Black Phantom Questions
1. The profile says they are peaceful, but others report some aggressiveness. Which is it? They look so similar to Serpae, which I know from experience are pretty nasty.
2. I remember reading in the profiles (maybe for the Rosy Tetra) that those species in the Rosy Tetra clade in general prefer the lower levels of the aquarium. How strict are the Black Phantoms in this? Like the Glowlights that I have now, which stay near the bottom almost exclusively or do they roam around more?
3. If I were to buy these I would probably need to order from one of the online retailers. I would be concerned that if I did this I might end up with just males since the females look different. It seems possible that if the person filling the order was not familiar with the species they might just net the males. Any experience/thoughts?
I have kept this species (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus) several times, though not presently. They do remain in the lower half of the aquarium, always; they will come to the surface to feed, though they prefer waiting for the food to sink and drift past them. Of the several Rosy clade species I have kept, all are the same in this respect. They also do not like light. Mine remain under cover of plants, and on the right half of the tank out of the direct water current.
You definitely want a mix of male/female. Half and half works fine, or even more males. The males in this species, and in the other Rosy clade species i have kept, do not drive the females like some characins will. Watching the males displaying in pairs is fascinating. All species that I am familiar with in this clade do this. Two of my Roberti tetra males were into this last evening, fins spread, almost black in colour, gliding around the tank about an inch apart, circling and charging, quite impressive.
Did you ever notice any aggression when you had them? Like I said some report nippiness, but of course there is no way of knowing if those reporting this were keeping them in the proper conditions. I'm thinking around 10 individuals in a 40+ gal tank with other tetras, corys, pencilfish. Should there be a few more females to males or 50/50?
Are they sedate or more active swimmers?
And by they way, in the photo for the male phantom in the profile, do you happen to know the name of the plant with the whorled leaves? The one directly behind the fish.
50/50 is fine, the males are the beauties with their behaviours, but the female with its red fins is also pretty. They are sedate, no active swimmers in this clade, which is why they are such good tankmates with discus and angelfish. No aggression. The males challenge one another but I hever observed physical aggression. Dorsal fins do sometimes split, I suspect not due to nipping but something else, since the tips are never frayed. If nippiness were mentioned by any reliable source, it would have gone in the profile.
Thanks, these sound great.
My list keeps getting longer - I'd need 20 tanks for all the fish I'd like to keep.
Mine were in a group of four and acted fairly aggressive towards the other fish and each other. They picked out one "scrapgoat" in their group and picked on her to no end. But I added 3 more and the aggression has stopped. Just make sure you add a decent sized shoal.
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