Red-blue Colombian

Rotblauer Kolumbianer
Marrabbio2, Hyphessobrycon colombianus, CC BY-SA 3.0

The home of this beautiful freshwater fish is in Colombia. There it lives in smaller streams and rivers, mainly in the catchment area of the upper Rio Acandi in northwest Colombia. The ornamental fish reaches a maximum age of about 6-8 years. Its keeping is very easy, therefore it is also very suitable as a beginner fish. Basically it is an ideal aquarium fish.

What distinguishes red-blue Colombians?

The red-blue Colombian is not a real schooling fish, but very sociable and should therefore be kept in smaller groups of at least 8-10 specimens. They can be well socialized with Corydoras catfish or dwarf cichlids. Discus fishes also put up with it. Red-blue Colombians are peaceful, non-aggressive fish, but they sometimes show territorial behaviour.

The appearance of red-blue Colombians

Red-blue Colombians grow up to 7 cm long. Their somewhat high backed physique is strongly flattened at the sides. The fins are coloured red, the body has a more silver or bluish colouring.

Sex differences

Regarding their coloring, both sexes hardly differ. The males are a little smaller and slimmer than the females. In males the lower half of the caudal fin is curved outwards, in females the lower half of the caudal fin is almost straight. However, due to different degrees of curvature in the animals, the caudal fin is not a particularly reliable distinguishing feature.

Water values for red-blue Colombians

When it comes to water values, the red-blue Colombian does not have great expectations. The Colombians feel comfortable with the following water values:

  • pH value between 6 and 7.5 pH
  • Total hardness between 5 and 19°dGH
  • Water temperature between 24 – 28 degrees

Food and nutrition for red-blue Colombians

In its river home this species feeds mainly on worms, insects and other zooplankton, but in smaller quantities also on suspended matter in the water, decomposing organic substances or the remains of dead plants and animals. In the aquarium it accepts smaller live, dry and frozen food well. Flake food should be so fine that the animals can eat it with their small mouth. With a well balanced diet the body colours are brighter and the fish life is much longer.

But when feeding you should pay attention to the following. Red-blue Colombians are fast and good feed converters. They eat a lot and sometimes look round as a ball after feeding. If too little food is given, other fish in the aquarium must starve, because they get hardly any food.

The ideal aquarium for red-blue Colombians

Due to their size of up to 7 cm and the group keeping, the aquariums should hold at least 200 L. Not too bright light and dense planting are essential for the well-being of the fish. Some floating plants or overhanging wooden roots as shelters can still promote the well-being. The substrate should be kept dark.

Housing conditions

In order to keep the fish species-appropriate, the minimum sizes (> 200 L) for the aquariums must be observed. Also the minimum number of fish should not be undercut. In the following the most important keeping conditions in short form:

  • Community tank
  • convivial nature
  • darkened pools
  • lush vegetation
  • Live and dried fodder

Special features of red-blue Colombians

The fish often get strange black spots on the skin. The reason for this is not known. But genetic causes are suspected. In individual cases, animals are said to have died after the black spots appeared. But this is no reason for concern, usually the fish live on without any further problems or impairments. There is also no danger of infection for animals not affected.

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