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RED EYE TETRA (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

RED EYE TETRA (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

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Quite an adaptable species that will thrive in most well maintained tanks, although it doesn’t like very brightly lit or sparsely decorated environments. It looks excellent in a densely planted tank.

It can also be kept in an Amazonian biotope setup if you wish. Use a substrate of river sand and add a few driftwood branches (if you can’t find driftwood of the desired shape, common beech is safe to use if thoroughly dried and stripped of bark) and twisted roots. A few handfuls of dried leaves (again beech can be used, or oak leaves are also suitable) would complete the natural feel. Aquatic plants are not a feature of this species‘ natural waters. Allow the wood and leaves to stain the water the colour of weak tea, removing old leaves and replacing them every few weeks so they don’t rot and foul the water. A small net bag filled with aquarium-safe peat can be added to the filter to aid in the simulation of black water conditions. The lighting should be fairly dim.

A decent, albeit robust choice for the ‘general’ community tank, where it will add plenty of movement. Sedate species such as anabantoids or dwarf cichlids can be intimidated by its somewhat boisterous nature,so it’s best kept with active tankmates. Other similarly sized tetras, rainbowfish, larger rasboras, barbs and most danionins make excellent choices. Bottom dwellers such as Corydoras catfish, Doradids, small Loricariids and botiine loaches are also good companions. It can also be used as a dither for non-aggressive, medium-sized cichlids.

Although it has a reputation as a bit of a fin nipper, this behaviour can usually be rectified by keeping it in a small shoal of at least 6-8 specimens. When maintained in these kind of numbers any squabbling is generally contained within the group. As with virtually all tetras, it fares better in the presence of conspecifics anyway, and tends to be a little skittish if kept in insufficient numbers.

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