Red Eye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomene) originate from Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, where they are found living in jungle streams and murky tributaries. Their native waters contain dense aquatic vegetation and have filtered sunlight from the jungle canopy above. Despite being found in abundance in their native habitat, Red Eye Tetra are typically farm raised for the aquarium hobby. Their popularity within the hobby and ease of breeding, it is much more commercially viable to raise them in large numbers on fish farms rather than to import them from the wild. At an adult size of about 3 inches in length, a peaceful disposition and tolerance for a wide range of water parameters, Red Eye Tetra are ideally suited for beginning hobbyists. Groups of Red Eye Tetra also make excellent addition to planted aquariums and all manner of tropical community aquariums.
Since the Red Eye Tetra is a schooling species in the wild, they should also be housed in groups of at least 4 or more individuals in the aquarium environment as well. A group of Red Eye Tetra is much more visually impressive than a single individual, as their red and black accents are more noticeable when swimming in a tight group. Their peaceful nature, moderate size and overall hardiness make them well suited for any type of tropical freshwater aquarium setup. Red Eye Tetra will of course appreciate aquarium setups that contain some of the elements of their natural habitat. Some of these natural elements include: areas of filtered lighting, aquatic plants, drift wood, submerged root, sand or fine gravel substrate and moderate water currents. Red Eye Tetra will not bother smaller community fish species and can generally coexist with most all other community fish species found within the aquarium hobby.
Red Eye Tetra should be fed a varied diet of quality commercial foods 2 or 3 times per day the amount of food they will consume within a few minutes. They are not picky eaters and will readily accept a wide variety of plant and animal based foods. They should readily accept quality flake, freeze-dried and small pellet foods, tubifex worms, blood worms, frozen foods, algae or plant based flakes and crisps, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp and a variety of other similar food items.