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Maximum size : 5.5 cm

Sailfin Tetra - Crenuchus spilurus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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In the world of freshwater fish, the Sailfin Tetra (Crenuchus spilurus) is known for its timid nature and peaceful temperament. However, they may not be the best fit for a community tank due to their shy disposition. It would be ideal to keep these Tetras in groups of six or more individuals, preferably with non-aggressive Characids and smaller Loricariid or Callichthyid Catfishes. During mating season, adult males may become territorial; nonetheless, adequate decor that provides plenty of broken lines of sight should prevent physical damage from occurring. These Tetras are typically found dwelling in caves in their natural habitat, hence thriving better under dim lighting. In addition, floating vegetation and aquatic plant species that can survive under such conditions can also be added. The Sailfin Tetra has a stocky silver body with a black patch on the caudal peduncle. Males have orangy-red tips on their anal and dorsal fins, which females tend to lack. Their fin markings are similar to that of the Pearl Gourami.

Sailfin Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Males and females of the Sailfin Tetra can be easily distinguished based on their physical characteristics. The males are significantly larger and possess more elaborate and extended dorsal and anal fins. During the breeding season, males display a vibrant and intense colouration, becoming territorial as they prepare to mate. In contrast, females are smaller in size, have rounder abdomens, and are not as flamboyant or brightly coloured as their male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCrenuchus spilurus
Year Described1863
Other NamesNone
OriginsGuyana Suriname
Max Size5.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.5 - 6.5
GH1 - 5
TDS18 - 90
68 - 82
20 - 27.8

Natural habitat

The Sailfin Tetra, a captivating species, is widely distributed across the Amazon and Orinoco basins, as well as the coastal rivers of Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana in South America. In the wild, these fish are often found in minor tributaries and forest streams, where they seek shelter in the overhanging riparian vegetation during periods of high water. Their natural habitats are also known for having water that is stained with tannins due to decomposing organic matter, providing a unique and natural environment for these fish to thrive in. So, if you're looking to create an Amazonian-inspired aquarium, the Sailfin Tetra would be an excellent addition to your tank.
 Orinoco - Venezuela
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How to breed the Sailfin Tetra

Sailfin Tetras are known to form temporary pairs during the spawning season, and they tend to choose small caves or leaf litter as their breeding sites. Males take sole responsibility for the eggs and the care of the brood. In the wild, male Sailfin Tetras build small caves at the centre of their temporary territories, often using leaf litter. You may provide any suitable structure for their breeding site in an aquarium. The male then attracts females with dazzling fin displays and guides them into the cave to lay their eggs on the roof. Although inexperienced males may eat their first few clutches, it is advisable not to remove the eggs and hatch them artificially, as the presence of the male seems crucial for success. The eggs usually take around 36 to 48 hours to incubate, and the fry initially feeds off their yolk sac. They become free-swimming around 4 to 6 days after hatching, and the male continues to protect them carefully during this time. You can offer the fry infusoria, newly hatched brine shrimp and microworms for their diet. It is possible to leave the parents with the fry as they are generally safe, but observing them for any signs of predation is important.

Diet & feeding

In their natural habitats, Sailfin Tetras are known to feed primarily on small terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, as well as other forms of zooplankton. In the home aquarium, these fish can be maintained on a diet consisting of good quality dried foods, such as flakes or granules, provided they are of a suitable size. However, to ensure their optimal health, offering them daily servings of small frozen and live foods such as daphnia, bloodworm, artemia nauplii, grindal worm, and Moina is highly recommended.

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