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Fish of the Month
Issue: December 2007

Hemigrammus erythrozonus

DURBIN 1909

FOM T 0810

Aaron Norman

Common Names: Fire neon, glo-lite tetra, glowlight tetra, etc.

Type Locality: N/A

Range: Guyana: Río Essequibo

Taxonomic Troubles: This is the original name.

Size: 3 to 4 cm (up to 1½ inches).

Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical freshwater, adapts to any non-extreme pH and hardness.

Difficulty: A great beginner’s tetra. As long as they are kept in groups of at least six and maintained with peaceful tankmates, they will do well in any community setup.

Tank Setup: As with all small schooling fish, the more cover they have, the less time they’ll spend hiding. Heavy plantings along the back and sides, with an open swimming area in the center, suit this fish very well. They will school mostly in midwater. This tetra u

Feeding: A micropredator that also takes some plant material. Will take any commercial fish foods. Live foods are always eagerly accepted.

Breeding: A fairly easy-to-breed tetra. Spawning success is more likely with water that is slightly soft and acidic. The pair spawns in plants or mops and should be removed right after egg laying. After a few days on micro foods, the fry will take newly hatched brine shrimp.

Description: A slender, elongated tetra. The stripe from head to tail is the prominent feature, starting out pinkish and ending up a brilliant neon red at the tail. Photographs cannot really do this fish justice; they positively glow with scarlet iridescence.

Notes: The simple beauty and hardiness of this fish make it a constant favorite. Although blue iridescence is prevalent in fishes, red iridescence is less common, and this tetra uses it as its only coloration. The result is a bright, lively fish, and a school of glowlights is a great counterpoint or alternative to the ubiquitous school of neon tetras. In a planted tank with dark substrate, a large school makes a dazzling display, and they are ideal for a species tank. They also work well in a community tank with similarly sized, peaceful tankmates, such as small tetras, rasboras, gouramis, danios, and bottom dwellers like Corydoras catfish.

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