The Black Phantom Tetra, scientifically known as Hyphessobrycon megalopterus, is a visually striking and popular freshwater fish species among aquarium enthusiasts. Renowned for its unique appearance, schooling behavior, and ease of care, the Black Phantom Tetra adds elegance and charm to community aquariums.
- Size: Black Phantom Tetras typically reach an adult size of 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 centimeters).
- Body Shape: They have a streamlined and slightly elongated body shape with a slightly curved back. Their body is laterally compressed, making them well-suited for life in densely vegetated habitats.
- Coloration: As the name suggests, Black Phantom Tetras have predominantly black bodies with contrasting white or silvery markings. A characteristic black, triangular "phantom" patch extends from the base of the dorsal fin to the tail. In addition, their fins are typically transparent or lightly colored, adding to their striking appearance.
- Finnage: They possess a standard set of fins, including a well-developed dorsal fin and a forked tail fin.
Behavior and Temperament: Black Phantom Tetras are peaceful and sociable fish that thrive in groups. They are known for their schooling behavior and should be kept in groups of at least six individuals or more to reduce stress and encourage their natural behaviors. They are compatible with various other community fish species due to their non-aggressive nature.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
- Tank Size: A 20-gallon (75-liter) aquarium is suitable for a school of Black Phantom Tetras. Larger tanks provide more swimming space and allow for a larger group.
- Substrate: Provide a fine gravel or sand substrate, which mimics their natural habitat and allows them to sift through the substrate for food.
- Filtration: Efficient filtration and maintenance of water quality are crucial. Regular water changes are recommended to ensure optimal conditions.
- Decor: Create a well-decorated aquarium with live or artificial plants, driftwood, and rocks to offer hiding spots and mimic their native South American habitat. Floating plants can provide shaded areas and diffuse lighting.
- Water Parameters: Black Phantom Tetras thrive in tropical freshwater conditions with a temperature range of 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C), a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5, and soft to moderately hard water.
Diet: Black Phantom Tetras are omnivores and accept a varied diet. Offer them high-quality flakes, pellets, and granules formulated for omnivorous fish. Additionally, include live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms, as well as vegetable matter such as blanched spinach or spirulina flakes.
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