Over the years the Flame Tetra—whose name derives from its red coloration—has lost ground to its other, more vividly colored, relatives, especially their cultivated forms. It is very similar overall to H. bifasciatus (Copper Bifasciatus), with which it is confused to the extent that H. bifasciatus is often used as a synonym of H. flammeus. However, the true H. bifasciatus lacks the red coloration, has several skeletal differences, and is slightly larger. H. griemi (Griem’s Tetra) from central Brazil is also similar to the Flame Tetra but has three instead of two shoulder patches.
- Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus
- Southeastern Brazil (both H. bifasciatus and H. flammeus).
- 1 1/2in (4cm).
- Generally a peaceful shoaler.
- Wide range of foods accepted.
- Well planted, with ample swimming space. Tannin-stained water recommended. Dark substratum will also help. Subdued lighting shows this species off well. Soft, slightly acid to neutral water, preferably with gentle current. Temperature range: 75-82 F (24-28 C).
- Eggs are scattered among vegetation and may be eaten by the spawners. Hatching takes about 1 day.