Arnoldichthys spilopterus, commonly known as the African Red-Eyed Tetra, is a species of freshwater fish native to the rivers and streams of central Africa. It is a popular choice in the aquarium trade due to its peaceful temperament and striking coloration.

This article will provide an overview of the species’ origin, description, and species profile, as well as information about its habitat and tank requirements, tank mates and compatibility, breeding, and parasites, diseases, and suitability as a pet.

Key Takeaways

  • The African Red-Eyed Tetra is a peaceful freshwater fish native to central Africa.
  • It has striking coloration, with bright red eyes and a silver-blue body.
  • The fish can reach up to 2.5 inches in length, with males having longer fins and more vibrant coloring than females.
  • The African Red-Eyed Tetra requires a tropical tank environment with specific water parameters, tank decorations, and regular maintenance for optimal health and wellbeing.

Origin, Description, and Species Profile

The African red-eyed tetra (Arnoldichthys spilopterus) is a tropical fish species native to rivers and streams of tropical West Africa. It is characterized by its bright red eyes and silver-blue body coloration, and can reach up to 2.5 inches in length.

The red-eye tetra is an omnivore and has a lifespan of up to 5 years in captivity.

Tropical Fish Species

African Red-eyed Tetra, scientifically known as Arnoldichthys spilopterus, is a popular tropical fish species that is well-suited for aquarium setup. It has a silver body with red eyes and a yellowish-green tail fin. This species is native to parts of Africa and is quite hardy, making it an ideal choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

Tank cycling, water temperature, and water hardness should all be carefully monitored in order to reduce fish stress. Color variants of the species can be found in the wild, and tank decorations such as live plants and rocks can be added to the tank to create a more natural habitat.

Tank cleaning and filtration should also be done routinely to maintain a healthy environment. Arnoldichthys spilopterus is a peaceful species that can be kept in community tanks.

Red Eye Tetra Food and Lifespan

Red Eye Tetras are omnivores, requiring both plant-based and meat-based foods in their diet. They typically live for around 3-4 years with proper care.

The African Red-eyed Tetra (Arnoldichthys spilopterus) is a popular choice for aquarium hobbyists, as they are relatively easy to care for. They require a good filtration system and regular water changes to maintain optimal water quality. The ideal temperature range for Red Eye Tetras is 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

When feeding Red Eye Tetras, a varied diet of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods should be provided. They are highly compatible with most tankmates, although they may become aggressive towards smaller fish. Red Eye Tetras are also known for their varied color morphs and can be used to create beautiful aquascapes.

Breeding them is not always straightforward and may require specialized conditions. With proper care and attention, Red Eye Tetras can make a colorful addition to any aquarium.

Physical Characteristics and Sexual Dimorphism

Red Eye Tetras feature a red eye and silver-colored body. They show distinct sexual dimorphism, with males having longer fins and more vibrant coloring than the females. Body shape is typically torpedo-shaped, with a laterally compressed body.

The coloration variation of Arnoldichthys spilopterus depends on the tank temperature and the fish’s overall health. They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and have a high disease resistance.

Breeding habits include spawning methods of scattering eggs among plants or a fine-leaved spawning mop, and tank mates should be peaceful and of similar size.

Feeding habits consist of small live foods, frozen food, and freeze-dried food. An aquarium size of at least 10 gallons is recommended, with a temperature variation between 72-80 degrees.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

The African Red-Eyed Tetra is a tropical fish. It must be kept in an aquarium with water parameters within the range of pH 6.0-7.5, water hardness of 3-10 dGH, and a temperature of 23-27°C.

A tank should be properly set up with suitable substrate, decorations, and other tankmates.

Proper care and maintenance is essential for the health and wellbeing of the tetra.

Water Parameters

African red-eyed tetra, Arnoldichthys spilopterus, requires close attention to water parameters for optimal health. Even minor variations in water temperature, hardness, pH, clarity, quality, oxygen, and pollution can negatively affect the fish’s health. To ensure a healthy environment, it is important to maintain the right parameters.

