Red Eye Tetra Care: Essential Advice for Every Aquarist

Red Eye Tetra, also known as Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae, is a small freshwater fish that is popular among aquarium enthusiasts. This tetra species is native to South America and is particularly prevalent in the Amazon River basin. Red Eye Tetras are known for their striking red eyes, contrasting beautifully with their silver and black bodies.

They are also active swimmers and exhibit schooling behavior, making them an interesting addition to aquariums. Red Eye Tetra is a popular aquarium fish because of its easy care requirements. These fish are relatively hardy and adaptable, making them an ideal choice for beginner fish keepers.

Their peaceful temperament and compatibility with a wide range of fish species make them popular in community aquariums. Overall, Red Eye Tetra is a fascinating and rewarding fish to care for, and this article will provide comprehensive information on how to do so successfully.

Red Eye Tetra: Lifespan, Size, and Appearance

Red Eye Tetra is a schooling fish that thrives in groups of 6 or more. A larger group can promote natural behavior and reduce stress levels, which can ultimately lead to a longer lifespan. With proper care and attention, they can be a colorful and fascinating addition to any aquarium.


Red Eye Tetra is a relatively long-lived species and can live for up to 5 years with proper care. However, the lifespan of these fish can be influenced by several factors, such as water quality, nutrition, and genetics.


In terms of size, this is a small fish that typically grows to around 2 inches (5 cm) in length. They have slender, elongated bodies with slightly pointed snouts.


Their bodies are mainly silver with a black stripe that runs horizontally along their sides. Their most distinctive feature is their striking red eyes, which result from a pigment called pteridine. Females are slightly larger than males and have rounder bellies. Their bodies are silver with black stripes along their sides and striking red eyes.

Factors such as diet, water quality, and tank size can affect the size and appearance of Red Eye Tetra. A well-balanced diet that includes dry and live foods can promote healthy growth and vibrant coloration in these fish. Adequate space and proper water parameters can also contribute to healthy growth and overall well-being.

Red Eye Tetra Care Guide: Tank Set up

Red Eye Tetra is a popular freshwater fish that is relatively easy to care for, making it an ideal choice for beginner fish keepers. When setting up a tank for Red Eye Tetra, creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat in the Amazon River basin is important. Here are some key considerations for tank setup:

Tank Size

These Tetra fish are schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals. A tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended for a small school of Red Eye Tetra.

Water Conditions

Red Eye Tetra prefers slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 7.0-7.5. The water temperature should be maintained between 72-78°F (22-26°C). It is important to regularly test the water parameters and perform regular water changes to maintain good water quality.

Filtration and Aeration

A good filtration system is essential to maintain good water quality and to keep the tank environment healthy for Red Eye Tetra. Aeration can also be beneficial for maintaining good oxygen levels in the tank.

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Decorations and Hiding Spots

This fish will appreciate having hiding spots in the tank, such as plants, rocks, and driftwood. Live plants can also help improve water quality by providing natural filtration. However, choosing plants that can tolerate the same water conditions as Red Eye Tetra is important.

Dietary Requirements of Red Eye Tetra

Red Eye Tetra is an omnivorous fish that requires a balanced diet to maintain good health and growth. In the wild, they feed on a variety of small insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. When kept in an aquarium, providing them with a varied diet that includes both protein-rich and plant-based foods is important.

Suggested types of food for Red Eye Tetra include:

  • Flakes or pellets specifically designed for tetra species
  • Frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae
  • Vegetables such as blanched spinach or zucchini

Always avoid overfeeding Red Eye Tetra, as this can lead to obesity and other health problems. A good rule of thumb is to feed them small amounts of food twice daily. The amount of food will depend on the number of fish in the tank, but as a general guideline, feed them only as much as they can consume within 2-3 minutes.

Try to vary their diet and not rely solely on one type of food. A varied diet will help ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for good health and growth. Lastly, be sure to remove any uneaten food from the tank to prevent it from decomposing and affecting the water quality.

