Red eye tetra Care guide – Size, Life Span, Tank Mates, Breeding

Red eye tetra

Everything you need to know about the red eye tetra

The red eye tetra fish had its first appearance in Hamburg Germany in 1914, since then it has been one of the most demanded species due to its elegant and striking colour. It belongs to the group of characins, so its size is very small and wide, to always stay healthy it is used to swimming in small groups in medium depth waters. That is why it is considered an option for beginners, as they require less care.


OriginBolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru
Tank LevelMid-dweller
Minimum Tank Size20 gallon
BreedingEgg layer
pH5.5 to 8.5
HardnessUp to 25 dGH
Temperature73 to 82 F (23 to 28 C)

Red eye tetra- General habitat

They can be found in freshwater rivers and in their natural habitat, the males can grow up to 7 centimetres in length. You can also see adult specimens where the female is characterized by having a larger and round stomach than the male. They are not used to sudden changes in water so they should be kept at a temperature between 22 and 29 degrees Celsius.

It is easy to care even in community aquariums thanks to the fact that red eye fish have a manageable, peaceful and convenient behaviour for those who start with this great hobby. However, it can annoy or intimidate other species that lack low visibility and slow swimming because it is active. For this reason, the other genders must be of similar characteristics to avoid confrontations.

Ideally, keep this species in groups of no more than 6 to avoid feeling stressed most of the time. When they remain alone from the beginning when other fish arrive, they can cut their fins with their teeth as a sign of anger or stress. They adapt to various water conditions but prefer mildly acidic water with vegetable planting for better displacement.

Overview of the red eye tetra

When the red eye fish is not given the basic care, it requires a good quality of life. It can be affected by various normal transformations that oppress tropical fish, especially those of the characin genus. Before starting to breed any species of fish, you must first know all the necessary guidelines so as not to fail in the attempt.

Red eye tetra fish care

The red eye fish belongs to characins’ family, so it does not usually bother or cause any problems when it comes to raising it. Its body is small and wide, so it likes to swim in small groups in medium-depth aquariums. It is one of the species most in-demand today since it does not require specific care to survive, making it perfect for decorating community aquariums.

Basic care

In order for them to rest comfortably and to feel safe, red-eye fish need a wide area to swim. Otherwise, they can feel stressed most of the time, which can make their defences weaken while affecting their immune system. To prevent them from contracting any type of disease, it is necessary to keep them at a moderate temperature.

It is recommended that the aquarium be dimmed so that its colour is always striking and robust; these characteristics make it a very popular species. They are not such good swimmers so they must live with other similar species, slow swimming or lacking visibility so that they do not gain an advantage when feeding.

Being with other fish larger than this one at some point can become the wild card of others. Therefore you should try to have at least eight copies of the same group to avoid confrontations. It is also necessary to throw the food at a short distance, so it does not go unnoticed and avoid residues remaining in the water. With these basic guidelines, your fish will stay out of danger and will always thank you.

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How to care for red eye tetra fish

Being the small red eye fish, it is used to live in wooded areas to hide when it feels shy, so it is recommended to plant natural vegetation on the aquarium’s sides that can filter the light. Avoid placing pointed items as much as possible since they can injure any part of your body when swimming.

Red eye tetra fish diet

The red eye fish is easy to care for, especially for beginners of this hobby, especially to feed because they are not so demanding. It is a manageable, calm and sociable species, so it is recommended for community aquariums. It likes to swim in small groups of schools, so the idea is to keep it within 6 to 8 specimens that have the same or similar peculiarities to avoid confrontations.

What does the red eye tetra eat?

In order for red-eye fish to have a strong and well-developed immune system, it is advisable to feed them foods rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. With these power sources, you can be sure that your defences will always remain high, so it will be difficult to get sick. Because it belongs to the omnivore family, it does not present any problem with food since it accepts everything.

They are used to eating insects, worms, crustaceans, shrimp, and even plant matter in their nature. While inside an aquarium they tend to eat most of the time all kinds of live food, flakes or fresh. In this case, the diet must be balanced; that is, foods can be exchanged so that the species has more appetite and does not get bored with the routine.

Contributing to a good balance requires consistently high-quality flake supplies. It is not a bad idea to also buy special products for fish that they sell in pet stores, they are usually loaded with rich and nutritious sources which can save you a lot of work. A good diet is essential to keep the colour of the fish lit.

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How to feed them?

To avoid leftover food in the aquarium, it is advisable to feed them in small portions once or twice a day. Because of their small organism, they cannot digest food quickly, so you have to wait until they have an empty stomach again. It is convenient to throw the portion to him a short distance to whet his appetite and eat properly. Depending on the care you give it, so will its years of life.

