Star spot tetra

The star spotted tetra lives in the rivers of South America, especially in the region of the Orinoco and the southern Amazon. In our latitudes it is known primarily as an ornamental fish for domestic aquariums.

What distinguishes Sternflecksalmler?

Although star spotted tetra are mostly found in latently flowing waters, they are also found in lakes.

The appearance of star spotted tetra:

Sternflecksalmler
Richard Bartz, Munich Macro Freak, Pristella maxillaris, CC BY-SA 2.5

The attractive appearance of the Sternflecksalmler contributes to their popularity. When exposed to light in the aquarium, they appear silver-metallic, although they are yellowish or green in colour. With a total size of up to 4.5 centimetres they remain quite small. The fins of the characins appear slightly pied, red colorations can partly be recognized by the caudal fin.

The sides are flattened towards the caudal fin. Their ventral, dorsal and anal fins have a dark spot. A similar shade can be seen on the eye.

  • Silver, slightly shiny colouring
  • Short bodies not exceeding 4,5 centimetres
  • Spotted fins, on the caudal fins partly red shades
  • Flattened side sections
  • Dark spots on the ventral, dorsal and anal fins and next to the eyes

Housing conditions:

Under the right conditions, the Sternflecksalmler can live for up to nine years. An aquarium with a capacity of at least 60 litres is the basic requirement for these tetras. Furthermore, a softened water should be ensured. A maximum guide value of 15 dGH should not be exceeded. Ten fish make up a manageable group that can be expanded.

Sternflecksalmler are characterised by social interaction. Therefore, keeping them in groups works without difficulties. Living together with other fish breeds is also uncomplicated.

Since Sternflecksalmler are considered to be active, only species that enjoy movement should be kept in the aquarium. Deposited fish eggs should be taken directly from the tank: Otherwise the characins take on a spawn-robbing behaviour. After four days the young fish can be fed to the adult fish.

  • Aquarium with 60 litres capacity (even higher when kept in groups)
  • Ten fish as ‘entry policy’
  • Water of low hardness, not higher than 15 dGH
  • Sternflecksalmler: social, peace-loving and group-compatible
  • Cohabitation with other agile breeds is possible
  • Eggs must be kept separately outside the tank, as the characins could rob the spawn

Gender differences:

Male characins have a more colourful scale dress than their female counterparts. The males are more fragile in terms of their physical constitution, and do not reach the maximum length of 4.5 centimetres. They can grow up to 3.5 centimetres long.

Water values for Sternflecksalmler:

Spotted Tetras like it warm. The average water temperature should be 24 to 28 degrees, with a simultaneous pH value between 5.5 and 7. A water hardness level of at most 15 dGH is soft enough for the tetra.

Food and nutrition for Sternflecksalmler:

The tetra breed belongs to the omnivores. Therefore, they can be fed both dry vegetable food and frozen live food. If kept in groups, the food must be more generous, because Sternflecksalmler have a high feed requirement.

The ideal aquarium for star spotted tetra:

Various hiding places are essential for the tetras in the aquarium. The sides can be planted with plants, which the animals can also use. At the same time there must be enough space for swimming. However, there are no specifications with regard to sprinkling the bottom. In order to emphasize the intensive colours of the fish more clearly, brown gravel sand is recommended.

Special features of star spotted tetra:

The Sternflecksalmler has a special role. It is the only breed that belongs to the Pristella family. The teeth of the tetra are triangular, but not evenly shaped.

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