Common ornatus fish

Ornatus ordinary or red (Latin Hyphessobrycon bentosi) is a rather large tetra that has a nice color and interesting behavior.

It is quite hardy and unpretentious, although it does not like sudden changes in the content and parameters of water. To provide conditions suitable for an ornatus, it is necessary to try.

Also, the white-fin ornithus or red phantom is called a fish.

Ornatus vulgaris need to be kept in a flock, at least 6 fish. But, despite the fact that this is a school of fish, they will stick together only when they feel the need, for example, with large fish in the aquarium or when changing water parameters.

Like other tetras, the red phantom ornatus fish love aquariums densely overgrown with plants. Although in nature they live in soft and acidic water, they have long adapted to different conditions and take root well.

Living in nature

Ornatus vulgaris was first described by Dublin in 1908. Homeland in South America. They live in the slowly flowing tributaries of large rivers such as the Amazon.

Such rivers are usually densely overgrown with plants, although they are obscured by overgrown trees. Ornatus feed on nature in various small insects.


A fairly large tetra reaches a length of 5 cm, although some individuals grow to 7.5 cm. Ornatus live from 3 to 5 years.

Body color - transparent, with red fins. The dorsal fin has a black spot with a white edging along the edge.

Difficulty in content

Medium difficulty is not recommended for beginners, as he loves a stable environment in an aquarium with stable water parameters.


For aquarium fish, Ornatus vulgaris need fairly high-quality feed. They need a nutritious, vitamin diet so that high-quality feed should be 60-80% of the feed.

They prefer live food, but they can also eat tender plants.

You need to feed two to three times a day, live food (bloodworms, tubule, daphnia) or high-quality artificial.

Aquarium Maintenance

Ornatus must live in a pack, the minimum number of individuals is 6 pieces. For such a flock, an aquarium of 60 liters is enough. They like clean water, but they don’t like fast flow, so it’s better to put a flute or reduce the flow.

Since in nature they live in places quite obscured, the light should not be bright.

Along the edges of the aquarium with ornatuses it is better to plant densely plants, and in the center leave a place for swimming.

As a soil, optimal river sand, on which you can put fallen leaves. In nature, the bottom of the rivers is densely covered with them, so that even the water in them has a brownish tint. Such water parameters are easiest to recreate using peat.

Optimal for the content will be: temperature 23-28С, ph: 6.6-7.8, 3 - 12 dGH.

To maintain ornatuses, it is important to maintain stable conditions in the aquarium, and clean water.

To do this, you need to replace part of the water regularly and remove dirt from the soil in order to prevent an increase in the content of ammonia and nitrates.


Peaceful fish in a properly equipped aquarium get along well with other species. In nature, ornatus red phantoms live in flocks numbering from 50 individuals.

In an aquarium, 6 is the minimum amount. At the same time, they keep the flock poorly, resorting to it only on their own need.

Aggressive or too active neighbors are the worst option for them. It is good to keep with any medium-sized and peaceful fish, for example, thorns, ancistruses, acanthophthalmus, marble gouras.

Gender differences

Male ornatuses have longer fins, especially the dorsal. Females are fuller with short fins.


Ornatus vulgaris reproduces in the same way as many other types of tetras. A separate aquarium, with dim lighting, it is advisable to close the front glass.

Plants with very small leaves should be added to it, for example Javanese moss, on which the fish will lay eggs. Or, close the bottom of the aquarium with the help of a net, as tetras can eat their own eggs.

The cells must be large enough so that the eggs can pass through them.

The spawning water should be soft with an acidity of pH 5.5-6.5, and cruelty gH 1-5.

Ornatus can spawn in a school, and a dozen fish of both sexes are a good option. Producers are fed live food for a couple of weeks before spawning, it is also advisable to keep them separately.

With such a diet, females get heavier from caviar pretty quickly, and males will gain their best color and can be moved to spawning.

Spawning begins the next morning. So that the producers do not eat caviar, it is better to use a grid, or immediately after spawning to plant them.

The larva will hatch after 24-36 hours, and the fry will swim in 3-4 days. From this moment it is necessary to start feeding it, the primary food is an infusoria, or food of this type, as the growth can be transferred fry on nauplii artemia.

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