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Alestes chaperi, A. longipinnis, Brachyalestes longipinnis, Brycinus longipinnis bagbeensis, Bryconalestes longipinnis chaperi, B. longipinnis longipinnis
Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d'Ivore, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions. pH: 6.0-7.8, dH: up to 20 degrees.
Medium. However, brighter lighting can be used if it is diffused by floating plants.
Mature males are larger and develop an elongated dorsal fin.
Flake, granules and frozen foods
The Long-finned Alestes tetra is present along the Atlantic border of the African continent from Gambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is often observed in the upper and lower reaches of large rivers as well as the estuarine zones of mixohaline waters. They are also found in smaller tributaries and streams, but such specimens never grow as large as those that hail from more voluminous rivers. These characins attain a good size and are energetic swimmers, so the aquarium must be very spacious. A naturally gregarious species, Long-finned Alestes tetras should always be kept in groups of 8 or more. A dark substrate and background, along with areas of dense planting (including floating cover to help diffuse bright lighting) will also help to reduce the skittishness of these fish. The aquarium should be well-filtered and oxygenated, ideally with external canister filtration. Partial water changes should also be carried out on a frequent basis as these fish are intolerant to the build up of nitrogenous wastes. Although Long-finned Alestes tetras are quick and robust without being particularly nippy, tankmates do need to be chosen carefully as small fish will be predated upon by adult specimens. Once settled, these fish are boisterous feeders, which may intimidate slower species, so observe carefully to ensure that no fish are being outcompeted for food. Ideal companions could include other larger African characins, such as Congo Tetras (Phenacogrammus interruptus) or African Red Eye Tetras (Arnoldichthys spilopterus), adultPelvicachromiscichlids, andSynodontiscatfish. If aquarium geography does not pose an issue, Long-finned Alestes tetras also mix well with many of the more peaceable South American cichlid species, suckermouth catfish, and medium sized loaches. May also be seen on sale as African Long-finned Tetra, Long-finned Characin or Longfin/Long-finned Tetra.
Will accept all types of food. Try to vary the diet with flakes, algae based flakes, slow-sinking pellets/granules, and frozen foods such as white mosquito larvae, bloodworm, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, Mysis etc.
Challenging to breed. A well-conditioned pair should be added to a separate aquarium that has been set up with soft, acidic water and plenty of plant cover. Spawning is likely to be quite an active affair, so the tank should be as long as possible. The temperature should be set towards the high end of the preferred range, and filtration provided by a gentle air-driven sponge filter. It is thought that spawning commences when the first rays of the morning sun hit the aquarium (although the act has never actually been recorded to date) whereby several hundred orange eggs will be scattered. The pair should be removed as soon as soon after spawning as possible, otherwise they will predate on the eggs. From this point on, the eggs should be kept well-aerated, as a high level of oxygenation would appear to be crucial during the early developmental stages. After 4-6 days (dependent on water temperature) the eggs will hatch and the young fry can be offered infusoria, followed by baby brineshrimp and microworm after a further couple of days.