The Flame Tetra (Axelrodia riesei) is an very small tetra that has recently become more popular among aquarists due to its elegant appearance, peaceful disposition, and very small size. While it is a tetra, it shares many similarities with the popular microrasboras in the aquarium hobbies. This shoaling fish can be the highlight in many peaceful community aquariums and it is a particular standout in the planted aquarium.
The Flame Tetra typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is typically safe with other peaceful, small fish. Unlike many tetras, it is shoaling rather than schooling. Due to its extra small size, it can be viewed as similar to microrasboras as far as its compatibility with dwarf shrimp. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tank mates. Female Flame Tetras have slightly larger and rounded bodies, while males have smaller bodies that taper around the tail. They are more brightly colour than the females, and also have black stripes on their anal fins and a bony hook on their anal and abdominal fins that they use for mating.The females don’t have a hook, but their anal fin curves. Females also have different silver yellow colouring on the abdomen that the males do not have.
The Flame Tetra must be kept in groups of at least 6 or more. Its natural habitat contains slightly acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter. It requires very clean water to thrive and it will display optimal coloration and health in a planted aquarium with dark, sandy substrate and slow-flowing water, especially where floating plants are present. It should not be kept with overly boisterous tank mates that will out-compete it during feeding.
While not a picky eater, the Flame Tetra will thrive and remain very colourful on a varied diet of mostly carnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and live, frozen, or freeze-dried Artemia, microworms, Tubifex, and finely chopped bloodworms will all be readily accepted.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful coloration and very small size
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Very active and noticeable fish in any aquarium
- Ideal for nano and planted aquariums
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 68° - 82.4° F (20° - 28° C)
- pH: 5.0-7.0, slightly acidic water is preferred
- KH: 3 - 12 dKH
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
- Diet: Micropredator. Will easily accept high quality dry and frozen foods of appropriate size.
- Social Behaviour: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.