Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Alestopetersius caudalis

Yellow finned tetra

Alestopetersius caudalis, yellow finned tetraAlestopetersius caudalis, yellow finned tetra
Photos by Andy Rapson


Alestopetersius: Greek, a = without + Greek, lestes = thief + Peters, 1877, naturalist, expeditionary in Asia.

General Notes:

Yellow finned tetras are lively but nervous fish. They are also known to nip the fins of fish with long flowing fins. But when housed with other peaceful fish of a similar size they are quite peaceful. Being part of a shoal of at least six individuals will help them to settle and feel more confident. They should be housed in an aquarium where there are some open spaces for swimming and some areas with lots of plants for them to retreat in to if they feel threatened. These fish are not very common in the hobby but they do turn up from time to time and are becoming more popular.


Yellow finned tetras adapt very well to a captive diet of good quality flake food, freeze dried food, live food or frozen food. Once settled they are quite bold feeders.


Adult males are more colourful than females and develop extended rays from their tail, dorsal fin and anal fin.


Yellow finned tetras have proved difficult to breed in the home aquaria. They are egg scatterers and do not care for their brood after spawning. Breeding should be carried out in a separate aquarium to prevent cannibalism by the parents.

Wild status

Wild stocks of the yellow finned tetra are quite healthy and not under any immediate threat.

Information at a glance

pH:6.5 - 7.8
: 5 - 12.
Temperature: 22 - 26°C (72 - 80°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 6.2 cms (2.75 inches)
Min tank size: 200 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Middle

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Alestopetersius caudalis, yellow finned tetra

Origin: Africa: Congo River basin.

Habitat: Slow moving water with heavy vegetation.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes.
Family: Alestidae
Genus: Alestopetersius
Species: A. caudalis
(Boulenger, 1899).

Common name: Yellow finned tetra

Synonyms: Alestopetersius hilgendorfi grandi, Alestopetersius leopoldianus brumpti, Alestopetersius xenurus xenurus, Hemigrammopetersius caudalis, Hemigrammopetersius xenurus, Hemmigrammopetersius brumpti, Micralestes grandi, Petersius brumpti, Petersius caudalis, Petersius xenurus, Phenacogrammus caudalis, Phenacogrammus leopoldianus brumpti, Phenacogrammus xenurus.