Arnoldichthys Spilopterus (African Red Eyed Tetra)

Arnoldichthys spilopterus

Last updated on August 16th, 2022 at 09:44 am

Arnoldichthys spilopterus, also known as the African red eyed tetra, are small schooling fish from Africa and South America. They get their name from their physical appearance, which includes red eyes and colorful scales that resemble a tiger-striped pattern that many tigers have in the wild. These are some general care tips to keep your African red eyed tetras healthy and happy.

The African red eyed tetra, Arnoldichthys spilopterus, also known as Aphyosemion spilopterum, in the aquarium trade, is very popular due to its small size and attractive red eyes.

This tropical fish originates from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, where they live in the slow-moving waters of creeks and small rivers with lots of plant cover. Their diet consists mainly of worms and small insects that are found among aquatic plants and it’s best to replicate this environment in an aquarium setting if you want to keep them healthy.

This fish exhibits striking colors and eye patterns that make it an excellent addition to any community aquarium setup. However, Arnoldichthys spilopterus are not the easiest fish to care for, so if you’re looking for a beginner fish that won’t die on you, look elsewhere. If you want something more challenging and colorful, give arnoldi a try!

Origin and descriptions

Arnoldichthys spilopterus

Arnoldichthys spilopterus is a freshwater fish native to the Niger and Chad River basins in Africa. Although this fish has many common names such as African red-eyed, Niger tetra, or simply red-eyed tetra, its scientific name refers to its species and genus while the term spilopterus refers to its round eyes like those of their cousins in the family of Plecostomus fishes.

The Arnoldichthys spilopterus, also known as an African red-eyed tetra or Nige tetra is a great fish for aquariums with smaller fish. This is because they are not very large at all and are generally peaceful. These little fishes can be shy in groups of their own kind but become more active when placed with other species. They grow to around 3.8 inches (9.6 cm) in length and can live up to 5 years with proper care and diet.

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Species profile

Arnoldichthys is a genus of freshwater fish in the family Alestidae of order Characiformes. They are commonly known as African Red Eyed Tetras, but are also sometimes called Coppers or Niger tetras. The species name comes from Spilos which means colored and pteron meaning fin. Thus, its specific name is derived from ‘colored fins’.

The species live in sub-Saharan Africa and have four to five vertical bands on their body. These bands usually do not touch each other at any point except for one to two small spots that may meet over the belly area.

They are tropical freshwater species found only in a limited number of places in Nigeria (Ogun and Niger rivers).

Their bodies are slim with an overall light copper coloration with about five dark stripes running horizontally along their body; these stripes will be darkest just above their eyes until fading out near their tail fins where they appear more copper than black.

Arnoldichthys spilopterus habitat

These fish thrive in hard water, so adding a small amount of salt can help replicate their natural habitat. This change will also allow for a much more colorful display, especially if you keep more than one Arnoldichthys spilopterus in an aquarium together.

They require a tank that has both soft and hard areas with lots of space to swim around. A bare bottom works best, as they do not burrow like other fish species.

Red eye tetra size

They grow up to 9.6 cm (3.8 inches) in length.

Red eye tetra tank size

Due to their size, the minimum recommended tank size is 50 gallons (189 liters) for a single fish.

Tank requirements

Arnoldichthys spilopterus require a fairly large tank, preferably more than 50 gallons (189 liters). The tank should have tall plants and bogwood to provide cover and ample swimming space.

They also need gravel or sand that is very smooth to prevent their delicate barbels from getting damaged. It should be lightly filtered with either an under-gravel filter or an external canister filter, but make sure not to disturb their substrate too much.

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Arnoldichthys spilopterus prefer water temperatures in the range of 70-79 degrees Fahrenheit. When choosing a heater, look for one designed for tanks smaller than 75 gallons since these are hard to find.

An air stone or small air pump will help keep oxygen levels high, especially if your aquarium does not have any other filtration options besides your filter.

Remember that African red-eyed tetras are sensitive to chemicals such as chlorine, chloramines, ammonia, and nitrites so it is important to treat tap water with de-chlorinator before adding it to your aquarium.

Red eye tetra tank mates

Arnoldichthys spilopterus are peaceful fish and can be kept with other peaceful species. They do well with other soft water bottom-dwelling species, as they naturally inhabit slow-moving rivers in Africa. Ideal tank mates include Hillstream loaches, catfish, and glass fish. Fish that require harder water such as Discus fish may not adapt well to African Red-Eyed Tetras.

