Max Size: up to 8 cm

African Moon Tetra (Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)

African Moon Tetras are one of the larger Tetra varieties and are relatively easy to look after. They are a peaceful shoaling community fish that seems happiest and looks best when kept in a large group in a spacious tank; therefore, you should keep these fish in groups of 6 or more individuals alongside other peaceful tankmates similar in size.

These fish do not do well with larger, more boisterous tankmates as they are relatively shy and it is not recommended to house them with fish that may nip fins.

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

Quick Facts
Scientific NameBathyaethiops caudomaculatus
Other NamesAfrican Moonfish, African Moon Characin
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature73 - 77 ℉ (22.8 - 25 ℃)
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 12
African Moon Tetra


The African Moon Tetra is found in the Sangha River drainage as well as in Cameroon, Pool Malebo, Lake Tumba, middle Congo River, lower Lomami, Itimbiri and lower Lualaba in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa where they inhabit slow-flowing water that is covered with dense vegetation.

Other Tetras of interest

Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
Black Neon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
Black Phantom Tetra(Hyphessobrycon Megalopterus)
Black Widow Tetra(Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
Bleeding Heart Tetra(Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma)
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Diet & Feeding

African Moon Tetras will accept most foods, but it would be best to feed your Tetras on an essential diet of high-quality dried food such as pellet or flake food. This should be supplemented with frozen and live foods such as bloodworm and daphnia with a preference for small invertebrate prey and midge larvae.

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.


Unfortunately, there is not much information available about breeding the African Moon Tetras however I can imagine they produce similar to that of other African Tetra species.

The African Moon Tetras prefer to spawn in groups, add the same number from each sex and also add some java moss, gravel or spawning mops for the eggs to be laid on. Once spawning is complete, remove all of the parents to prevent the eggs from being consumes. When the fry is free swimming, you can feed them on Infusoria initially.

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Date Added: 26/01/2021 - Updated: 26/01/2021 12:51:55