Max Size: 5.5cm

Sailfin Tetra (Crenuchus spilurus)

Sailfin Tetras are peaceful with other species but do not always make an ideal community fish due to their rather timid nature. Ideally, it would be better to maintain these fish with their own species in groups of six or more individuals or with similarly-sized, non-aggressive Characids plus smaller Loricariid or Callichthyid Catfishes.

Nuptial adult males can be somewhat territorial; however, physical damage rarely occurs as long as the decor is arranged so that plenty of broken lines-of-sight are provided.

In the wild, these Tetras are generally recognised as somewhat of a cave-dwelling species, so naturally, Sailfin Tetras seem to do better under dim lighting. Still, you can add aquatic plant species that can survive under such conditions. Floating vegetation is also helpful.

Sailfin Tetras have stocky silver bodies with a black patch on the caudal peduncle. The anal and dorsal fins have orangy-red tips, although the female's fins tend to be almost transparent. Males have fin markings similar to that of the Pearl Gourami.


Sailfin Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCrenuchus spilurus
Other NamesNone
OriginsGuyana, Suriname
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



In the home aquarium, the Sailfin Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively easy to differentiate male from female Sailfin Tetras. Males are larger and have more extended dorsal and anal fins and, when ready to mate, become more intense in colour as well as being very territorial. In contrast, the females are smaller and have rounder abdomens and aren't as fancy or bright as males.

Other Tetras of interest

Adonis Tetra(Lepidarchus adonis)
African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Arowana Tetra(Gnathocharax steindachneri)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 28/04/2021 13:15:31 - Updated: 02/12/2021 17:41:28