Boehlkea fredcochui is a gorgeous fish that reaches about 2 inches in length at maximum, and is one of the rarest colors that you would find in the natural world. These small tetras are an amazing powdery blue, which also fades into a lavender shade near the head, as well as into a pink color closer to the fins. The blue is especially beautiful near the lateral line, where it is the most dense of anywhere on the body, and looks almost velvety rather than scale-like. This contributes to a sort of glow that seems to emanate from these slim tetras, and a large group of these guys swimming around your tank will be a unique and eye-catching choice for your aquarium.
Boehlkea fredcochui is named after Fred Cochu, who famously brought five neon tetras aboard the zeppelin Hindenburg on its last flight, aiming to bring these neons to the Shedd aquarium for a display, in what is most likely the most expensive freight for fish in the history of the hobby. Only one of these fish made the journey alive, and on top of that, Cochu was aboard the airship on its last successful flight. This expensive journey happened in 1936, and the zeppelin crashed the very next year. It can also be noted that this fish, commonly called the “blue tetra” may be commonly confused with a completely different species of fish: Knodus borki. The latter has a few extra teeth, and a few fewer scales in its lateral line. These two tiny differences make them nearly impossible for you to distinguish in the home aquarium, but unless your goal is reproduction, this is of no consequence because they will accept the same water conditions.
When in the wild, the natural environment of this nano fish is commonly found with a lot of leaf litter scattered around. In your aquarium you should keep this in mind, since the leaf litter not only rots and acidifies the water, which makes it closer to the conditions the fish would experience in the wild, but also because it provides extra cover as well as foraging space when the fish are trying to find food. Even though this fish does not reach a large size, it does swim quite actively, and its natural environment has water that is constantly flowing. This is a fairly hardy fish, and in the aquarium you can keep this fish in a wider range of water parameters than in the wild, with slightly acidic to slightly alkaline conditions, and water hardness not ever exceeding 300ppm.
When choosing tankmates for this tetra, try to keep them with peaceful fish that are also relatively fast. You will also want to stay away from things with delicate fins, as the cochu tetras are known to be a bit nippy with fins. Some fish that are comparably active and about the same size would be good choices, such as bloodfin tetras or maybe some medium size danios. These shoaling fish do not ship individually bagged.
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