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Nematobrycon palmeri - Emperor tetra


  • Nematobrycon palmeri - Emperor tetra

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    Scientific name: Nematobrycon palmeri
    Common name: Emperor tetra
    AKA: True emperor tetra

    Country of origin:
    South America

    pH: 5.0 7.5
    Temperature: 23 27c
    Hardness: 18 - 215 ppm
    Water flow: standard
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: 4.2cm

    Diet: dry fish flakes, live food, frozen food. Never overfeed. They will not usually feed from the bottom of the tank, and will mostly take food as it is falling, not floating or sitting on the bottom of the tank.
    Although it can barely subsist on dry food, it really needs regular live or frozen food.

    Breeding: Males - larger, with extended anal, caudal & dorsal fins as they mature. Females - are plumper.
    It will hunt its own eggs & fry, making it more tricky (but far from impossible) to breed. It is one of the easiest fish to breed. Spawn in a group or pairs. They are an egg scatterer, and if provided with a mop or sufficient moss or plants, they can lay eggs, however they need to be kept from them by a division in the tank, or removal of the eggs or fish, otherwise they will eat the eggs or fry. Feed fry with infusoria.

    Most of the fish in the aquarium trade are bred in aquariiums.

    Tank companions: They are not good with most shrimp, as they can eat an adult CRS/RCS/chameleon shrimp.
    If looking for a clean-up crew to house with them, they are best kept with corydoras or other fish that will clean the bottom of the tank, but be too large to be eaten.
    They are too large to live with microfish.

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    They are peaceful tank companions with other fish.
    They will school well if they feel they are under threat (by people walking past or larger fish).
    Keep in mind that they are a comparatively small fish, and can be eaten by larger fish, although they are also capable of eating fish smaller than themselves.
    They should be kept in groups of at least 10 to minimise stress, but look best in large schools.

    They swim in the mid to top level of the tank.
    It needs at least a 3ft tank, but looks better in larger tanks.

    Their colours best in a well planted aquarium with some swimming space, and floating plants to give shade.

    Confused with:
    Inpaichthys kerri - Emperor tetra/ purple emperor tetra - smaller fish, fins do not become elongated, has an adipose fin
    Nematobrycon lacortei - Rainbow tetra - has a red pupil
    Nematobrycon palmeri - Emperor tetra/ true emperor tetra - has a blue pupil (female's is green), no adipose fin

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    It is a beautiful large tetra
    Males have a typical tatra shape, with a long, plump body. It is an irridescent blue/mauve above, has a wide deep purple lateral line, and is cream below it. It has a bright blue eye. The fins are elongated, growing longer as the fish ages. The tail fin forms a "crown", with the centrepiece of the clear triad shaped tail in the deep purple of the continued midline.
    Females are paler above, and do not have the flowing fins of the male, and the tailfin is clear, unlike the male's. Their eyes appear to be a comparative washed out green.

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    All Nematobrycon spp. are legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:

    The IUCN Red List reports Nematobrycon palmeri as a species which has not yet been assessed at 20/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    It is a good fish for beginners.

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur
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