Often referred to as the ‘Hockey Stick’ Tetra due to the prominent hockey stick-shaped mark along the body, the Penguin Tetra or Thayeria boelkea is a fun little fish making fantastic companion for similar-sized Southern American species and other calm freshwater Tetras. Easily distinguishable by their unique upright swimming position, Penguin Tetras are an entertaining addition to community tanks.
Penguin Tetras are very peaceful fish, living up to five years and can grow to three inches in a well-maintained environment. They aren’t aggressive towards other tankmates and get along well in a community setting. Along with their friendly personality, a Penguin Tetra does enjoy swimming so be sure to provide appropriate space and avoid any slow-moving companions.
They are very adaptable due to variations in their natural habitat and so are a good choice for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. Penguin Tetras don’t cohabitate well with boisterous, aggressive, or larger fish so it’s best to choose their tankmates wisely. To reduce the likelihood of any fin nipping, place Penguin Tetras in schools of 10 or more.
Native to Peru and Brazil, Penguin Tetras thrive in flood plains and tributaries, often with low light and dense vegetation. Penguin Tetras prefer tanks with lots of plants and moss where they can hide, including twisted roots, smooth rocks and shady conditions. They are particularly sensitive to changes in nitrate levels and so maintaining water quality is essential.
Tetras are naturally omnivorous, feeding predominantly on small invertebrates,
crustacea, algae, and fruit. We feed a mix of live foods including live baby brine shrimp, blackworms, bloodworms, and Daphnia. We supplement their diet with Northfin Veggie, Community, and Bug Pro to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet.
I have only had the Penguin Tetra for about a week, but they arrived healthy and are eating well. So no complaints.