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Characidium sp.
Darter Tetra, Walking Tetra, Hummingbird Tetra

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Darter Tetra - Characidium sp.

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characidium3.jpg (38kb)
Photo Credit: Marcos Hortellani

Name: Characidium sp.
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: South America
6 cm 60 L 6.7 23C

The Peru Darter Tetra, also known as the Walking Tetra or Hummingbird Tetra, is really a neat fish! We picked a few of these the other night and have really been enjoying their interesting behavior. They rest and perch on their pectoral fins and even "sit up" at times, almost like a dog. They hover in the air when you feed them and almost seem to vibrate like a hummingbird. They are very peaceful and we have not had any problems keeping them with our angels and other tetras. Even though they aren't very colorful and easily mistaken as an algae eater, I highly recommend trying these guys out. They only get to be between 7 and 10 cm as well.

Contributed by Valerie Stephens

These are great fish. If you've never kept them, you should. I've had a large shoal of darters for years now, at least five years. But I found them out of pure luck: they're really hard to find, at least where I come from. I've had little problems with them in my South American tank, the only problems being a small dose of white spot and losing some to my very large angelfish, but they soon grew out of being considered food. Great fish for any set-up, as long as the pH is around 6.5-7.0.

Contributed by a visitor

I've had this fish for about 2 years now. This is not only a Tetra, it is an algae eater. It cleaned my tank well. It can live with any fish but Oscar, pacu, piranha etc...pretty much any aggressive fish. So if your tank has algae or dirty water buy a few of these, it only costs about $1.50!

Contributed by Andrew Reeves

I had never seen or heard of these fish. I recently found two of them at the LFS. They were marked on the tank as "Walking Tetras". I watched them for a few minutes and had to have them. They are extremely fun, the way they move, and their personality made me just fall in love with them. I can't believe they are not more popular. I put them in a 23 liter planted tank. They do nip and chase each other a bit, but nothing too serious, yet. I have read what I can find about them on the net and there just isn't that much info available. It appears I probably do have a pair, so that could be why they haven't killed each other. They are very territorial and have the tank split into 2 zones. They are a very bold, curious little fish. They are always watching and learn to beg for food very quickly. They prefer frozen shrimp and blood worms to flakes (in fact they refused flakes all together for 4 days), they now will eat a bit of flake food but I don't think they would survive well on that, live baby brine shrimp, and frozen foods. I am not sure how they would interact with community fish. I would not suggest putting them in a tank with other bottom feeders, or delicate fish. Mine have some ghost shrimp in the tank with them and have killed one (but did not eat it), and have the others in constant hiding. I believe they would do best in planted tanks by themselves, but with not more than 2 in the tank. Not just because they are mildly (or more) aggressive and very territorial, but also because of the way they eat. They will catch things from the surface on the way down, but they seem to really enjoy hunting food from the bottom of the tank and in the plants. They do "walk" on their fins around the bottom of the tank and dive into plants to get at shrimp bits or blood worms that have fallen into the plants.

Contributed by Cynthia

I'm new to aquariums and this is one of the fish I have. They are shy and need a hidey hole. Mine have small stoneware pots at either end of the aquarium and a hollow driftwood log for them to use as a "covered bridge". I love these fellows, they have inquisitive eyes and love to peep out and watch the goings on in the aquarium. I only have little fish and these are great.

Contributed by Shona Steele

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