Hyphessobrycon cf. rodwayi

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Submitted by
Natasha Khardina
-11.6316347, -50.7745438
Geographical region
South America
Drainage Basin
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Water body part
Water body course
Lower course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Araguaia river
Type locality
Georgetown Trenches, Botanic garden, Aruka and Barima rivers, Guyana.
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Not Evaluated (NE)


Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Black water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
24-28 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

1-12 mg/l
4-8 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen


Standard length
5.3 cm
Water volume (min. aquarium)
70 l
Social behaviour
Group fish
Behaviour description

Hemigrammus rodwayi is a very peaceful fish and it does not compete well with more agressive or larger tankmates. In the biotope aquarium, it is best to keep them in a shoal of at least 6 specimens, but preferably 10 or more. As for other tankmates, Hemigrammus rodwayi is ideally kept with other South American species, such as other Hemigrammus or Hyphessobrycon species, pencil fish, Apistogramma dwarf cichlids, Corydoras and small Loricariids.


Aggression grade
Day active
Sexual dimorphism

Adult females appear to have a more rounded belly than males. Males are usually shiner, too. The anal fin of the male has a white leading edge, which results more red coloured than that of the female.

Nutrition in Nature

Hemigrammus rodwayi is an omnivorous fish. In nature, they feed on aquatic insect larvae.


Breeding tank set-up

A small group of Hemigrammus rodwayi will need a tank of at least 70 litres. For a biotope correct set-up, a substrate of river sand, a few driftwood branches, and twisted roots are needed. There can be included dried leaves, but no aquatic plants, as these are not a feature of the habitats of this species. The wood and leaves will stain the water and make it tea-coloured. Old leaves should be removed and replaced regularly, in order to avoid them rotting. Another useful component is peat, which can be added to the filter in order to aid in the simulation of black water conditions. The tank should be dimly lighted.


Nutrition parents

This fish will accept a variety of foods. For the best condition and colours, Hemigrammus rodwayi should be fed with regular meals of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia and brine shrimp, along with dried foods.

Mating type
Spawning behaviour

Hemigrammus rodwayi can be bred in an aquarium but it is best to set up a separate breeding tank. Since they are egg scatterers, they should be provided with a spawning mop or some clumps of fine leaves where they can lay their eggs. The breeding tank should have different water parametres: water with a pH of 5.5-6.5, a gH range of 1-5 and water temperature of about 26-29 °C.

These fish can be spawned in groups of 6 to 12, with equal numbers of males to females or in pairs. When spawning a single pair, a male and a “full” female should be transfered to the breeding tank. After the eggs have scattered, the pair should be removed from the tank. In 3-4 days the fry will be free swimming. The eggs and fry are very sensitive to light in the early stages of life; so, the tank should be kept in darkness, if possible.

Breeding habits
Egg scatterer
Hatching period
24-36 hours
Number of eggs in average
Parental care
Fry number
Nutrition fry

The fry feed on infusoria-type food for the first few days, until they are large enough to accept microworm or brine shrimp nauplii.

Notes on reproduction