This can be accomplished through proper tank filtration and water changes, as well as tank cycling. Additionally, the following parameters should be closely monitored:

  • Water Temperature: 72-82 °F
  • Water Hardness: 5-15 dH
  • Water pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Water Clarity: Clear
  • Water Quality: Good
  • Water Oxygen: High
  • Water Pollution: Low

Tank Setup and Decor

Creating a suitable environment for the African red-eyed tetra involves several steps:

  • Selecting the appropriate tank size, substrate, and decorations that are in line with the fish’s needs.
  • Choosing a filter system that is suitable for the tank size and the number of fish, and ensuring it is equipped with a tank cleaning schedule.
  • Tank cycling is important for maintaining water quality and temperature, as well as keeping the pH levels stable.
  • Selecting tank lights that are appropriate for the fish’s environment.
  • Choosing the number of fish in the tank according to tank size.

Basic Care Guidelines

Proper care is essential for ensuring the health and wellbeing of Arnoldichthys Spilopterus. To keep your African Red-Eyed Tetra healthy and thriving, be sure to follow careful guidelines for tank setup and tank cleaning, water conditions, water temperature, tank filtration, water quality, tank lighting, tank decoration, fish compatibility, and feeding regime.

Tank Setup:

  • Temperature: Aim for a temperature range of 72-77°F (22-25°C)
  • Lighting: Natural and artificial lighting can be used

Tank Maintenance:

  • Filtration: Use a high-quality filter
  • Cleaning: Perform regular water changes and clean the tank regularly

Importance of Proper Care and Maintenance

It is vital to maintain a healthy environment for any aquarium species, and the African Red-Eyed Tetra is no exception. Proper care and maintenance requires careful consideration of a number of factors, including substrate choice, tank cycling, filtration systems, water changes, temperature control, oxygen levels, tank cleaning, and water chemistry. These elements are essential to maintaining water quality and ensuring the health of the fish.

Regular monitoring of water parameters is essential, and water chemistry should be tested to ensure the pH, alkalinity, and hardness remain within the optimal range for these fish. Temperature control should also be monitored, as African Red-Eyed Tetras prefer a consistent temperature of 75-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, oxygen levels should be monitored, and regular water changes should be performed to maintain water quality and remove any excess waste.

Tank Mates and Compatibility

African red-eyed tetras (Arnoldichthys spilopterus) are peaceful fish that should be kept with other peaceful species in a community tank. When selecting tank mates for these fish, it is important to choose species that are of a similar size and temperament. It is also important to ensure that the tank is large enough to accommodate the fish.

Diet and Feeding Habits

African Red-eyed Tetras are omnivorous and typically feed on a variety of small insects and plant matter. They need a balanced diet to remain healthy, and their diet should include a variety of food sources. In order to achieve the highest water quality and tank maintenance, it is important to feed the tetras a balanced diet and to clean the tank regularly.

Breeding challenges, fish diseases, and the acclimation process are also related to the diet and feeding habits of the African Red-eyed Tetra.

Feeding Habits:

  • Variety of food sources
  • Balanced diet

Tank Maintenance:

  • Regular tank cleaning
  • Water quality
  • Breeding challenges
  • Fish diseases
  • Acclimation process
  • Tank mates

Tank Mates and Compatibility

African Red-eyed Tetras should be housed with other peaceful fish, such as barbs and Danios, in order to provide a compatible, stress-free environment. This species is socializing and thrives in a school of its own kind. Tank size should be at least 10 gallons and adequate filtration is necessary for breeding. African Red-eyed Tetras possess a unique schooling behavior and actively swim in the midlevel of the tank. They are not prone to predation as they are small and fast-moving. A varied diet of both live and frozen foods, such as bloodworms and brine shrimp, is necessary for optimal health. Tank mates should be chosen carefully as larger fish are capable of preying on the tetras. Tank cleaning and water quality should be regularly maintained for a healthy environment. Color variations of this species can range from yellow to iridescent blue. With proper care, African Red-eyed Tetras can make an interesting addition to any freshwater aquarium.

Tank Size 10 Gallons+
Breeding Habits Necessary Filtration
Schooling Behavior Midlevel of Tank
Predators Small & Fast-moving
Food Variety Live & Frozen Foods
Tank Mates Choose Carefully
Tank Cleaning Regularly Maintained
Water Quality Healthy Environment
Color Variations Yellow to Blue

Handling and Interaction

When it comes to Handling and Interaction, African Red-eyed Tetras (Arnoldichthys spilopterus) are a peaceful and social fish species that prefer to be in groups of at least six individuals. They are generally very friendly and enjoy interacting with other tankmates, provided the tank size and water quality are kept up to standards. To ensure the health and safety of the fish, it is important to cycle the tank before adding the fish and to regularly change the water to keep the water quality and stress levels low. Additionally, it is important to avoid tank overcrowding and to keep the tank clean and filtered to prevent diseases.

