Blue Diamond Tetra



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Blue Diamond Tetra

Gertrude Stein said, “A rose is a rose is a rose”, but then she wasn’t searching for information about the blue diamond tetra!

In trying to find info on the blue diamond tetra, I was reminded of the comedian Ray “Jay” Johnson. He always started his routine with, “You can call me ‘Ray’ or you can call me ‘Jay’ or you can call me ‘Ray Jay’, but you doesn’t have to call me ‘Johnson’!”

If you have been looking for the blue diamond tetra without any luck, try searching for “blue diamond characin” instead. Although a member of the tetra clan, it’s a misnomer to call the blue diamond characin (Alestopetersius smykalai) the blue diamond tetra. The blue diamond tetra, correctly called the blue diamond characin is an African tetra species found in Lower Nigeria. In addition to the confusion of this tetra’s common names, there is also confusion over the scientific name, since some taxonomists also regard the name, Rhabdalestes smykalai as valid for the blue diamond characin.

The blue diamond tetra (characin!) is actually silver-blue with a fine black lateral stripe that ends in a distinguishable “spot” at the caudal peduncle. Although some aquarists have recently introduced this lovely fish into their community tanks, the blue diamond is rarely kept in an aquarium, which probably accounts for the limited availability of information on this characin. Although it is a lively and generally peaceful fish, the blue diamond characin (not tetra!) is also a carnivorous fish, unlike many of its omnivorous tetra relatives.

If you do find the blue diamond tetra (oops – characin!) at you aquarium shop or pet store, remember to pick up at least half-a-dozen of them. Like most tetras, the blue diamond easily becomes stressed resulting in a loss of color, appetite and death if not allowed to school with other fish of its species.

No matter what you choose to call it, blue diamond tetra or blue diamond characin, this fish is a rare find and an unusual addition for your community tank.

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