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Glowlight tetra

Hemigrammus erythrozonus

Photo: Glowlight tetra
Weights and measures
Length from 4 to 4,5 cm
Biological data
Lifespan from 2 to 6 years
Animal description
The Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus) is a captivating species of freshwater fish that has charmed aquarists around the world with its subtle yet striking beauty. Originating from the Essequibo River in Guyana, South America, this small, peaceful fish is an ideal inhabitant for community aquariums, thanks to its serene nature and vibrant appearance.

Typically, the Glowlight Tetra reaches a modest size of about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length, making it a perfect choice for smaller tanks as well as larger community setups. Its body is slender and slightly elongated, showcasing a transparent or semi-transparent flesh that allows a unique view of its internal structure. What sets the Glowlight Tetra apart, however, is the distinctive, iridescent red to orange stripe that runs longitudinally from its snout, through its eye, and all the way to the base of its tail fin. This vibrant stripe is reminiscent of a glowing filament, giving the fish its common name and making it a standout in any aquarium setting.

The rest of its body is adorned with a soft, silvery hue that beautifully complements the glowing stripe. Its fins are generally transparent but may exhibit hints of the same orange to red coloration, especially in the dorsal and caudal fins. This combination of colors and translucence makes the Glowlight Tetra a mesmerizing sight, especially under aquarium lighting that accentuates its radiant glow.

Glowlight Tetras are schooling fish and exhibit the most natural and appealing behaviors when kept in groups of six or more. In a school, they are more confident, active, and their schooling motion adds a dynamic element to the tank. This social behavior not only reduces stress among individual fish but also creates a spectacular display as the group moves in unison, their glowing stripes creating a shimmering effect in the water.

In terms of care, Glowlight Tetras are relatively hardy and adaptable, making them suitable for both novice and experienced aquarists. They thrive in soft to moderately hard water, with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5, and prefer temperatures between 72°F and 82°F (22°C to 28°C). A well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and a dark substrate is ideal, as it closely mimics their natural habitat and encourages their natural coloration to shine. They are omnivores and will readily accept a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp and daphnia.

Breeding Glowlight Tetras in captivity can be a rewarding experience, although it requires specific conditions to induce spawning. A separate breeding tank with soft, acidic water and subdued lighting is recommended. The fish are egg scatterers, and the parents do not exhibit parental care, often eating their eggs if given the chance. Therefore, it is essential to remove the adults after spawning to ensure the survival of the eggs and eventual fry.

In conclusion, the Glowlight Tetra is a delightful addition to the freshwater aquarium, bringing with it a unique blend of peaceful demeanor, striking appearance, and fascinating schooling behavior. Its ease of care and compatibility with a wide range of other peaceful fish make it a favorite among aquarists, both novice and seasoned. Whether as part of a vibrant community tank or a species-specific setup, the Glowlight Tetra is sure to add a touch of brilliance to any aquatic environment.
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