The black phantom tetra is a tropical fish which is also known as the big-eyed black phantom or just phantom tetra. It is a small freshwater fish that belongs to the family Characidae under order Characiformes. It is native to South America, where it occurs in the Paraguay-Paraná River basin.
Species: Hyphessobrycon megalopterus
The black phantom tetra is a black-colored variety of the common and popular Hyphessobrycon (tetras) fish. The scientific name for this species, “Megalopterus” originates from two Greek words: megalo, meaning “large” and pterus, meaning “feather”. This refers to the long extensions found on the fin rays and is a feature that distinguishes this species from all other tetras.
It has a slender, compressed body and identifies by the presence of three red spots with a white background, and golden yellow with a slightly curved caudal fin.
Overall, the black phantom tetra possesses a unique black coloration with red horizontal stripe running along the front half of the body. The overall shape of this species is slightly streamlined.
The black phantom tetra has a very slender body, with the caudal fin reaching slightly beyond the top of the head. Black Phantom Tetra was first introduced to the aquarium industry in the late 1960s. . They are a smaller species of tetra and reach just over an inch in length. The female black phantom tetra may grow up to 3.5 inches (9 cm). The male grows from 2.5-3.5 inches (6.7 – 8.3 cm). They do best in groups of 5 or more and thrive in planted tanks with minimal current and do best in soft acidic water. Recommended tank size 5 gallons but can be kept in larger aquariums.
In the wild, it is found swimming over rocky bottoms where it is well camouflaged. In an aquarium, they also adapt easily to a sandy or fine peat bottom. These fish have a peaceful disposition and will readily eat most prepared foods.
The Black Phantom Tetra is actually an extremely interesting fish that is common in their natural habitats of slow-moving waters, but many hobbyists enjoy them in aquariums.
A fish common in the aquarium trade, and often kept with other tetras. These fish like to be in schools and like to live in a well-planted aquarium with lots of swimming rooms and decorations which provide hiding places.
These fish tend to stay near some shelter or forage for fish food. The ideal water temperature is 70-79° F (21-26 °C) with a pH range is 5-8.5. The specific gravity of the water should be 1.002-1.010 with the addition of soft, mild peat filtration recommended.
This fish is suitable for the community aquarium and known for its two-tone color pattern. In addition, this fish will get along well with other fish. Keep these fish with fish of similar size and energy level, as they will attack fish that are much smaller than them.
Easily distinguishable by its black body color, the Black Phantom Tetra is one of the most popular tetras available. Easy to breed and tolerant of aquarium conditions, you can’t lose with this hardy species.
The Black Phantom Tetra is a stunning addition to any peaceful community aquarium with its striking black and silver body.
Unique colors and a distinctive shape make the phantom tetra an impressive addition to any community aquarium. It is peaceful and makes a good schooling fish. It will eat almost any flake food or fine pellet food including frozen blood worms, flakes, and pellets. To make your fish happy and healthy, the diet should include additional vitamins and mineral preparations.
It is an aggressive shoaling fish that will gather at any corner of the tank where it gets some cover, making it a good candidate for small tanks. It is primarily an open water predator, so choose tankmates carefully.
Black phantom tetra is suitable for aquarists with basic aquarium-keeping skills. Black Phantom Tetra is a rather peaceful fish. But they are not recommended to be kept with very small fish, because they will get nipped at. Although black phantom tetras are generally peaceful, they are kind of shy and get frightened easily.
The black phantom tetra is an ideal choice for community tanks due to its small size, peaceful demeanor, and dazzling coloring. The males are smaller than females and have an elongated dorsal fin that curves at the end, allowing it to be distinguished from similar species. This species of tetra will sometimes spawn in the aquarium.
After all, black phantom tetra (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus) is a popular species for freshwater aquariums, although it can be difficult to care for due to its small size. It is a timid species that form schools and enjoys the company of other species of fish, especially larger tetras. Its small size, schooling behavior, and relative hardiness have made it an attractive addition to the community tank for both experienced and beginner aquarists.