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Maximum size : 8 cm

African Moon Tetra - Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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African Moon Tetras (Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus) are an incredibly popular variety of Tetra among aquarists. These beautiful fish are easy to care for and thrive best when kept in large groups, which should consist of at least six individuals. Due to their timid nature, African Moon Tetras do not do well with larger, more boisterous tank mates. Therefore, keeping them with compatible species that won't mistreat or bully them is essential. Creating an ideal aquarium environment for these Tetras requires a sand or fine gravel substrate, as well as plenty of vegetation, rock structures, and roots. They also prefer slightly acidic water with stable parameters, although they can adapt to other suitable conditions as long as they adjust slowly. African Moon Tetras are particularly fond of an aquarium with gentle water flow, providing water movement without a strong current. With their unique and striking appearance, these deep-bodied Tetras boast a 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. Their large eyes and transparent fins, which are tinged with red, make for a stunning display in any aquarium. Overall, African Moon Tetras are a magnificent addition to any aquarist's collection and a joy to observe.

African Moon Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female African Moon Tetras is a relatively simple task. Typically, the females exhibit a more prominent abdomen than their male counterparts, and their bodies are more rounded towards the tail. Additionally, the red spot situated beneath the dorsal fin of females is generally smaller than that of the males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBathyaethiops caudomaculatus
Year Described1925
Other NamesAfrican Moonfish, African Moon Characin
OriginsCameroon Democratic Republic of the Congo
Max Size8 cm
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

The African Moon Tetra, a stunningly beautiful species, is known to inhabit the freshwater rivers of the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the Sangha River, Lualaba River, Congo River, Pool Malebo, and the Lomami River - a significant tributary of the Congo River. However, these Tetras can also be found in certain regions of Cameroon, where they prefer to reside in slow-moving bodies of water that are thickly enveloped by vegetation.
 Sangha River - Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag
 Congo River - Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag


While information regarding the breeding of African Moon Tetras is relatively scarce, other Tetra species in Africa share similar breeding characteristics. To successfully breed African Moon Tetras, it is recommended to introduce equal numbers of both male and female Tetras into a breeding group, along with some java moss or spawning mops for the eggs to be laid upon. Once the eggs have been laid, it is crucial to remove the parents to prevent them from consuming the eggs. Following this, the newly hatched fry should be fed with infusoria until they reach the free-swimming stage.

Diet & feeding

While adaptable to various food types, the African Moon Tetra thrives best on a diet primarily consisting of high-quality, dried food such as pellets or flakes. However, to ensure optimal health and nutrition, supplementing their diet with live or frozen foods such as bloodworm and daphnia is recommended. These Tetras also demonstrate a particular affinity towards small insects and insect larvae, which can be used to provide additional variety and nutritional value to their diet.

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