The Kitty Tetra (Hyphessobrycon heliacus) is a very colorful and elegant species that has become increasingly popular in the aquarium hobby in recent years. Its overall yellow and orange coloration is also often highlighted with bright green hues. Males develop elongated fins (especially the dorsal fin) as they mature. A school of this fish can be the highlight in any peaceful community aquarium, and will particularly stand out in any planted aquarium with dark substrate.
The Kitty 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 safe to keep with other peaceful, small fish. This tetra has a small mouth, but it still might prey on small adult shrimp. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. The Kitty Tetra must be kept in schools of 6 or more. Since it is tank-raised, this fish is somewhat adaptable, but its natural habitat contains soft, 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, especially where floating plants are present.
While not a picky eater, the Kitty Tetra will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of omnivorous foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or live omnivorous and meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Variety is key to maintaining optimal health and coloration.
- Species – Hyphessobrycon heliacus
- Common Name – Kitty Tetra
- Origin – Amazon river basin and Araguaia river, in Peru and Brazil
- Diet – Omnivore
- PH Range – 6 – 7.5
- Temperature – Tropical 24-28°c
- Breed Type – egg layer
- Current Size – approximately 2.5cm (Grows to approximately 3cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed