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Aphyocharax rathbuni

Aphyocharax rathbuni
Red Belly Tetra
The Green Fire Tetra, also known as Rathbun's Bloodfin, is a true gem of the small fish world that can be often overlooked. This fish is small with a maximum size of two inches. Its special fascination is that the fish's color changes and evolves with time. The body of the male is a metallic blue green, and the anal fin and lower rear of the body is red. As the male matures the tips of his pelvic and anal fins turn a brilliant white. As he matures further, the edges of the lobes of his tail turn white. The base of the tail is red and spreads over the remainder of the tail as he ages. When the male displays for spawning or dominance, the base of his anal and dorsal fins turn a deep black green color. The female has a more heavy body, and she is more of a metallic greenish blue in color. She has a hi-light of blue along her lateral line. She also has the red that the male has, but her fins are clear.
Eigenmann first described the Green Fire Tetra in 1907. It comes from the Rio Paraguay in South America. The habitat of this fish is very varied depending on the season of the year. Because of the varied habitat, this species does very well in average type conditions. A temperature of 73F degrees, neutral pH, and medium hardness. It will readily eat any good fish food. By personal experience it does not like extremes of conditions and unlike most tetras it does not do well at low pH. It can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fishes, and it greatly appreciates floating plants in the tank where it can swim in and out of these plants. I keep about a dozen in a school with a few more females than males. Oddly when schooling the males and females tend to keep within their own sex within the school.