Gold Tetras are small Amazonian schooling tetras with shimmering metallic silver-gold bodies and a black dot at the base of the tail. They are peaceful community fish and active swimmers that tend to stay in tight groups when kept in numbers. Gold Tetras only reach a size of about 1 3/4 inches.
These fish are also sometimes known as the Brass Tetra, or under the scientific name Hemigrammus armstrongi. H. armstrongi is considered a synonym of H. rodwayi, however. Appearance and color can sometimes vary among Gold Tetras, depending on the region they were collected. The gold color on these fish comes from a chemical they produce known as guanine. Guanine gives it its shimmery gold color and can vary depending on the nutrition of the fish and may account for the multiple scientific names and common names.
Many tropical community aquariums are populated with tetras, rasboras and other similar schooling fish. Though these fish are rather small, their pleasant temperaments, the schooling behaviors they exhibit and a vast variety of colors and shapes make them popular in the hobby. They can grow anywhere from a few centimeters to a few inches, and can add movement to a freshwater fish tank. Most of these fish are fairly easy to care for and have similar water chemistry and care requirements.
Tetras are probably the the largest group of fish offered for community aquariums. They can be distinguished from other schooling community fish by the small adipose fin present between the dorsal fin and the tail. Tetras include small species that may stay under one inch in length and are suitable for community aquariums to much larger and more robust species that can grow up to several inches and need more aggressive tankmates.
These fish prefer aquariums with plenty plants and ornamentation to explore, but also need plenty of open space to swim. They can be fed commercial flakes, granules and small pellets as a staple diet, with occasional feedings of meaty frozen or freeze dried treats such as bloodworms, plankton, mysis or brine shrimp. They prefer to be kept in groups of six or more to school and feel secure. Fish not kept in proper schools may be stressed and remain hidden or may become extremely nippy and aggressive.