Alternative species (click on the thumbnail to see the card)
Origin: South America (Venezuela, Brazil, Amazon basin)
The female is slightly rounder and larger than the male. The latter has more contrasting colours.
80 L / 18 Imp Gal / 21 US Gal
T°: 24 to 28°C or 75 to 82°F
pH: 6 to 7
Hardness: 5 to 8°dGH
3 to 4.5cm (1.2 to 1.8")
3 to 4 years
How to feed the X-ray fish?
Easy to feed (even voracious!), this omnivorous fish will accept all forms of food offered to it. However, be careful with the size of the food that must fit in its small mouth!
For a beautiful shape and better colouring, vary the meals, both in their shape and content.
Finally, note that red daphnia improve the colour of grouse!
What kind of behavior does the X-ray fish have?
The Tetra Pristella is an active and lively species. However, it can be fearful and finally quite sensitive to stress.
Who can live with the X-ray fish?
In the wild, this fish lives in schools of several dozen individuals. In captivity, it retains this need to live in groups and must be kept with at least 9 of its own congeners. Of course, if your volume allows you to adopt a larger group, don't deprive yourself: the more numerous they are, the happier they are!
For maintenance with other species, it is possible because the grouse is a pacific fish. Thus, it will fit perfectly in a community aquarium. However, cohabitation with aggressive, very turbulent or very large species is not recommended. Instead, other peaceful species of similar size such as other small grouse, pencil fish, Apistogramma, hatchet fish or small Loricariidae should be kept in the same biotope. For a non-specific aquarium, let's extend the list of good roommates to peaceful rasboras, bearded rasboras or small loaches.
How to breed the X-ray fish?
The breeding of Pristella maxillaris is possible for all aquarists.
To prepare the laying and to have a maximum of young, prepare a small aquarium as follows:
small sponge filter on air pump
no light or dimmed
fine-leaved plants such as Java moss
protective grid to allow eggs to pass through
water parameters: temperature at 26°C (79°F), pH at 7 and Gh from 1 to 5°dGH
peat filtration (not essential but an additional advantage)
To have a better chance of spawning, consider separating males from females about 2 weeks before spawning. Isolate the couple you have selected in this aquarium (a well rounded female and a beautifully coloured male).
Stimulate breeding by feeding them small live prey. Spawning usually takes place in the morning and lasts between 1h30 and 2 hours. The eggs are deposited in fine-leafed plants. Up to 500 eggs can be laid. After spawning, remove the parents and keep the tray in the dark.
If no eggs are visible after a few days, start again with another couple of fish.
Incubation takes 24 to 36 hours. At birth, the fry attach themselves to windows and plants. They will consume their yolk sac in 4 days. If they are well fed, the young grow quickly: 7 mm (0.3") in a week and 15 mm (0.6") a quarter of a week later. Bring the light back into their aquarium very slowly. They are fully grown by the age of 7 months.
Fry feeding: infuse for 2 weeks and then move on to artemia or cyclops nauplia.
Which aquarium for the X-ray fish?
Because of its restless nature, the Tetra Pristella needs an aquarium of at least 80 L / 18 Imp Gal / 21 US Gal to expend its energy, even if it is a small fish.
This fish likes to swim in the current. Therefore, offer it a moderate stirring in its living area. Peat filtration is also recommended because it will lower the pH a little and generate amber water that your fish will love!
Fearful, it absolutely needs a well planted aquarium offering shade and numerous hiding places. A very important plant cover is essential for its well-being. Floating plants will be welcome to dim the lighting. Contrast this decor with beautiful peat bog or mangrove roots, which will also be much appreciated.
For the soil, river sand such as Loire sand or equivalent is ideal. For more naturalness and to get as close as possible to its biotope, sprinkle the ground with a few dried tree leaves such as Catappa, oak or beech leaves.
Good To know
Good To know
Find all additional information!
There are "gold" and "albino" varieties of this species.
Pristella maxillaris is the only representative of the genus Pristella which has therefore become monospecific.
The Characidae family is one of the largest fish families with some 1300 species listed!
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