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South America


Neoheterandria elegans

Neoheterandria elegans



    More rare in nature than in aquariums, this little livebearer is gaining popularity in the nano world for it's diminutive size and beautiful black and gold tiger stripes inset with one tiny, gold-rimmed oculus per side.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Males: .75 inches (2.0 cm) Females: 1.0 inches (2.5 cm)
    Tank: School of 7-8: 10 gallons (38.0 liters) or larger
    Strata: Top to middle
    PH: 7.0-8.0
    Hardness: Medium, NK: 10.0-20.0
    Temperature: 75.5 - 82.5°F (24 28°C)


    Order: Cyprinodontiformes
    Family: Poeciliidae
    Genera: Neoheterandria
    Species: Neoheterandria elegans

Common name:

    Elegant poeciliid, Tiger Teddy

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs
    Badmans' Forum


    South America: Rio Truando, Columbia. Occurs in shallow water with dense vegetation.

General Body Form:

    Streamlined with a deep, rounded anterior and long, muscular posterior. Fins are moderately long and rounded. Superior-facing mouth.


    The base color of the body and head is golden-olive. The ventrum is bright silver. From their anal fins to their caudal fin, the fish have as series of 7 to 9 tiger-like black bars on their flanks. The black bands alternate with metallic gold bars. At the beginning of the dorsal fin, one bar widens into an oculus or wedge-shape that is rimmed by a bright gold ring. Fins are translucent olive-gray with a flush of pale gold proximately.

  • Care:

  • Water:
    Crystal clear, sponge-filtered water with neutral pH and a minimum amount of hardness is recommended. Water circulation should be very gentle. Their small size and smaller habitats make weekly water changes of at least 50% essential to their health.

  • Diet:
    Omnivorus: Enjoys live and frozen artemia nauplii, cyclops, small daphnia, aquatic insect larvae, grindal worms and microworms. Supplement with small pellet foods, finely crushed, flakes for carnivores. From day one, fry eat the same diet as adults.

  • Tank/Decor::
    An ideal home for four pair of Neoheterandia elegans would be a 5 to 10 gallon tank with sand or small gravel substrate that is densely planted and includes caves or shelters. Fine-leaved plants, mosses and dwarf grasses provide resting places for adults and cover for fry.

  • Communities:
    These very small, shy fish feel most secure in a species-only aquarium where they can enjoy swimming out in the open. A nano tank or desktop aquarium would be ideal for 2 to 4 of these diminutive fish; a five to ten gallon tank would be ideal for 7 to 8 fish and would have enough

    Slow moving shallow water with dense vegetation.


    Easy. Sexual dimorphism: Males are smaller, more brightly colored and possess gonopodiums. Females are larger and fuller-bodied. Males perform a courtship display where they show the female the gold spots on their sides and then extend their fins as far as possible. The female then swims away if she's not receptive or she chooses her mate and allows the male to inseminate her via his gonopodium. Eggs are fertilized internally and develop over the course of a month. The fry hatch internally and are then are born 2 to 4 at a time over several days. Fry should be feed infusoria for the first few days, then the are able to eat the same diet as their parents. Fry are sexually mature at 3 months.


    Neoheterandria elegans
    Neoheterandria elegans


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.






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