One of the very first tetra species ever imported for aquaristics was the red fin tetra, Aphyocharax anisitsi. Its first import was in 1906 and it soon succeeded in breeding, making further imports unnecessary. It is very likely that the redfin tetras living in the aquarium today are also descendants of these first import fish.
Aphyocharax anisitsi was scientifically described in 1903 from the surroundings of Asuncion in Paraguay, but at first the imports were not correctly identified, but were thought to belong to a new species, which was described in 1921 as A. rubripinnis. Under this name one finds in older aquarium literature the information about Aphyocharax anisitsi. The natural distribution of the redfin tetra is in Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil (rivers Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay and the Laguna dos Patos drainages). Therefore the species is rather insensitive to low temperatures (down to approx. 14°C), as they could occur before the 1st World War because of the difficult heating possibilities of aquaria.
The species grows to a maximum length of 5.5 cm. Males can be recognized by many small hooks on the anal fin. They are very peaceful fish, which also leave plants undisturbed. No demands are made on the chemical composition of the water. These schooling fish thrive in literally any water that is also suitable for drinking. Nowadays most redfin tetras come as offspring from Indonesia, so also the specimens photographed for this post.
For our customers: the animals have code 206405 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer