In the Trade: Redtail Brycon

10 Jul, 2020

Redtail Brycon recently imported by Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale in Florida.

Redtail Brycon recently imported by Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale in Florida.

via Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale

Hey Folks!

We received a shipment of fish from Ecuador for the first time in (I think) a couple of years. There’s not a ton of variety that comes out of there, but there are a few nice items.

The best new fish we received are the redtail Brycon characins. These are a big toothy barracuda type tetra. This is the fish you need if you’ve ever looked at a Buenos Aires tetra and thought ‘I wish that was bigger and toothier’. They have a max size of around a foot (12″, 25 cm). They are a lot more active than the Acestrorhynchus barracudas that are more commonly found in the trade.

– Joe Hiduke, Sales Manager

A Brycon imported as "Brycon dentex", courtesy Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale.

A Brycon imported as “Brycon dentex”, courtesy Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale.

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Editor’s Notes

With 45 to 50+ species in the genus (depending on which resource you query), identification of these Brycon sp. could prove challenging. The names Brycon dentex, and B. cephalus, are both applied at times to “Red-Tailed Brycon” in the aquarium trade. This is a case where knowing the origin of the fish can help, as B. cephalus is not found in Ecuador, whereas B. dentex is. It is noteable that B. dentex may also enter the aquarium trade under the name “Sabalo Barracuda”.

A Brycon imported as "Brycon cephalus", courtesy Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale.

A Brycon imported as “Brycon cephalus”, courtesy Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale.

For those unfamiliar with the Brycons, they are open water swimmers and opportunistic feeders requiring clean, well-oxygenated water and lots of swimming space. The entry on B. cephalus at SeriouslyFish notes that these are excellent jumpers!

Clear evidence of their ability to leap: Jumping Piraputanga, Brycon hilarii, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image credit: Ana Gram/Shutterstock

Clear evidence of their ability to leap: Jumping Piraputanga, Brycon hilarii, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image credit: Ana Gram/Shutterstock

Brycon spp. can reach large sizes as well. They are uncommonly offered for these reasons, so it’s not normal to find them swimming in your dealer’s tanks and say, “Oh, I’ve seen those before”.  But, you may be more familiar with them than you think.

The related species, Brycon hilarii, better known as Piraputanga fish, are frequently depicted as large, colorful fish in swimming freely in underwater photos from Brazil. You’ve probably seen them before. For a sense of scale…

Swim with the fishes! Tourists in a river at Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, are surrounded by a shoal of Piraputanga fishes, Brycon hilarii. Image credit: Vinicius Bacarin/Shutterstock

Swim with the fishes! Tourists in a river at Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, are surrounded by a shoal of Piraputanga fishes, Brycon hilarii. Image credit: Vinicius Bacarin/Shutterstock

 

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About the author

Matt Pedersen
Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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