With the right care and handling, African Red-eyed Tetras can be a joy to interact with and make for an interesting and lively addition to any aquarium.

Benefits of Interacting with African Red-eyed Tetras

  • Fun to Watch:
  • Colorful
  • Active
  • Enjoys exploring
  • Stress Reliever:
  • Calming
  • Relaxing
  • Sociable


Breeding African Red-eyed Tetras (Arnoldichthys spilopterus) is a rewarding experience for the tropical fish keeper. It requires an established aquarium with ideal water parameters and high-quality food.

Spawning and Reproduction

African Red-Eyed Tetras reproduce by laying eggs that hatch within two to three days. Their spawning cycle consists of the following:

Egg Development

  • Water temperature should be maintained around 80°F
  • Parental care is necessary to ensure successful breeding
  • Fish selection is important – healthy and compatible fish
  • Live food should be fed to adult fish during breeding

Fry Rearing

  • Breeding tanks should be set up specifically for breeding
  • Breeding setup should include dark substrate, floating plants and no substrate
  • Breeding success is improved by live food, like brine shrimp
  • Parental care is necessary for the fry to develop properly

Benefits of Tropical Fish Keeping

Keeping tropical fish can be a rewarding and relaxing experience. It can bring a sense of energy and vitality to any home or office, as well as providing a source of stress relief. Financially, it can be an affordable way to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world. Furthermore, it can even have positive effects on one’s mental health.

Tank design, water changes, tank filtration, and tank maintenance are all important factors in successfully setting up and maintaining an aquarium. When done properly, it can ensure the health of the fish and the aquarium environment.

Aquarium setup requires careful consideration of the tank size, equipment, and fish species. Doing this will ensure the beauty and enjoyment of a healthy and vibrant aquarium.

Parasites, Diseases, and Suitability as Pets

African Red-eyed Tetras (Arnoldichthys spilopterus) are relatively hardy fish. However, they are susceptible to a variety of parasites, diseases, and other health issues.

Thus, when considering keeping African Red-eyed Tetras as pets, it is important to take into account the susceptibility of these fish to health issues.

Common Health Issues

The African Red-Eyed Tetra (Arnoldichthys spilopterus) is prone to a variety of common health issues. It is important to understand the disease causes, stress prevention, water quality, parasite control, tank cleaning, diet choices, breeding challenges, gender differences, prey behavior, and tank maintenance associated with keeping this species of fish.

Disease Causes

  • Poor water quality
  • Stress

Preventative Care

  • Regular tank cleaning
  • Appropriate diet
  • Parasite control
  • Maintaining water quality

Parasites, Diseases, and Suitability as Pets

Many factors must be considered when determining the suitability of the African Red-Eyed Tetra as a pet. These can include the potential for parasites and diseases, as well as necessary preventative care. It is important to be aware of the potential for parasites, in particular, as they can be transferred from other fish or from contaminated water and be difficult to treat.

Disease signs vary widely depending on the illness, and it is important to be able to recognize the signs of an unhealthy fish. Tankmates should be chosen carefully, as some species are not compatible with the African Red-Eyed Tetra.

Additionally, they require proper feeding habits, a tank size that is adequate for their needs, and a water quality that is suitable for them. Their social behavior should also be considered, as they are a schooling species that should be kept in groups. Breeding habits should also be taken into account, as their reproductive habits can be very different from other species.

Interesting Facts About African Red-eyed Tetras

African Red-Eyed Tetras are an interesting species of fish, often admired for their attractive coloration and active personalities. They thrive in tanks with plenty of vegetation and low lighting, and prefer a pH of 6-7.5. Breeding habits include laying eggs in a surface film, with females producing up to 200 eggs.

Tank requirements for these fish include:

Environmental Needs:

  • Clean water
  • Stable water parameters
  • High-oxygenated water

Tank Setup:

  • Soft substrate
  • Live plants
  • Hiding places

Food Sources:

  • Live food
  • Frozen food
  • Dry food

Handling Techniques:

  • Net
  • Cupped hands
  • Bucket

Tank Mates:

  • Peaceful fish
  • Avoid aggressive fish

Interaction Benefits:

  • Stress relief
  • Improved health
  • Enhanced quality of life

These fish are easy to care for and disease prevention is simple with proper water quality and tank maintenance. They are a great choice for aquarists looking to add a bit of color to their tanks.

