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Characins / Lebiasinidae / Splash Tetra

Splash Tetra, Jumping Characin, Spraying Tetra
Copella arnoldi


Synonyms: Copeina arnoldi
Physical description: The Splash Tetra has an elongated body.   The body color is olive green to brown and the belly is white.  A stripe, slightly darker than the body color, extends from the gill cover to the caudal fin.  A thin copper-colored line runs right above the darker band.   A black band extends from the snout, through the eye, and to the gill cover.  In favorable water conditions, the upper half of the iris will develop an iridescent   orange color. 
Size/Length: Males to 3.5" (9 cm), females to 2.8" (7 cm)
Similar species: Plain Copella ( Copella nattereri), Half-striped Pyrrhulina ( Pyrrhulina laeta )
Habitat: Near the banks of slow-moving rivers with heavy vegetation.   South America; in Guyana, and the Rio Para.
S: middle, top
Aquarium: 20" (60 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L).   The tank should be well-planted and have a cover of floating plants.  Position the tank in  a place where it will receive morning sunlight.   Use a tight-fitting cover as this fish is a jumper.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-7.5 (6.8), 2-12 dH (6), 77-84°F (25-29°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful fish that can be kept in pairs or schools.   Does well in a community tank.
Suggested companions: Tetras, Corydoras, Loricarids, Killifish, Apistogramma.
FOOD: Live, small flying insects, insect larvae, Brine Shrimp; flakes.
SEX: The males are more colorful, larger, and have more elaborate fins.
Breeding techniques: This species is popular because of its peculiar spawning habits.   This fish can be bred in small tanks (16" or 5 gallons).  The water should be soft and slightly acidic, with the water level several inches lower than normal (4-8").  The pair should be fed live foods, such as those suggested in the introduction of this genus.  The pair will jump against an overhanging leaf or the tank glass, and press their bodies together.   About 8-10 eggs are laid on the object.  This process is repeated until 150-200 eggs are laid.   The male engage in brood care by splashing water on the eggs every 10-15 minutes.  After 30-40 hours the eggs hatch and the fry drop into the water.   The parents should be removed at this time. The fry are very small and should be fed small live foods.   This spawning habit most likely developed from a large amount of predators that can be found in this fish's natural habitat.  The eggs are sometimes laid on the underside of the tank lid.
Breeding potential: 6. Breeding is fairly easy in a properly, set-up breeding tank.  
Remarks: Does best when regular water changes are performed.  
Difficulty of care: 3.  A hardy fish whose colors will only fully develop in a well-maintained tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com






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