Redeye tetra

Aquarium fish: Redeye tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)
Size: 7 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 22-26 ° C
Aquarium volume: 112 l

Redeye tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae ) – an interestingly colored, small species of aquarium fish from the tetras family.


South America. Occurs in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. It mostly inhabits the clear waters of the rivers that feed the famous Pantanal wetlands.

Characteristics and disposition

It grows up to 7 cm in length.

Body strongly bulging, silvery in color. The dorsal part is brown, below it is purple-blue scales, the dark edges of which create a clear outline. At the base of the tail there is a characteristic, large black spot, preceded by a vertical yellow stripe. Transparent fins. The iris of the eye is red at the top, gray at the bottom – hence the common name of the species Redeye tetra. The sex of the fish is difficult to distinguish.

Breeding females are more massive and rounder around the abdomen. Quite tough, active, mobile and shoal fish. It is recommended to keep at least 6-8 individuals in the aquarium, preferably 10 and more. More of them become bold and present more interesting behaviors. Like other Tetras, kept in too small a group and in an aquarium that is too small , they can nibble the fins of other fish.

Nutrition and feeding

Feeding is not a problem, they will gladly accept any given food. For the best condition and appearance, it is recommended to regularly feed with small foods of animal origin, e.g. daphnia, artemia bloodworm and good-quality dry flakes and granules. The diet should also include plant ingredients, such as spinach leaves or flakes with spirulina.


For a small group of lip glosses, min.

100 liter aquarium, at least 80 cm long, partially densely covered with plants, not too brightly lit, with a dark substrate. To give the aquarium a more natural character, we can arrange it in the manner of the Amazon biotope. At the bottom we pour the substrate or river sand, and for decoration we use pieces of wood and twisted roots or branches as well as dry oak or beech leaves. The wood and leaves will release tannins into the water and color the water the color of weak tea. Old leaves should be replaced from time to time so that they do not rot and contaminate the water.

The lip glosses easily adapt to various water parameters. They will feel good in very soft and slightly hard water, in the range of 6.0-8.0 pH, with a temperature of 22-26 ° C. The water current should not be too strong, and the light should not be too bright, it may be muffled by floating vegetation. These fish may be kept in social aquariums, but mates should be chosen carefully. Calm species such as nurseries, for example, can be constantly disturbed and stressed by their overactivity.

A better choice will be similar species of similar size and character, e.g. other tetras, rainbow fish, larger razors, barbels and most danios, as well as bottom fish such as cuirass or armored fish. You should also remember that in a poorly arranged, too small tank, they can nibble other inhabitants’ fins.


Reproduction is not the most difficult, but obtaining more fry requires setting up a separate aquarium . The spawning tank should be very dimly lit, in which several clumps of small-leaved plants, e.g.

mosses or artificial aquarium mops should be placed. The bottom is best covered with a roe grate, i.e. a mesh with fine meshes, so that only the roe can get through them. A small sponge filter is sufficient for aeration and filtration. For reproduction, lip glosses require soft and acidic water, in the range of 6.0-7.0 pH, 1-10 dGH and a temperature of 26-28 ° C.

They can be bred in larger groups or in pairs. We will get better results in the latter way. Fish should be separated by sex and the live and frozen food intake increased. When the females are clearly larger (full of eggs) and the males are intensely colored, we choose the largest female and the prettiest male and transfer them to the breeding aquarium in the evening. Spawning usually takes place in the morning of the next day.

Adults eat eggs and fry, so they should be separated as soon as the eggs appear. Hatching takes about 24-36 hours. After another 3-4 days, the fry begin to swim freely in the aquarium. First, we feed it with the smallest powdered or liquid foods until it is large enough to accept micro nematodes or brine shrimp larvae.


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