Phantom Red Tetra

Phantom Red Tetra : The Colorful Fish with Red-Tipped Fins

The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is a colorful and vibrant freshwater fish commonly found in community aquariums. They have a semi-transparent red body with darker red markings in their fins, making them a stunning addition to any tank.

These tetras have a lifespan of up to five years but require optimal tank conditions to thrive and live a long life. They prefer soft and slightly acidic water with a temperature range of 20-23°C. Red Phantom Tetras are social fish and should be kept in groups of at least six individuals.

They have a peaceful temperament and can coexist with other community fish species. In terms of diet, they are omnivorous and will happily eat a variety of flake, pellet, and frozen foods. Overall, the Phantom Red Tetra is a fantastic choice for small freshwater aquariums due to its vibrant colors and peaceful nature.

Phantom Red Tetra  : The Colorful Fish with Red-Tipped Fins


Appearance Of The Phantom Red Tetra

The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is a stunning fish species that adds vibrant color to any freshwater aquarium. With its striking patterns and lively appearance, it is sure to captivate fish enthusiasts.

The Phantom Red Tetra is a gorgeous freshwater fish known for its vibrant colors and unique appearance. Here are some key features of its appearance:

  • Description of the colorful body and tail fins:
  • The Phantom Red Tetra has a small, slender body shape.
  • Its body is predominantly silver, with shades of red and black.
  • The fins are adorned with beautiful red tips, which contrast sharply with the silver body.
  • Highlighting the distinct red tips on the fins:
  • The most striking feature of the Phantom Red Tetra is the distinct red tips on its fins.
  • These vibrant red tips add a pop of color to the fish and make it visually captivating.
  • The contrast between the red tips and the silver body makes the Phantom Red Tetra truly stand out.
  • Mentioning the small size and slender body shape:
  • The Phantom Red Tetra is a small fish, typically growing to around 1.5 inches in length.
  • Its slender body shape gives it an elegant and graceful appearance in the water.
  • Due to its small size, the Phantom Red Tetra is suitable for nano aquarium setups and can be kept in small groups.

Overall, the Phantom Red Tetra is a stunning fish with its colorful body, distinct red fin tips, and small, slender shape. It adds both visual interest and elegance to any aquarium setup.

Habitat And Natural Range

The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is native to the rainforests of Austin, Texas, United States. These vibrant fish thrive in soft, slightly acidic water and can live up to five years with proper care. They make a beautiful addition to any freshwater community aquarium.

The Phantom Red Tetra, often referred to as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is a captivating freshwater fish species known for its vibrant red coloration. In this section, we will delve into their natural habitat and range to provide you with a better understanding of their preferred environment.

Explain The Natural Habitat Of The Phantom Red Tetra:

  • Native to the Amazon River basin in South America
  • Found in densely vegetated areas with slow-moving rivers and streams
  • Inhabits flooded forests and flooded grasslands during the rainy season
  • Prefers areas with soft, acidic, and tannin-rich water

Discuss The Regions Where They Are Commonly Found:

  • Indigenous to countries such as Brazil and Peru
  • Can also be found in neighboring regions of Colombia and Venezuela
  • Often encountered in tributaries of the Amazon River, including the Rio Negro and Rio Tapajós

Highlight Their Preference For Slow-Moving Rivers And Streams:

  • Thrives in habitats with sluggish water flow
  • Flourishes in regions with ample vegetation and organic debris
  • Prefers areas with submerged tree roots and aquatic plants where they can find shelter

The Phantom Red Tetra is a fish species that originates from the Amazon River basin in South America. They are commonly found in countries like Brazil and Peru, as well as in neighboring regions such as Colombia and Venezuela. This vibrant species prefers slow-moving rivers and streams abundant in vegetation and organic debris, making it a stunning addition to any freshwater aquarium setup.

Tank Requirements And Care

The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon Sweglesi, is a vibrant and colorful fish that requires optimal tank conditions to live a long and healthy life. With a lifespan of up to five years, these tetras thrive in soft, slightly acidic water and are compatible with a community of other fish.

The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is a beautiful and captivating fish that requires specific care and tank requirements to thrive. In this section, we will discuss the ideal tank size and setup, as well as the importance of water parameters and temperature to ensure the well-being of your Phantom Red Tetra.

