Glowlight Tetra

Hemigrammus erythrozonus

Glowlight Tetra
Durbin, 1909

Distribution:  Forested tributaries off the Rio Essiquibo in Guyana.

Size:  1.5″ (3.81cm)

This is a shoaling and schooling species that although highly adaptable, will thrive and display its best color in soft, acid, tannin-enriched water.

This is a fish that I had either over-looked or barely noticed all my life.  I had always seen this tiny little greyish colored fish with faint pink lateral stripes in local fish stores and thought nothing of them.  Recently, while looking for the perfect small schooling fish for a 125 gallon display aquarium, I came across a moderately lit very heavily planted aquarium containing around 20 1 1/2″ gleaming, glowing, tetras with brilliant, luminescent red-orange lateral stripes  and upper eye spots.   Dazzling, yet sightly understated.  This was the elegance that I needed for my latest project!  I was, however, fairly clueless as to what they were, and very shocked to learn that they were simply large, well-cared for versions of the tiny, innocuous fish that had been in the hobby since forever!

I now keep a school of around 30 in a densely-planted, moderately lit aquarium with a group of black veil angelfish as their co-stars, and if I do say so myself, it is a striking display, and these fairly diminutive and very inexpensive little fish are a stunning focal point!  An aquarium full of well-kept mature adults must be seen to be appreciated, as the iridescent red intensifies, and the overall body color changes from a pale greyish palor to a more translucent gold. Who knew?