This velvety black color morph is considered by some to be the most striking of the Emperor Tetra varieties!
The Black Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri var. “Amphiloxus Black”) is an incredible color morph of the classic Emperor Tetra. Most of its body is an alluring satin black, and it has a cream-colored snout and bright blue or green eyes. Adult males have dramatically elongated dorsal and caudal fins, including an extended middle ray that creates a “trident” tail. Females are generally smaller and thicker in size. The Black Emperor Tetra typically breeds in pairs and must be kept in shoals of at least 6 to 10 fish. Males will posture and compete with females, but this aggression is not a problem in aquariums with ample space and plenty of décors. This fish has been considered by some to be a separate species named Nematobrycon amphiloxus, but experts consider it to simply be a color variant of the standard Emperor Tetra.
The Black Emperor Tetra typically occupies the top and middle level of the water column, although it can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. It is safe to keep with other peaceful, small fish. Though it has a relatively robust, larger body than many smaller tetras, it has a very small mouth. Adult dwarf shrimp are possibly safe tankmates as well, but adult Black Emperor Tetras may eat small dwarf shrimp and their fry. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. Since they are tank-raised, Black Emperor Tetras are fairly adaptable, but their natural habitat contains soft, acidic water rich in tannins and leaf litter.
While not a picky eater, the Black Emperor Tetra will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of meaty foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen, freeze-dried, or live meaty foods will all be readily accepted.
- Elegant black coloration and finnage, especially in males
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Very active and noticeable fish in any aquarium
- Hardy and adaptable
- Temperature: 73° – 81° F (23° – 27° C)
- pH: 5.5 – 7.5 (more acidic water is preferred)
- KH: 4 – 8 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
- Diet: Omnivorous. Will easily accept high quality dry, frozen, and live foods
- Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to South America
- Average adult size: 1.4 – 1.7 inches (3.5 – 4.2 cm)
- Average purchase size: 3/4 – 1.5 inches (1.9 – 3.8 cm)