Max Size: up to 7 cm

Red Eye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

The red-eye tetra is an easy species to keep and adds a touch of elegance in a community aquarium with its metallic colour, dynamic energy, and signature red eye. It grows to just 2 inches and has large scales. They are tough enough to be indecisive, and big enough not to get eaten by other species with a largemouth. You will see these moving in small troops, six or more is ideal, and they hang around near the surface under floating plants.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameMoenkhausia sanctaefilomenae
Other NamesYellow-banded moenkhausia, yellowback moenkhausia, yellowhead tetra, lamp eye tetra.
OriginsSouth America, Brazil
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature75 - 85 ℉ (23.9 - 29.4 ℃)
PH5.5 - 8.5
GH5 - 20
KH4 - 8
TDS100 - 200
Red Eye Tetra
Red Eye Tetras
Red Eye Tetras Spawning
Eye Tetra Fish
Red Eye Tetra
Red Eye Tetra


Red-eye tetras are found in South America in Paraguay, Eastern Peru, Eastern Bolivia, and Western Brazil. In the wild, they inhabit pure flowing clear waters or big rivers, but you can sometimes find them living in tributaries so that they can feed in the thick vegetation of the murky Amazon.

Other Tetras of interest

African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
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)
View All Tetras

Diet & Feeding

Red-eye Tetras will eat a variety of different foods

you can feed them small granules, flake food, frozen or live brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex, and freeze-dried or frozen bloodworm.

You should regularly introduce vegetables as this will keep them healthy and will bring out their best colours and make them more appealing.

Sexual Dimorphism

The only genuinely distinguishing feature to differentiate the sexes between male and the female is that the female is more rounded and fat.


Red-eye tetras will become reproductive around ten months old they will require a separate breeding tank.

Keep this tank dimly lit with clumps of spawning mops or Java moss.

If you have floating plants, they will often lay eggs in them.

When its time to breed they will lock fins, when this occurs, they will carry out a somersault movement in the plants.

The female will release about a dozen eggs at a time, and the male fertilises them.

If floating plants aren't available, they will scatter their eggs on the substrate or glass bottom.

Once spawning has occurred, you should remove the mating pair as they will consume the eggs. The female can lay up to 1000 sticky eggs.

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Eight Banded False Barb(Eirmotus octozona)
Long Finned Tetra(Brycinus longipinnis)
Twostripe Corydoras(Corydoras bifasciatus)
Dwarf Gourami(Trichogaster lalius)
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Date Added: 28/05/2020 - Updated: 14/07/2021 13:01:07