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PHEONIX TETRA (Hemigrammus filamentosus)

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The Phoenix Tetra made a splash when it first was introduced to the aquarium world a few years back, featuring a handsome patterning and some extravagantly elongated fins. It wasn’t until 2011 that this mysterious new fish was finally bestowed with its scientific name, Hemigrammus filamentosus, a name which references the dramatic filaments adorning the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins of this fish’s males.

The original specimens of this species were discovered by aquarium collectors working near Belam, Brazil, and were ultimately sourced from the Rio Araguaia, but commercially available specimens are now generally aquacultured, albeit in small numbers. This “dwarf tetra” maxes out at just over an inch in length, making it ideal for smaller systems, especially those that are heavily planted and full of peaceful tankmates.

In addition to the ornate finnage, males also possess a more richly colored caudal fin, boasting a bright red hue. This fiery feature is presumably where the common name stems from. Breeding is said to be relatively simple and is comparable to any off the other egg-scattering characins.

Hemigrammus are mostly docile and hearty in captivity and readily take to nearly any food offered. All sorts of peaceful South American fishes will make for suitable additions to an accurate biotope, including Apistos, armored loricariid catfishes, and other tetras of a similar disposition. With its stunning good looks and an amiable personality, expect this newcomer to become a popular addition to the tetra repertoire.