Name: Pristella maxillaris
Origin: Brazil, Venezuela, Guiana
I have five of these wonderful little Pristella tetras in a 75 liter planted tank with a Heckel Eartheater, Royal Zebra Pleco, and a pair of apistogrammas. They are always swimming around the tank in a loose school. They are survivors, I had to switch all of these fish into an uncycled tank. They never seemed to care! I have experimented with this tank, and they survived without food for one week. I did suffer some plant damage, but they were OK. I wanted to see if I could make a mostly self suffient tank. I got them to just fill in there old tank. They were a steal at the petshop, just 75 cents each!
I bought six of these little cuties a couple of years ago. There is one survivor. He is a beauty, nice red tail and the patches of color on the dorsal and anal fins are very eye catching. They never bothered my angelfish or got harassed by the other tetras in the tank. Iīm planning to get more.
I have 3 Pristellas and they are very shy fish. In my 40 liter tank they simply hide behind plants all day long and only come out when the light is off. I would not recommend keeping these fish in a community with any aggressive fish. They would be much happier living in a 20 liter tank with 1 or 2 corys and no other fish.
They seem to be really hardy fish, and quite inexpensive too! My experience is that they do better in groups of three or four, and they donīt tend to be harrased by other Tetras. They really set off the colours of other fish in the tank, and donīt seem to be bothered by any fluctuating temperatures (as I found out when my heater stopped working and most of my other Tetras died). One thing to mention is that they are susceptible to Neon Tetra disease, as two out of four of my fish died from it.
My X-Rays are one of the best fish I have ever had. They are very curious and come to the side of the tank when someone walks past. Although I don't know why they call them X-Ray Tetras because they aren't very clear.
I have two Pristellas left from an original group of 5 that I used to cycle my tank. They have cycled another tank too since then, and are real toughies. They keep pretty much together, and must be about 3-4 years old now. My water is soft and acidic at about 6.5, nitrates are below 20 ppm, and they just go on and on. No problem at all.