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This profile was written by Marl L. an active contributor to the site.

South America


Slender Tetra

Iguanodectes Spilurus


    This is a harmless, very peaceful and color-changing fish. It is imported rarely to the states and can be difficult to find. Don't pass up the chance to get a school.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 3" (7cm)
    Tank: Min. Tank requirements: 24 inches
    Strata: Middle - top
    PH: PH recommendation 5.0-7.5
    Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 0-18
    Temperature: 73°F to 81°F (23°-27° C)


    Order: Cypriniformes
    Suborder: Characoidei
    Family: Characidae
    Genera: Iguanodectes
    Species: Spilurus

Common name:

    Slender Tetra

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    South America: Amazon, Essequibo, Orinoco, and Tocantins River basins.

General Body Form:

    Very long and 'slender'

    Slender Tetra

    The bottom of the eye is very blue and the top is yellow. All fins are transparent with the exception of the caudal fin that changes color to and from a blue or yellow tint with a spot of black fading to the edges. The body is transparent. The Caudal peduncle is color changing to and from bright yellow and orange. A color-changing stripe extends laterally from the gill cover to the bright spot on the tail. The color of this stripe depends on the angle of light and fish direction and can be yellow, green, blue or orange. It also has a nearly parallel stripe extending from the anal fin to the caudal peduncle with the same characteristics. This fish changes color back and forth in a matter of seconds. The most commonly sold in the US are silver/grey bodies with black stripes along it's back and flanks..

    This is an easily kept fish. With little time in the aquarium, this fish has not shown any aggression towards any other fish except it's own with no visible or damaging affects. Feeding is no problem. They accept all types of flake or pellet food. They also relish on frozen foods and thrive live brine shrimp. They will pick at plants such as Hornwort. The top of the tank should have plenty of swimming room, as they like are constantly on the move. When calm they will stop under leaves or floating plants. They completely resist going below the middle of the tank. They won't even zip down for food. They should be kept in schools of no less than six.

    Fast flowing streams and creeks in it's home range.


    Mostly unknown, sex is also unknown.


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Bullfrog
Size is up to 3". After dropping pH from 7.4 to 6.8 by adding co2, slenders are more active and apparently doing mating displays, one fish swimming repeatedly back and forth directly in front of another. One of 6 slenders is hiding in a corner. All new behavior





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