Max Size: 8cm

African Moon Tetra (Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)

African Moon Tetras are one of the most popular varieties of Tetra. They are relatively easy to care for and thrive best in large groups.

It would be best if you housed these fish in groups of 6 or more. They do not work well with more significant, boisterous tankmates as they are rather shy and get mistreated.

The ideal aquarium setup for African Moon Tetras includes sand or fine gravel substrate and vegetation, as well as rock structures and roots.

These Tetras will enjoy the water on the warmer side, a slightly acidic pH and relatively stable conditions. They can cope with other suitable water parameters as long as they can slowly adjust to them. These Tetras will love an aquarium environment with gentle water flow, providing water movement without too strong a current.

African Moon Tetras are deep-bodied fish. They have a general yellowish-gold colouration with a large black spot at the base of their forked caudal fin and a small red fleck visible under their dorsal fin. They have large eyes and transparent fins that are tinged with red.


African Moon Tetra
African Moon Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBathyaethiops caudomaculatus
Year Described1925
Other NamesAfrican Moonfish, African Moon Characin
OriginsCameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 12
73 - 77℉
22.8 - 25℃

Natural Habitat

Morning fog on river Sangha.


In the home aquarium, the African Moon Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to distinguish the males from the female African Moon Tetras. Females tend to be more profound in the abdomen than the males and more rounded towards the tail. Also, the female's red spot under the dorsal fin is somewhat smaller than the males.

Other Tetras of interest

Adonis Tetra(Lepidarchus adonis)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Arowana Tetra(Gnathocharax steindachneri)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
Black Neon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 26/01/2021 - Updated: 08/08/2022 15:15:05