The penguin tetra is a small fish native to parts of the upper Amazon basin in Peru and the Rio Araguaia in Brazil. The penguin tetra grows to an adult size of 2.4 to 3 inches long. Males are more intensely colored, while females tend to have a more rounded belly.
The penguin tetra should be maintained in an aquarium of 20 gallons or larger. A soft, sandy substrate (CS7581) is probably the best choice. Driftwood (ZM2000) and live plants may also be incorporated.
The penguin tetra is an adaptable fish that prefers a temperature of 73°F to 82°F, a pH of 5.5 to 8.0, and a hardness of of up to 20°H.
The penguin tetra is an excellent fish for a community aquarium as it is lively and peaceful. Keep it in groups of 6 or more for the best effect. Good tank mates include livebearers, danios, rasboras, dwarf gouramis, cory catfish, smaller Loricariids, other tetras, pencil fish, and peaceful dwarf cichlids.
In the wild, the penguin tetra is a micropredator primarily feeding on aquatic insect larvae, worms, and tiny crustaceans. In the aquarium it will accept dry and frozen foods of similar sizes. Good choices include frozen bloodworm (SF4792) and cyclops, as well as high quality flakes (AL165). For maximum color, growth, and health these fish will look their best when given probiotics (AL169) in addition to a balanced diet.