Ideal Tank Size And Setup:

  • The recommended tank size for a group of Phantom Red Tetras is at least 20 gallons.
  • Provide plenty of swimming space by choosing a long and wide tank rather than a tall one.
  • Add a variety of hiding spots, such as plants, driftwood, and caves, to mimic the fish’s natural habitat.
  • Use a dark substrate, like sand or small pebbles, to enhance the vibrant colors of the fish.
  • Maintain a well-established and densely planted aquarium to create a sense of security for the Phantom Red Tetra.

Importance Of Water Parameters And Temperature:

  • The optimal temperature range for Phantom Red Tetras is between 75°F and 79°F (24°C and 26°C).
  • Keep the water pH level between 5.5 and 7.0 to replicate their native Amazon River habitat.
  • Maintain a water hardness level between 4 and 8 dGH.
  • Regularly monitor the water parameters using test kits and make adjustments as needed to ensure the health of your fish.
  • Avoid rapid fluctuations in water temperature and maintain a stable environment to reduce stress on the Phantom Red Tetras.

Remember, providing the right tank conditions and care is crucial for the well-being of your Phantom Red Tetras. By following these guidelines, you can create a comfortable and thriving habitat for these beautiful fish in your home aquarium.

Feeding The Phantom Red Tetra

The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is a vibrant and eye-catching fish that adds a pop of color to any freshwater aquarium. This species requires specific tank conditions and a well-balanced diet to thrive and live up to its potential lifespan of up to five years.

The Phantom Red Tetra is a beautiful freshwater fish known for its striking red color and peaceful nature. Proper feeding is essential to ensure the health and vitality of these lovely fish. In this section, we will discuss the dietary needs of the Phantom Red Tetra, highlight the importance of a varied diet, and provide recommendations for suitable fish food options.

Discuss The Dietary Needs Of The Phantom Red Tetra

  • The Phantom Red Tetra is an omnivorous species, meaning they eat both plants and small insects in their natural habitat.
  • A balanced diet is crucial for their overall well-being and vibrant coloration.
  • They require a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, and essential nutrients in their diet.

Highlight The Importance Of A Varied Diet

  • Offering a varied diet ensures that the Phantom Red Tetra receives all the necessary nutrients for optimal health and growth.
  • A varied diet helps prevent dietary deficiencies and enhances their immune system.
  • It also helps to mimic their natural feeding behavior in the wild, promoting their overall well-being.

Provide Recommendations For Suitable Fish Food Options

  • High-quality flakes or pellets specifically formulated for tropical fish are a good staple food for the Phantom Red Tetra.
  • Supplement their diet with frozen or live foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia, to provide additional protein.
  • Adding some vegetable-based foods, like spirulina flakes or blanched spinach, will help meet their plant-based dietary needs.
  • It is essential to avoid overfeeding to prevent water quality issues. Feed them only what they can consume in a few minutes, twice a day.

Remember, a healthy and balanced diet is key to maintaining the longevity and vibrant coloration of the Phantom Red Tetra. By providing them with a varied and nutritious diet, you can ensure they thrive in your aquarium.

Compatible Tankmates

The Phantom Red Tetra is a beautiful rainforest-dwelling fish that can live up to five years with proper care. They require optimal tank conditions and prefer soft, slightly acidic water. They are compatible with other community fish and can add a vibrant touch to any freshwater aquarium.

Discuss The Compatibility Of The Phantom Red Tetra With Other Fish Species:

The Phantom Red Tetra is a peaceful and sociable fish that generally gets along well with other species. It can make a great addition to a community tank. However, it’s important to choose tankmates that have similar temperaments and requirements to ensure a harmonious environment.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting compatible tankmates for your Phantom Red Tetra:

  • Size compatibility: Since Phantom Red Tetras are small in size, it’s important to avoid keeping them with larger, aggressive fish that may see them as prey or potential rivals.
  • Peaceful species: Opt for peaceful fish that won’t intimidate or harass the Phantom Red Tetras. Peaceful tetras, like neon tetras or cardinal tetras, can be good tankmates.
  • Similar water requirements: It’s crucial to ensure that tankmates have similar temperature and water parameter preferences. This helps prevent stress and health issues for all the fish in your tank.
  • Similar activity levels: Choosing fish with similar activity levels can help create a balanced and peaceful tank. Avoid pairing the Phantom Red Tetra with overly active or territorial fish, as this can lead to conflicts.
  • Bottom-dwelling species: Consider adding bottom-dwelling species, such as Corydoras catfish or small plecos, as they occupy a different area of the tank and won’t compete for space with the Phantom Red Tetras.

