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Red-eye Tetra

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Scientific Name:   Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae      
Min. Tank Size:   40 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   70-76°F      
pH:   6.5-8.0/0-20°dGH      
Size:   2.75"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in shoals with 6 or more of their own species; can be kept with other Tetras, Rainbowfish, larger Rasboras, Danios, Barbs, Corydoras and non-aggressive Cichlids.

Red-eye Tetra

One of the less striking species of Tetra, the Red-Eye Tetra is relatively devoid of color except on the fins and eyes. These fish are named for the red circle around the eye - the only other color they tend to exhibit is a black band on the caudal fin. The bodies of these fish are typically silver in color and the fins are translucent. Red-Eye Tetras are native to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay where they can be found in clear waters. These fish are commercially bred in large numbers and wild specimens are not frequently available in the aquarium hobby.

Tank Set-up

Red-Eye Tetras are not fussy when it comes to tank conditions, largely because they are almost exclusively tank-bred - which generally results in a more hardy fish. In addition to being captive-bred, the versatility of this fish is increased by the fact that it can tolerate hard, alkaline water in the aquarium. These fish prefer dim lighting and tend to present best in densely planted tanks. Like many Tetras, these fish are peaceful and well suited to the general community tank. Because they tend to be a very active species, however, Red-Eye Tetras are not recommended as tank mates for more sedate species like Anabantids and Dwarf Cichlids. The best tank mates for this species are active fishes like Rainbowfish, Barbs and other Tetras.


These Tetras will typically eat any food you give them but they should be offered a staple diet of high-quality flakes or granules. Supplement this diet with small live and frozen foods like bloodworms, Daphnia and brine shrimp. Red-Eye Tetras will also benefit from the addition of some plant matter to their diets - try blanched spinach or Spirulina flakes.


The procedures for breeding this species are similar to those for breeding other Tetras. Red-Eye Tetras can be spawned in either groups or pairs and should be conditioned on plenty of live foods. These Tetras are most likely to spawn when the breeding tank is kept at a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 with the temperature maintained around 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

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