Red Serpae Tetra Care Guide

Serpae tetra (Hyphessobrycon eques) is also known as jewel tetra, red minor tetra and callistus tetra. These red fin tetras look stunning, when swimming through aquariums in schools. Because they are schooling fish, you should keep at least 5 of them in the same aquarium. These long fin tetras are considered community fish, but there are things to know, before putting them together with other fish species. Their bright colors make them look like small flames going around the aquarium. The following article will provide you with information about red serpae tetra care.

Visual appereance.

red tetra

The striking bright red colors of serpae tetra is one of the main reason for its growing popularity. It has a flat and tall body, which can grow up to 1.75in. Behind the gills you will see that it has a black spot that adds a very interesting look for this red tetra. It has a black dorsal fin, but other fins are colored bright red, just like the body.

Fish Description

These red long fin tetras live up to 5 years. Although there are some things to remember, when thinking about serpae tetras tankmates, they are generally very hardy fish and easy to take care of, so they are quite beginner friendly as well. They are very active, so watching them go is always fun and amusing.

For the most part, serpae tetras will swim in schools through all levels of aquarium. But they enjoy the top very much, if there are a lot of plants found there. It is advisable in general to keep these fish in a very well planted fish tanks.

Property Value
Name Serpae Tetra
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 1.75 inches
Temperature 72°-80°F
pH level 5.5-7.5
Min. Tank size 20 gallons
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Activity Very active
Swimming levels All levels
Care level Easy

Serpae Tetra Tankmates.

In general, Serpae tetras are considered as peaceful community fish that must be kept in groups of at least 5. Being in a group will help them feel comfortable and get along well with other tankmates. Are you worried because you see serpae tetras fighting each other? Do not worry about that, as they do it all the time and it is more like a pretend fight. They are just having fun and aren’t hurting each other.

Ideal tankmates are other fish who are just as active as these long fin tetras, like Barbs, Danios and other larger tetras. Bottom dwelling fish are great companions for them as well.

Avoid putting red serpae tetras together with smaller fish species, as they will harass and stress them out. These long fin tetras should only be placed together with active fish, so putting them together with slow moving fish or fish that have long fins is not advisable, because they will nip their fins.

Serpae tetra diet.

Serpae tetras are omnivores and eat all kinds of foods, so they are not picky at all. But you should note that they have rather small mouth, so you need to pick only small grained food for them.

I mainly feed artificial food for my fish, but to keep them in prime condition and colors bright, it is a good idea feed them a variety of food types, including live food.

As you need to be careful with food, because low quality food will kill your fish (been there myself), below you can find the food I recommend to use for these red tetra fish (but not limited to just serpae tetras) that I am using myself.

It should be noted that these long finned tetras tend to get quite aggressive towards each other and other fish during feeding time. When feeding them, drop the food in multiple places, so they would spread out and not get into each others way.

Serpae tetra facts (Video)

If you are a kind of a person that enjoys visual things while learning (like all aquarists, probably), then here is a good AND precise video that talks about Serpae tetras while watching them in action.


So these are the basics you should know, if you are considering adding these red long fin tetras to your fish tank. Or if you already have them, it IS always better to know more. If you found this useful, share this article with your friends, so they know how beautiful the fish in this hobby are. If you are interested in tropical freshwater fish, be sure to check out this tropical freshwater fish list.

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