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Serpae Tetra Hyphessobrycon serpae

The Serpae Tetra originates from Guyana and the Amazon River basin in South America.   It is known by the scientific Hyphessobrycon serpae and also by the name Hyphessobrycon eques and Hyphessobrycon callistus.  The body varies between a light red/brown to darker reddish shades. The dorsal fin is predominantly black.  The lower fins are red and can be tipped in white.  There is usually, but not always, a black spot behind the gills.  Their colors become greatly enhanced when they dispute territories among themselves and they will dance around each other in a beautiful display of motion and color.

Serpaes like the surface area of the tank and appreciate long stemmed plants.  Dimmed lighting is also preferred, which can be achieved through plant cover.  They are a typical schooling tetra and should be kept in groups of at least 6.  They are one of the more aggressive tetras and can have a tendency to nip fins, especially with other serpaes.  They should be kept with aggressive larger tetras, such as the Blind Cave Tetra, the Buenos Aires Tetra, the Colombian Tetra and the Silver Tip Tetra.  They are definitely not good companions for smaller tetras and guppies.  They eat flake foods, freeze dried bloodworms and brine shrimp.

The female is larger, paler and broader, especially when laden with eggs.  Soft, slightly acidic water is best for breeding and lighting should be greatly dimmed.  Pairs should be separated for more than a week before breeding and fed a variety of foods.  Tetras have adhesive eggs, so fine leaved plants should be used to catch the eggs.  The parents should be removed after spawning.  The fry will hatch within 2 days and will survive several days on their yolk sac.  The fry should be fed brine shrimp and then finely ground flake foods.

Scientific Name: Hyphessobrycon serpae
Family: Characin
Temperature: 22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F
pH: 5.0 - 7.8
Size: 4 cm; 1.5 inches
Life Span: 5 years
Breeding: Easy, Egg Layer


Blind Cave Tetra, Buenos Aires Tetra, Corydoras Catfish, Large Tetras,  Mollies, Platies, Plecostomus, Silver Tip Tetra, Swordtails,  Zebra Danio