A Hardy and Attractive Little Tetra
"Paraguay Tetra", Aphyocharax paraguayensis, is an attractive
little fish. Alternative names are "Panda Tetra", "Rio Paraguay
Tetra", "Dawn Tetra" and "Para Tetra".
The Paraguay Tetra comes from the River Paraguay in Paraguay and Brazil.
As well as living in the main Paraguay River, this fish also inhabits the streams of the Paraguay River basin.
This fish only grows to about one and a half inches (4cm) but it is a little aggressive so care needs to be exercised in choosing its companions. In its natural habitat, it is not rare, but it is a little unusual in the Aquarium Trade although it is becoming more commonly available.
This is a tropical freshwater species. Although its range extends outside the tropics, the River Paraguay comes from the Motto Grosso in Brazil and the water in Paraguay is still warm. The Black Widow Tetra which comes from the same area can take colder conditions than most tropical fish. A suitable temperature for the Paraguay Tetra is 24̊ C (75̊ F).
The River Paraguay is somewhat acidic, but the Paraguay Tetra can live in water with pH between 6 and 7.5. I would suggest a pH of 7 for a mixed tank including this fish. The Paraguay Tetra is not very fussy about the hardness of its water. A hardness of between 10 and 20 is suitable.
The Paraguay Tetra is an omnivore with a strong preference animal food. It will eat normal aquarium fish food, but much prefers live food like Mosquito Larvae, blood worms or Daphnia.
Frozen blood worms are also good.
The Paraguay Tetra is a schooling fish and a group of at least 6 is preferred. In a school, it will not bother the other fish as much. Although I hesitate in describing the Paraguay Tetra as a peaceful fish, it can be kept in a community of small selected fish. I would avoid all long-finned fish like Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies and Endlers Guppies.
Some suitable companions are Buenos Aires Tetras, Rummy Nose Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Black Widow Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Zebra Danios, Glowlight Tetras, and White Cloud Mountain Minnows, as well as the Corydoras catfish like the Peppered Catfish.
The Paraguay Tetra is an egg scattering species. They can be stimulated to breed by changing about 40% of the water. The females are larger and plumper than the males. They will spawn in a quite small tank. The parents should be removed after spawning. A fine leaved plant like Java Moss should be in the spawning tank.
I am grateful to the following sources for information about the Paraguay Tetra: Fischdatenbank, Aqua-fish.net, Seriously Fish and Fish Profiles.com.