Red of Rio

Roter von Rio
© Sychriscar, Tetra, CC BY-SA 3.0

These strikingly coloured ornamental fish originally come from the coastal rivers of the Brazilian metropolis Rio de Janeiro. There they prefer slow-flowing water near the shore or quiet side arms of the rivers. In its native country, the red of Rio is threatened with extinction. In our country it is a quite widespread fish for the freshwater aquarium. Occasionally it is also found under the name Feuersalmler.

What distinguishes the Red of Rio?

The Red of Rio (Hyphessobrycon flammeus) is a pretty and uncomplicated schooling fish. It belongs to the tetras and can be kept in small groups together with other species in varied community tanks. With good care, the Redfish from Rio can reach an age of up to 4 years.

The appearance of the Red of Rio

With a total length of only 4 cm the red one from Rio is one of the small fishes. Its varied colouring shows light-dark stripes on the front part, which resemble a zebra, and the abdomen is coloured red. The intensive colouring has been lost to some breeding forms. Nevertheless even lighter types still show a gentle stripe pattern and reddish shimmering markings on the fins. The red one from Rio is rather stocky and short.

  • about 4 cm tall
  • striped with red markings
  • also paler breeding varieties
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Housing conditions of the Rio Red

The red from the Rio is a lively little schooling fish. It needs conspecifics and should be kept in groups of at least 8 animals. A male is joined by 2 to 3 females.

When keeping several males they should be able to avoid each other well. Occasionally the small ornamental fish tend to mostly harmless quarrels. In the community tank it gets along well with marbled armoured catfish (Corydoras paleatus) or yellow dwarf cichlids (Apistogramma borelii).

  • Keeping simple
  • needs small swarms
  • is active and occasionally belligerent
  • likes to be in company with other peace-loving species

Gender differences in Rio Red

The ventral and anal fins of the males are much more intensely coloured and have a clearly visible dark hem while the females are rather pale and the hem band on the fins is missing or very weak. The females can also be recognised by their slightly rounded body shape.

Water values for the red of Rio

The ideal water for this ornamental fish is soft, alkaline and always clear. The temperature should only rarely exceed 24°C and for a short time. The fish generally tolerates small fluctuations in water quality very well.

  • Water type: Freshwater
  • Temperature: 22° to 24°C
  • PH value: 6.5 to 7.0
  • Total hardness: 5° to 20°dGH

Feed and nutrition for the Red of Rio

This ornamental fish accepts dry food in flake form, which it can pick up with its small mouth. Otherwise Tubifex, daphnia and bouncing fish are suitable foods. It loves to lose weight and also green food like scalded salad. Particularly pale specimens can significantly increase in colour intensity through the constant feeding of carotene-containing water fleas, bouncing plants and Artemia.

The ideal aquarium for the red of Rio

For a small group of Rio’s reds, a basin 60 cm long and with a capacity of around 50 litres is sufficient. The fish need a good planting with enough hiding places. A very dense vegetation of the water surface is also gladly accepted, however the fish should still have enough space for free swimming despite the plants. In community tanks you should also make sure that there is enough free space for the school.

  • from 60 cm length and 50 litres capacity
  • make sure there is enough free space in the community pool as well
  • rich planting is gladly accepted

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