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Ornatus – phantom fish

What do you know about the Red Phantom? Want to know more about this fish?

Aquarists are familiar with a small fish, 4-6 cm long, with an almost transparent almond-shaped body flattened laterally, covered with small scales of various shades. Usually, in a 50-60 l tank. A dozen of such nimble fishes swim around, briskly moving away from one side to the other, often changing direction.

All fish have a two-blade tail, a high dorsal fin, resembling a proudly deployed sail, and almost all are marked by a small dark speck near the gill slit. These are ornatus – aquarium fish of the Characidae family – Characteristic.

Their homeland – the waters of French Guiana and the lower Amazon.

By themselves, the fish are very, very peaceful creatures: even the males, in territorial disputes, only come closer, taking the pose of threat – bending the body and widely straightening the fins, but it never comes to a fight or injury.

They get on with other peaceful inhabitants of the aquarium: cyprinids, ternets, gourami, antsistrusy or akantoftalmusy. They are generally good neighbors, always ready to unite, if a new fish appeared in the aquarium or they felt some kind of threat.

But aggressive and large fish for ornatus are pure evil!

Aquarium 50 l. 6-10 fish are enough, and a 10-liter aquarium. one pair is enough. But in a flock, they look much more interesting!

Ornatus love to frolic in free water, but prefer to relax and hide in dense thickets of plants or in artificial caves and under the snags. Therefore, the aquarium should be planted around the perimeter of various “weed”, artistically laying out the bottom with various stones with holes and putting a couple of beautiful snags, and leaving the middle for brisk ornatus games.

And do not need a bright light! – This fish loves penumbra, so the plants in the aquarium with ornatus must pick the appropriate ones.

With food – no problems at all! In the absence of bloodworms, a pipe worker and daphnia (live food), the ornatus will be happy to have breakfast and eat high-quality dry food.

Pampering a couple of ornatus with living organisms will be necessary during the spawning period.

Ornatus is also not particularly picky about water: it would be at least 21-23 *, well filtered and saturated with oxygen. And if you also change 1/5 of this water every week and enrich it with peat extracts, then for you it gives you a special bonus in the form of bright, rich colors and a long life of up to 5 years.

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“Orantus – family Kharatsinovye” – a collective name for several species of these fish, which, in essence, differ from each other only in color. Everything else – the structure, feeding, care, maintenance and reproduction are absolutely the same, but the ornatus red (Megalamphodus sweglesi) is very beautiful, the second name of this fish is Red Phantom!

Are there any dramatic differences between ornatus species?

Ornatus vulgaris (Hyphessobrycon bentosi)

Consider first the very first ornatus, from which the passion for these tropical fish began – ornatus (Hyphessobrycon bentosi).

For the first time this species was described in 1908 and immediately brought to Europe, where aquarists quickly fell in love with the simplicity of content and good nature.

The fish has a transparent body of brownish-olive color, which darkens and is filled with red shades under favorable conditions of detention, and Ornatus ordinary becomes

Red ornatus

similar to red ornatus. But these are different species that inexperienced aquarists often confuse!

An experienced aquarist can also make a mistake if it comes to determining the sex of young fish, alas! The fact is that all the ornatuses become sexually mature only by the year when the males grow their beautiful high pointed fin, and the females on the very edge of the rounded dorsal fin appears flirty white plum.

Almost all fry have a bright dark spot near the gill cover; however, with age, it becomes almost black in females, and in males it is hardly visible or disappears altogether.

Ornatus ordinary during spawning paints the sail of its fin in the color of the southern night: brown-black, in contrast to the red orantus. The red dorsal fin becomes bright red with an orange tinge, almost scarlet.

It happens that the male’s dorsal fin turns brown or dark brown in color, but it will never be black in a red phantom!

So, to confidently determine the sex of the fish, and to distinguish the ornatus of the ordinary from the Red Phantom, we must wait for their “coming of age”.

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Black Ornatus (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)

The situation is somewhat simpler with ornatus black (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus) or, as it is often called, the Black Phantom.

In this species, even the fry do not have a reddish tint, as is the case with ornatus ordinary.

