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Lemon tetra

Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis

Photo: Lemon tetra
Weights and measures
Length 4 cm
Weight 1,4 g
Biological data
Lifespan 5 r
Animal description
The Lemon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis) is a small, vibrantly colored freshwater fish that is a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts due to its peaceful nature and striking appearance. This species originates from the clear water rivers and streams of South America, particularly in Brazil, where it swims among dense vegetation and enjoys the protection of a softly lit environment.

Typically, the Lemon Tetra reaches an adult size of about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in length. Its body shape is somewhat deep and laterally compressed, which is a common characteristic among many tetra species. This streamlined shape allows it to dart through the water with ease and grace, making it a lively and entertaining addition to any community aquarium.

The Lemon Tetra's common name is derived from its distinctive coloration. The body of this fish boasts a translucent, lemony-yellow hue that becomes more intense towards the back and fins. The dorsal and anal fins are adorned with a subtle, yet striking, black edging that contrasts beautifully against their yellow backdrop. One of the most notable features of the Lemon Tetra is its eyes, which have a unique, bold red iris that stands out against the more subdued body colors, adding a spark of vividness to its overall appearance.

Another remarkable trait is the presence of a semi-transparent membrane that covers the dorsal and anal fins. When light passes through this membrane, it creates a delicate, iridescent effect that enhances the fish's natural beauty. This iridescence is complemented by small scales that shimmer and reflect the light, making the Lemon Tetra a true gem within a planted aquarium.

Lemon Tetras are schooling fish, and they exhibit the most natural and comforting behavior when kept in groups of six or more. In a school, they establish a social hierarchy and engage in playful chasing and gentle nipping, which is normal for their species. These fish are known for their peaceful temperament, making them excellent companions for other non-aggressive fish of similar size and water parameters.

In the wild, Lemon Tetras are omnivores, feeding on a diet of small invertebrates, plant matter, and detritus. In the aquarium setting, they are not picky eaters and will readily accept a variety of foods, including high-quality flake foods, freeze-dried bloodworms, and brine shrimp. To maintain their vibrant coloration and overall health, it is beneficial to provide them with a varied diet that includes both plant-based and protein-rich foods.

The natural habitat of the Lemon Tetra consists of soft, slightly acidic water with a good amount of vegetation and a dark substrate. To replicate these conditions in captivity, aquarists often use driftwood, peat filtration, and a variety of live plants to create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment. The addition of floating plants can help to diffuse the lighting, mimicking the dappled sunlight of their native habitat and encouraging their natural coloration to shine.

Breeding Lemon Tetras in the home aquarium can be a rewarding experience. They are egg scatterers and will spawn among fine-leaved plants. The adults do not exhibit parental care and are likely to consume their own eggs if given the opportunity, so breeders typically remove the parents after spawning to ensure the survival of the eggs and eventual fry.

Overall, the Lemon Tetra is a captivating and relatively easy-to-care-for species that can bring a splash of color and activity to a well-maintained community aquarium. Their bright disposition and social behavior make them a favorite among both novice and experienced fishkeepers alike.
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