Unfortunately, Micralestes humilis from Nigeria is only offered relatively rarely. This species, which belongs to the Congo tetras, is a wonderful contrasting fish for West African aquaria. The bright red adipose fin of this species is particularly striking. On the one hand, it serves to keep the shoal together, but is also confusing for predatory fish. This is because predators concentrate on the eye of their prey when attacking. In M. humilis and some other, very similar species (including M. stormsi, under which name M. humilis is usually traded), the upper half of the eye is red; in a swarm, there is a high probability that the predator will inadvertently concentrate on the adipose fin instead of the eye and thus the attack will come to nothing.
The maximum length of M. humilis is occasionally given in the literature as over 10 cm; however, this is very exaggerated and is probably due to confusion between the 17 Micralestes species, which often look very similar at first glance. We think that 6-8 cm is a realistic value for M. humilis. Micralestes can be described as easy to care for; there are no special requirements on the water composition or food, 22-26°C water temperature is ideal. Males and females differ clearly in the shape of the anal fin, which has a bulge at the front end of the male. The only thing to bear in mind is that Micralestes are real flight animals and therefore skittish. Your aquarium should therefore be large and well structured, with peaceful tank mates.
For our customers: the animals have code 149001 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer