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Brings live to your community tanks
Many freshwater fish-keepers have a warm spot in their heart for a little fish with a big name, the 1 ½-inch hemigrammus erythrozonus? or mush easier to say, the glowlight tetra. Like its little cousin, the neon tetra, the glowlight is an easy fish to keep in a community tank. In fact, many neon keepers, tired of battling neon disease, move towards the glowlight tetra.
The glowlight tetra is pastel peach in color with a horizontal red-gold stripe that spans the length of its body. Originating in Guyana, South America, the glowlight does well in a fresh water tank of slightly acid but peat-softened water that is kept between 74F and 82F. Glowlight tetras generally occupy the bottom third of the tank, except for feeding time when they will swim to the top.
The male glowlight tetra is more slender bodied than his mate, although it may be difficult to tell them apart until the female is full of eggs. Glowlight tetras are easier to breed than many other tetras like the neon and the cardinal tetra. However, providing them with a soft water environment is a critical factor for breeding. In fact, when breeding glowlight tetras, it may help to erect a special breeding tank. After your females have laid their eggs, you will need to remove adult fish from the tank until the fry hatch since glowlights have been known to eat their own eggs. Glowlights scatter their eggs among fine-leaved live plants. Clean, fresh water and live foods can encourage breeding. However, when changing water, be careful that you don't remove so much that it causes your tank to recycle.
Like many tetras, the glowlight tetra is a schooling fish and prefers to swim in the company of at least seven of its peers. Another common characteristic of many tetras is sensitivity to bright light. Lighting in a glowlight tetra aquarium should be filtered. This is easily achieved with aquarium plants. Artificial plants will suffice (unless you intend to breed your fish), but the glowlight tetra finds that real plants are a delicacy along with its usual fare of tropical flake food, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp.
Linda is author of Tetra Fish and Cichilds sections on aquarium-guides.com
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