums provide the ideal environment for this captivating species. Providing ample hiding spaces is recommended for their comfort and security. To observe their most vibrant behaviors, it is recommended to keep 8-10 of these fish together. This will foster a more sociable and outgoing demeanor, allowing for an optimal viewing experience. Toucan Tetras feature a striking golden upper body and head, contrasted by a white belly. A pinkish-bluish hue is noticeable in the lower gill region, and while some individuals' top lobes are gold, their fins remain transparent. A distinctive dark stripe runs along the body' s sides, extending from the gill to the caudal peduncle.

Toucan Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Toucan Tetras is a straightforward process. Males exhibit a significantly more vibrant and intense coloration than females, displaying a distinct pinkish-red pigmentation in the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. Conversely, females appear less vibrant and possess a more rounded body shape than males, particularly when carrying eggs.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameTucanoichthys tucano
Year Described1997
Other NamesNone
Max Size2 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 7 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 7.0
GH8 - 16
KH4 - 7
TDS180 - 250
68 - 74
20 - 23.3

Natural Habitat

Hailing from the upper Rio Negro and Rio Uaupes regions in the Amazonas State of Brazil, Toucan Tetras boast a natural habitat of blackwater streams, creeks, and rivers characterised by overhanging riparian vegetation and an abundance of dead branches and leaf litter. The waters in which they thrive are clear, yet distinctly stained with tannins, resulting from decomposing organic material. It is a unique and intriguing environment that is both delicate and resilient, providing a unique window into the complexities of nature' s intricate balance.


The successful breeding of Toucan Tetras is achievable through established aquariums, with small quantities of fry appearing without the need for intervention. During the breeding process, male Toucan Tetras will establish temporary territories, often around solid surfaces such as wood or plant leaves. These territories are fiercely guarded against intruders or other fish of the same species. Following the spawning event, the male remains with and protects the eggs until they hatch, which typically occurs within 24 hours. The newly hatched fry exhibit an iridescent greenish-blue color pattern during the early stages of life, which is a distinguishing characteristic of the species.

Diet & feeding

In a home aquarium setting, Toucan Tetras demonstrate a willingness to accept high-quality granules and flakes of an appropriate size. However, to ensure their optimal health and vibrancy, it is imperative to supplement their diet with small live and frozen food options, such as daphnia, artemia, bloodworm, and tubifex. Diversifying their diet in this manner is crucial for maintaining their overall health and enhancing their natural colors. A varied diet also ensures that their nutritional requirements are met, promoting long-term health and vitality.

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