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FRESH WATER

Fishes

Beacon fish
(Hemigrammus ocellifer ocellifer)

francais anglais
Beacon fish

Beacon fish
(Hemigrammus ocellifer ocellifer)

Its funny name comes from the two bright red dots of its body: one is at eye level and the other on the tail. Be careful, even if it is small, this gregarious fish can become aggressive if it is isolated. Do not deprive him of the company of its congeners!

Scientific name

Hemigrammus ocellifer ocellifer
Hemibrycon ocellifer
Tetragonopterus ocellifer

Common name

Beacon fish
Beacon tetra
Head-and-tail light tetra
Head-and-taillight tetra

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: French Guiana, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia
Biotope: Amazonian

Dimorphism

what are the physical differences between males and females?

The male is smaller and slenderer than the female. It sometimes has a small white line at the beginning of the anal fin

Group

Group

Characidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

80 L / 18 imp gal / 21 US gal

Water parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 23 à 28°C or 73 to 82°F
pH: 5.5 to 6.5
Hardness: 5 to 10°dGH

Difficulty

Difficulty

Easy

Size

what is the maximum size of this fish?

4.5 cm (1.6")

Life expectancy

what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

5 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle

Individuals

sociability of the species

10

Food

How to feed the Beacon fish?

Food

How to feed the Beacon fish?

Omnivorous: all forms of food are accepted with preference for live prey. A varied diet will bring out its colors.

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Beacon fish have?

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Beacon fish have?

Species with a rather lively and slightly aggressive temperament. It remains nonetheless classified among the peaceful aquarium fish. Like all species of the genus, it is gregarious and must imperatively be kept in a shoal. Indeed, it will flourish much more in the company of its congeners. Conversely, in too small numbers, it becomes extremely nervous and aggressive.

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Beacon fish?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Beacon fish?

A community aquarium is accepted but beware of shrimp. This is one of the best choices of Characidae for the whole tank. You can associate it with other species of the same size but it must be the only middle fish in the tank. Depth inhabitants such as Corydoras or small Loricariidae, or on the contrary surface species like most Gouramis will be good roommates. Small dwarf cichlids like Apistogramma will also be well matched.

Finally, avoid large fish like Scalar that could confuse them with their meal as well as fish with long fins like the Fighters for example.

Breeding

How to breed the Beacon fish?

Breeding

How to breed the Beacon fish?

Breeding is possible but requires some experience in this area. Indeed, some conditions are essential for successful breeding. Place in a spawning tank (20 L or 5 US Gallons or 4 Imperial Gallons) equipped with a protective grid and thin-leaved plants such as Java moss, a male and a female. Temperature at 27°C or 81°F and KH at 4°.

Choose a place that is a little sunny in the morning but the aquarium itself will have to be very dimly lit. Filtering on peat and using osmosis water will be a plus. Separate the sexes and prepare the parents for spawning by feeding them abundantly with live prey. Select a beautiful male and the most round female and introduce them at night in the breeding tank. Spawning should take place the next morning. As soon as the eggs appear, remove the parents. The incubation lasts 24 hours and must be done in total darkness. The fry are raised in about 10 cm or 4 inches of water, and the water level is raised as they grow.

Fry food: infusoria, nauplies of artemia and cyclops.

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Beacon fish?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Beacon fish?

Go for dim lighting. In terms of water chemistry, peat filtration is ideal for its balance and for maintaining low stable parameters.

For an Amazonian biotype aquarium, the scenery will consist of a substrate of river sand (as dark as possible), roots, rocks and tufts of scattered but abundant plants. Be careful to leave them enough swimming space.

For a more natural effect, line the soil with some dried leaves (beech or oak for example). You will replace these leaves as needed to avoid rot. These leaves will slightly tint water, this is the effect sought in a bin biotype like this one.

In a poorer setting, the Head and Tail Light slightly loses its colors.

Finally, you’ll notice that it likes to play in a moderate to strong stream.

Good to know

Good to know

Find all additional information!

This fish will be a very good choice for beginners: it is robust and inexpensive.

It owes its name to the two luminous red dots of its body: one is at the eye level and the other on the tail.

Hemigrammus ocellifer-ocellifer

It differs from Hemigrammus ocellifer falsus by the presence of the dark stain behind the head.

Note that there is an Albino variety of this species.

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