Myleus Schomburgkii, also called Disk Tetra, is a very active schooling fish with vibrant colors that enhance any aquarium.

Despite their large size, they are easy to care for, making them a firm favorite for many experienced aquarists.

Find out more about this fish in this article.


Common Names Disk Tetra, Black-band Myleus, Black-barred Myleus
Scientific Name Myleus schomburgkii
Care Level Intermediate
Lifespan 10 years
Size 16 inches
Diet Omnivore
Tank Size 200 Gallons
Temperature 73 – 81 F
pH 5.5 – 6.0
Hardness 1-12 dGH

Myleus Schomburgkii Background

– Origin

Like all tetras, Myleus Schomburgkii belongs to the family of Characidae and is found commonly in the rivers Africa, South, and Central America. Some common places you can see this fish in the wild are the Nanay River, Middle and Lower Amazon River Basin, Venezuela, Peru, and the Orinoco River Basin in Brazil.

Most of the Disk tetras available today are captive-bred. That accounts for their large numbers and popularity.

– Appearance

Disk Tetras have a unique body that is much more rhomboid in shape than other tetras; in fact, they are almost circular.

Their distinctive markings set them apart from other fish species. They have black bars that run down the length of their body.

Their dorsal and anal fins are elongated. They come in vibrant colors of red, silver, and blue. The best part is that as they near their breeding season, their colors are even more vibrant.

– Size

Adult Myleus schomburgkii can grow as large as 16 inches. Impressive, isn’t it! Of course, they will require an even larger tank with their large size than what you ordinarily would have.

– Sexual Dimorphism

It is pretty simple to differentiate between the adult male and female Disk Tetra. At maturity, the male has longer rays at the edge of its dorsal fin and sports an even more intense coloration when it is ready to breed.

During the breeding season, the female fills up with eggs and can be identified easily by her distended abdomen.

– Lifespan

Serrasalmid has an average lifespan of 10 years. Of course, the actual length of years they spend gracing your aquarium is significantly affected by the care you provide. With proper care and favorable tank conditions, you may record a longer lifespan.


Caring for this fish species is easy once you know what to do. Follow our simplified guide below.

– Diet

Silver Dollar Fish are omnivores capable of snacking on a wide range of meals. Regardless of this wriggle room in their diet, ensure that you give them only high-quality food and balance it out as much as possible. A large part of their food should be composed of vegetables like blanched spinach, lettuce, cucumber, and peas.

Live, frozen, and high-quality dry proteins are also great diet options for Disk Tetras. Options like mosquito larvae, daphnia, bloodworms, micro worms, shrimps, and small invertebrates are wise choices.

Tank Setup

– Size

The minimum size of the tank for this fish is 200 gallons because of its large size at maturity. If possible, go for a much larger tank to cater to their size and accommodate their schools. Their tank should have a very tight lid to prevent them from jumping out and winding up dead on your tile.

– Water Parameters

Amazon River Fish prefer fairly neutral tank water with pH around 5.0 and 7.0. Temperature-wise, we recommend that you keep their tank between 73 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The hardness of the water should be around 12 dGH.

You can use a simple aquarium test kit to ensure that the water parameters are within the accepted range. Remember that stark deviations can stress out your fish and increase its chances of coming down with common freshwater diseases like ich.

– Filtration

You will need an efficient tank filter to take care of the waste generated. High concentrations of Ammonia and Nitrite can have disastrous effects on your fish. Remember to carry out regular water changes to prevent the accumulation of these toxins. We recommend that you use a peat filter.

– Tank Décor

The most crucial décor your tank should have is lots of shady hiding spots for this fish to take cover. The more hiding spots you have in your tank, the safer this fish will feel. You can create great hiding places using simple flower pots, clay pots, rocks, and gravel. Let your creative side lead you!

Also, trees are great additions to this fish’s tank; however, they will eat up most plant species, so you have to choose a hardy plant. Java fern, Java Moss, Fontanalis, and Annubia, for example, are a brilliant addition to your tank. If you can’t get either of these plants, you can opt for the silk or plastic kinds.

Floating vegetation and leaves also provide shade for the very skittish Disk tetra. In addition, they help them hide from predators.

Tank Mates

When selecting tank mates for this fish, it is essential to consider their behavior, preferred diet, and water parameters. That way, you can get a compatible tank mate for them.

Since Myleus Schomburgkii is a nervous fish, it is terrible to house them with small species that can fit into their mouth or aggressive fish. Also, avoid known fin nippers that can stress them out even more.

Here’s a list of fish that would make excellent companions for your Myleus schomburgkii.

  • Large Sucker mouth catfish
  • Jombo Brochis spp
  • Doradids
  • Plecos
  • Behavior

Black Bared Myelus are shy but peaceful fish species that love to stay in groups. As a rule, this fish loves to stay with other members of its kind, so, at the least, you should have about six of them in your tank.

In such groups, they form an instinctively hierarchical system that helps them settle in. with larger groups of, say, 12 of these fish; you will notice they get more secure and comfortable; the result is often a more natural-looking shoal.

Since they are very skittish and are easily startled, it is wise to locate their tank in an area with minimal foot traffic. That way, they don’t rush into hiding each time someone passes.


We advise that you start with a small group of juvenile Myleus Schomburgkii, at least half a dozen. In such groups, the tetras will become aware of their sexes and act accordingly, saving you the stress of pairing.

Considering the sheer size of this fish, and their razor-sharp teeth, moving them may not be possible. Therefore, we suggest you use your community tank for breeding.

– How To Condition Disk Tetras for Breeding

The conditioning process is essential for successful breeding. Start by getting the water conditions right. To do this, you must first understand the ideal requirements for this species; once you do, breeding them becomes very easy.

From our experience, Disk tetras breed readily and vigorously in soft acidic water. So your water hardness should be less than 12 dGH and your pH around 5.5 and 6.0. Maintain the temperature at the higher end of the range (Closer to 83 F).

The last step in conditioning the breeding pair is their diet. Please provide them with high-quality meals at regular intervals. Mosquito larvae, blood worms, daphnia, and micro worms make great inducement meals. Then layer their tank with a fine mesh to trap the eggs. Do all of these, and you can expect to see good results.

– Disk Tetra Spawning

The adult female will typically swim vigorously around the tank, with the males encouraging her to lay her eggs by bumping into her. On average, she can lay up to 200 eggs, scattering them on the plants and bottom of the tank. The male immediately fertilizes these eggs.

As soon as the eggs are fertilized, carefully remove the adult pair from the tank, avoiding their sharp teeth. Ensure that the tank is dimly lit because the Disk tetras eggs are very sensitive to light.

In 48-72 hours, the eggs should hatch; they will feed on their egg sac for the first few days until they become free-swimming. After they hatch, they soon enter a resting state before finally becoming free-swimming. After four days, you can feed the infusoria and baby brine shrimp.

Once they are large enough to avoid being eaten as snacks by the other fish, you can move the fry into the community tank. But first, ensure that you balance the temperature and water parameters to avoid triggering other diseases.

Are Myleus Schomburgkii Recommended for Beginner Aquarists?

No. even though they have a pretty straightforward care routine, this fish can pose genuine problems for inexperienced aquarists, with their large size and sharp teeth. It is best to leave this fish until you have a bit more experience.


  • Myleus Schomburgkii is a delightful fish to add to your tank
  • They are avid jumpers that grow as big as 16 inches
  • With proper care, this fish can live for as long as 10 years

Black-band myleus are peaceful schooling fish that prefer to stay in groups of at least six. They require a large tank.

Our guide is bound to make your experience raising this fish a memorable one. Do leave us a comment on how it goes.

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