Scientific Name: Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis

Breeding Method: Egg scatterer

Ease of Breeding: Moderate

 Introduction: Although they are often over-looked in favor of their Neon and Cardinal cousins, Lemon Tetras have a subtle beau­ty and peaceful disposition that make them ideal aquarium inhabitants. They can be spawned in pairs or in a species tank of one male to four or five females.

 Sex Differences: Females have deeper bodies than males; the anal fin of the males is edged in black.

 Water Conditions: Although there are reports of these fish spawning in water with a pH as high as 8.0, they seem happier in soft, acidic water with a pH of somewhere between 6.5 and 7.2; many breeders achieve this by filtering through peat. Temperature should be between 74° and 79°F.

 Equipment: Start with a tank of at least 5 gallons for a breeding pair, or 10 gallons for a group. Add a sponge filter, a heater, and a spawning grate, along with some plants or spawning mops and some Java moss if the fry are to be raised in the tank. Cover three sides and the top with dark paper to keep the lighting subdued.

 Conditioning and Triggers: Condition separately for a week or two before spawning, feeding live foods such as brine shrimp, blood worms, Daphnia, and white worms. Make sure the water quality is pristine.

 Spawning: Place the breeding pair or group in the tank in the late afternoon. They will usually spawn the next morning, with the male dancing and displaying vigorously to his chosen mate. He will then lure her to his chosen spawning site, where she will release a few eggs and he will fertilize them. The eggs will drift to the bottom of the tank. The performance may be repeated several times over the course of an hour. If there is no spawning grate to protect the eggs, either they or the parents should be transferred to another tank.

 Brood Size: 100 - 200 on average.

 Fry Care: Keep the rearing tank covered, as eggs are sensitive to light. They will hatch in about 24 hours; at this point, you can allow some light into the tank. Fry become free swimming about five days after hatching. Feed infusoria; vinegar eels can be added after two or three days, and by the eighth day, fry should be large enough to take baby brine shrimp. Change 10 to 25 percent of water daily until the fry are several months old.

 Species with Similar Breeding Habits: Black Widow Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternet-zi); Silvertip Tetra (Hasemania nana); Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus); Rummynose tetra (Hemigrammus bleheri); Buenos Aires Tetra (Hyphessobrycon anisit-si); Serpae Tetra (Hyphessobrycon eques); Bleeding-heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon ery-throstigma).