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Hyphessobrycon megalopterus
Black Phantom Tetra

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Black Phantom Tetra - Hyphessobrycon megalopterus

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Hyphessobrycon_megalopterus_1.jpg (32kb)
Photo Credit: Cinthia Emerich

Name: Hyphessobrycon megalopterus
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Brazil
4 cm 40 L 6.5 25°C


The Black Phantom Tetra is a very elegant looking characin, which is also small, peaceful and easy to keep. Their behavior is very similar to many other tetra species, but an interesting feature of the Black Phantom is the significant difference between males and females. While the male has very long, distinctive fins and black colors, the female is reddish with black blotches and can be easily confused with other species such as the Serpae Tetra. This is a very enjoyable fish to keep and breed.

Contributed by Marcos Avila

I have kept 10 black phantom tetras for 1 year and I think it is an excellent fish. Very harmonic and friendly. I strongly recommend you to try them out!

Contributed by Christer Holmström

Black Phantoms are elegant, very beautiful fish that look very exotic...but are, in actuality, quite hardy. They like warm water, around 26°C. I keep mine with Bleeding Heart Tetras and Neons in a large 1100 liter aquarium in our living room. All three species get along quite well. The Black Phantoms swim all over the aquarium, but especially prefer the section of the tank one third of way from the top. They stand out very well and make excellent display fish, with their black and (in the case of the female) red hues. Their body shape is unique and very attractive. I just purchased a few more today, at a local pet store. These I will quarantine, for a couple of weeks, before adding them in with the other species (to rule out introducing any unwanted diseases).

Contributed by Thomas Pietruszka

I have 8 black phantom tetras - 4 males and 4 females. They are in a 136 L aquarium with 3 tiger barbs, 2 red-tailed sharks, 1 rainbow shark, and a pleco. I've had them for over a year with no trouble. I think the key is that all my fish are just mildly aggressive enough to be able to hold their own, but not aggressive enough to take over the tank. They're very active and interesting to watch, but would definitely gang up on slower, mild temperaments, and should have plenty of space.

Contributed by Mary

This really are great fish, lots of fun to watch and beautiful when they flair out their fins. They have an interesting mating dance too. I have 3 males and 1 female. The dominant male can be a bit of a bully and the female is always being chased. I think they are better kept in a group with more females than males.

Contributed by Ryan Lucas

I have had four Black Phantom Tetras (2 females, 2 males) for about 3 months. At night it never fails one time, the males will throw up their fins and turn a really black color. Now I have heard that they will do this in order to establish a territory for the males, but when they do this they will stick side by side and start chasing any other fish that comes near them except for my long finned Rosy Barbs which are twice their size. They especially like to chase the female Black Phantom Tetras. One of my golden Micky Mouse Platies that I had just gotten that very day had to learn this the hard way. They nipped her fins till there were none and sadly she died 3 days later.

Contributed by Corey Bradley

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