The “Minor Tetra”, “Hyphessobrycon minor”, is one of a group of similar fish species in the genus Hyphessobrycon. When we first got ours, my wife’s reaction was that they looked like the Rosy Tetras, Hyphessobrycon rosaceus. My first reaction was to note the similarity to our Red Phantom Tetras, Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, but on further consideration, they are very similar to the Serpae Tetras, Hyphessobrycon eques. This makes sense because one of the alternative names for the Serpae Tetra is the Red Minor Tetra. The main difference between the Minor tetra and the Serpae Tetra is that the Serpae Tetras have more red on their bodies. There are also some differences in fin shape between the two species, but these are not even consistent within each species. I would not be able to reliably separate these two species. We keep ours in different aquariums.
Another name for the Minor Tetra is the "Lesser Serpae."
Tetra is native to the Essequibo River in Guyana in South America.
The Serpae Tetra is native to the Rivers Amazon and Paraguay, so in the wild these two very similar species appear to be separate so they would not interbreed. I have no information about whether they would interbreed in captivity and whether or not the progeny would be fertile. As a scientist, I consider that this information would be interesting, but as an aquarist and conservationist, I think interspecific hybrids of this nature are best avoided.
The Minor Tetra will grow to about 3.2 centimetres (1.2 inches). This makes it one of the smaller tetras.
The Minor Tetra is an omnivore and will eat all normal fish foods including flakes, pellets, frozen food and live food. Their favourite is small live crustaceans like Daphnia and Cyclops as well as Mosquito larvae.
The Minor Tetra is suited to a pH between 6.5 and 7.6. This means that it is more adapted to slightly alkaline water than most South American tetras. It is also another difference between the Minor Tetra and the Serpae Tetra. A temperature of between 23 degrees C (73 degrees F) and 27 degrees C (81 degrees F) is suitable for maintenance although this fish will survive a little outside this range. Moderate hardness is not a problem.
The Minor tetra is well suited to a tropical community aquarium with a temperature of 24 Degrees C (74 degrees F) and a neutral pH. My observations suggest that it is less aggressive than the Serpae Tetra, but I would suggest caution with the choice of companions for this fish. I would avoid all long finned, slow swimming fish like Guppies and Siamese Fighting Fish.
An adult Minor Tetra would be all right with all the tetras and all the smaller barbs and Danios, as well as all the Corydoras catfish like the Peppered Catfish. Naturally, avoid putting the small fish with large aggressive fish.
The dorsal fin of the males is more pointed than that of the females. The female is also slightly more rounded than the males.
Information about breeding this fish seems to be lacking, but experience with similar fish suggest that it is an easily bred egg scatterer.
As with all pets, do not release your fish to the wild.
Sources and Picture Credits
The second picture under the title was created by © Yuriy Kvach / , via Wikimedia Commons, and is used under a creative commons license.