Firehead Tetra (Hemigrammus Bleheri)
The Firehead Tetra is a captivating and peaceful freshwater fish known for its brilliant coloration and compatibility with other community fish. With a more intense red head than its cousin, the Rummy-nose Tetra, the Firehead Tetra's red coloration extends from the snout to the gill covers and slightly beyond. It also features a diffuse black marking along the body, as well as a distinctive black and white striped tail fin.
They are known for their synchronized schooling behavior and are compatible with other peaceful tankmates. Firehead Tetras' relatively easy care requirements make them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists.
Firehead Tetras grow up to 2 inches in length. It is highly recommended to purchase a group of at least 6 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.
Firehead 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.
Firehead Tetras are omnivores, and their diet should include high-quality flake food and live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia to maintain their overall health and vibrant colors.
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 sandy or fine dark substrate and floating plants to provide the shady conditions preferred by Firehead 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. The true beauty of the Firehead Tetra will be revealed under these conditions. They enjoy swimming in open areas between aquariums' middle to middle-bottom levels.
The minimum recommended aquarium size is 20 gallons, but a 30-gallon community tank is ideal. Water parameters should be maintained within a stable range, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, hardness of 5-12 dGH, and a temperature of 75-81°F (24-27°C).
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.