Pristella Tetra - also called Water Goldfinch and the X-ray Fish



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Pristella Tetra

The pristella tetra (pristella riddlei) is aptly also called the water goldfinch and the x-ray fish. Easily bred and quite hardy, the pristella is distinguished by a black band on its dorsal fin that is bordered by gold and white. Translucent to a degree that it seems near transparent at times, this characin also has an albino phase where the black band is absent and the fish is strikingly golden with fins bordered in sable. The albino phase often is referred to as the Golden X-Ray.

The pristella tetra originates in the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers of Venezuela and Guyana. Like other characins, it’s an unaggressive fish that prefers the community tank and life in a school of six or more of its peers. Slower moving than many other tetras, the pristella tetra adds balance to a lively community tank.

Because pristella tetras are less easily stressed than some other tetra family members are, they are a good fish for the beginning aquarist. The pristella tetra is tolerant of poorer water conditions and temperature fluctuations than many other characins. Still, pristella tetras should be kept with only other unaggressive fish of their own size. Like other tetras, they prefer low light levels and well planted tanks with additional hiding places of strategically placed rocks or driftwood on a dark substrate.

A standard diet of flake food is acceptable to the pristella tetra, but for the fish to display optimum color, live food should be fed as well. Separate males and females prior to spawning and feed them a live food diet. Pristella tetras are also egg scatters, which spawn in fine-leaved plant clusters. To keep adult fish from ingesting their eggs, parent fish should be removed immediately after spawning. The tiny fry will thrive on feedings of live artemia brine shrimp.

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