Keeping Your Vampire Tetra
Aqualand info on Hydrolycus scomberoides
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Running at about two inches, these "vampire tetras" love rosy reds.
Origin. Baby vampire tetras get shipped to the U.S. from Peru. The peruvians eat the adults. In Peru they hold fishing safaris and call these guys chambira. They grow to 40 pounds in heft and four feet in length.
Other Names. Our last batch came in as saber-tooth barracudas. Theyre also called Dracula fish, saber-tooth dogfish, water wolf, tiger characin, and payara.
Schoolers. Theyre tetras (characins) and run in schools in the wild. If youve ever seen a stringer (made of wood because these fish are so heavy), you know that vampire tetras run in schools. Singles like to hide at first. Groups tend to cruise.
Size. In the river, vampire tetras grow large enough to eat. Peruvian anglers bait their hooks with piranhas. You will not grow yours this large. Not enough room. Not enough piranhas to feed them. They dont seem to grow quite as large on rosy reds.
Impressive Teeth. Unlike Count Dracula, the long teeth of the vampire tetra come up from the bottom. And they dont suck blood or take dirt naps. They dont even watch Buffy on TV. But they do sport some wicked choppers.
Mixers? When we mixed a vampire tetra with freshwater barracudas, he ate their tails off way beyond their warranty. You could probably mix them with speedy barbs. But they like to chew on other slow lurkers -- even those of equal size.
Growth Rate. As you might expect, a fish that grows this large grows quite fast. You will be surprised. And the more room you give him, the faster and larger your vampire tetra will grow.
Words. I dont
believe Id keep one of
these in a house with kids in it. Kids have no sense about teasing
Tyler Muller, June 13, 2010
Hi, I noticed on your vampire tetra page that there is some incorrect information. First, the scientific name you used is Hydrolycus scomberoides. The only Hydrolycus scomberoides that I see are the one pictured under growth rate. The rest are Rhaphiodon vulpinus. Rhaphiodons are longer and sleeker than Scomberoides, and they don't swim at the same angle that Scomberoides swim at. Rhaphiodons have been discovered as large as 18", but not larger. Scomberoides only grow to a foot usually. The largest Scomberoides are at the Shedd Aquarium. I believe that they are between 12-16". The tank busters that you are thinking of are Hydrolycus armatus. Armatus grow very large. They are the game fish you see pictures of in South America. Armatus are also very expensive compared to Rhaphiodon vulpinus and Hydrolycus scomberoides.
If you wanted, I would appreciate if you could post my in-depth article on vampire tetras on your website.
A: Thanks for the info. I'll add your article early this week. LA
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