Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

The Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae) is a peaceful, shoaling species that is found among submerged vegetation in the clear water rivers that flow into the Pantanal wetlands in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

The range of the Redeye Tetra extends from the São Francisco, upper Paraná, Paraguay, and Uruguay river basins in central and eastern South America

They are often collected in tannin stained water among Salvinia, Eichhornia, and the various species of Echinodorus (Amazon Sword Plants) that flourish in these waters.

Redeye Tetras are a popular aquarium species that are bred in such huge numbers in Asia and Eastern Europe that wild caught specimens are seldom available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae) Pair

Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae) Pair

The Redeye Tetra has a bright silvery body with a black band at the beginning of the caudal fin that is edged in white. They have a red circle around the black eye which gives them their common name in the aquarium trade.

Similar to Moenkhausia forestii and Moenkhausia oligolepis (glassy tetra), the Redeye Tetra is often maintained in a black water Amazonian biotope setup.

Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae are an active, boisterous, peaceful, shoaling species that should be housed in a densely planted aquarium of at least 30 gallon capacity, with a sandy or fine gravel substrate, a few pieces of driftwood or bogwood
, and some floating plants to diffuse overhead lighting. A bio-wheel filtration system is recommended to maintain water quality.

Redeye Tetras are a highly adaptable species that do best with conspecifics in small groups of at least 6 to 8 specimens. They do well in a community environment with similarly sized tetras, rasboras, pencilfish, barbs, or danios and small bottom dwellers like Loricariids, loaches, or Corydoras.

When housed in an Amazon river type biotope setup, use a sand substrate with a few pieces of driftwood and a few handfuls of dried Beechwood leaves or a few Indian Almond Leaves on the bottom to complement the natural look. The water should attain a light tea color after a few weeks that simulates the black water conditions they are naturally found in.

Redeye tetras are egg scatterers that are spawned in small groups like many other of the tetra species. Condition a half dozen or so of each sex in a dimly lit 10 gallon tank with a small air powered sponge filter, several clumps of Java Moss or other fine leaved plant, and cover the bottom with a screen mesh that is just large enough to let the eggs fall through. The water temperature should be around 80-84°F with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and a gH of 1-10.

Some tropical fish keeping enthusiasts spawn Redeye Tetras in pairs by conditioning several males and females in a group and then selecting the ripest female and most robust male for spawning in a separate tank. Spawning usually occurs the next morning and the pair should be removed as soon as eggs are noticed.

Redeye Tetras will eat their eggs and need to be removed immediately after spawning.

Eggs will hatch out in 24 to 36 hours and the fry are free swimming 3 or 4 days thereafter. The free swimming fry can be fed infusoria for a few days until they are large enough to eat newly hatched brine shrimp or microworms.

Adult Redeye Tetras are omnivores that will eat just about anything offered to them. In addition to a quality flake food, they should be offered regular portions of live, frozen, or freeze dried foods like daphnia, bloodworms, brine shrimp, etc. They need vegetable matter in their diet, so a quality algae flake or blanched spinach leaves should also be occasionally offered.

Commercially bred Redeye Tetras (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae) are usually available for purchase in tropical fish shops when they are 3/4″ to 1-1/2″ in size.

Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

Redeye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 72 to 79 °F , gH 1-10, pH 6.0-8.0
Max. Size: 2.8″
Color Form: Silver, Red
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Peaceful, keep with other small tetras
Origin: Farm Raised in Europe and Asia, Indigenous to South America
Family: Characidae
Lifespan: 5 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

 

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