Name: Hemigrammus erythrozonus
The Glow-light Tetra comes from Guyana and the female, which is larger than the male, grows up to be 4.5 cm long. A small all glass tank with water hardness up to 8°dNCH will suffice for breeding. Although large quantities of fry will incubate in waters of low hardness, most of the fry soon contract non-infectious, constitutional dropsy, and die within a short time. Carbonate hardness should not be higher that 1°dCH. The addition of a small amount of peat extract encourages the eggs to develop. Water temperature should be kept between 26 and 28°C. The breeding pair spawns in a thicket of fine leaved plants such as Fontinalis and Vesicularia dubyana. At the end of each spawning act, both fish turn upside down and the female ejects the eggs in this position. Sediment should always be removed and new water added during the rearing in order to avoid an accumulation of nitrates which can be toxic to the fry. At first the young fishes are yellowish but later they develop a dark pattern all over the body. They consume relitively large pieces of live food such as nauplii of brine shrimp. They grow well and fast. In recent years a golden breeding form has become popular with aquarists.
I have a school of five of these little guys and I think they are a joy to have. Although their colors are not as remarkable, I find that they are easier to keep than neon tetras. They just seem to be able to adapt to different water conditions better. Being a schooling species, it is important to keep at least five together, but preferably more. They stay together and play together and add a lot of fun and excitement to any community tank.
I bought a shoal of 10 glowlights for my South American tank a while ago and 7 are still alive. The others were unfortunately lost when my 180 litre tank got a hairline crack down the side. But I noticed not recently that they are preparing to breed, so I am awaiting signs of eggs or fry soon!
These fish are tough and excellent for beginners. They can survive in a stressful environment, and like to be in a school. Good lighting conditions bring out the colourful orange stripe on their bodies. They make a wonderful addition to an aquarium with other tetras.
Glow lights are a very timid tetra species. I introduced 8 into my community set up and only after about 4-5 weeks would they take to flake or small brine off the surface. I had to sink food near to the plant where they hide before they took to surface food which is time consuming, especially with pigs like dwarf gouramis around. Do not introduce these with larger fish like Paradise fish. Love them!
I have 3 glowlight tetras in my tank. I used to have 5, but my angelfish made a meal of 2 of them. I find them attractive and inexpensive, great for beginners and proffesionals alike. I think they are egg scatterers, either that or they lay them on fine leafed plants.