The Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)
One fantastic little fish that often get overlooked is a great little fish for the smaller aquarium or as a large shoal in a community tank: the Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae).
This is one of the smallest fish available for a tropical aquarium growing to a length of about 2.5cm. They are a lovely orange colour deepening to a fiery red with maturity. As with all Tetras they are a shoaling fish so the more you have the better. As they are smaller fish it is relatively important to keep them in larger numbers as the more confident they feel, the nearer the front of the tank they should swim. We tend to recommend at least 8 fish but double that would be better. The striking red colour makes a fantastic contrast to the greens of a heavily planted aquarium.
They are a very robust and peaceful fish so a community tank with other small Tetras and Rasboras is perfect. Bigger fish will look at these fish as a tasty snack so be careful with Angelfish and Gouramis (even really peaceful ones!)
They will accept a variety of foods from dried flake to frozen. We have found that they seem to brighten in colour when fed occasionally on live Daphnia every few weeks. These fish ideally prefer slightly more acidic water but we keep fish that have been bred in more neutral water so you don't have to worry about buffering your aquarium.
These are a really lovely fish to keep and make a great subject for a species only aquarium.