It’s important to remember that individual fish may have varying personalities, so always monitor their behavior when introducing new tankmates. If any aggression or stress is observed, it may be necessary to separate incompatible fish or rearrange the tank layout.

Suitable Tankmates That Can Coexist Peacefully:

When it comes to tankmates that can peacefully coexist with the Phantom Red Tetra, consider the following:

  • Neon Tetras: These small, peaceful tetras share similar water requirements and activity levels with the Phantom Red Tetra.
  • Cardinal Tetras: Much like neon tetras, cardinal tetras are peaceful, active, and prefer similar water conditions.
  • Harlequin Rasboras: These colorful and peaceful fish are compatible with the Phantom Red Tetra due to their peaceful nature and similar water requirements.
  • Dwarf Gouramis: These small, peaceful labyrinth fish can add visual interest to your tank while being compatible with the Phantom Red Tetra.
  • Cherry Barbs: These colorful and peaceful fish make great tankmates for the Phantom Red Tetra due to their similar size and temperament.

Species To Avoid Due To Aggression Or Size Differences:

While the Phantom Red Tetra can generally get along with a wide range of peaceful species, there are some fish that should be avoided due to aggression or significant size differences. These include:

  • Cichlids: Most cichlids are aggressive and territorial, making them unsuitable tankmates for the Phantom Red Tetra.
  • Angelfish: Their larger size and potentially aggressive behavior make them a risk to the Phantom Red Tetra.
  • Aggressive tetra species: Some tetras, like the Serpae Tetra or Black Skirt Tetra, can be fin-nippers and may cause stress or aggression towards the Phantom Red Tetra.
  • Large predatory fish: Predatory fish such as Oscars or Pike Cichlids can easily view the Phantom Red Tetra as prey due to their small size.

By ensuring compatibility with suitable tankmates and avoiding aggressive or significantly larger species, you can create a harmonious and thriving tank environment for your Phantom Red Tetra.

Breeding Behavior And Tips

The breeding behavior and tips for Phantom Red Tetras involve creating optimal tank conditions and ensuring proper care requirements. These beautiful and colorful fish can live up to five years with the right conditions.

Breeding behavior of the Phantom Red Tetra:

  • During breeding, the male Phantom Red Tetra will chase after the female, performing a courtship dance to entice her to spawn.
  • Once the female is ready to lay eggs, the male will follow closely behind, fertilizing them as they are released.
  • The female will scatter her eggs among plants or a spawning mop, and both parents will guard the nest, ensuring the safety of the eggs.
  • After around 24-36 hours, the eggs will hatch, and the fry will become free-swimming. At this point, it is important to remove the adult fish from the tank to prevent them from devouring their own offspring.

Ideal conditions for successful breeding:

  • Provide a separate breeding tank with soft, slightly acidic water, a temperature between 75-80°F (24-27°C), and plenty of plants or a spawning mop for the female to lay her eggs.
  • Maintain pristine water quality, as any ammonia or nitrite spikes can be detrimental to the health of the eggs and fry.
  • Create dim lighting conditions in the breeding tank, as bright lights can cause stress to the fish and disrupt their breeding behaviors.
  • Introduce a well-conditioned male and female to the breeding tank, ensuring they are in prime health and have been provided with a varied diet to enhance their fertility.

Tips for encouraging breeding in a home aquarium:

  • Mimic the rainy season by adjusting the water temperature and initiating small water changes to simulate a natural spawning trigger.
  • Feed your Phantom Red Tetras a diverse diet consisting of quality flakes, frozen foods, and live foods. This can help condition them for breeding and increase their reproductive success.
  • Maintain a good male-to-female ratio, as too many males may lead to aggressive behavior and stress among the females.
  • Consider using a breeding mop or spawning slate to collect the eggs, which can facilitate easier removal of the adults and protect the eggs from potential predation.
  • Patience is key when it comes to breeding fish. It may take several tries before successful breeding occurs, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away.

