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serpae tetra

This is a discussion on serpae tetra within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> There is some mis-information in this thread that I'll correct as I go. First off, Velgore, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. First on ...

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Old 07-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #11
 
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There is some mis-information in this thread that I'll correct as I go. First off, Velgore, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

First on the "red" tetra, the species is Hyphessobrycon eques. Common names vary depending upon store, location, aquarists... as with all common names, they are next to useless. Serpae Tetra is the most "common" of these so I used it in the profile [click on the shaded name for the profile], but Red Minor, Jewel Tetra, Blood characin, Blood tetra, Callistus tetra are others one finds. The scientific names have changed too, as is explained in the profile.

The profile also notes that the temperament of this fish is variable, and the reason is explained there. One thing is certain: this fish is feisty, and prone to fin nip. You almost always see jagged dorsal and caudal fins. Keeping the fish in larger groups of no less than 8 but 12 or more is preferable, and in tanks no less than 30g (with no other fish, larger if other fish are included) can keep the nipping confined. But this is not guaranteed.

Another absolute is that this fish must never be combined in a tank with sedate or long-finned fish; the temptation is simply too great. And before anyone says there fish didn't... just remember we are talking normal behaviours of a species. The majority of fish in this species will behave according to the above, so the risk is there with the species.

So combining with something as quiet and sedate as a knifefish is out completely. I won't go into the specific requirements to maintain this beautiful fish, but refer you to the profile: Black Ghost Knifefish. It has very specific needs in terms of tank aquascape, lighting, and other fish. And it needs a very large tank while growing. It is inflexible, and this is part of its electrical field mechanism. More in the profile.

Byron.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:00 PM   #12
 
ty. bugger i have to lose tetra then. thanx for help
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:06 PM   #13
 
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It was many, many years ago when I purchased the Red Minor Tetra. They were in a tank next to Red Serpae Tetra. I remembered that there was a difference in appearance but, I couldn't remember what the difference was. Reading the profile reminded me. The Red Minors didn't have the dark shoulder patch. Back then, that would have indicated that they were commercially raised rather than wild-caught. The kindly old gentleman at the fish store told me that they weren't as "mean" as Red Serpae. That seemed to hold true. The difference between wild-caught and commercially raised perhaps ?
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by fish monger View Post
It was many, many years ago when I purchased the Red Minor Tetra. They were in a tank next to Red Serpae Tetra. I remembered that there was a difference in appearance but, I couldn't remember what the difference was. Reading the profile reminded me. The Red Minors didn't have the dark shoulder patch. Back then, that would have indicated that they were commercially raised rather than wild-caught. The kindly old gentleman at the fish store told me that they weren't as "mean" as Red Serpae. That seemed to hold true. The difference between wild-caught and commercially raised perhaps ?
This is a possibility, wild caught fish sometimes behave differently from tank raised. But in this case it is more likely the possibility of there being more than one species, as Weitzman suggested.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
 
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This is a possibility, wild caught fish sometimes behave differently from tank raised. But in this case it is more likely the possibility of there being more than one species, as Weitzman suggested.
So are we saying that serpea and minors are one and the same and what I had was most likely a different species ? See what you mean about common names. I certainly do not want to mislead anyone. Guess I need to read more and type less.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:04 AM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by fish monger View Post
So are we saying that serpea and minors are one and the same and what I had was most likely a different species ? See what you mean about common names. I certainly do not want to mislead anyone. Guess I need to read more and type less.
I can't make definitive statements about Red Minor and Serpae being the same species because i don't know the species to which these common names may have been applied. But i can say that most of the time, the fish offered as Serpae Tetra and Red Minor Tetra are in fact the same species, Hyphessobrycon eques. But I can't emphasize too much that the common name is never a guarantee of accurate identification.

Second, it is possible that there is more than one species within the species H. eques, as Weitzman mentioned. This species is distributed over an immense area in South America, and as we know from other species, this frequently results in the evolution of distinct species. If it does not go this far (to distinct species), there is the possibility of there being variants of the same species. There are several instances of this among the characins in SA. Carnegiella marthae (the Black Winged Hatchetfish), Nannostomus marginatus (the Dwarf Pencilfish), Nannostomus beckfordi (the Golden Pencilfish), and Paracheirodon axelrodi (the cardinal tetra) to name some that occur to me.

Taking the latter, there are two very distinct forms. Throughout the Amazon basin, primarily the Rio Negro basin [an area the size of the country of France to give this some perspective] and up into the Peruvian Amazon, the form of P. axelrodi is distinctly differently from that form of the species that occurs in the Orinoco basin in Colombia. You can read how these vary in appearance in our profile. Gery suggested back in the 1990's that this might represent two distinct species, or it may simply be colour/pattern variants due to the two forms having evolved isolated from each other. The most recent scientific work suggests the latter to be the case. So here we have one species that has evolved into two distinct forms.

There is further info on this in our profile of each of the above-mentioned species if you're interested in just how they vary.

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