site logo

Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Tetras > Serpae tetra
18 visitors reading profiles


This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the

South America


Serpae Tetra

Hyphessobrycon serpae
(Hyphessobrycon eques)



Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Jeff Dean
I have never had any problems with Serpae's until the last time I picked some up. I got 6 of them and they tore everything up; Angels, Catfish, Black Skirted Tetra's. I finally put them in with the Tiger Barbs and Convicts. They seem more at ease and have adjusted to a pecking order and just mind their own business. Peaceful is what I thought, Battle Worthy is what they are....
From: Sharon
Wow, im so surprised by your comments, I have 5 serpeas in a community tank and I've never had any problems/aggression from them?? I have 4 corys in there, red eyed tetras, silver dollars, tiger barbs, pristella tetras, a pleco, etc. and they all have great fins and get along fine! I thought my serpaes are peaceful fish?!?
From: Tony
I have a school of 8 of these, which have killed 2 cory cats and are now nipping up a pleco and some dojo loaches. I've kept them in the past as dither fish in a convict tank, which I think was a much better match. I'm considering removing them from my community tank and taking them to the fish store.
From: Ro
I have 2 serpaes, 2 cherry barbs, 2 blue longfin danios, 1 male veiltail betta, 1 SAE, and 2 bolivian rams. The serpaes have literally nipped off 1/4 of my bettas dorsal fins. They started picking on the cherry barbs and that was their mistake as the cherry barbs are now bullying them. It's to the extent where the serpaes are afraid to surface to grab their flakes/bloodworms, thus I have to feed them sinking shrimp pellets. The cherry barbs have also defended the rams against the fin nipping serpaes. If you are having trouble with serpaes, try giving the cherry barbs a shot by adding them to your tank and you may be lucky that the barbs will keep those little devils under controls. Cherry barbs don't fin nip nor bully fish unless otherwise bullied first by the others. They are very shy and docile fish and will hide most of the times inbetween the plants.
I had 5 of these which I added to my community tank, big mistake! They have hacked at my albino cory and panda cory and other fish as well. They are very lively though adding some interest to the tank but just too aggressive for me, they had to be removed from the tank after just over a week, my fault really
From: Daphne
This is an update on the comment I left last January. I still have 7 of the original 8 in my Amazon tank. For the past couple of months I've been worried about my corys (have 12 of them, bronze and peppered) because they have ragged fins. I thought at first a kribensis was doing the damage. Actually, I should not have a krib in an Amazon tank.....he's African.....but was born in the tank and I can't bear to part with him. Wrong!!! The serpae tetras are nipping at my beloved corys. Now I'm considering taking these beautiful fish to my favorite store in Tacoma and replacing them with something else, something peaceful like black skirts or another type of larger tetra. While they are just beautiful, I don't think they can stay in the tank. My tank is a peaceful collection of raphaels, hoplos, callycthis, rams, and small tetras, and no one harasses anyone else. These little malcontents are either going back or are going to get their own species tank. Beware if you do have gentle fish. While keeping a larger group of them prevents excessive fin nipping on other species, it seems that they still find it necessary to try their friends out for taste.
From: Kevin
These fish are not good for your communities. I added six to my tank which has 2 well 1 Bala Shark now that they killed the other. 3 Neons 2 Glows and 2 Pictos. They seem amused at biting the other fish and they are doing it in a pack. They have only been in the tank for 24 hours and they killed one bala shark and have completely bitten the tail fins off of the Neon Tetras. I will take these back to the store Today!!
From: Randall
These fish are not a good addition to a community tank. I added 6 to a 36 gallon tank. They harassed my corys, algae eaters, and rasbora. They even attached the red light on the heater. They soon tired of this and started eating my rasboras nipping off the tail fins then the flesh. They are beautiful fish but be careful what you keep them with.

From: Angela
Serpae Tetra's are a great fish however, they are fin nippers and are not so good with smaller fish. I have five of them in with a Bala Shark and a Pleco. They are great together. They like variety in their diet as well as ornamental hiding places along with lots of plants. They are hardy, they will survive lower temperatures and slow fluctuations in PH levels.
From: Anne
These fish are very hardy souls. They can survive spikes and other sudden problems that would send most species into shock. I've NEVER had a problem with them at all in community tanks. They mostly give each other a hard time. Their colors get really bright when they take up a fight with each other. Even then it's no biggie. No one gets hurt and this is just a bickering game of some kind. They interact with keepers when they get to know them after a period of time. They're real quick little fish but more aggressive feeders like platys can grab their food supply away as they are middle of the tank feeders. This is good to watch for and keep in mind. Super cool little fish for beginners and everybody!
From: Dapne
I have 8 of these fish in my 75 gallon Amazon tank. They are very active and lively. Of the entire tank, only them, the rams, and the hoplos are totally aware of the changes that go on outside of the tank (if I walk by or sit down to enjoy the view). They also school nicely. All in all, if you can keep your ammonia down well and continue to keep clear water, these fish grow nicely and adapt to soft, acidic water in a generic setting very well. Make sure when feeding to crumble up some flakes and lower into the tank below the water level so that they can eat without having to come to the surface. They seem to appreciate this.
From: Sub
I have a small group of these (8) in a 200 litre tank with tiger barbs, golden Barbs and Zebra danios.. Work just fine as all my other fish are hardy fish with no trailing fins. Don't keep just one or two, like Tigers they need at least 6 of them to stop them picking on other fish.

From: Laura Stewart
This a beautiful colorful little fish. I have 6 in a 50 gal. community tank with some bleeding heart tetras. They are extremely active and aggressively chase each other as well as the bleeding hearts relentlessly though. They are very hardy, but I would only recommend them if you like this aggressive type behavior.
Serpae tetras are fast swimming fish, I had them in a community tank for a couple of weeks, buy they can be quite aggressive, especially towards their own species and if they are even a little hungry. They are fin nippers. I lost 3 neonís and had to remove the Serpae tetras from the tank. Great fish for a well planned community tank.
From: Evan
These guys are awesome. They have lived through a period in which my nitrite was at 5 ppm and they have also lived in 68 degree water for three days (no they didn't die after three days, my power just came back on because we had a hurricane). These fish are a must have, and are great for beginners.
From: Crystal
Serpae tetras can be aggressive to other, smaller, fish. I had one in a group with a few guppies and neons, and he harassed them until death. He was a pretty little fish, however, and I would recommend them for a carefully planned community tank.




Privacy Policy | Contact Badman's Tropical Fish
Copyright ©
All rights reserved. Reproduction of any portion of this website's content is forbidden without written permission.