Tank mates for Red Eye Tetra

Red Eye Tetra is a peaceful and social fish that gets along well with other non-aggressive community fish species. When selecting tank mates for Red Eye Tetra, it is important to consider their size, temperament, and dietary requirements. Here are some suitable tank mates for Red Eye Tetra:

  • Other tetra species, such as Neon Tetra and Black Skirt Tetra
  • Guppies
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Cherry Shrimp
  • Snails

While Red Eye Tetra is generally compatible with most peaceful community fish species, some species may not be suitable tank mates. These include:

  • Aggressive or territorial fish such as Cichlids or Betta fish
  • Large predator fish such as Angelfish or Arowanas
  • Fin-nipping fish such as Tiger Barbs or Serpae Tetras

Some Common Health Problems Related to Red Eye Tetra

Red Eye Tetra is generally a hardy fish, but like any other living creature, they are susceptible to certain health problems. Here are some common health problems experienced by Red Eye Tetra:


Ich or white spot disease is a common parasitic infection that affects many fish species, including Red Eye Tetra. Small white spots on the fins and body of the fish characterize it. Ich can be caused by poor water quality, stress, and overcrowding.

Treatment options include raising the water temperature to 86°F (30°C) for a few days, using malachite green or copper medication, and improving water quality.

Fin Rot

Fin Rot is a bacterial infection that affects the fins of fish. Frayed, discolored, or eroded fins characterize it. Fin Rot can be caused by poor water quality, injury, or stress. Treatment options include improving water quality, removing any decaying matter from the tank, and using medication such as antibiotics.

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Swim Bladder Disease

Swim bladder disease is a condition that affects the fish’s ability to swim properly. It is characterized by the fish swimming erratically, floating to the surface, or sinking to the bottom of the tank.

This disease can be caused by overfeeding, constipation, and poor water quality. Treatment options include fasting the fish for a few days, feeding them a high-fiber diet, and improving water quality.

How to Breed Red Eye Tetra Fish?

Breeding Red Eye Tetra can be a rewarding experience for aquarists but requires some preparation and knowledge. Here are some steps to successfully breed Red Eye Tetra:

Create the Right Conditions

Before breeding, it is important to create the right conditions in the breeding tank. This includes maintaining a water temperature of around 78-80°F, a pH level of 6.5-7.0, and soft water with low mineral content. The breeding tank should also be equipped with a spawning mop or a mesh breeding trap to protect the eggs from being eaten by other fish.

Condition the Fish

It is important to condition the male and female Red Eye Tetra to encourage breeding. This can be done by feeding them high-quality live or frozen foods for a few weeks and gradually increasing the temperature of the tank.

Introduce the Breeding Pair

Once the fish are conditioned, introduce a male and a female into the breeding tank. The male typically starts chasing and displaying to the female, indicating they are ready to breed.

Observe Spawning Behavior

During breeding, the male will chase the female around the tank and nudge her belly to release eggs, which he will then fertilize. The female can lay up to 300 eggs, which will stick to the spawning mop or breeding trap.

Remove the Parents

After spawning, remove the parents from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs will hatch in around 24-36 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming after another 2-3 days.

Feed the Fry

Once the fry are free-swimming, feed them small amounts of infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food. As they grow, gradually introduce brine shrimp and crushed flakes or pellets.

Everything about Red Eye Tetra Care

Can the Care Advice for Red Eye Tetras Help Prevent Betta Fin Rot?

The care advice for Red Eye Tetras may not directly prevent betta fin rot, but it can contribute to a healthier environment for bettas. Understanding the causes and treatments for betta fin rot is vital for preventing and managing the condition. Proper tank maintenance, regular water changes, and avoiding overcrowding can help minimize stress and prevent the development of fin rot in bettas.


The Red Eye Tetra is a gorgeous addition to any aquarium with their bright red eyes and shimmering scales. They are relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice for beginner aquarists.

You can ensure they live a long and healthy life by providing them with the right conditions, such as suitable tank size, a balanced diet, and compatible tank mates. With proper care, these little fish can live up to 5 years, providing you with endless joy and entertainment.

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