Betta Trading

Yellow Tail Tetra


The Yellow Tail Tetra, Alestopetersius caudalis, is also called The Yellow Tail Congo Tetra and several variations of this. This beautiful fish will live up to 10 years.  In appearance it is quite similar to the Congo tetra, but it is from a different genus and there are differences between them.


The Yellow Tail Tetra grows to about 7 cm in aquariums.  It is probably of similar size in the wild.


The Yellow Tail Tetra comes from the Congo (Zaire) River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and possibly also the Republic of the Congo.


The Yellow Tail Tetra is an omnivore in the wild and seems to have little difficulty in adjusting to normal fish foods.  In addition to dried flake and pellet foods I give my fish frozen bloodworms once a week and frozen brine shrimp once a week.  They get live Daphnia and mosquito larvae when they are available.

Water Conditions

The Yellow Tail Tetra will tolerate water up to 20 degrees DH but softer water is preferred.  22-26 degrees C (72-79 degrees F) is a suitable temperature although the fish will survive a little above this range.  A pH of between 6.5 and 7.5 is suggested.


The Yellow Tail Tetra is a schooling fish so at least 5 should be kept together.  It is too big for the smallest types of tetras, but it a good companion for most tetras.  Avoid large or aggressive tank mates.  The Yellow Tail Tetra is better kept in quiet company.


The males are more colourful that the females, and have longer dorsal, tail and anal fins.


The Yellow Tail Tetra is an egg scattering species.  It is most probable that in the wild they are school spawners, but it is more usual in an aquarium to spawn them as a pair.  They are somewhat similar to the Congo Tetra, but do not spawn as readily; they are much more difficult to breed.  It seems particularly important to condition the parents very well in separate aquariums before attempting to get them to spawn.

The spawning tank should not be too small.  A minimum of 60 cm (2 feet) long is suggested, but a larger tank is probably preferable.  The water should be soft and acid.  A pH of 6.5 is suitable.  The water should not be too deep.  Fine leaved plants, a spawning mop or a grid on the bottom of the tank is a good idea.

The water temperature should be around 24 – 26 degrees C (75-79 degrees F).

The fish may spawn over several days, producing between 50 and 300 eggs per female. 

Raising the Fry

The eggs take about 6 days to hatch.  The babies should have absorbed the yolk sacs a day later and will need infusoria (Protozoa) for a few days before they are able to eat bigger live food like newly hatched Brine Shrimp, Microworms or finely screened Daphnia.

Least Concern

The IUCN Red List includes the Yellow Tail Tetra as a species of least concern.  Changes in its wild population have not been identified.

Common names

Although I have referred to this fish as The Yellow Tail Tetra, it is often called the Yellow Tail Congo Tetra.  It looks like a Congo Tetra, but the name Yellow Tail Congo Tetra could imply a much closer relationship than the reality. 

Other common names include The Yellow-tailed African characin, Yellow-tailed African tetra and Yellowtail tetra in English.

It is called Tétra jaune du Congo in French, Gelber Kongosalmler in German, Gul congotetra in Danish, Keltapyrstöalesti or Keltapyrstökongontetra in Finnish, Swiecik zolty in Polish and 短尾非洲鮭鯉 or 短尾非洲 鲑鲤 in Mandarin Chinese.

Scientific names

The accepted scientific name of the fish is Alestopetersius caudalis

  (Boulenger, 1899).  Some other names it has been are  Alestopetersius hilgendorfi grandi  (Fowler, 1936), Alestopetersius leopoldianus brumpti   (Pellegrin, 1906), Alestopetersius xenurus xenurus  (Boulenger, 1920),    Hemigrammopetersius caudalis (Boulenger, 1899) , Hemigrammopetersius xenurus (Boulenger, 1920),   Hemmigrammopetersius brumpti (Pellegrin, 1906), Micralestes grandi Fowler, 1936, Petersius brumpti Pellegrin, 1906, Petersius caudalis Boulenger, 1899, Petersius xenurus Boulenger, 1920, Phenacogrammus caudalis (Boulenger, 1899) Phenacogrammus leopoldianus brumpti  (Pellegrin, 1906), and Phenacogrammus xenurus (Boulenger, 1920).

 Pest Fish

Please do not release any animal into an ecosystem that it is not native to.


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