Name: Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis
Origin: Central Brazil
This is a wonderful fish for all levels of experience. Once the fish(es) settle into a tank, their colors are excellent. I have a 46 gallon that has 2 males and 1 female Lemon Tetra with other community fish. They are non-agressive and very lively. I have witnessed occasional breeding displays by the 2 males that I have. It was rather interesting in that the males tipped up on their noses in full display of all their fins. They held this position for 5-10 seconds then resumed normal swimming. There has been no evidence of breeding, but I'm not really trying. I would definately recommend this species as a great addition to any community tank.
The lemon tetra are the first fish to be introduced to my "new" tank (after two years of "floundering" with this hobby, I finally did some actual RESEARCH!!) I started with 2 and they stuck together 95% of the time in my 29 gallon tank. They were very active, but almost agitated or flighty and stayed near the bottom or in the middle of the tank. I learned that Tetras do well in schools of 4 or more so about a week after the original lemons I brought home 2 more. I took lots of time in acclimating the temperature of their bag water as it was cold outside, so by the time I let the new ones loose, they paired right up with the other 2!! Now, the 4 are almost never apart. I plan to add 2 more in the future. I did notice that their color seemed a bit more yellow in the pet store, but I think this is due to the lighting (break out that Physics book to find a good range of wavelengths for this fish!). So, mine are a bit more clear then the name suggests, but I love the bright pink "eyebrow" and the fin stripes!
I broke down and added these fish after reading about them on this site. Treat yourself to these fish, but do so with a school of at least 7. I keep a school or shoal (depending on what side of the pond you are from) of 9. They really start to exhibit the schooling behavior in a school of 9 or more. They are absolutely gorgeous. They were not that colorful when I got them home but in the last couple of weeks they have the most intense fin colors of yellow, black and white. The body appears to have a fluorescent vertical line the length of the fish, oh and the red above the eye. Mine live in a heavily planted 75 gallon with some South American dwarf cichlids (rams and checkerboards), rummy nose and cardinal tetras. These are wonderful active little fish.
I have read many of the letters in the Characin section and was concerned when I noticed that many contributors have bought only a few characins at a time. It is extremely important to buy many of these right away. They are a grouping species. That's why they stay so close to each other in a large tank. If bought and raised in a group of over seven these fish will flourish in a tank over 100 Liters. The better suited a characin is to his environment the better the colour and the shine of the fish.
I have a shoal of 22 Lemon Tetras in my tank. I also have Julii corydoras, kribs, kuhli loaches, and one pacific blue eye (I have also successfully kept them with siamese fighters and blue rams). I purchased 20 of them six months ago and an obvious heirachy has developed with the three dominant males often standing each other off, in a similar manner to my kribensis. I have successfully spawned them, although this was unintentional. The males and females constantly release sperm and eggs into the water. The fertilised eggs attach themselves to the plants in the aquaria (in this case mainly elodea, ambulia and water wisteria). These eggs are always eaten by the other Lemon Tetras in the tank. I moved one of the elodea plants from the tank and placed it in an empty tank which was also unheated. Two weeks later I noticed a small fish swimming around the tank. I left the fish and the tank alone, and in approximately a month the fish began to look like a Lemon Tetra. This fish had been successfully living in unfiltered and unheated water, without any supplementary food supplied, and now has established itself in my tank. Lemon Tetras tend to nibble on soft-leaved plants such as Ambulia, Water Wisteria and Pennywort. I advise keeping them in a large shoal of only lemon tetras, they act quite differently in a small shoal.
What an easy fish to keep! They shoal beautifully and cause no problems at all. I bought 15 about 8 months ago and they are all alive.