|Distribution||Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.|
|Sexual Dimorphism||Mature males develop elongated dorsal and pelvic fin rays, and the anterior portion of the anal fin also has a broad lobular shape. Mature females likely to be fuller bodied.|
|Maximum Size||2.5cm (1")|
|Water Parameters||Soft and slightly acidic. pH: 6.0-7.2, dH: up to 15 degrees.|
|Temperature||15-27 deg C (59-81 deg F)|
The Reed Tetra is known from shallow, moderately turbid channels, swamps, and small tributaries where the water is soft and acidic and densely packed with aquatic vegetation. These diminutive shoaling fish form large aggregations, and are often joined by the very similar-looking Corydoras hastatus (which unusually for a Corydoras species, swims in midwater). This mimetic relationship is thought to afford the Corydoras improved foraging opportunities and better protection from predators. Reed Tetras are a peaceful species, ideal for mature softwater aquaria. The tank should be furnished with plenty of driftwood to create lots of shady areas, and the tannins that are gradually released from the wood should help to acidify the water whilst giving it a natural, clear tea-colour (and the fish often show enhanced colours under such conditions). Peat filtration can also help in this respect. Dense planting, both rooted and floating, will help to make the fish feel secure. Lighting should not be too bright (tannins and floating plants can help to diffuse brighter lighting), and darker substrate and background choices will help to show off their beautiful colours. Reed Tetras should always be maintained in good sized groups, 6 would be the minimum recommended, 10+ would be much better. Not only will the fish feel more secure, but this will result in a far more effective, natural-looking shoal. Tankmates should also be small and peaceful, as these fish are easily intimidated by larger or more rowdy species. Ideal tankmates could include Corydoras catfish (in particular, a group of C. hastatus would make for a most interesting addition), other small tetras, pencilfish, dwarf cichlids such as Apistogramma or Mikrogeophagus, and some of the smaller Loricariidae (suckermouth catfish). Reed Tetras are similar in appearance to the Kitty Tetra (H. heliacus), but the latter shows a golden body colour instead of the silver of this species. The scientific name "elachys" is from the Greek for little or small, and alludes to the small adult size of these fish. It's rare to see Reed tetras labelled correctly, as most arrive misidentified as Kitty tetras.
Flake, micropellets, small frozen foods such as daphnia, mini bloodworm, cyclops, baby brineshrimp (Artemia nauplii) etc.
This species has been bred in the home aquarium, and although it is reported to be rather straightforward, precise details seem to be few and far between. In the confines of a well planted tank, you may see small numbers of young appear from time to time. However if you wish to raise a good number of fry, a small separate breeding aquarium should be set up for the purpose with soft, acidic water. Prior to the spawning attempt, condition your fish on plenty of small meaty live or frozen foods. Clumps of Java moss or a few bunches of fine-leaved plants should be added to the breeding tank to give the fish somewhere to scatter their eggs, and very gentle filtration should be provided via an air-driven sponge filter. No dedicated lighting should be used, as eggs and fry can be a little light sensitive. Acclimatise a mix of both sexes across to the new tank very carefully during the evening, and in the morning, when sunlight hits the tank, spawning should commence. The parents should be removed immediately after spawning ceases as they will predate on the eggs. Alternatively, some aquarists like to use a fine mesh in the tank so that the scattered eggs can fall to safety, away from the attention of the adult fish. Ideally try and keep the tank in darkness once eggs have been scattered, to protect them and the resultant sensitive young fry from being damaged by bright light. Alder cones can be very useful in helping to prevent the eggs from fungussing. Once the eggs have hatched, the young will feed from their yolk sacs for a short time. As soon as they become free-swimming, microscopic foodstuffs such as infusoria/Paramecium should then be offered, followed by baby brineshrimp (Artemia nauplii) as they grow.