Fish Disease Tips: Set up and use a quarantine tank. This is a small inconvenience that can really save your butt.
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The Flame Tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus), also known as the Red Tetra or Von Rio Tetra, is a small freshwater fish of the characin family Characidae of order Characiformes. The species was first introduced as aquarium fish in 1920 by C. Bruening, Hamburg, Germany, and formally described in 1924 by Dr. George S. Myers.
Standard length reaches 2.5 to 4 cm. The rear half of the body is flame red while the area in front of the dorsal fin is silver crossed by two dark vertical bars. All the fins are red except for the pectoral fins, which are colourless.The tip of the anal fin on the male is black while on the female the fins have less red colouration but darker tips of the pectoral fins.
H. flammeus is found in slowly flowing rivers in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, South America. The natural populations are locally endangered and listed in the Brazilian national red list  but not in the international IUCN red list. Commercially sold flame tetras are bred in captivity since capture and export from Brazil are prohibited.
H. flammeus should be kept in groups of more than 5 fishes in tanks from 60l volume onwards. It prefers water conditions at 22-28°C, pH 5.8 – 7.8, dH 5 – 25. The aquarium should contain a lot of water plants for hiding and some free water for swimming. Very bright illumination should be avoided. Keeping and breeding is unproblematical and the flame tetra can be kept in community basins. It is generally very peaceful but some individuals may behave occasionally aggressive.
In the wild, Flame Tetras feed on insect larvae, small Crustaceans and plant matter. In captivity they will happily feed on dried flake, Daphnia, mosquito larvae and frozen foods.
Breeding these fish in captivity is typical for most of the Tetra family. These fish will spawn in both hard and soft water. However it is recommended that the parents are removed after spawning as they will eat the eggs. Flame tetras scatter about 200-300 adhesive eggs through plants; a large clump of Java moss placed in the aquarium is ideal for this. The eggs hatch relatively quickly, in 24-36 hours, but the fry do not become free-swimming until several days later.
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