- Hyphessobrycon malanostichos, García-Alzate et al
- Hyphessobrycon: from the Ancient Greek υπελάσσων (hyphesson), meaning ‘of lesser stature’, and used as a prefix in this case, plus the generic name Brycon.
- melanostichos: from the Greek melano, for black and stichos meaning row. Referring to the black longitudinal stripe on the body.
- Order: Characiformes
- Family: Characidae
The Rio Doze de Outubro in the upperof Brazil is the exclusive habitat of a particular fish species. Another fish species, known as Hyphessobrycon cf. melanostichos, is present in the Rio Teles Pires. However, it is uncertain whether this fish will be classified as a new species or not.
Maximum Standard Length
- Female: 2.5 cm
- Male: 2.5 cm
Black Stripe Tetras are generally easy to care for and can thrive in a community tank. However, it’s important to keep larger numbers of these fish together as they tend to live more harmoniously in larger groups, and individuals may compete for dominance in smaller groups. It’s recommended to aim for a group of at least 12 individuals in a 90cm long tank to ensure the best results.
When it comes to aquarium decoration, a lush growth of aquatic plants can provide an excellent contrasting backdrop to the striking blue and red colors of adult melanostichos. Alternatively, a natural setup can be created using rounded cobbles, sandy substrate, driftwood, and leaf litter to mimic their natural environment. In tanks with abundant mosses, you may even see fry and young fish appearing from spawnings.
Overall, Black Stripe Tetras are a peaceful and hardy species that can make a great addition to a community tank, as long as they are kept in adequate numbers and provided with suitable aquarium conditions.
- Temperature: 23 °C – 28 °C
- pH: 5.5 – [pH-max]
As these fish are not blackwater species, the pH should not be allowed to drop below 5.5. Most specimens are captive bred and will tolerate a pH up to 7.5.
- Hardness: 0 ppm – 179 ppm
Black Stripe Tetras are likely to be omnivorous, feeding on a variety of food sources in their natural habitat, including small invertebrates, crustaceans, filamentous algae, and fallen fruit.
In an aquarium environment, they can survive on a diet of dried food. However, to ensure optimal health and wellbeing, it’s recommended to offer a varied diet that includes live and frozen foods such as chironomid larvae (bloodworm), mosquito larvae, Daphnia, and Moina. This will provide the fish with the necessary nutrients and help to mimic their natural feeding habits.
It’s also important to note that overfeeding should be avoided, as it can lead to health problems and water quality issues. A good rule of thumb is to offer a small amount of food once or twice a day and remove any uneaten food after a few minutes. By providing a balanced diet and feeding in moderation, you can ensure that your Black Stripe Tetras remain healthy and active.
Behaviour and Compatibility
Hyphessobrycon melanostichos, like many other fish species, may become territorial in smaller aquariums or larger aquariums with boundaries. However, this behavior can be mitigated by keeping a group of 10 or more individuals.
This species is gregarious and forms loose hierarchies, with males continually battling for female attention and positioning within the group. Interestingly, males will display more vivid coloration in the presence of conspecific rivals.
While territorial towards their own species, H. melanostichos generally shows little to no aggression towards other fish species in larger aquariums. However, care should still be taken when choosing tankmates, especially those with long fins.
Robust fish species inhabiting similar biotopes in nature, such as comparably-sized, open water-dwelling characids, gasteropelecids, lebiasinids, smaller callichthyid or loricariid catfishes, and some small-to-medium-sized cichlids, make good tankmates for H. melanostichos. Rainbowfishes and cyprinids can also be suitable, but proper research should be conducted before making any purchases.
Overall, as long as proper tankmates are chosen and a large enough aquarium is provided, H. melanostichos should be a peaceful and fascinating addition to any community aquarium.
Sexual dimorphism in H. melanostichos is not prominent outside breeding condition. Males and females are similar in overall size, but females may have a deeper body shape, especially when they are well-fed or carrying eggs. During the breeding season, males will exhibit a darker overall coloration with reddish-brown tones on the tail, which is absent in females. In aquarium conditions, male fish may occasionally chase other males or females, but females are generally peaceful and do not engage in such behavior.
Hyphessobrycon melanostichos is an egg-scattering free spawner that exhibits no parental care. While adults can spawn often in a mature aquarium, a more controlled approach can maximize the yield of fry.
To do this, a smaller aquarium should be set up and filled with slightly cooler water than the normal tank. Spawning is usually more successful when males and females are conditioned separately. The smaller tank should be very dimly lit and covered with a mesh or matting that allows eggs to fall through but prevents adults from reaching them. Fine-leaved plants or spawning mops can also be used to return decent results.
The water in the smaller tank should be slightly acidic to neutral in pH with a temperature towards the upper end of the suggested range. An air-powered sponge filter or air stone(s) should also be included to provide oxygenation and water movement.
Once the adult fish are well-conditioned, a single pair or group comprising one or two males and several females can be introduced to each container and left in place until eggs are detected, typically the following morning. Initial food should be Paramecium or a proprietary dry food of a sufficiently small grade, with Artemia nauplii and microworm introduced once the fry are large enough to accept them.
Hyphessobrycon melanostichos and Hyphessobrycon sp. Blue Ribbon share many similarities, but there are some noticeable differences between the two. H. melanostichos has a lighter, more streamlined body, a smaller humeral spot, and reddish coloration that is absent in the Blue Ribbon tetra. However, the care and maintenance of both species are virtually identical. It is important to carefully observe the physical characteristics of these species to avoid confusion and ensure proper care in the aquarium.
- Carvalho & Bertaco, 2006 – Brazilian Ichthyology: 301-308
Two new species of Hyphessobrycon (Teleostei: Characidae) from upper Rio Tapajos basin on Chapada dos Parecis, Central Brazil
- Bailly, Nicolas. – Fish Base
- Evers, Hans., 2019 –
- Pedley, Max A., 2020 – Bauer Media