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

Everything you need to know about the red eye tetra

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

Red eye tetra


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)

General habitat

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

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

Ideally, keep this species in groups of no more than 6 to prevent it from 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. It adapts to various water conditions but prefers more gently acidic water with plant planting for better displacement.

Overview of the red eye tetra

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

Care of the red eye tetra fish

The red eye fish belongs to the family of phaacids, so it does not usually bother or cause any problem when breeding it. Its body is small and wide so it likes to swim in small groups inside medium-depth aquariums. It is one of the most demanded species today since it does not require specific care to survive, so it is perfect for the decoration of aquariums of a community nature.

Basic care

So that they can rest comfortably and to feel safe the red eye fish need a wide area to swim, otherwise they can feel stressed most of the time which can cause their defenses to be weakened while affecting their immune system. To prevent them from contracting any type of disease it is necessary to keep them at a moderate temperature.

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It is recommended that the aquarium be dimmed lighting so that its color always remains striking and robust, these characteristics make it a very popular species. They are not so 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.

By being with other fish larger than this one at some point it can become the wild side of others. Therefore you must try to have at least 8 copies of the same group to avoid confrontations. It is also necessary to throw the food at a short distance so as not to go unnoticed and to avoid that there is residue inside the water. With these basic guidelines your fish will stay away from danger and will always thank you.

How to care for red-eyed tetra fish

Being the small red eye fish is accustomed to living in wooded areas to hide when it feels shy, so it is recommended to plant on the sides of the aquarium natural vegetation that can sift the light. Avoid as much as possible placing pointed elements since at the time of swimming they can injure some part of your body.

Feeding the red eye tetra fish

The red eye fish is easy to take care of especially for beginners of this hobby and 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 ideal is to keep it inside 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 convenient to give them food rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. With these powerful sources, rest assured that your defenses will always remain high so it will be difficult for you to get sick. Because he belongs to the family of omnivores, he does not present any problem with meals since he accepts everything.

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

To contribute to a good balance it is necessary that the supplies in flakes are of high quality always. It is not a bad idea to also buy special products for fish that they sell in pet stores, they are usually overloaded with rich and nutritious sources which can save you a great job. A good diet is essential to keep the color of the fish on.

How to feed them?

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

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Red eye tetra offspring

The red eye 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 having reproduced. Inside a community aquarium can grow between 4 to 5 centimeters in length so a large area is required to prevent it from colliding with other fish, especially to make its swimming more efficient.

Reproduction of the red eye tetra

In most cases before reproduction occurs, the males are responsible for building their nest so that the female can lay there without risks that another species can devour them. Spawning can occur in groups or in pairs so it is important to simulate the breeding period because generally the pH and GH decrease considerably.

The male first begins with a courtship and then moves away from the strand, in this way they feel more excited and finally kicks him 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 large 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 at least 4 ° d, with these temperatures it will be possible to encourage 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 to survive since they still cannot digest live food well.

Tips for breeding

You must be very careful with the young because it is until five days that you start swimming. After this time you can be given all kinds of live food so that your defenses are healthy and strong, it is also convenient to give your food once or twice a day preferably in the morning and at night.

Types of red-eyed tetrafish

Red eye fish is a popular and striking species due to the color of their eyes. It has a small body although males sometimes grow to a maximum of 7 centimeters in length, so an aquarium with at least 80 liters is recommended for good oxygenation. He is not such a good 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 a quite notorious sexual dimorphism and enjoys a striking coloration that makes it one of the most demanded genera especially for aquariums attenuated irradiation. Its main characteristics are presented in the caudal pendulum of yellowish color, it also has a perpendicular stripe of black hue and its two fins both anal and dorsal 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
  • Santa Filomena
  • Yellow-headed tetra
  • Yellow-banded Moenkhausia

These fish can be found in river basins 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 colors, the only thing that all coincide is that their body is small and fusiform. Females unlike males have a rounder abdomen, mouth has it in an advanced position and has an adipose fin to make their swim more comfortable.

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Care for your species

The red eye fish has a silver gray color so at first glance it seems dominant, some specimens may have a golden coloration in the middle of the body that is between the stomach until reaching 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

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

Fish tanks for the red-eyed tetrafish

You should make sure that the fish tank you choose does not have pointed corners as it can hurt its delicate skin, especially since the red eye fish is used to swimming in the middle area for better displacement. If you want to have other specimens to keep the species company, make sure that it fits at least 80 liters for good oxygenation.

For its color to always remain on, it must have a temperature in a range of 23 ° C to 26 ° C, in addition the parameters of the water 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, whether natural or artificial so that they can rest august, 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 so that it remains crystallized and thus avoid the formation of pests or bacteria. Make sure 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, rest assured that your fish will have a long life and will thank you.

Aquarium elements

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