Name: Hyphessobrycon bentosi
Origin: Amazon Basin
Care: I have found the Bentosi white tip a hardy and easy to care for schooling fish, with similar needs to their close relation, the Rosy Tetra (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus). As a schooling Tetra, they need to be kept in groups of at least five or six to fully appreciate their impressive social displays. Sufficient planted areas should be provided around the sides and rear of tank for hiding when resting, and free swimming space in the centre. A small current also mimics the natural environment of this fish.
Feeding: My Bentosi become quite excitable at feeding time, but rarely have the nerve to compete with Danio, or other fast swimming surface feeders. They prefer to snatch and run with anything that drops to mid-water, even if it is too big for their mouth! They happily take flake food, but love live foods as an occasional treat, especially daphnia, mosquito larva and bloodworm. I have also observed them sneaking up and picking at the seeded part of a cucumber slice (when my female Ram is not guarding it!)
Sexing: Males have a flag-like extension to their dorsal fin and an elongated pelvic and anal fin. Females have a rounder dorsal fin and are plumper and deeper in body.
Breeding: I haven’t personally bred this fish yet, but understand that a mating pair should be separated and introduced into a breeding tank (approx 40 liters) and the water temperature should be 24-26°C, with the pH slightly acidic and water hardness of 4°dH or less. Fine leafed plants should be provided, on which the eggs will be laid. A calm current, and low lighting will mirror their natural environment. The parent fish should be removed before the eggs hatch. The fry hatch usually after 24 hours and are free swimming within a few days. Start feeding micro-organisms once the egg sacs have been consumed, and crushed flake can be fed after 10 days. Weekly partial water changes are beneficial to the fry.
Comments: I have personally never found the White Tip to be fin nippers (as their close cousins are often renowned to be) neither do they truly "shoal" except during times of unease, or when feeding. Though they are not constant swimmers - often preferring to hang around a favourite rock or piece of driftwood when relaxed - these little fish are rarely still; They seem to constantly flicker and shiver. I live in London, with a fair choice of LFS locally, yet I have found this fish on sale in only one. Initially (before I owned and researched the species) I did wonder if I was buying a re-labelled Rosy Tetra. Only when the same fish store placed the Rosy tetra in an adjoining tank to the White Tip did the subtle differences become more evident. Though some (but not all) of the White Tip had the same "Black Flag" colouration to the dorsal fin (that earned the Rosy the common name "Belgian Black Flag") the Rosys did not have the white extensions to the pelvic fins. I do not own Rosys, so do not know how they would "colour up" in my tank, but with the Bentosi, they were initially paler than the Rosaceus at the fish store, but developed a wonderful salmon pink colour once introduced to my tank, pinker (yet more translucent) than the Rosys in the fish store! All in all, a shy, peaceful, wonderful and impressive looking fish, whose fins are almost always fully extended in my experience, except during moments of madness when they dart around the tank! A great compliment to any community tank!
I bought three HY511 Tetras which I later confirmed (through pictures and websites on the internet) to actually be White Tipped Bentosi Tetra. They certainly are beautiful fish! However from the moment I put them into my 40 liter small Rainbowfish tank they began to aggressively pursue and nip at the fins of their tankmates (Signifer, Gertrudae, Werneri (featherfin) and Celebese Rainbowfish. In fact, one of the Signifers actually died from trauma and shock by the next morning. So, maybe the White Tipped Tetra did in fact inherit the fish nipping nature of their cousin the Rosy Tetra after all! At least that has been my own experience. So I am taking them back to the store today.
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