Max Size: 6cm

Copei Tetra (Moenkhausia copei)

Copei Tetras are a peaceful and very sociable community fish. These Tetras are schooling fish and will thrive if kept in a larger group of at least ten individuals, and they will express a more natural behaviour as well as better colours. Watching a mixed-gender group with a slightly female-biased ratio, however, is fascinating as the males form hierarchies and continually try to attract the females' attention.

Copei Tetras prefer a densely planted aquarium containing a sandy substrate and a few dried leaves on the bottom. They also require plenty of swimming space and some subdued lighting.

Copei Tetras can live in a community aquarium with many different species without difficulty. The ideal tankmates would be other South American characins and bottom-dwellers. However, it would be best if you did not house these Tetras with much larger or more aggressive species otherwise, they will get stressed and outcompeted for food.

Copei Tetras have a silvery elongated body with a yellowish gold sheen on the lower half. These fish also have prominent red colouring on their caudal and adipose fin. In some individuals, the dorsal fin can show some colour, but usually, they are transparent along with their pectoral, pelvic and anal fins.


Copei Tetra
Copei Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameMoenkhausia copei
Year Described1882
Other NamesTetra Copei, Red Tail Tetra
OriginsPeru, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 10+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH10 - 20
TDS18 - 268
72 - 79℉
22.2 - 26.1℃

Natural Habitat



In the home aquarium, the Copei 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 differentiate between the male and female Copei Tetras. The males are usually slimmer and more colourful than the females and, in breeding conditions, display a solid humeral spot. In contrast, females are slightly larger and have rounder bodies than males.

Other Tetras of interest

Adonis Tetra(Lepidarchus adonis)
African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Arowana Tetra(Gnathocharax steindachneri)
Black Chin Tetra(Piabucus melanostoma)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 29/09/2021 13:50:33 - Updated: 03/10/2022 13:53:39