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Characins / Characinae / Diamond Tetra

Diamond Tetra, Pittier's Tetra
Moenkhausia pittieri


SYN: None
PD: The fin of the male are quite elongated and silver in color. The female's fins are elongated, but no as much as the male's. The fins are transparent. The body is oval shaped and green to silver in color. It gets its name from the shimmering scales that develop when adult. In reflected light the scales can have a violet to gold iridescence. The upper part of the iris is red to orange.
SIZE: To 2.5" (6.4 cm)
SS: None
HAB: South America; found in well-planted shallows of Lake Valencia, the Rio Bue, and the Rio Tiquirito in Venezuela.
S: middle, top
TANK: 24" (60 cm) or 15 gallons (55 L). The tank should be well-planted with of cover of floating plants to help filter the lighting. Arrange the tank in dark colors to help bring out the Diamond Tetra's iridescence. Leave open swimming areas. This fish prefers peat filtered water.
WATER: pH 5.5-7 (6.7), 2-10 dH (5), 75-82°F (24-28°C)
SB: A calm, peaceful, schooling fish that can be kept in a community tank. Do not combine with fin-nipping fish.
SC: Corydoras, Loricarids, Hatchetfish, tetras, Discus
FOOD: Flake; live; insect larvae, terrestrial insects, Brine Shrimp, Tubifex.
SEX: Males have more elongated fins, especially the dorsal.
B: After separate conditioning, the pair can be introduced into the breeding tank. Use a small breeding tank (16" or 5 gallons) with peat-filtered water, a pH of 5.5-6.0, and a water hardness of 1-4 dH. Daybreak and the feeding of mosquito larvae help initiate spawning. Use fine fiber, fine-leafed plants, or plastic grass. The eggs will be laid in this fiber. Remove the parents after spawning, but sometimes they will not harm the eggs if fed sufficiently. The eggs hatch after 24-40 hours-depending on the water temperature-and hand from glass or plants for 3-6 days, and are free-swimming after that. Start feeding with Artemia and other small live foods.
BP: 7. The Diamond Tetra is a moderately difficult fish to breed.
R: Young fish's coloration is often misleading, as it is very plain and dull, nothing of the shimmering, diamond-like coloration of the adult fish. Perform frequent partial water changes in order to keep the Diamond Tetra in peak condition. The Diamond Tetra is occasionally bred in Southeast Asia.
DC: 5. A handsome, but somewhat sensitive fish.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com