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Aquarium characin fish: photos and names

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Aquarium characin fish: photos and names
Aquarium characin fish: photos and names

In modern aquaristics, the group of characin fish is considered the most diverse and numerous. Photos and names of representatives of this family are often published in special publications. Among them there are vegetarians, and real predators, giants and dwarfs, peaceful and aggressive species. Most of them breed for a long time in home aquariums.

In this short review, we will present you only the most popular types of characin aquarium fish, and their photos and names will help you navigate when choosing a new inhabitant of the aqua.

aquarium fish

General description of the family

It is truly huge: 12 subfamilies, about 1200 species and 165 genera. Characin fish are widely distributed in the waters of Central and South America, Africa. They prefer to live in stagnant or slow flowing waters with lots of vegetation, sandy or muddy bottoms and soft water.

Characin aquarium fish, photos of which we posted in thisreview, can be confused with small piranhas: a similar body shape, the speed with which they eat any food that has fallen into the aquarium, whether it be live bloodworms or flakes. This similarity is not at all accidental: tetras are actually relatives of piranhas, which, accordingly, belong to the piranha order. They, in turn, belong to the haracin family.

Family Description

These fish have long been known in the aquarium trade. They are widely used due to their exquisite beauty, unpretentiousness and ease of breeding. Some species are very hardy, and therefore they can be recommended even to people who are just starting to get acquainted with underwater inhabitants.

Despite the fact that the characin fish, the photos of which you will see below, differ in color and size, they also have obvious external similarities. This is a high body, slightly compressed from the sides, large eyes, raised stigma, wide adipose and anal fins. Due to the variety of colors and sizes, characin fish are of interest not only to beginners, but also to experienced aquarists. We will tell you about the most popular of them.


This is not only the most famous species in the family, but also one of the most common aquarium fish. Neons are prolific and easy to breed, so the cost of these tiny fish is usually low. They look most impressive in the company of representatives of the same species. In spacious aquariums where neons live in flocks, their luminous stripes attract attention. It is thanks to these marks, which resemble burning neon,they got their name.

There are 4 types of these characin fish: red, black, green and the most common - blue. They are very similar in appearance, although there are significant differences, including susceptibility to various diseases.

Neon blue

First introduced into aquariums in 1936, this fish made a splash. For a small flock of blue fish, aquarists gave a lot of money. Such a high price was due to the value of the fish - at that time it was believed that neon did not breed in captivity, and therefore absolutely all individuals were taken from natural reservoirs.

Later it turned out that, despite the fact that neon can live in hard water, very soft water is required for reproduction - up to 3 °dH. After the breeding process was established, the price of neon dropped sharply.

blue neon

This is a small fish. The length of her body is no more than 3 cm. Her back is painted in a pale olive color. A bright blue stripe runs all over the body from the anterior edge of the eye to the tail, which is colored red from the anterior edge of the anal fin to the stem.


A very peaceful and hardy fish, which has an average size for the family - about 6 cm. Its body is high, slightly flattened from the sides, and because of the wide anal fin it seems round. In reflected light, the silvery scales sparkle, making the fish look like a coin.

The brightest part of the thorns is the anal black fin, which resembles a skirt. The background color of thorns is light gray. In front of the bodytwo black vertical stripes are clearly visible.

Ternetia aquarium fish


There are several types of these characin fish. Ornathus vulgaris is brownish-brick in color with white fin tips. Breeders in recent years have received different forms - pink, veil and whitefin.

Black Phantom

A variety of ornathus. The body of the phantom is laterally flattened and quite high. The dorsal fin is high, and the caudal fin is two-lobed. The main background of the male is from dark gray to black, the abdomen is lighter. On the sides there are black spots of irregular shape, surrounded by a luminous purple edging. All fins are black except for the pectorals.

The dorsal fin in the male is high, curved backwards, in the female it is much lower and shorter. In young individuals, reddish tones predominate. The length of the black phantom grows up to 4-5 cm.

Black phantom

Red-dotted ornatus

Sometimes this fish is called a tetra with a bleeding heart. She looks really interesting - her gray body with pinkish hues, anal and dorsal fins with white marks, and in the center of the body there is a red dot that looks like a wound. A ruby ​​neon strip runs along the ridge.


Hardy characin fish of light brick color. Among other members of the family, it has a cocky disposition. It may pose a danger to veil-finned fish, but it does not pose a danger to other civilians.

A feature of the sickle is a rounded tail fin. Breeders have bred a color variation of the sickle, which has an intense red color, which among specialists is known as the "minor".

Lemon tetra

This yellow beauty is especially showy in large flocks. Lemon color, the intensity of which depends on the intensity of the consecration, prevails in its color. The brightest parts of the fish are the black and yellow anal and dorsal fins. Under natural conditions, during danger, lemon tetras huddle in huge flocks. Their brightly colored fins are confusing as a potential predator.

lemon tetra

Glass Tetra

One of the most unusual characin fish. The average size of a glass tetra is about 6 cm. It has a slender, elongated and transparent body. The skin is also transparent, and through them the internal organs and the spine are clearly visible. The body of the tetra is painted in pale blue or bluish-gray. Her head is small, and her eyes are disproportionately large. The ventral, anal and lateral fins are transparent. The dorsal fin is colored yellowish, and the caudal fin is bright red.

glass tetra

At the age of 5 to 7 months, the fish reach sexual maturity. Like most small characins, adult glass tetra females are significantly fuller in the abdomen, especially during spawning.

Golden wedge-belly (platinum)

These fish from many other species are distinguished by an unusual body shape. Combined with simple content, this makes the wedge belly an excellentchoice for beginner aquarists. It is, without a doubt, one of the most common species among hatchet fish. The fish is common in all major river systems: Orinoco, Parana, Amazon and others. Prefers mostly stagnant waters - swamps, floodplain lakes, quiet backwaters. Most often they live in areas with an abundance of surface aquatic vegetation.

Adults reach a length of 7 cm. The wedge-bellies have a wedge-shaped body, compressed from the sides. It resembles an ax blade. The back is yellow with golden hues, the belly is silvery. At a certain angle of the light fluxes, stripes that cast in blue can appear.

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