Maximum size : 8 cm

Redfin Congo Tetra - Micralestes occidentalis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Redfin Congo Tetras (Micralestes occidentalis) known for their activity, peaceful temperament, hardiness, and timid nature, serve as excellent choices for beginner aquarists and community aquarium setups. These Tetras exhibit a natural inclination to school in large groups in their native habitats, emphasizing the importance of maintaining them in a group consisting of no fewer than six individuals. By keeping these Tetras in larger numbers, their confidence levels are enhanced, leading to a more visually appealing display.

When considering suitable tankmates for Redfin Congo Tetras, other Tetras, Dwarf Barbs, various peaceful Cichlids, Rainbowfish, Loaches, and Corydoras Catfish can be compatible choices. However, it is essential to avoid housing Congo Tetras with significantly larger or more boisterous species, as their inherently nervous disposition may result in undue stress.

For an optimal aquarium setup for Redfin Congo Tetras, a design resembling an African biotope is ideal. This entails incorporating driftwood branches, floating vegetation, and Anubias plants. Additionally, these Tetras will thrive in a well-planted aquarium environment. Offering ample swimming space is crucial, and the provision of soft, acidic water with proper circulation is preferred. Given their tendency to become easily startled, it is advisable to provide hiding places within the aquarium to alleviate stress.

Redfin Congo Tetras exhibit striking characteristics, featuring silver bodies complemented by vibrant red caudal and adipose fins. The dorsal fins are transparent with a reddish blotch, while all other fins remain transparent in appearance.

Redfin Congo Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Regrettably, a scarcity of information exists pertaining to the sexual dimorphism of Redfin Congo Tetras. However, it is probable that males exhibit a larger size and more vibrant colours compared to females, as is observed in various Tetra species. Additionally, the males may possess longer finnage, contributing to their overall visual distinction.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameMicralestes occidentalis
Year Described1899
Other NamesAfrican Red-Finned Tetra
OriginsGhana , Liberia , Cameroon , Sierra Leone
Max Size8 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 5.5 - 7.5
GH 5 - 15
KH 4 - 8
TDS 150 - 250
Ideal Temperature
71 - 79
21 - 26

Natural Habitat

Redfin Congo Tetras are indigenous to various regions in Africa, including Ghana, Liberia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and Côte d'Ivoire. They can be found in the Upper Reaches of the Niger, Volta, and Congo Rivers. Within their natural habitat, these Tetras primarily inhabit murky streams, tributaries, pools, and marshes characterized by slightly acidic water conditions.

Typically, Redfin Congo Tetras congregate in areas abundant with tall vegetation and are often associated with the presence of trees from the forest canopy above. The substrate in their natural environment consists of sand, silt, and mud, providing a suitable habitat for these species.


The breeding of Redfin Congo Tetras in the aquarium hobby remains relatively uncommon, as limited details are available regarding their successful propagation. However, these Tetras are known to be egg-scattering spawners without any form of parental care.

If one intends to breed Redfin Congo Tetras, it is advisable to prepare a separate breeding tank specifically for this purpose. This tank can be kept relatively bare, although the inclusion of a mesh or grid at the bottom to collect fertilized eggs or a layer of marbles will suffice. Aquatic plants, such as java moss or spawning mops, should be provided to facilitate the scattering of eggs.

While Redfin Congo Tetras are capable of breeding within a community aquarium, ensuring the survival of the fry to adulthood may be more challenging without specialized breeding setups.

During the breeding process, the female Redfin Congo Tetra will exhibit active swimming behaviour. The presence of two males can stimulate the female to release her eggs by gently nudging her, although it is advisable to have a single male and female for breeding purposes.

Once the female deposits her eggs, the males will swiftly fertilize them, causing the eggs to descend to the bottom of the tank. Spawning typically occurs in the early morning, often triggered by the sunrise.

After the completion of spawning, it is crucial to remove the adult Tetras promptly, as they are prone to consuming the eggs if given the opportunity. A mature female may lay a considerable quantity of eggs, ranging up to approximately 300.

To optimize conditions for egg development and hatching, it is recommended to keep the tank dark and the lights off. Tetra eggs and fry are particularly sensitive to light exposure. Depending on the temperature and water conditions within the tank, the eggs will generally hatch within approximately thirty-six hours.

Subsequently, the fry will become free-swimming around four to five days after hatching. Thus, maintaining a low-light environment during the initial week is preferable over gradually increasing lighting levels.

Initially, the newly hatched fry will rely on their yolk sacs as a source of nutrition. However, once they become free-swimming, they can be provided with infusoria and rotifers as their primary food sources.

After approximately four days, baby brine shrimp and microworms can be introduced as additional nourishment. Once the fry have reached a sufficient size and are no longer at risk of being considered as prey, they can be introduced to the community aquarium, where they can coexist alongside the existing shoal of Redfin Congo Tetras.

Diet & feeding

In the confines of a home aquarium, Redfin Congo Tetras readily accept a variety of high-quality dried food options, including granules, flakes, and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been meticulously formulated to fulfil the nutritional requirements essential for maintaining optimal health and meeting the dietary needs of your fish.

While these dried foods alone suffice to meet their dietary needs, supplementing their diet with additional live, frozen, or freeze-dried meals, such as bloodworms, daphnia, and tubifex, once or twice a week can provide additional health benefits and enhance their overall well-being. It is important to note that bloodworms should only be offered as an occasional treat and should not serve as the staple diet, as they pose challenges in digestion for fish and may potentially lead to blockages.

In their natural habitat, Redfin Congo Tetras display omnivorous feeding behaviour, including the consumption of some vegetable matter. While most modern fish foods incorporate plant-based components in their formulations, supplementing your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini can still be beneficial. It is crucial to avoid overfeeding and promptly remove any uneaten food the following day to maintain optimal water conditions and prevent any potential health issues.

Other Tetras of interest