Black Phantom Tetra
(Hyphessobrycon Megalopterus)
Alternate Names:
Shadow Phantom Tetra
Phantom Tetra

Black Phantom Tetra

(Hyphessobrycon Megalopterus)

Size: 2 Inches

Temp Range: 72°F to 82°F

pH Level: 6.0 to 7.5

Lifespan: 5 to 8 years

Tank Size: 20 gallons

Diet: Pellet, Flake, Frozen

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Geographic History

This interesting little Tetra comes from the Guapore and Mamore River basins in Brazil and Bolivia. They are also found throughout Paraguay.


Black Phantom Tetras Love to swim. You should provide plenty of room in the center of your aquarium to accommodate them. Plant the sides and rear of your aquarium to provide them with cover.


These are great community fish. Keep them in groups of six or more, with more females than males. This keeps them calm and happy. They work very well with livebearers, peaceful bottom dwelling catfish, and gouramis.


Males are more slender than the females and have larger dorsal fins. The females have reddish color in their pectoral and anal fins.


Black Phantom Tetras like to shoal in schools of six or more. The males may develop territories and spar each other to protect them. They will display their colors by presenting their profile and extending their anal fins. Sometimes they fight and tear their fins, but usually they remain peaceful.


Breeding these little guys can present a couple challenges. First of all, you have to maintain a Ph of 5.0 to 5.6 to induce spawning. Once you have done that, it is important to have plants scattered around the bottom and the lights dimmed. Last, but most important, the eggs will be prone to be infected by fungus. Infected eggs should be removed so that they don't spread fungus to the other eggs.

After you have adjusted the water and light levels in a twenty gallon breeding tank, put a group of six females and six males in the tank. Add marbles to this tank for substrate and the eggs will fall into spaces that the adults cannot reach. Small clumps of plants should be scattered around the bottom of the aquarium.

The females will move from plant cluster to plant cluster depositing eggs, being followed closely by the males. Once the eggs are deposited in and near the plants, they will fall into the marble substrate. After spawning occurs, remove all the adults.

Fry should be fed crushed flake and Inforusia. Make sure to keep excellent water quality throughout the spawning and growth of the fry.

For more information, go to Wikipedia's Black Phantom Tetra page.

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