Red phantom tetras (Hyphessobrycon sweglesi)

Red phantom tetras (Hyphessobrycon sweglesi) have a special way of fighting for the favour of the females. The males spread their fins both to impress the female fish and to exhibit dominance over their male counterparts. Despite this behavioural trait, red phantom tetras are peaceful among themselves.

Red phantom tetras are native to the tropical rivers of South America, for example, Hyphessobrycon sweglesi can be found in the Orinoco branch of the Upper Amazon in Columbia and Venezuela. These fish can grow up to 4 centimetres in length. Red phantom tetras are closely related to black phantom tetras (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus).

Aquarium and water

The aquarium should have a volume of at least 54 litres. This corresponds to the Tetra Starter Line LED aquarium with the following dimensions: 60 x 30 x 30 cm. To create an appropriate habitat, we recommend a water temperature of 22 to 24°C. Ideally, the water should be slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (pH value: approx. 6.5-8.5) and medium-hard (GH value: approx. 8-15°dH), but red phantom tetras can also be kept in slightly softer or harder water.

Keeping conditions

Red phantom tetras have very distinctive social behaviour and enjoy the company of their conspecifics. They should therefore be kept in a shoal with many other phantom tetras. Hyphessobrycon sweglesi are active swimmers and need plenty of space in an aquarium. Due to their peaceful nature, red phantom tetras are highly suitable for community tanks. They can be kept with smaller fish, preferably from South America, such as catfish or dwarf cichlids. Red phantom tetras tend to prefer the middle to upper regions of the aquarium.

Planting and decoration

Red phantom tetras feel most comfortable in a casually planted aquarium with dense vegetation around the edges. That way, the active Hyphessobrycon sweglesi have enough room to swim in the rest of the aquarium. For decoration, you can use suitable types of aquarium wood, such as bogwood.


Red phantom tetras prefer fine-grained foods, such as TetraMin or Tetra Micro Pellets, as they are easy to eat. If you wish to enhance the colour vibrancy of your Hyphessobrycon sweglesi, feed them Tetra Rubin. The colour-enhancing effect of Tetra Rubin can be seen in just two weeks.