One of the toughest fish in the industry is surprisingly the Blind Cave Tetra. These guys make terrific subjects for a tropical setup.
As their name would indicate, the Blind Cave Tetras have no eyes. They are born with eyes as fry, but the eyes degenerate and are reabsorbed back into the body at a few weeks old. There is a form that has eyes, although you do not generally see this version on the market. These cave tetras are also completely devoid of pigmentation. They are pink, but will get an iridescent sheen to them as they get older.
The Blind Cave Tetra lives in deep caves in the wild. They range from Texas to Mexico, with the sighted version from Mexico to Panama. There is no need for eye sight in the pitch black caves, so they have evolved to adapt to these conditions.
Blind Cave Tetras can reach up to 4 inches. They prefer subdued lighting, as it is closer to their natural habitat. A sand or small gravel substrate is preferred.
These are avid, keen feeders not shy at feeding times. They accept all types of food in the aquarium trade.
Although they are blind, they very rarely swim into the tank sides, decor or other tank mates. They may nip at tank mates when first introduced into a new aquarium, but once they learn that they are not food – they rarely do it again.
These fish are being used in studies about eye growth and transplants. Many strides in the science of the eye have been reached because of research conducted on this fish. The results have scientists hopeful that there is a treatment to cure blindness in humans.
Blind Cave Tetra Mexican Tetra / Blind Cave Tetra
Scientific Name : Astyanax jordani
Common Names : Blind Cave Tetra, Mexican Tetra
Care Level : Easy
Size : 4 inches (10cm)
pH : 6.0 to 7.8
Temperature : 20-28 °C (68 – 77 °F)
Lifespan : 5 years or more
Origin / Habitat : Texas, USA and Mexico
Temperament / Behavior : Fairly peaceful, keep them in schools of 6 or more. May nip at tank mates.
Breeding : Egg layer.
Aquarium Size : Minimum 30 litres for just a school of 6. Will grow large eventually needing bigger tank
Blind Cave Tetra Tank Mates : Tropicals and some cichlids
Fish Disease : Rare. Extremely tough
Diet / Fish Food : Omnivore, will accept flakes, granules, pellets, frozen foods and live foods.
Tank Region : Middle of the aquarium
Gender : No distinguishing external differences between the sexes. The females when full of eggs are wider when looked at from above
Similar Species : see more Tetras