Arnoldichthys spilopterus breeding

Arnoldichthys spilopterus

Arnoldichthys spilopterus are good candidates for breeding due to their relatively peaceful nature and requirement for a small amount of space. Although they spawn in schools, a tank that is long and wide will do. The water temperature should be between 24-28°C(75-82°F). In addition, an air stone will help with the aeration of the water.

Filtration must be strong to prevent toxins from building up from uneaten food or excrement. When it comes to time to lay eggs, you will see more activity among your fish than usual. Before spawning begins, your male African red eyed tetra should clean out an area on some flat substrate in preparation.

Once everything is set up, there’s nothing else you need to do! When ready to spawn, African Red Eyed Tetras can quickly produce 20-30 eggs at once! After spawning has taken place, remove your male if you haven’t done so already. When it comes to time to hatch your fry, use crushed flake food or infusoria as a first meal!

If all goes well, your African red eyed tetras may only take 4 days until they’re eating!

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Are Red eye tetra aggressive or peaceful?

Not aggressive; Arnoldichthys spilopterus will be easy to keep with other peaceful fish. Just make sure they are compatible and of a similar size. Gouramis, glassfish, danios, plecos, and catfish would be ideal tank mates for Arnoldi. You can also house them with other arnoldi as long as they are close in size and there are plenty of hiding places within your aquarium or pond.

Red eye tetra care

Arnoldichthys spilopterus

Caring for a niger tetra is fairly simple and easy. Keep water clean, and make sure you maintain high levels of oxygen in your tank, along with good quality water. They are not very difficult to feed either. These fish are omnivores, so it would be best to give them a variety of foods – flakes, live or frozen food.

Many people say that Arnoldichthys spilopterus need a powerful filter system in their tanks because these fish are known for causing some waste in their water. However, if you do choose to keep other fish with your niger tetras, then make sure that they aren’t too small, as these tetras might have a tendency to eat smaller fish.

This can result in an imbalance that isn’t healthy for any of your fish. If you have more than one male niger, keep them on their own as males will fight over territory and females.

Niger tetras are sensitive fish. When choosing a place to set up your home for your fish, avoid temperature changes at all costs; also try and choose somewhere away from direct sunlight. Also, remember that leaving plants in your tank is vital! The Niger tetra loves to hide amongst live plants, so giving them lots of places to swim into will benefit both of you.

Red eye tetra food

African red eyes enjoy a high-protein diet, so these fish should have plenty of meaty foods in their diet. Some Niger Tetras will eat flakes and pellets but they love live worms, brine shrimp, and frozen foods like bloodworms.

This variety of food makes them more interesting to watch. They are active swimmers that swim in schools, which can make it hard to find their favorite food if you’re not observing them closely enough.

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Red eye tetra lifespan

Arnoldichthys can live up to 8 years, but in an aquarium, they’ll typically live 4–5 years.

Parasites and diseases

Arnoldichthys spilopterus

Arnoldichthys spilopterus are small, peaceful fish and are more susceptible to parasites and diseases than some other tetras. Two important things you can do to keep them healthy is buying a quality, preferably salt-free, tropical fish flakes food and keeping your tank clean with frequent water changes of about 10 percent every week.

Remember that dirty tanks can spread illness and lower your pets’ immunity. Also, remember that any sick fish should be isolated from their healthy tank mates immediately, so they don’t pass along their illness or parasites.

In general, African red eyed tetras are a pretty hardy bunch that won’t succumb to many common aquarium ailments. However, because they are so closely related to Cardinal Tetras and Glowlight Tetras, you can always bet there is a chance of your newly purchased fish picking up something from them.

If you notice any signs of disease or parasites, it’s best to treat all of your fish as quickly as possible with some sort of commercial medicated food for tropical fish. Again, it’s rare for these guys to fall victim to such diseases, but it does happen occasionally

Do Arnoldichthys spilopterus they make good pets?

Yes. If you are in need of a small, active fish that can fit into smaller aquariums, then look no further than Arnoldichthys spilopterus. Known as African red eyed tetras by aquarium hobbyists and niger tetras to pet stores, Arnoldichthys spilopterus is a very good pet to keep.