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Marbled Headstanders have a wide distribution across South America, encompassing many habitat types within the Amazon, Orinoco, Paraguay, and lower Paraná River basins. These fish are frequently seen in the main river channels as well as quieter tributaries and heavily vegetated backwaters. During the rainy season, they will also enter areas that are temporarily inundated with water. Adult fish may be observed feeding on crustaceans, insects, worms, and plant matter, whereas the juvenile fish tend to take shelter in weedy margins. An aquarium for these fish must be spacious and biologically mature. There should be plenty of shelter in the form of driftwood pieces and dense, robust planting (Anubias or Microsorium tied to the decor is ideal), leaving an open swimming area along the front of the tank. Bright lighting should be diffused with floating plant cover, and dark background and substrate choices will help to bring out the beautiful markings of these fish. Marbled Headstanders are a gregarious species and should be maintained in groups of 8 or more. Keeping a good sized group is particularly important because as these fish mature, they become rather more independent and sometimes show moderate aggression towards their own kind. Larger groups will ensure that no one fish will continually bear the brunt of any antagonistic behaviour. However, these fish are still generally peaceful towards other species. Tankmates could include other medium-sized characins, catfish, cichlids, barbs, loaches, or rainbowfish. Avoid any small, docile species and those with long trailing fins, which might prove to be too much of a temptation. Marbled Headstanders are classified within the Family Anostomidae (headstanders), of which there are currently some 156 described species within 14 genera. Many species from this family swim at an oblique or head-down angle, hence the common family name of headstander. Abramites species are separated from other anostomids by the comparatively deeper body and presence of a prominent, post-pelvic median keel (a feature which is unique to the genus). A. eques , known from the Rio Magdalena drainage in Colombia, is, at present, the only other representative of the Abramites genus. These two species can be told apart as follows: the presence of 10-12 branched anal fin rays in A. hypselonotus (vs. 13-14 in A. eques), and 8 transverse bars distributed over the entire body in A. hypselonotus (vs. 5 transverse body bars in A. eques, with the anterior-most positioned underneath the dorsal fin). Marbled Headstanders may exhibit slightly different colour and pattern depending on collection location within its vast natural range. May also be seen on sale as High Backed Headstander.
Omnivorous. Offer a variety of dried (flake, green flake, pellets etc) and frozen foods including white mosquito larvae, bloodworm (sparingly), vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, Mysis shrimp etc, plus some vegetable matter.
Marbled Headstanders have not been bred in the home aquarium. In the wild, they form distinct pairs and scatter eggs over dense vegetation.
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Video of Marbled Headstander Tetra(Abramites hypselonotus)
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