Max Size: 30cm

Pink Tail Chalceus (Chalceus macrolepidotus)

The Pink Tail Chalceus is a timid, active, shoaling species that you should maintain either individually or in groups of six or more individuals in an appropriately sized aquarium. Smaller groups will not work, as these fish will quarrel fiercely. However, these fish make excellent members of a giant community aquarium, are somewhat hardy, and pretty easy to look after as long as you provide them with well-filtered and well-oxygenated water and plenty of open areas to swim in.

It would be better to avoid species that dwell on the surface unless your tank is massive because these fish are pretty territorial when mature. It would be best if you also avoided much smaller fish as they will get eaten.

Pink-tail Chalceus can attain a considerable size. Therefore, these fish will require an aquarium that is at least 4ft in length or around 240 litres when they are juveniles, and before long, they will need a tank at least 6 feet long and, ideally, much more significant.

You will need to place the aquarium in a relatively quiet location as this species is a very skittish fish that can be easily startled. Therefore, you must provide them with many shaded hiding places within the aquarium and have a sturdy, tight-fitting lid to prevent them from accidentally jumping out.

You will need to choose their decor carefully as anything sharp can cause them injury whenever they decide to dash for cover; a sandy substrate with water-worn rocks or smooth pieces of driftwood is ideal. It would be best if you also planted some robust plant species such as Java Fern and Anubias spp at the sides and back of the aquarium, leaving a generously sized open swimming space in the centre. You can also spread some hardy floating vegetation over the more tranquil aquarium areas as they provide natural surface cover, which should help reduce nervousness.

With its eye-catching bright pink to red tail, this large, torpedo-shaped, silvery Characin possesses rather large silver iridescent scales on its upper body, gradually getting smaller as they descend the belly. These fish also have large eyes and display a dark spot near the gill cover, and their fins range from a dark red to pale orange or yellow. The upper part of the iris can also be either orange or yellow.


Pink Tail Chalceus
Pink Tail Chalceus
Pink Tail Chalceus
Pink Tail Chalceus
Quick Facts
Scientific NameChalceus macrolepidotus
Other NamesPink Tail Fish, Pink Tail Shark, Pink-tailed Characin, Red-tailed Chalceus.
OriginsColombia, Guinea, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 15 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 20
73 - 82℉
22.8 - 27.8℃

Natural Habitat



Because the Pink Tail Chalceus is a carnivore; it would be best if you aimed to feed your fish on a diet primarily of meaty foodstuffs such as live and/or frozen daphnia, brine shrimp, lobster eggs, cyclops, Mysis shrimp and bloodworm. Bloodworm should be used sparingly as it is hard for your fish to digest.

You can also cut up earthworms from your garden or chop up shop brought mussels, prawns, krill and fresh fish (be sure only to use fresh or frozen fish and not fish canned in oil).

You can also try your fish with dried foods formulated for predatory fish and made up of insect material such as Fluval bug bites, which can also be used to supplement the diet.

Get to know your fish and test which foods they prefere and which they ignore but always be sure not to overfeed your fish and remove excessive uneaten food whenever possible.

Tank Mates

2 interesting tank mate ideas for the Pink Tail Chalceus could include:

Red Banded Leporinus(Synaptolaemus latofasciatus)
Strawberry Leporinus(Leporinus granti)

Sexual Dimorphism

Unfortunately, there are no apparent differences between male and female Pink Tail Chalceus. However, once these fish reach around 20 cm in length, the females are believed to appear fuller bellied than the males.

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Date Added: 01/07/2021 13:17:49 - Updated: 10/08/2022 14:29:07