Ornate Tetra (Latin Hyphessobrycon Bentosi)

Ornate Tetra

ornate tetra Hyphessobrycon bentosi
SpeciesOrnate Tetra
Latin NameHyphessobrycon Bentosi
OriginSouth America
Length 4 - 6 cm
Temperature24 - 28°C
Water Hardnesssoft - medium hard
pH5.5 - 7.0
Aquarium Size70 L
Foodlive, frozen, dry

Ornate Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Bentosi)


This fish lives in streams, creeks, Amazon tributaries, meanders going through forests in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Brazil.

Body description

Colour of the body is silvery-pink. There is a dark spot behind the gill covers. The fish has a reddish fins. The dorsal, anal and pelvic fins have a black and white or white border. This species is often confused with Hyphessobrycon rosaceus (the rosy tetra). Differences in colors are small hence so many mistakes. This species has a dark spot behind the gill covers and the rosy tetra hasn’t got this spot. The rosy tetra has the fins darker and the ornate tetra has the fins lighter. Males are a bit larger and more colourful than female. He has elongated the first rays of the dorsal and anal fins.

Temperament and behaviour

This is peaceful, active, and shoal fish. Fish prefers to live in a group of 6 minimum and then all the behaviours like aggression or shyness stay within the group. In the group males compete with each other for females attention and spread their fins to show off quite often. These fish should be kept with peaceful and similar size species: other tetras, corydoras, draft cichlids, small species of catfish, rasboras, gouramies, pencilfish.

Aquarium decoration

You may keep this fish in a general tank or biotope tank with "black water". General tank should have a lot of plants, floating plants, dimmed light, hiding-places among roots, space to swim, effective but gentle filtration system. Biotop aquarium should have sandy substrate, floating pieces of wood, dried leaves of beech or oak which you need too change every few weeks, roots, dimmed light. Plants aren’t necessary. Water should have colour of the "light tea" (you may add peat to the filtration system or you may put it into a net and dive it in the water. Fish prefers clean water so systematic partial water changes and substrate cleaning should be done every two weeks.


This is an oviparous species. Breeding should be done in a separate tank. It's capacity should be minimum 30 liters. Tank should be covered to stop light getting in because the eggs and young fry are sensitive to light. Aquarium should have soft water, pH=6-7, 24-26°C temperature, sponge filter with peat, soft and fine-leaved plants or a fish hatchery. Before spawning you should separate males from females before spawning and feed them with plenty of live type food. The thickest female and most colourful male should be transferred to the breeding tank in the evening. They should spawn next day, in the morning. The fish will spawn every few days but male fertilization capabilities will decrease gradually. You have to immediately remove parents after laying the roe because they eat eggs. The eggs hatch after 1-1.5 days. The fry starts o swim and feed 3-4 days later. When that happens you should do a 30% water changes every day.

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