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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So just got 11 of these guys in the mail yesterday. Thought they were washed out from travel. Today the orange is still terrible and they don't all have the black ear marks. Are these definitely Serpae tetras? Disappointed thought the orange/red would look great in my tank.



 

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They are Serpae tetras, and will likely darken in color in a few more days as they get more acclimated to new home. Fish often loose color when stressed. They are not picky eaters, but a varied diet can help color as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the input. Gotten a lot of fish in the mail, typically the next day they look pretty good. the pinoy and pinoy paraiba wide fin angels i ordered with them look great today.

I was more concerned that some of them don't have the black "ear" markings. Don't remember ever seeing any in the lfs without them.
 

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There are several related fish, and some look quite a bit like the Serpae. Yes, there are minor color variations, too.

Have a look using the term 'Red Phantom Tetra' and also using the genus of the Serpae Tetra without the species. Hyphessobrycon to find more relatives.
 

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There are a few locations in Brazil where the tetras were originally collected, and depending on these different geographical regions, your serpaes could have a large 'ear spot' or they could have none. Their aggression levels could also be different.
 

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As others have said there are other species in the catch all genus of Hyphessobrycon that look very similar to the serpae tetra, namely the red phantom tetra H. sweglesi. The rosy tetra and crystal red tetra also look very close. However, it is more likely that your fish are a variant of H. eques lacking the black ear, or more likely still, that they have not grown entirely comfortable, become well conditioned and established a heirarchy yet. These guys are aggressive in ways one would think of a piranha more so than any tetra.

As they mature and are fed high quality foods, yours is probably better than what they were getting if bought from a whole type supplier, the red will darken and they will get white trim on the fins. The ear spot will wash out when they are stressed so just give it some time and some good conditioning for them to reach their full potential. When fish are shipped they generally are put on a fast for a couple days so dont get discouraged just yet.

I got the impression you were more interested in the red coloration than the ear mark, so you should have no worries in a month or so when these guys are well fed and comfortable in their new surroundings. Just be careful with tankmates, these fish will run even larger peacful fish ragged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the input. I am looking more for the red to come. Since they are from florida I pretty sure they were farm raised. I was worried about potential aggression. I have 11 of them so I hope they keep the nipping to each other. Otherwise they will be gone. Most of the people I have talked to have success keeping them in groups, so I am hoping for the same. I think their red color will look great along with my school of lemon tetras and my pinoy angels.
 
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