The Buenos Aires Tetra is unique among tetras in many different ways. This makes it an interesting option for anyone looking for something with a bit more variety and something that isn’t the norm.
They do have slightly different care requirements which is why it is important to know all the little details about them.
To reduce the hassle for you, here is everything you need to know about the Buenos Aires Tetra to be able to take proper care of this rather intriguing freshwater fish.
A Little Background
As the name suggests, this is a fish that is primarily found in Argentina (Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina) in the Río de la Plata region. It can also be found in other freshwater bodies such as lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams in parts of Brazil and Paraguay as well.
This is one of the toughest freshwater fish out there and because of this hardy nature, it has gained a lot of popularity as a great beginner fish. However, unlike many tetras, it isn’t suitable for a planted aquarium or even as a part of most community aquariums as we shall soon find out.
Buenos Aires Tetra Physical Description
Physically it looks similar to a lot of tetras with that classic elongated and flat body but where it differs is in size. It can grow to nearly three inches. It is also one of longer living tetras out there with an average lifespan of 6 years. There have been reports of some specimens even living for more than a decade. Aesthetically, it isn’t very flashy but beautiful in a more subtle manner.
The body has a silvery sheen to it and a thin blue line runs along its body horizontally from the gills to the tail or caudal fin. This line terminates in a diamond-shaped spot on the tail fin. The fins are tinged in an orange-reddish hue with a little splash of red visible on its eye as well. Other variants with a slightly different coloration do exist but these are a lot rarer to find in the hobby.
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Buenos Aires Tetra Tank Size And Tank Setup
First things first, this is not a fish suitable for planted tanks. It has a voracious appetite for most live plants and will thus eat them all up in a matter of days. Apart from that, this is a highly adaptable fish. A small group of these tetras can be kept in a 15-gallon tank even though a 30-gallon tank or more is preferable especially if you plan to keep more fish or fully grown specimens.
They aren’t very picky about the tank setup either. However, it is always a good idea to provide a mix of hiding spots and open spaces. You can use all types of decorations, driftwood, and artificial plants to do this. Similarly, there are no constraints when it comes to the substrate. You can use pretty much anything as long as it isn’t toxic.
Buenos Aires Tetra Water Parameters
One of the reasons why this fish is so hardy is because of its ability to thrive in a wide range of water conditions. This will give you some leeway when it comes to tank upkeep and maintenance. It can do just fine in temperatures ranging from 64°F to 82°F or 18°C to 28°C. It can similarly tolerate a pH value all the way from 5.8 to 8.5 even though it is recommended to keep the water slightly acidic if possible. Apart from that ensure that you do a partial water change at least once a month.
Buenos Aires Tetra Diet And Feeding
You might be seeing a theme developing here. This fish is not at all demanding and this trait can be seen in its feeding habits as well. It is a natural omnivore and will eat pretty much anything that can fit in its mouth. In the wild, this tetra will feed on worms, insects, crustaceans, and plants but they have no trouble subsisting on commercial fish food without any issues. All you have to do is ensure that the food you use provides a balanced diet. It needs a good percentage of plant matter in its food and that should be something you should consider when choosing the fish food. You can also supplement this with live and frozen food and vegetables like lettuce.
Buenos Aires Tetra Tankmates
This is one area that you will need to be a bit careful about. While this tetra is generally peaceful, it can sometimes exhibit a bit of a mean streak. It is a renowned fin nipper and any fish with long flowing fins will be at risk of having its fins shredded and eaten. Since they also grow larger than a lot of tetras, smaller fish should be avoided. Under no circumstances keep them with Neon Tetras as they will end up as prey to these fish. Ideal tankmates for the Buenos Aires Tetra would be fish of a similar size or ones that are slightly larger. They also need to be fast and should be able to fend for themselves. Some great tankmates for the Buenos Aires Tetra include
- Other larger tetras such as the Black Widow Tetra
- Non-aggressive cichlids
- Bottom-dwellers such as smaller Plecos
Also, keep in mind that this tetra is a schooling fish and will need to be in the company of its own kind to feel comfortable even in a community tank. Ensure that there are at least six of them in the tank.
Buenos Aires Tetra Breeding
These also happen to be one of the easier tetras to breed. Start with an equal number of males and females preferably in a dedicated breeding tank. The males will tend to be noticeably more colorful. Add hardy plants like the Java Moss or a breeding mop for these fish to lay their eggs on. Ensure that the water stays slightly acidic or neutral and maintain the temperature as close to 75°F or 24°C as possible. This should induce spawning in a few days. The female will typically lay her eggs in the dawn which is why it is important to maintain a proper timing for switching the lights on and off to simulate day and night.
Once the eggs have been laid, remove the adults. The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours. They will feed on the egg sacs for the first three or four days after which you can provide them with freshly hatched brine shrimp, micro worms, finely crushed flake food, or commercially available fry food.
The Buenos Aires Tetra is not for everyone but if you are looking for a robust fish that can stand up to a lot of beginner mistakes while looking and behaving in a rather active manner and you are not interested in live plants then this fish is definitely a viable option.