Arnoldichthys spilopterus

3. May 2023

The African Red-eyed Tetra is one of the few permanently available tetra species from tropical Africa; the species lives endemically in Nigeria, so it is found only there. The species owes this to its magnificent appearance and the fact that it is very easy to keep. Unfortunately, the species is now considered endangered in parts of its range due to massive water pollution caused by oil production. Catching and exporting it as an ornamental fish has no influence on the population. Nevertheless: it could happen that this old aquarium fish has to be taken into conservation breeding one day to prevent its extinction. It should be noted that there are different color variants, which apparently live geographically separated from each other. In our current stocked animals, the males have yellow colored anal fin stripes and the females have a clearly separated spot in thatr fin. But there are also populations with red anal fin stripes, where the anal fin spot also looks different in the females (see pictures). Therefore one should always breed only with animals from the same import, in order not to risk producing a mongrel pet form.

The maximum length of Arnoldichthys spilopterus is about 8 – 10 cm, females are generally larger than males. It is very easy to distinguish the sexes by the coloration of the anal fin, only the males show the beautiful stripes in this fin. The care should take place in a shoal of at least 10-15 animals.

There are hardly any demands on the water composition, but Arnoldichthys are somewhat sensitive to organic pollution. The water temperature should be between 22 and 26°C. Every usual fish food is eaten. Plants and other fish are disregarded, as long as the latter are not too small. For breeding you have to provide the fish with approach food (small insects), otherwise the females will hardly develop eggs. They are productive free spawners without brood care.

For our customers: the animals have code 100204 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Lexicon: Arnoldichthys: dedication name for the eminent aquarist Johann Paul Arnold (1869-1952). spilopterus: means “with spot in the fin”.

Common name: African Red-eyed Tetra.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer