Candy Cane Tetra Care: Lifespan, Breeding, Tank Requirement

Candy Cane Tetra

Most of the time, people who wish to have a pet fish don’t know much about how to take care of the fish. To keep the fish healthy and happy, first, you will need to study their basic requirement. So, with this intention, here I am today, writing this blog post to give you an introduction to Candy Cane Tetra.

Candy Cane Tetra, also known as “Ornate Tetra” or “False Rosy Tetra” or “HY511 Tetra”, is a recently discovered species. Candy Cane Tetra is the perfect addition to any freshwater community aquarium or a planted tank. Besides this, the fish is reasonably hardy, making it an excellent keep for intermediate hobbyists. Peaceful in nature, this stunning beauty will mesmerize you with its candy-colored appearance.

All living organisms have some requirements. And special care needs to be taken for the ones in a vivarium. Here’s all you need to know about Candy Cane Tetra.

Candy Cane Tetra Summary Chart

Care Level Easy
Scientific Name Hyphessobrycon bentosi
Origin Peru, South America
Behavior Community and peaceful fish
Size Approximately 1.6 -1.8 inches (4 – 4.5 cm)
pH 6.0-7.2, slightly acidic water
Temperature 73° – 82° F (22.7° – 28° C)
Water hardness 3 – 12 dGH
Lifespan 3-5 years, depending on the size
Diet Omnivorous, Micro predator
Minimum aquarium size 20-gallons
Acquaintances Similar sized fish like Rasboras, barbs, tetra, Anabantids, angelfish, Corydoras, etc.

A Brief Description of Candy Cane Tetra

The Candy Cane Tetra (Hyphessobrycon bentosi) is a species of freshwater tetra fish in the family Characidae. This newly discovered species is native to the Amazon basin in Peru. Originating from South America.

Hence you can find this tropical tetra fish in the densely vegetated and shaded, slow-moving creeks from the Amazon River.  These black water inhabitants reside in clean water, whereby the water is rich in tannins.

The fish is comparatively hard to breed. However, it is available at stores that keep tropical fish. You can easily find them online, as well.

You can identify this tetra from its translucent pink-colored flat body with darker red marked fins. W

hat makes the Candy Cane Tetra so striking is its bright white tipped fin. A school of 6 or more will add an impressive display to an aquarium.

Candy Cane Tetra is comparatively smaller in size and can grow up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) to 2 inches approximately.

With a short lifespan of 3-5 years, the fish can live longer if taken care of properly. The fish exhibits sexual dimorphism as well.

The males, similar to most Tetra, have a long and distinct dorsal fin, and the females are plumper.

A single Candy Cane Tetra will cost you around $6. Since they are a shoaling species rather than most schooling Tetra, a group of 6 might cost you approximately $35.

Besides this, the Tetra is also premium bred, thus enhancing their color activeness overall, and is twice as costly as normal ones.

Did you know?

The reason why the Candy Cane Tetra is known as False Rosy Tetra is that it resembles the Rosy Tetra in appearance. A white-tipped fin is what makes this species so unique.

Social Behavior and Tankmates

Candy Cane Tetra is a peaceful shoaling species of Tetra. Their non-aggressive nature is what makes them the right choice for community fish.

They blend along pretty well with similar sized peaceful fish. While under stress, semi-aggressive behavior can be exhibited.

Candy Cane Tetra is of the perfect size, not too big, nor too small. This is the reason why the species go well with larger amicable species as well.

However, one must be careful not to choose aggressive fish as a tetra tankmate. Candy Cane Tetras go along well with other Tetra and smaller Rasboras, barbs, Anabantids, angelfish, Discus, Apistogramma dwarf cichlids, Corydoras, small Loricariids, and other Hyphessobrycon or Hemigrammus species.

Diamond Tetra, Bleeding Heart Tetra, Black Phantom Tetra, or the Kuhli Loach are also good Tankmates. Although it has a small mouth, it can kill a small adult shrimp.

Tip: In a community tank, make sure that all the living organisms are fed as there can be a size hierarchy.

Candy Cane Tetra Fish Keeping Difficulties

If you have been bedazzled by Candy Cane Tetra’s beauty and worry that it will require a lot of attention, then take a break from your thoughts. Candy Cane Tetras are easy to keep around.

Each fish is delicate and has its own requirements. Similarly, Candy Cane Tetra has some strict water requirements.

Besides this, the fish is a little hardy. All you need to do is have regular maintenance, and you’ll be good to go.

Breeding the fish can be quite challenging. Therefore, previous experience in fish keeping would help a lot in certain situations.

Caring for Candy Cane Tetra

Candy Cane Tetras are active fish. Because these tetras are relatively hardy and are small, they are easy to care for. By looking at the parameters below, you will find your answer to why this Tetra is suitable for intermediate as well as experienced hobbyists.

Aquarium Size For Candy Cane Tetra

Choosing the right aquarium for a fish can be confusing. That is because a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration like the breed, type, capacity, number of fish, etc. Keeping a successful aquarium depends significantly on your tank set-up and the fish.

Candy Cane Tetra is best kept in a freshwater tank of 20-gallons capacity. So, it is very necessary for you to know how to set-up a tetra tank as the slightest mistake can be fatal for your fish.

This tetra is a shoaling species. Therefore, it must be kept in a school of 6 or more. A container with more surface area is best recommended for the fish as it is a top and mid- dweller.

If you plan to keep a community tank, then the size of the tank will depend on the number of fish. Also, don’t forget to keep the lid secure at all times.

You may also want to check out the tetra tank set-up.

Fact: Bigger the tank, the easier it is to maintain.

Lighting For Candy Cane Tetra

Tetra fish are known for their adaptation to the darker environment. Since light is a significant performance factor, let’s see what suits Candy Cane Tetra’s best.

Similar to other Tetras, Candy Cane Tetra requires a dim environment. This is because the Candy Cane Tetra is found in the densely vegetated and shady places like the slow-moving creeks that are tributaries to the Amazon River. With the presence of leaf litter and floating plants, Candy Cane Tetra can most certainly stay in a shady area.

A low output LED light is the best lighting environment. For a balanced ecosystem, consider adding plants as well as hiding spots for the fish.

NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light will give you that window with low output accordingly.

Substrate and Décor For Candy Cane Tetra

Substrate and Décor are two different factors that both add an aesthetic and visual appeal to your tank. Besides this, the substrate and décor should be arranged according to the natural habitat of the fish in your aquarium. This is because it helps them feel secure, even though the fish is adaptable.

For the Candy Cane Tetra, the best substrate you can find is river sand or fine gravel substrate. A darker substrate will most certainly make the fish pop-out more.

Talking about aquascaping, river rocks, and driftwood are the best options. A few Catappa leaves at the bottom will create a home-like environment for the fish. Besides this, plants can also act as décor, and a few floating plants here, and there will surely make the fish more comfortable.

However, make sure that there is enough space for the fish to swim in without much current.

Always add plants that are adaptable to the fish’s water conditions. Plants like Microsorum, Taxiphyllum, or Cryptocoryne spp. and floating vegetation like Ceratopteris spp., water lettuce can survive in the water conditions.

Diet For Candy Cane Tetra

A fish’s health can be visible by the type of diet the fish has. For maintaining a healthy rosy color, a balanced diet for the fish is necessary.

Feeding the omnivorous Candy Cane Tetra is no hassle. Feeding on small insects and planktonic animals in the wild, they are grateful for any type of food. Quality flaked food and micro pellets are processed food you can feed them.

Along with this, treats of frozen or live food like brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and tubifex are great sources of diet for this Tetra. There is food that is specially made to enhance the color of fish available in the market.

It is important to feed them in small amounts at least twice a day as much as they can consume in 3 minutes. A varied diet will most certainly keep them happy and satisfied.

Water Quality Maintenance For Candy Cane Tetra

Just like humans need oxygen, fish require certain minerals in the water. Along with this, cleanliness and maintenance in the tank are of utmost importance. Quality of water will determine the quality of life of a fish.

Most importantly, Candy Cane Tetra requires clean water. This Tetra is fairly hardy. However, the following conditions are necessary for the fish to thrive:

Temperature For Candy Cane Tetra

Candy Cane Tetra is a tropical fish. It thrives at a temperature from 73° – 82° F (22.7° – 28° C). Usually, a heater is not necessary to be kept in a tropical climate but getting one never hurts. And there are other ways to maintain the temperature without a heater in a tetra tank.

However, while breeding, the recommended temperature must be maintained as it can affect the activity of the fish.

Did you know?

During breeding, an increase in temperature can result in greater activity.

Hardness For Candy Cane Tetra

Candy Cane Tetra has a less tolerance range in terms of water hardness. These Tetras can survive within a range of only 3-12 dGH (general hardness). A level 3 – 12 dGH indicates that the number of unrefined minerals in water needs to be less.

A water testing kit always comes in handy for this purpose.

pH For Candy Cane Tetra

The acidity is a factor that needs to be regulated strictly. Candy Cane Tetra can survive at a pH level of 6.6 – 7.2. This fish can survive in slightly acidic water to neutral water. As compared to other Tetras, the Ornate Tetra has less tolerance in pH.

A pH testing kit will help determine the pH level of your water.

Filtration For Candy Cane Tetra

Candy Cane Tetra requires a stable and clean water condition to thrive in. They do not like a current. Since the Tetras are found in black water, filtration is one of the significant factors to be dealt with.

The growth of a bacterial colony and toxins in any aquarium is inevitable. With a variety of filters available in the market, you will require a biological filter that will keep the water clean by removing toxins and debris.

Some filters have been made for freshwater fish, specifically like Tetra. Tetra Whisper internal aquarium filter is one of the filters specifically made for freshwater fish and highly recommended for your tetra tank.

Besides this, you can add catappa leaves as well as safe peat as a means of filtration that can act as décor.

A 30% to 50% partial water change every week is a must for any tank with Candy Cane Tetra. Along with this, trimming grown plants and vacuuming the substrate to clear out any biowaste is a good habit of keeping the environment clean.

Check out the different aquarium filter and filtration methods.

Did you know?

Water changes should be regularly done in a breeding tank!

Fish Diseases In Candy Cane Tetra

There can be many reasons for any fish disease. The first step to curing your fish is knowing the situation of your tank. You can do this by noting the behavior and symptoms of the fish as well as the livestock in your vivarium. Here is a list of common tetra diseases that Candy Cane Tetra can be most susceptible to in your journey:

  • Ich,
  • Skin flukes,
  • Dropsy,
  • Gene inherited diseases
  • Parasitic infestations like Gill diseases,
  • Bacterial infections, etc.

However, a well-maintained tank can also have the risk of getting infected by diseases. As a result, your fish can get sick. The following instructions will help you maintain a healthy tank:

  • Always consider the nature and size of fish in your tank. An aggressive nature might cause one fish to harm the other.
  • Ensure that your water is clean by regularly maintaining it. An eco-system that replicates the natural habitat of the fish along with balanced parameters, will help relieve the stress of the fish.
  • Any substance which is to be added to your tank must be thoroughly cleaned. If it is substrate like rock, then you can boil it since bacteria can attach themselves to any surface.
  • Maintain a balanced diet for the fish, and remember to clean up the uneaten food.
  • Never dip testing kits or add medicine directly into the tank.

Diseases are unavoidable in an aquarium. Therefore, the best way to cure a disease is by preventing it. For detailed information on such diseases and cures, visit my article ontetra fish disease.”

Breeding Candy Cane Tetras

Breeding fish in an aquarium requires the focus on key factors like lighting, setting, plants, temperature, pairing, pH level, and diet. Not much is known about the Candy Cane Tetra as it is a newly discovered species. Let’s start with the basics first.

Choosing The Breeding Pair

Firstly, you need to choose a pair of Tetra. Generally, the ratio of male to female is 1:2 or 1:3, where the males need to be larger and compatible in size.

Breeding Tank Set-Up

For breeding the fish, you will require a separate breeding tank or tetra fry tank with all the equipment set up.

This includes the aeration, filtering, plantation, lightings as well as the bed for the fish to lay eggs on. Secondly, you need to maintain a regulated water parameter. This includes the pH level on a slightly acidic scale, less hardness, and low lighting. You need to keep the fish fed with nutrient-rich food.

Note: Plantation include fine-leaved plants, and filters include a seeded sponge filter. AQUANEAT 4 is a highly recommended sponge filter for your tetra fry tank.

Breeding And Spawning

Once you add your fish into the breeding tank, the process will take anywhere from 24 – 48 hours. Maintaining supervision and having patience is very important as the fish eggs are small and barely visible.

Candy Cane Tetra, like most Tetra, are egg scatterers. The eggs will be spread all over. Once the process is over, remove the parents from the tank. This is necessary as Tetra fish exhibit cannibalism after giving birth.


The eggs will hatch within 24 hours from the process. Nonetheless, not all fry survives during the process.

But the one that survives will be very delicate and you have to take care of tetra fry. You can start feeding the fry after five days of hatch. The diet can include crushed flaked food and planktons.

Tip: Do not add the fry into the main tank until they are big enough.

Additionally, the fry tank must also be regularly cleaned for the time being.


With a stunning display, Candy Cane Tetras are an excellent keep in a planted community tank. This elegant species of Tetra is fairly hardy, which makes it the right choice for intermediate level hobbyists taking into consideration its requirements.

In conclusion, Candy Cane Tetras should be taken into account as one of the beautiful species of Tetra. I hope this article has given you all you need to know about Candy Cane Tetra. Happy aquascaping to you!

Image Reference:–5hEE

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