Small-scale glass tetra, Charax condei


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Emma Turner profiles an unusual characin from the Rio Negro.

Common name: Small-scale glass tetra
Scientific name:
Charax condei, Géry and Knöppel, 1976
Origin: Rio Negro, Brazil.
Size: To 5.5cm/2.2”.
Diet: Variety of small meaty frozen foods, such as mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp and Daphnia. Once settled, they should start to take flake and micropellets.
Freshwater in a range of 23-25°C/73-77°F, soft, acidic conditions, pH 5.5-6.8 and DH up to 8°.

Aquarium: C. condei is a rare blackwater species infrequently seen in the trade. It is best maintained in a group of at least six, due to its shy disposition and shoaling nature.

The tank must be well matured and peat filtration would help simulate the acid blackwaters of  the natural habitat. Create plenty of shady hiding spots among driftwood and rocks.

Plants are fairly sparse in the natural habitat, so are not essential. However, they will help with water quality, will make the aquarium look more pleasing and provide additional shady retreats. Dark décor and dim lighting is preferable.

Notes: C. condei, although peaceful, is a micro-predator, so companions should be chosen carefully. They must be of a suitable size but also calm as C. condei are easily bullied by belligerent tank mates. Corydoras catfish would be ideal.

It is not uncommon to see this species head down, similar to some of headstander species.

Some suppliers and older literature still refer to this fish under its old synonym Asiphonichthys condei.

Sexing: Unknown, although mature females in breeding condition are likely to appear fuller bodied.
Availability: This species is seldom seen in the trade and these fish were spotted on sale at Maidenhead Aquatics @ Crowland.
Price: Then on sale at £11 each or three for £30.

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