Green Fire Tetra (Aphyocharax rathbuni)
Family: Characidae, Subfamily Aphyocharacinae
Common Name: Green Fire Tetra, Redflank Bloodfin Tetra
Origin and Habitat: South America, endemic to the Paraguay river basin in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Occurs in streams and rivers, in areas shaded by overhanging vegetation, and flooded forest.
Compatibility/Temperament: Generally peaceful but with reservations. This is a very active species, and prone to fin nip, so it should be maintained in larger groups of eight or more, and only with active fish. Not good with slow, sedate or long-fin fish as it may then nip at the fins.
Primarily carnivorous, feeding on insects, insect larvae, small worms and crustaceans. Readily accepts prepared foods such as flake, small pellet and frozen.
About 1 inch, or slightly longer.
Minimum Tank Suggestion
24 inches in length, preferably 30 inches, as this is a very active swimmer.
Soft to moderately hard (GH up to 20 dGH), acidic to slightly basic (pH 6 to 7.5), temperature 20-26C/68-79F.
This species is one that fares best either in its own habitat tank, or in a community aquarium of active, robust fish. See further remarks under Compatibility/Temperament above.
An aquarium with a sand substrate, containing several chunks of bogwood and/or branches, and a cover of floating plants will suite this species. There should be a gentle flow from the filter, as this fish is accustomed to a slight current.
There are no external gender indicators, other than the fuller body of females particularly when ready to spawn. This is a group spawner, and an egg-scatterer. Eggs or fry will be devoured by the adult fish if left together.
The species was described in 1907 by C.H. Eigenmann. A second species, Aphyocharax stramineus, was described also by Eigenmann in 1907 but this is a conspecific [same species]. The name of the genus, erected by A. Gunther in 1868, derives from the Greek aphye, -es [= sardine, anchovy] and charax [= a marine fish]. The species epithet honours an individual.
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