Serpae tetras are a great addition for the beginner or experienced aquarist alike. They are typically inexpensive, can be kept in a smaller aquarium, and they are a pretty hardy fish. The serape tetra also known as the red minor tetra or blood tetra is native to the amazon river drainage in South America. They can be found in slow moving waters such as ponds small lakes and streams and thrive in water temperatures between 72 to 82 degrees. These fish tend to have a twitchy spastic style of swimming unlike other fish. They tend to move in short bursts as opposed to smoothly swimming for long distances. This type of behavior is normal, but sometimes can alarm beginner aquarium hobbyists who are not familiar with these types of fish. Serpae tetras need a minimum tank size of 10 gallons and as they are a schooling fish they do best in a group of at least 5 fish. Some aggression might be seen among these fish and they are known for being fin nippers, this behavior is typically seen while they are establishing a pecking order, but it is wise not to keep them with other fish that may have long delicate fins. Serpae tetras tend to do best in soft neutral to slightly acidic water and need lots of hiding places to give them a sense of security. Adding plants, driftwood, and rocks help to give them this security in their tank. These are considered a tropical fish and a heater may be required for your tank to keep it at a stable temperature. While these fish can survive in temperatures as low as 72 degrees, large temperature fluctuations in the tank can lead to shock or illness. In places like I live, in the summer time you might not need your heater, it is 110 outside today, so my air conditioner is fighting to keep my house below 80 degrees. The serpae tetras diet consists of many small foods such as bloodworms, tubifex, small pellet food, or high quality flake foods. I feed my fish New Life Spectrum and Omega One freeze dried bloodworms that I rehydrate first. These really are a great fish to keep and can add a nice pop of color with their vibrant reddish orange bodies. As with all fish though, when you are setting up a tank for the first time, try to get the tank set up and cycling before bringing your fish home. And of course if you are using tap water please make sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines from the water.