The translucent body of the fish, whose birthplace is the Rio Guaporé River (Brazil), is covered with scales of olive color with a deep pearl-silver shade. The belly and sides are lighter, and only during the spawning period males become coal-black, spreading their high sails of dorsal pointed fins in front of the female.

And the other fins of the Black phantom become darker than the night, with the exception of the chest.

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You can make a mistake here only with the selection of a female: the girlfriend of black ornatus, ready for spawning, becomes red-brown with fins of the color of a cherry, exactly the same as the ornatus of red.

By the way, all three species perfectly “cross” among themselves, so you should not keep in the same aquarium fish of different types of ornatus, otherwise you risk getting gray-brown-crimson “kozyavochek”, and not a fish like Ornatus red or Black phantom.

Red ornatus

And ornatus red is good only in its pure form! Back in the 30s of the 20th century, when the Red Phantom only got to Europe, like an aquarium fish, it was massively bred because of its decorative appearance.. Judge for yourself: the pink body of the fish is tinted on top with pale red, and from the bottom – golden.

The tail, pectoral and anal fins range from yellow-orange to alo-cherry. A tall sail-like dorsal fin, like a small fatty one, is bright red or red-orange, but without a shade of red.

During spawning, ornatus red becomes the color of fresh blood, so does its dorsal “sail”“. Bright, catchy beauty – the main difference of all tropical fish, it is in the Red Phantom that it is expressed sharply, like none of his relatives!

White-horned Ornatus (Hyphessobrycon sp. “White fin”)

In Russia, red ornatus has been bred since 1962. At about the same time, another fin from the Amazonian family, the White fin (White fin), falls into the hands of Russian aquarists.

Conquered by the catchy beauty of the Red Phantom and curved like a predatory orca fin, the White Ornatus fin, the Russians immediately set about selecting. Thanks to the work of Russian breeders, after some 5 years, the world discovered a new species of ornatus – white-fledged ornatus (Hyphessobrycon sp. “White fin”).

Inheriting from all other species of ornatus a peaceful burrow and small size (up to 5 cm), from breeders the fish received silver scales, red-orange tail fin (the others are white with a red border) and retained their “militant” milky-white fin on the back.

Dangerous Golden parrot in the aquarium

Let the name of the fish Julidochromis ornatus not deceive you!

In fact, this yulidohromis has nothing to do with true ornatus! This cute fish with a slim, torpedo-shaped body differs from phantoms not only externally, but also “famous” for its extremely bad temper in relation to its neighbors. Yulidohromis may well commit the raider seizure of someone else’s living space, as he loves to settle in all kinds of caves and snags, where peaceful and gentle, ornatus of all kinds live.

And during the period of “creating a family”, the Golden Parrot (the second name of the fish) can easily kill other fish in the aquarium, having decided that they are encroaching on its territory.

Of course, the ornatus yulidohromis can be contained in the general aquarium, but only with those fish that are able to render the Golden parrot a fitting rebuff. And these will not be neons with nannostomuses at all, but fishes belonging to the same family as the ylidochromis itself – the Cichlid (Tsikhlovs).

For example, elongatus ornatus.

Elongatus ornatus – Pseudotrophus elongatus (Pseudotropheus spec. Elongatus ornatus)

pseudotropheus elongatus (Pseudotropheus spec. elongatus ornatus)

Elongatus ornatus, also known as pseudotropheus elongatus (Pseudotropheus spec. Elongatus ornatus), also has nothing to do with ornatus of the Amazon River. He does not even live at home in running water, but prefers the standing waters of the lakes of Mozambique (Southeast Africa), where there are many stony caves.

The character of this cichlid is almost the same as that of the Golden Parrot julidochromis.

These fish are unlikely to get along with each other, but they won’t even get to the slaughter: Psevdotrofeus is aggressive enough to protect his cave from ruin, and protects its territory desperately and fearlessly, so the impudent aggressor has a good risk and 99% of it will have to retreat .

True, the elnatus ornatus has a very oppressive trait: jumping out of an ambush, he bites off a long fin at one stroke, swimming past the fish, and rushes back into the stones in order not to get a well-deserved bream.

Keep this in mind when buying fish for an aquarium where the striped guardian already lives.

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