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Spawning Hyphessobrycon roseus
The Red-Tailed Phantom Tetra
by Charles Drew (H&DAS)



I first saw this new tetra at the Tropical Fish Room in Brantford, a store that is more likely than most to offer new or seldom seen fish. When I asked Gerry what the pretty little fish were he replied that it was new to him too and that the wholesaler was calling it the Gold Red-tailed Phantom. I soon had six bagged and was on my way.

Looking through a number of books I finally decided that it was Hyphessobrycon griemi. Some pictures in some books looked more like it than others. The black dot on the H. griemi did not look as black or the same shape but photos are sometimes off and then there are variations in fish from different localities.

About a week later I was trying to identify another little tetra with a dealer's dubious name when all of a sudden it stared me right in the face. There on page 283 of Baensch's Atlas, book two, was the exact fish and it was a member of the Phantom Tetra family. I have had and spawned the Red and Black Phantoms but never dreamed another one existed.

The text told me it was first discovered in the Maroni River in the Guianas in 1978 and first imported into Germany in 1984. Whether the fish I have are wild or tank bred I cannot say, only that it is possibly the first shipment into Canada.

The body is golden red with more of a blood red in the fins. Both the male and the female have white edging in the dorsal and anal fins, the male having a little more than the female. Both sexes have a large black shoulder dot that is sharp and pronounced. The females can grow to about one inch in length, the males are a little smaller.

Although my fish were small and maybe a little immature, after a week in quarantine the couple had matured enough to be sexed. I set them up in a two and a half gallon tank over a screen. The water was very soft and slightly acid. A saran spawning strip was placed in the tank for them to spawn against and the temperature was 80 F.

Nothing happened the first day but the second I saw some eggs under the screen. They hatched in twenty-four hours and then clung to the glass for the next four or five days. The fry were tiny and required infusoria for about a week. They were soon eating fine powder dry food, micro worms and live baby brine shrimp. The twenty or more fry are doing well and are currently a month old at the time of writing this article. A week after the first spawning I spawned them again. This time I also had a successful spawning of about a hundred fry. This new little tetra may perhaps be here with us to stay.

(Aquaworld comment: The original article name has been updated due to the name change of the Megalamphodus genus to Hyphessobrycon)

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