fish difficult level

Bryconalestes longipinnis (Günther 1864)

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Long-finned Tetra

Bryconalestes longipinnis is a fairly large fish, with males developing some truly impressive finnage. It is a native to the western coastal regions of Africa, from Gambia to Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon. This species is found in the upper and lower reaches of big rivers and also in estuarine mixohaline waters. It is the only Bryconalestes species also to penetrate small rivers and streams.

Submitted by
Benedetta Spelta


Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Black water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
25.5 - 28.5 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

5.8 - 6.8
32 - 65
Dissolved Oxygen


Standard length
16.4 cm
Water volume (min. aquarium)
160 l
Social behaviour
Shoaling fish
Behaviour description

This species should be kept in as large a group as possible, 8 specimens is a good minimum number. It makes a great addition to the larger biotope tank. Aquatic and floating plants help to provide a calm environment to the small or slow-moving fishes that might be intimidated by the size and constant activity of Bryconalestes longipinnis.

Aggression grade
Day active
Sexual dimorphism

Adult males develop a long, flowing dorsal fin. They are also slightly larger than females and the anal fin has a characteristic convex profile.

Nutrition in Nature

This species eat a wide range of animal and vegetable matter, including insect larvae, crustaceans and some algae.


Breeding tank set-up

A breeding should be set up with following water parameters: GH 2-5, pH 6.0-6.5, temperature 24-26°C. This should be dimly lit with floating plants for cover and large amounts of java moss and no substrate. Gentle filtration via a small air-driven sponge filter is suggested.
When the female is mature (ripe and plump), select the best coloured male and fattest female and place them in the breeding tank.

Nutrition parents

Bryconalestes longipinnis usually adapts well to a variety of foods. For the best condition, feed a mixture of live, frozen and dried varieties. It appears to require a good amount of protein, so offer meaty fare such as chopped earthworm or prawn regularly.

Mating type
Spawning behaviour

The spawning act has never been recorded but it is probably similar to that of Congo tetras, which involves a lot of chasing by the male. The adult fish should be removed after spawning, as they are avid egg eaters.

Breeding habits
Egg scatterer
Hatching period
4 - 6 days
Number of eggs in average
several hundred
Parental care
Fry number
Nutrition fry

First food should be infusoria or liquifry, followed by brine shrimp nauplii or microworm after 2-3 days.

Notes on reproduction



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