Tips for Keeping African Red-eyed Tetras Healthy

Keeping African Red-eyed Tetras healthy requires several key factors.

Firstly, providing a clean tank environment is crucial. This includes maintaining stable water parameters and ensuring adequate oxygenation. Regular tank maintenance, such as regular water changes and cleaning the tank, is essential for disease prevention.

Secondly, the tank setup itself is important. It should be the correct size for the tetras, with enough space for them to swim comfortably. The water temperature should be appropriate for the species, and the water quality should be maintained at suitable levels.

Thirdly, a balanced diet is necessary for the health of African Red-eyed Tetras. This can include small live prey, flakes, and pellets. It’s important to select a diet appropriate for the species, providing the necessary nutrients.

Additionally, sexing the fish can be helpful in ensuring their well-being. By looking for the more colorful male and noticing the more rounded dorsal fin of the female, it is possible to determine their sex.

Lastly, understanding the spawning process and breeding cycle of the tetras can contribute to their overall health. By being knowledgeable about their reproductive behaviors, it becomes easier to provide the necessary conditions for successful breeding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Life Span of an African Red-Eyed Tetra?

The African Red-Eyed Tetra, otherwise known as Arnoldichthys Spilopterus, typically has a lifespan of about three to five years. In order to ensure a long and healthy life for these fish, their tank should be of the correct size, with an ample amount of water quality and tank mates.

A good diet and social behavior are essential for their well-being, as are tank decorations and disease prevention measures. Furthermore, the tank should be set up with the correct colour variations to ensure a comfortable environment for the African Red-Eyed Tetra.

Lastly, breeding should only be attempted by experienced aquarists.

How Often Should I Feed an African Red-Eyed Tetra?

In order to maintain healthy levels of nutrition, an African Red-Eyed Tetra should be fed two to three times a day in small portions. It is important to adjust the feeding schedule depending on the tank size, tank mates, and water conditions.

An appropriate diet should include high-quality flakes, frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, and brine shrimp. To prevent stress levels, tank decorations and hiding places should be considered.

Breeding behavior can be induced by providing live food on occasion, however, it is important to consider the additional water and diet requirements if the Tetra is to successfully spawn.

Overall, the African Red-Eyed Tetra is a resilient species, but it is important to maintain the proper environment and diet to ensure its health and longevity.

Are African Red-Eyed Tetras Difficult to Look After?

African Red-Eyed Tetras (A. Spilopterus) are fairly easy to look after, though there are a few key considerations to be aware of.

  • The tank should be set up with an appropriate size, temperature, and pH level, and it should be cycled to ensure a healthy environment.
  • Mates should be chosen carefully to avoid aggression, and diet types should be varied to ensure a healthy fish.
  • Breeding can be difficult, as the fish require specific conditions and rituals for successful mating.
  • Water changes should be done regularly, and health issues may arise if the tank is not maintained properly.

In conclusion, African Red-Eyed Tetras are not difficult to look after with proper attention to:

  • Tank size
  • Water changes
  • Tank mates
  • Tank conditions
  • Tank set up
  • Diet types
  • Tank cycling
  • Health issues.

What Water Temperature Is Best for African Red-Eyed Tetras?

African Red-Eyed Tetras are best kept in an aquarium with a water temperature of 21-27°C (70-80°F). Stocking levels should be kept between 6-10 fish per 10 gallons of water and the tank size should be at least 20 gallons. Good water parameters and water chemistry should be maintained to keep the fish healthy.

Tank mates should be peaceful and similar sized fish. Breeding habits can be encouraged by providing appropriate water conditions and tank decorations.

A diet of high quality flakes, bloodworms, and brine shrimp is essential for optimal health. Stress levels should be kept low by avoiding sudden changes in water parameters, overcrowding, and overfeeding. Lastly, it is important to keep an eye out for health issues such as bacterial infections and Ich.

Are African Red-Eyed Tetras Suitable for a Beginner Fish Keeper?

African Red-Eyed Tetras are suitable for a beginner fish keeper due to their hardiness and peaceful nature.

It is important to research how to buy a healthy specimen, as well as the size of the tank needed to house them.

Tank mates should be selected carefully to ensure compatibility and tank decorations can be used to create a natural environment.

Lighting should be appropriate for the species, and water changes should be conducted regularly to maintain water quality.

Filtration is necessary for a healthy environment and tank setup should be carefully planned.

Breeding tips should be researched and health issues should be monitored.