Maximum size : 30 cm

Pink Tail Chalceus - Chalceus macrolepidotus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Pink Tail Chalceus (Chalceus macrolepidotus) is a magnificent, active, and sociable species that you should keep either in groups of six or more or as a single specimen in a spacious aquarium. These fish thrive in large community tanks, but smaller groups will lead to aggressive behaviour. Keeping these fish is relatively easy as long as you maintain well-oxygenated and well-filtered water, provide enough swimming space, and avoid sharp decor. Due to their territorial nature, it would be best to avoid surface-dwelling species unless you have a massive tank. Also, steer clear of smaller fish as they may end up as a meal for your Chalceus. Finally, keeping the tank lid secure is crucial as these fish are skittish and can easily jump out of the tank. The aquarium should be located in a quiet area with ample hiding spots for their optimal well-being. Incorporating a sandy substrate and smooth driftwood or water-worn rocks, along with robust plant species like Java Fern and Anubias spp, would create a perfect environment for these fish. In addition, floating vegetation provides natural surface cover, which will help reduce their nervousness. These torpedo-shaped fish have an eye-catching bright pink to red tail, iridescent silver scales on the upper body, gradually getting smaller towards the belly, and large eyes with a dark spot near the gill cover. In addition, their fins range from dark red to pale orange or yellow, and the upper part of the iris can be either orange or yellow. Overall, the Pink Tail Chalceus is a stunning and fascinating addition to any aquarium.

Pink Tail Chalceus Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Regrettably, distinguishing between male and female Pink Tail Chalceus proves to be a challenging task, as there are no apparent physical differences. However, it is believed that once these fish reach a length of around 20 cm, the females may appear to have fuller bellies compared to the males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameChalceus macrolepidotus
Year Described1818
Other NamesPink Tail Fish, Pink Tail Shark, Pink-tailed Characin, Red-tailed Chalceus.
OriginsColombia , Venezuela , Guyana , Suriname , Guinea , Peru
Max Size30 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingCarnivore
Lifespanup to 15 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 6.0 - 7.5
GH 5 - 20
Ideal Temperature
73 - 82
22.8 - 27.8

Natural Habitat

Pink Tail Chalceus are fascinating fish that are native to South America and can be found in various countries, including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Peru. These stunning fish inhabit the Negro and Orinoco River Basins, where they can be found in fast-moving, clear, and highly oxygenated waters. In their natural habitat, Pink Tail Chalceus primarily inhabit the surface layers of rivers and streams, making them an incredible sight to behold. Their streamlined bodies and graceful movements allow them to thrive in these environments, making them an impressive addition to any aquarium.
 Orinoco - Venezuela
Venezuela Flag


Breeding Pink Tail Chalceus is considered a daunting and challenging task, and there are only a few recorded instances of successful home breeding with scarce details available. The breeding process for this species requires a significantly large aquarium. If breeding is successful, it will be indicated by the presence of numerous small eggs adhering to the plants in the aquarium. According to a successful breeder, the eggs should hatch within 48 hours, depending on the water temperature, and the fry becomes free-swimming four days after that. The baby chalceus are relatively large and can be fed brine shrimp nauplii as soon as they have consumed their yolk sacs. Despite the limited information available, the successful breeding of Pink Tail Chalceus is an impressive accomplishment that requires specialized knowledge and expertise.

Diet & feeding

The Pink Tail Chalceus is a carnivorous fish species that predominantly feed on insects and crustaceans in their natural habitat. As such, it is best to provide them with a diet that replicates their natural feeding habits when kept in an aquarium environment. This includes a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried food sources such as prawns, mussels, clams, bloodworms, and chopped earthworms. Additionally, floating dried food such as pellets or carnivore flakes can be provided to supplement their diet. Feeding Pink Tail Chalceus multiple times a day with small portions is crucial to ensure they receive proper nutrition and maintain their health in captivity. You can help these captivating fish thrive in your aquarium by providing them with a balanced and varied diet.

2 tank mate ideas for the Pink Tail Chalceus

Looking for some awesome tank mate ideas for your Pink Tail Chalceus? Look no further! Here are 2 of the most captivating and fascinating options that will liven up your aquarium!

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