- Scientific Name: Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus
- Family: Characidae
- Size: 3½inches;
- Temperature: 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
- Alkalinity: undemanding
- Origin: Mexico, Texas
The blind cave tetra is a schooling species that is a little too aggressive for the normal tetra community. It is best kept in a group of three to six individuals in a tank with other robust fish, such as small cichlids, livebearers, barbs and catfish.
Like most tetras, the blind cave tetra prefers a somewhat dark environment. It is best housed in a tank that contains several bunches of large plants (either live or plastic) in the back and on the sides of the tank, with smaller plants in the front, leaving plenty of open space for swimming. A layer of floating plants to diffuse the light is also suggested.
Most tetras are carnivores that are specialized for eating small aquatic insects and the larvae of terrestrial insects. In the aquarium the blind cave tetra will do quite well on commercial flake, frozen or freeze-dried foods. Be sure to vary its diet between dry foods and small live foods, such as bloodworms, glass worms, brine shrimp and Tubifex worms.
As with most tetras, the blind cave tetra is an extremely prolific breeder, and, although the adult female appears to have a fuller body, the best way to ensure a breeding pair is to purchase a group of six or more and let them pair up. The fry hatch quickly — within two to three days — and are free-swimming from the sixth day. The fish are able to see as fry, but as adults, they lose their eyes.