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Hyphessobrycon heliacus

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This beautiful tetra has only recently been discovered in the Rio Tapajós in Brazil. Body is compact, quite streamlined, with a distinctive black eyespot covering the entire caudal peduncle. A fainter dark vertical band can be seen just behind the gill covers. The body of the fish has a pronounced golden sheen, from which comes the specific epithet, heliacus, meaning "like the sun". The fins range from yellowy-orange to red. The top of the iris is red. When held in retailers' aquaria, the colours are often somewhat weak; in a shady, well maintained aquarium these are very striking and nicely coloured fishes.

Sexual dimorphism is quite pronounced in this species, with males having conspicuously extended fin rays on the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

A peaceful, schooling fish. In the wild these fish are found in relatively still water habitats on the edges of rivers, usually among aquatic vegetation. A similar environment in the aquarium is recommended. Basic care is identical to other members of the genus Hyphessobrycon. Provide good clean water and a variety of small foods including flake, bloodworms, daphnia, etc. Not yet bred in the aquarium, but presumably similar to other Hyphessobrycon in this regard.

Family Group: Characins
Distribution South America: Brazil, Rio Tapajós system, specifically the Téles Pires tributaries
Temperature 24-26 C
Size 2.8 cm
Water Parameters Soft and slightly acidic water preferred
Water PH 6.0-7.0