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Splashing Tetra (Copella arnoldi)

Splashing Tetra (Copella arnoldi)
Name: Splashing Tetra
Other Names: Jumping Characin, Spraying Tetra
Scientific Name: Copella arnoldi
Family: Lebiasinidae

Distribution: Lower Amazon and the coastal region of the Guianas
Length: 3.5"
Water Temperature: 77 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (25-29 degrees Celsius)
Diet: Small invertebrate live foods are taken in the wild; they may take flakes in captivity once acclimated to them.
Water Chemistry: Very soft to somewhat hard (dH between 2 and 12)
pH: 6.5-7.5
Lifespan: 5-7 years

Species Description These tetras are elongated with prominent fins that have an olive green coloration. (They look more like killifish than tetras!) They have a base color of either a darker olive green or brown with a ventral coloration of white. If kept properly, the upper half of the iris becomes orange.

Stripes are very noticeable on this fish: one darker than the surrounding body color is located between the caudal fin and gill cover, a copper one is found directly above that, and between the nose and gill cover one will see a black band.

Species Behaviour These are peaceful fish that will do well in a community setting. Unlike many of their characin brethren, these can be kept in pairs with no ill effect.

These are jumpers, so a tight tank lid is imperative. They also like the security of floating plants (but could do without them) and will not thrive in a tank without heavy planting of non-floating plants.

Natural Conditions Vegetation-laden areas in slow-moving rivers

Natural Range Lower Amazon and the coastal region of the Guianas

Minimum recommended tank size 10 gallons

Water Temperature 77 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (25-29 degrees Celsius)

Water Quality Though they do best in soft, slightly acidic conditions (dH between 5 and 7, pH just below 7.0), Splashing Tetras may be kept in waters that are very soft to somewhat hard (dH between 2 and 12) and less than half a unit from neutral in terms of pH.

Sexing Females are generally much deeper in body than males, especially when gravid. Males' fins are more colorful and elaborate than those of their female counterparts.

Breeding This is what sets them apart from pretty much all other fishes. The water in the breeding tank should be several inches lower than normal. The pair will, once conditioned with livefoods, jump toward an overhanging leaf or the tank lid and press their bodies together. After a few trial runs, they start to emit eggs and sperm, 8-10 eggs at a time. Almost 200 eggs are laid. The male then keeps the eggs moist by flicking his caudal fin in order to splash water on them; this may continue for 30 to 40 hours until the eggs hatch.

The fry slide directly into the water, but danger awaits them as the male, whose job is now done, and female will both prey upon their progeny.

Feeding Small invertebrate live foods are taken in the wild; they may take flakes in captivity once acclimated to them.

Miscellaneous Info Only Copeina arnoldi, the original combination for this fish, is considered a junior synonym.
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