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A young female Black Phantom Tetra. Photo by Vidalsasoon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, for Wikipedia (English).

Black Phantom Tetra

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The Black Phantom Tetra (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus) is a distinguished species of medium-sized tetra, characterized by their dark bodies, black fins, and black eye-spot with a bright blue outline. Female Black Phantoms will generally develop a red hue on the underside of their bodies.

This species of tetra generally grows just under 2" in length from nose to tail-tip. This schooling species will require an aquarium that can hold at least 10 gallons of water, as they do best in groups of 5 or more. They prefer a water temperature between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and do best with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 (slightly acidic is preferred). These fish will live for 5 years on average when well-cared for.

Dark coloured gravel and live plants are advised when keeping this species. They can thrive in both black-water and clear-water environments. This fish is not a picky eater, and will happily accept most high-quality flake. It is recommended to keep their diet varied for best colours in longevity; consider high-quality flakes and small pellets, as well as freeze-dried and frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

These fish are very peaceful and can be kept with other small community fish species, provided there is enough space in the aquarium. They will get stressed out by significantly larger or semi-aggressive tankmates, so be wary. They are not known to eat fish or snails, but will eat baby shrimp.


Photo by Vidalsasoon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, for Wikipedia (English).