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Tetras & Danios
Tetras, which include species like Neons, Piranhas, Silver Dollars, and Hatchetfish, are described by some as very “fish-like” fishes; that is, having a very characteristic shape. Their bodies are laterally compressed and they have a streamlined appearance. They all have teeth and scales and lack barbels or whiskers. Tetras are found in lakes, rivers, and streams in Africa as well as Central and South America. No Tetras are native to Europe, Asia, and Australia and, needless to say, Antarctica. We’ve included the Danios with the Tetras since they occupy the same ecological niche, thrive in the same type of aquarium environment, and have the same dietary requirements. These fishes are similar to Tetras in virtually every way except for a few physical characteristics that warrant their classification in a different family (Cyprinidae)—the same family in which Loaches, Barbs, Freshwater Sharks, Goldfish, and Koi are included.
Tetras and Danios are schooling fishes and do best in schools in aquaria. Ideally, a hobbyist should provide these fishes with an aquarium that is well planted along the back and sides with plenty of free swimming room in the center. Almost all Tetras and Danios will immediately accept dry foods and small frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms. They are fast eaters, swim constantly, and have high metabolic rates. It is recommended to feed these species 2-3 times per day and never to feed more than they can consume within a couple of minutes.