Xingu Black Neon Tetra (Moenkhausia heikoi)
Xingu Black Neon Tetras are beautiful fish that are rarely seen in the hobby. These Tetras are peaceful and active species that fare better in groups of 6 or more individuals. They will convey more natural behaviour and better colouration, especially when persuing the females for attention.
Other similarly-sized South American Characins and Bottom-Dwellers would be ideal tank mates for these fish. However, it would be better if you did not house these Tetras with more aggressive or much larger species; otherwise, they will get stressed and outcompeted for food.
Xingu Black Neon Tetras prefer a densely planted aquarium containing a dark substrate and background to best exhibit the subtle colours of these fish. These fish also require plenty of swimming space and some subdued lighting. You will need to make sure that these fish are kept in an aquarium with a tight-fitting lid as they are likely to jump.
Xingu Black Neon Tetras are characterised by a thick black band covering almost half of their flank when fully expressed. The intensity of the black can vary in different individuals, with some being a much paler black, practically grey colour. This band extends anteriorly to the snout and posteriorly onto the caudal base.
Some males display humeral and caudal spots; however, these are barely visible because the spots are darker than the background.
Above the thick black band, they also have a thinner silvery stripe. This silvery stripe is contrasted by a goldish-red spot on the upper half of the eye. Their abdomens are white, and their pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins are pale orange.
|Scientific Name||Moenkhausia heikoi|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|PH||5.5 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 18|
|KH||1 - 2|
|TDS||18 - 268|
|72 - 82℉|
22.2 - 27.8℃
In the home aquarium, the Xingu Black Neon Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.
Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.
It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.
This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.
It can be challenging to differentiate between males and female Xingu Black Neon Tetras. However, their body shape may determine the sex of the fish, with the females being much more profound and plumper than the males, especially when she is full of eggs.