False Penguin Tetra (Thayeria Boehlkei)
The False Penguin Tetra is an appealing and lively freshwater fish, often mistaken for the Penguin Tetra due to their similar appearance. They have a silver body with a shimmering quality and display a distinct diagonal black stripe that runs from the dorsal fin to the middle of the tail fin, which resembles a penguin's silhouette, giving them their common name. The False Penguin Tetra is relatively easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists.
The False Penguin Tetra reaches up to 2.5 inches in length. It is highly recommended to purchase a group of at least 6 False Penguin Tetras, with a preference for 10 or more. These fish are naturally schooling species and thrive in the presence of their own kind. Keeping them in sufficient numbers enhances their well-being and reduces any potential fin-nipping behavior, as they tend to focus on interacting with each other. The visual impact of a larger school is also quite stunning.
False Penguin Tetras are peaceful fish that may struggle to compete with overly active or significantly larger tankmates. Ideally, they should be housed with other South American species such as Hemigrammus or Hyphessobrycon tetras, pencil fish, Apistogramma and other small cichlids, Corydoras, and Loricariids. In a more diverse community tank, they can coexist with smaller rasboras, barbs, Anabantoids, and West African dwarf cichlids like Pelvicachromis species.
False Penguin Tetras are omnivorous and appreciate a diverse diet. They will readily accept high-quality flake food and live and frozen foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms, which contribute to their overall health and vibrant coloration.
The aquarium should have plenty of plants, hiding spots made with driftwood or twisted roots, and open swimming areas. Slightly diffused or dimmed lighting is preferable, with a dark substrate and floating plants to provide the shady conditions preferred by False Penguin Tetras. Include some plants that can tolerate low light conditions, such as Java fern, Java moss, Anubias, or Cryptocorynes, along the back and sides of the aquarium. They enjoy swimming in open areas between aquariums' middle to middle-top levels.
The ideal tank habitat for False Penguin Tetras should be at least 20 gallons, although a 30-gallon community tank is preferable. Maintain water parameters within a stable range, with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0, a hardness of 5-20 dGH, and a temperature of 75-82°F (24-28°C).
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.