Red eye tetra hatchlings

The red eye tetra fish is easy to maintain, so it does not require so much care, this does not mean that it will be completely neglected since otherwise it can get sick and die without reproducing. Within a community aquarium, it can grow between 4 to 5 centimetres in length, so a wide area is required to prevent it from colliding with other fish, especially so that its swimming is more efficient.

Reproduction of the red eye tetra

In most cases, before reproduction takes place, the males are in charge of building their nest so that the female can lay it there without the risk of being eaten by another species. Spawning can occur in groups or pairs, so it is important to simulate the reproduction period since generally, the pH and GH decrease considerably.

The male first begins with courtship and then moves away from the strand; in this way, they feel more excited and finally kicks it in the stomach for fertilization. After the act, the most convenient thing is to remove the embryos from the parents and place them in a wide space so that when they are born, they have much more freedom to swim, especially a lot of oxygenation to survive.

It is recommended to have the water with a pH around 6.0 and a GH of at least 4 ° d, with these temperatures it will be possible to incentivize the eggs of the red eye fish. When the eggs are fertilized instantly, it only remains to wait 40 to 48 hours for them to hatch. When the little fish are born, they feed on their life sac in order to survive since they still cannot digest live food well.

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Tips for breeding

You must be very careful with the young because it is up to five days that it begins to swim. After this time you can give him all kinds of live food so that his defences are healthy and strong, it is also convenient to give him his food once or twice a day preferably in the morning and at night.

Types of red eye tetra fish

The red eye tetra fish is a popular and striking species due to the colour of their eyes. It has a small body although the males sometimes grow to a maximum of 7 centimetres in length, so an aquarium with at least 80 litres is recommended for good oxygenation. He is not that good a swimmer so he must live with fish of the same species; he is also used to swimming in the middle part of the aquarium.

Types of red eye tetra

The species shows quite noticeable sexual dimorphism and enjoys a striking colouration that makes it one of the most demanded genera, especially for attenuated irradiation aquariums. Its main characteristics are presented in the yellowish caudal pendulum. It also has a perpendicular stripe of black hue. Its two anal and dorsal fins do not have whitish edges.

Within this species, you can find other types of red eye fish, this is due to the various scientific experiments that have been carried out lately, and as a result, other results have come out. Among the most common we find:

  • Red-eyed monkausia
  • Yellow-backed Moenkhausia
  • Saint Filomena
  • Yellow headed tetra
  • Moenkhausia de banda Amarilla

These fish can be found in the basins of rivers such as Uruguay, Paraguay and San Francisco as well as in swamps. The most interesting thing is that they can be purchased in a variety of colours; the only thing that they all agree on is that their body is small and spindle-shaped. Unlike the males, the females have a rounder abdomen, their mouths are in a forward position, and they have an adipose fin so that their swimming is more comfortable.

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Caring for your species

The red eye tetra fish has a silver-grey colour, so it seems dominant at first glance, some specimens may have a golden colour in the middle of the body that is between the stomach until it reaches the mouth. They are not used to the sudden change of waters, so it is necessary to keep us at a suitable temperature so that they survive.

Aquariums for red eye tetra

Those who start with this hobby should know that it is important to choose a large aquarium that meets all the needs for raising red eye tetra fish. In a community aquarium, the species can develop up to 6 centimetres in length depending on the given care and feeding. They have a life expectancy of five years, so at that time they can become your best company.

Fish tanks for red eye tetra fish

You must make sure that the fish tank you choose does not have sharp corners as it can hurt their delicate skin, especially since the red-eye fish is used to swimming in the middle area for better movement. If you want to have other specimens to keep the species company, make sure that it has at least 80 litres for good oxygenation.

In order for its colour to always stay on, it must have a temperature within a range of 23 ° C to 26 ° C, in addition, the water parameters must be at a pH between 5.5 to 7.5. Because they are smaller, they like to live in wooded areas, so it is important to place floating vegetation on the sides, either natural or artificial, so that they can rest Augustus, try to leave the front part free for a better swim.

The water in the fish tank should be changed at least once a week to keep it crystallized and avoid pests or bacteria. Ensure you have a good filter that generates light currents so that they do not drag the species from one place to another since they are not good swimmers. With this care, you can be sure that your fish will have a long life and thank you.

Aquarium elements

The aquarium should not be overloaded with heavy elements, much less pointed, at the time of swimming the red eye fish can hit them and injure the body. The idea is to plant natural vegetation around the aquarium that filters the clarity and allows a comfortable rest for when they like.

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