Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)
Origin: South America, Colombia, Brazil
The female is rounder and larger than the male.
80 L / 18 imp gal / 21 US gal
T°: 25 à 28°C or 77 to 82°F
pH: 5 to 7
Hardness: 2 to 12°dGH
4 cm (1.5")
How to feed the Firehead Tetra?
Hemigrammus bleheri is omnivorous and quite easy to feed. The only point of vigilance is to offer it food adapted to its size.
You can distribute flakes for tropical fish. However, for a better balance and good health, vary your meals as often as possible. Live or frozen foods will then be very suitable: worms, artemia...
What kind of behavior does the Firehead Tetra have?
Hemigrammus bleheri is gregarious: it must imperatively live in a shoal of at least ten individuals. Plus, it’s a good swimmer. An aquarium of at least 80 liters or 18 Imp Gal or 21 US Gal with a good length of facade is therefore essential for this little fish.
In general, the Firehead Tetra is a fearful fish, but quite lively.
Who can live with the Firehead Tetra?
Cohabitation with other species of the same family will not cause any concern (Tetra, Neons...). Be careful however to the most active representatives of this family who could potentially disturb the Firehead (Congo Tetra, Tetra Emperor...).
The association with small cichlids from South America is also perfect, as with Discus or Scalar. In general, combine calm and peaceful fish.
Cohabitation with Corydoras, even if compatible on paper, is to be avoided for environmental reasons. Indeed, Fireheads enjoy well planted aquariums, while the ideal aquarium for Corydoras is less planted (with only 10 to 20% of plants).
How to breed the Firehead Tetra?
The aquarium breeding is difficult to obtain because it requires very special conditions.
Prepare a spawning tank of about 60 liters or 13 Imp Gal or 16 US Gal with a small filter, Java foam and very little light. For the water parameters, start on a ph at 6/6.5 and a temperature as close as possible to 27°C or 81°F.
Introduce your breeding specimens. If eggs are laid, remove the parents quickly and leave the eggs in total darkness for 35 hours. After this time, bring back the light very slowly, little by little. The fry will take their beautiful color after 5 weeks.
Fry food: plankton then artemia nauplii.
Which aquarium for the Firehead Tetra?
The decoration of your Firehead aquarium can consist of many roots and plants. This environment rich in hiding will promote its well-being and its sense of security will only be reinforced.
Plants are especially preferred because the Firehead likes to grow in the shade of large plants. However, be careful that it has enough free space so that its swimming is not impeded.
A peat filtration will be a plus: imitating the black water of Rio Negro.
Finally, note that this species is sensitive to nitrates. It will therefore be necessary to keep water of good quality by regularly making water changes.
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Pay particular attention to the acclimatisation of this species, it is a delicate moment. Indeed, the Firehead is sensitive to temperature differences. Make a slow and gentle acclimatisation. For example, you must float the transport bag containing your new fish for at least 30 minutes in your aquarium so that it gradually warms up. Then pour a little water from your aquarium into the bag, and this regularly. The ideal for this step is to use a drip. Once the bag is filled, fish your fish and release them in your aquarium.
The Firehead is very susceptible to the white spot disease, often triggered by stress. Promote the well-being of your fish by applying the tips of this sheet to avoid weakening their health. Apart from that, this species is quite robust.
There are 3 species with the Firehead: Hemigrammus rhodostomus, Hemigrammus bleheri, and finally the false Firehead, Petitella georgiae. The differences between the 3 species are summarized in this picture:
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