Crenuchus spilurus, the Sailfin Tetra, are a species of tetra from the Rio Negro and other Amazon watershed rivers. Reaching a size of 3-3.5 inches, they are larger than your typical home aquarium tetra and should be kept in tanks 20 gallons and larger, with higher numbers of fish needing more space. They can be kept with other species of tetra if there is plenty of room, and with angelfish and discus if there is plenty of room and hiding spaces. Sailfin tetras spawn in caves and will benefit greatly from a complex bottom habitat of leaf litter, broken nutshells, rocks and driftwood. They adapt readily to flake food but also feed on bloodworms, blackworms, insect larvae, and micro-worms. These fish have been known to spawn in aquariums and take on interesting territorial behaviors surrounding their spawning cave. They have a distinctive downturned “frowny” looking mouth, large scales and a minnow shaped body and a spot on their fin. The dorsal fin is a beautiful sail shape and becomes more colorful and fancy looking in breeding males.
Ask your local independent pet store if they carry beneficial wild-caught Rio Negro Fish; they are hard to get because of seasonality and other challenges. The purchase of these fish from sustainable wild-caught sources helps drive environmental conservation and stewardship in the Rio Negro area of Brazil providing livelihoods and protecting the rainforest from destruction – “Buy a Fish, Save a Tree”.
Do you know there are hundreds of species of aquarium fish wild-caught collected in the Rio Negro Fishery of Brazil? We are spotlighting a few of the species this season to raise awareness about the variety of species from the Rio Negro as part of our mission to study and foster this beneficial fishery.