Serpae Tetra – Hyphessobrycon eques

Serpae Tetra - Hyphessobrycon eques

  • pH: 5-7.5
  • gH: 2-15 dGh
  • Temperature: 20-28C
  • Maximum Size: 4cm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 70 litres, 80x30x30cm

Widespread in South America where it lives in slower tributaries of the Amazon river, ponds and lakes.


Tank mates need to be chosen with care as the serpae tetra is renowned as a fin-nipper. Nipping of tank mates is less likely to be a problem if the serpaes are kept in a big group of at least 10, and in larger tanks. Best choice for companion fish would be robust species occupying different tank levels to the tetras – loaches, corydoras, small loricariids for example. Avoid any tank mates with long flowing fins as these will prove irresistible.

Housing and Feeding

In the wild, these fish are found around marginal plants a the edges of ponds, lakes, and streams so a planted tank is preferable for them, although not essential. Another option is a loosely structured environment with branches, twigs and dried leaves creating a blackwater look.

Feeding is easy as they will accept most commercial foods which should be supplemented with live/frozen foods on a regular basis.


The serpae tetra is an egg scatterer and takes no care of its eggs or offspring. They will spawn regularly, but most, if not all eggs are likely to be eaten. The occasional one might make it in a well-planted tank.


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