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Panda tetra - Aphyocharax paraguayensis

Panda tetra - Aphyocharax paraguayensis

Scientific name: Aphyocharax paraguayensis

Common name: Panda tetra

Family: Characidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 3 - 4 cm (1.18 - 1.57 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7.2

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 5 - 15°N (89.29 - 267.86ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 26 °C (71.6 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Top levels


South America; Panda tetras are found in the basins of the Rio Paraguay.


The expected life span for Panda tetra is 2-5 years.

Short description

Panda tetras are a very hardy species that will do well in any community tank, they are quite rare in the aquarium trade so the prices may reflect this. Always keep in a group of at least 6 fish. They do have a reputation for being fin nippers, keeping them in groups should help with this problem as they then tend to spend more time with each other. Due to their fin nipping they are not the best candidate for a community set up as they can unsettle their tank mates with the constant harassment. Try to keep these fish in a species only set up and add plenty of plants but keep these to the rear and sides of the aquarium to allow for plenty of free swimming space at the front. As the panda tetra is a top dweller, substrate is not a key issue so sand or a small, smooth edged gravel can be used.

Dim lighting will also be appreciated, adding floating plants to the aquarium will help with this and keep the water quality high by performing regular water changes on a weekly basis. In the wild they inhabit small streams that are heavily vegetated, hence the dim lighting, the water flow will also be suppressed by the plants so this is easily replicated in the aquarium by reducing the flow from the outlets of the filters used.

Food and feeding

Although live foods are preferred, Panda tetras will adapt to other foods. Use a quality flake or small pellets for the staple diet. Live or frozen foods must be given as treats. Brine shrimp, blood worms and white worms are ideal. In time they will accept all foods that are offered but make sure that the food particles are small enough to fit into their tiny mouths.


Females will be slightly larger than the males; they will also have a stockier body shape.


Large water changes should induce the spawning. Add Java moss or spawning mops to the tank. The eggs will be scattered around the tank and once spawning is complete, the parents should be removed. After a few days, the eggs will be hatched and once the fry are free swimming, they can be fed on Infusoria.


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Panda tetra, picture 1 Panda tetra, picture 2 Panda tetra, picture 3

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