Remember, creating the optimal breeding conditions and providing proper care for your Phantom Red Tetras increases the chances of successful breeding. With the right environment and patience, you can enjoy the beauty of watching these fish reproduce in your own home aquarium.

Common Health Issues And Diseases

The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is a vibrant and colorful addition to freshwater aquariums. With proper care and tank conditions, these fish can live up to five years, making them a great choice for any aquatic enthusiast.

Phantom Red Tetras are generally hardy fish, but they can still be susceptible to certain health issues and diseases. It’s important to be aware of these common ailments and take preventive measures to ensure the well-being of your fish. Here are some of the most common health issues and diseases that affect Phantom Red Tetras:

  • Ich (White Spot Disease): This is a common parasitic infection characterized by the presence of white spots on the fish’s body and fins. It can be caused by stress, poor water quality, or a sudden change in temperature. Treatments include raising the water temperature, adding aquarium salt, or using medication specifically designed to combat ich.
  • Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that affects the fins of the fish, causing them to appear ragged and deteriorated. It can be caused by poor water quality, overcrowding, or physical injury. To treat fin rot, you should improve the water conditions, ensure proper filtration, and administer medication as recommended by a vet.
  • Dropsy: Dropsy is a condition characterized by the swelling of the fish’s abdomen and the appearance of raised scales. It is usually a symptom of an underlying internal infection or organ failure. Unfortunately, dropsy is often fatal, but you can reduce the risk by maintaining excellent water quality and providing a balanced diet.
  • Velvet Disease: Velvet disease is a parasitic infection caused by the protozoan parasite Piscinoodinium pillulare. Infected fish exhibit a dusty or velvet-like appearance on their bodies and fins. Treatment involves using medications like copper-based treatments or malachite green.

Prevention Measures And Treatment Options:

Preventing diseases is always better than treating them. Here are some tips to help you maintain optimal tank conditions and keep your Phantom Red Tetras healthy:

  • Regular water changes: Ensure that you perform regular water changes to maintain excellent water quality. This will help minimize the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Proper filtration: Choose a reliable filtration system that can efficiently remove waste and chemicals from the water. A good filtration system will help maintain a stable and healthy environment for your fish.
  • Quarantine new fish: Before introducing any new fish to your aquarium, it’s essential to quarantine them first. This will help prevent the spread of potential diseases to your existing fish population.
  • Balanced diet: Provide a well-balanced diet for your Phantom Red Tetras. A nutritious diet will boost their immune system and make them less susceptible to diseases.

When it comes to treating diseases, consulting with a veterinarian or an experienced aquarium specialist is recommended. They can accurately diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatments such as medication or other remedies.

By following these prevention measures and seeking timely treatment, you can ensure the health and well-being of your Phantom Red Tetras and enjoy their vibrant beauty in your aquarium for years to come.


The Phantom Red Tetra, also known as Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, is a vibrant and eye-catching addition to any freshwater aquarium. With its semi-transparent red body and darker red markings on the fins, this fish adds a splash of color to the tank.

Not only are they visually appealing, but they also have a long lifespan of up to five years when provided with optimal tank conditions. These tetras thrive in soft and slightly acidic water, and they are compatible with a variety of community fish.

In terms of care requirements, they have no special lighting or temperature needs, making them a low-maintenance option for fishkeepers. Overall, the Phantom Red Tetra is a fantastic fish for small aquariums, as their bright colors and unique markings are sure to captivate both beginner and experienced aquarists alike.

Frequently Asked Questions For Phantom Red Tetra

What Is The Temperament Of A Red Phantom Tetra?

The temperament of a red phantom tetra is generally peaceful and social.

How Many Red Phantom Tetras Are There?

Red phantom tetras are colorful fish with red-tipped fins that dilute to an orangey hue.

What Color Are Red Phantom Tetras?

Red phantom tetras have a semi-transparent red body with darker red markings on their fins.

Q: What Is The Ideal Tank Conditions For Red Phantom Tetras?

A: Red Phantom Tetras thrive in soft and slightly acidic water with a temperature range of 20-23°C. They are compatible with other community fish and do not have any special lighting requirements.


  1. International Federation of Online Clubs and Aquatic Societies (IFOCAS)
  2. Federation of British Aquatic Societies (FBAS)
  3. Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies (NEC)
  4. Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS)
  5. Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA)



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