Red eye tetra

Red eye tetra
Red eye tetra Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Moenkhausia
Species: M. sanctaefilomenae
Binomial name
Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae
(Steindachner, 1907)

The red eye tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae), also known as the yellow-banded moenkhausia, the yellow back moenkhausia and the yellowhead tetra[2] is a species of tetra. It is a freshwater fish, can grow up to 7 cm,[3] and can live for approximately 5 years.[2] The Red-eye tetra has a bright silver body accented by a black tail and a thin red circle around its eye. It is found in South America, in Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, eastern Peru, and western Brazil; aquarium fish for the hobby are now bred extensively in Asia.[3]


In the aquarium

The red eye tetra's hardiness and ease of care makes it an excellent beginner fish. This fish is readily available, peaceful, and is suitable for most community aquariums,[3] although it is quite active and may disturb slower, more timid species. A word of caution-although generally peaceful, some individuals have been known to be fin nippers on rare occasions, even when kept in groups of 5 or more. [4] The red eye tetra is a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of six or more,[5] if kept alone it may nip the fins of other fish.[6] The red eye tetra does best at temperatures of 72-79oF in a planted tank with plenty of shoaling space.[4] Red eyes tolerate a range of water conditions but prefer slightly soft, acid water.[5]


In the wild the red eye tetra feeds on worms, insects, crustaceans and plant matter.[1] In the aquarium red eye tetra generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance they should be given a high quality flake food everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.


Females are larger and have a more rounded abdomen than the males.[3] When attempting to breed them, a separate breeding tank should be set up with slightly acidic, very soft water (4 dGH or below).[3] The Red-eye tetra is free spawning but will also lay eggs among the roots of floating plants.[3] Once spawning has occurred, the mating pair should be removed, as they will consume the eggs[3] and hatching fry. One day after they are laid, the eggs will hatch. The fry can initially be fed infusoria, rotifers, or commercially prepared fry foods, then freshly hatched brine shrimp, and eventually finely crushed flake foods.[3]



  • Riehl & Baensch (1987). "Aquarium Atlas Volume 1", Mergus.

External links

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