If there was any fish that suffered from ‘ugly duckling syndrome’, diamond tetras can probably make that claim. As young fish, they are often overlooked in favour for more readily recognisable fish. But don’t let that discourage you! Give these young fish a home and as they mature, they transform from non-descript to sparkling diamonds, giving them their name. They are peaceful, iridescently colourful, reasonably robust, and their medium size, around 5 cm (2 inches) in length, makes them ideal for most medium to large aquaria. On top of this, the male fish develop elongated dorsal and ventral fins making it easy to determine the sexes. These gems hail from South America but, being quite adaptable, will do equally well in most types of water. They do appreciate a bit of plant matter in their diet and may nibble on a soft leaf or two, but they are not as plant-destructive as their cousins, the glass tetra (M. oligolepis) or red-eye tetra (M. sanctaefilomenae).
Tagged in: Fish of the Week Archive - Freshwater