Black Phantom Tetra

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Megalamphodus megalopterus - (Eigenmann, 1915)
Black Phantom Tetra

Megalamphodus megalopterus.jpg

A great schooling species, peaceful and wonderful in planted aquariums. Aaron Norman


This is a lovely tetra that will provide a stunning contrast to more colorful tetras like the Cardinal Tetra. The fins of the males are black. Long-finned forms are available.

Family: Characidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: The Black Phantom Tetra is found in shaded areas of rivers and lakes with dense vegetation, and will appreciate a similar environment in the aquarium. Include dense plantings of live or artificial plants on the sides and back of the aquarium, and a layer of floating plants at the surface to create the subdued lighting that will best show off their colors.

Maximum length: 4.5 cm (2 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 19 L (5 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Mid-level


Carnivore. Feeds on worms, small insects and crustaceans in the wild, and is relatively easy to satisfy in the aquarium. Will accept herbivore and color-enhancing flakes.

Aquarium Compatibility

M. megalopterus is a peaceful, schooling species that should be kept in groups of at least three to ensure they are secure enough to exhibit their natural behaviors. Although males tend to claim small territories and will quarrel with other males, these interactions generally cause no damage.


Scatters eggs among plants and are easy to breed, but may become aggressive during spawning.


Dark-colored substrate, as well as pieces of driftwood and decorations will complete the decor. Use a long aquarium to maximize swimming space. Good filtration and weekly water changes are a must for this species.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW