Big Scale Tetra (Brycinus macrolepidotus)

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Big Scale Tetra

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Big Scale Tetra

Brycinus macrolepidotus

568 Litres (150 US G.)

45-50 cm (17.7-19.7")




7.0 - 7.8

22 -28 °C (71.6-82.4°F)

10-20 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-8 years



Additional names

Big Scale Tetra, True Big-Scale Tetra

Additional scientific names

Alestes macrolepiditus, Alestes macrolepidotus, Alestes rutilus


Africa: Inter-tropical but absent in the Gambia basin. Senegal, Niger, Chad, Volta and basins from Guinea Bissau to Cameroon; Sudan border, upper Nile, Albert Nile and Murchison Nile, Lake Albert, Victoria, Omo and Lake Turkana, Congo basin.


Difficult to sex, colours on males may be more vibrant than females.

Tank compatibility[edit]

An exceptionally large member of the African Tetra family and should not be kept with smaller species of fish as they will get eaten.


Will take most foods including pellets and flake, as well as blanched vegetables and live/frozen food such as shrimp and bloodworm.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Must have an exceptionally large and long tank to thrive due to its large size and activity levels.


A large fish that does appreciate company of its own kind.


An elongated and slender fish with, as the common name suggests, large scales down the body. The upper jaw is longer than the lower when the fish is mature. The body is iridescent silver with green hues. They occasionally have black spots at the base of the caudal fin and just behind the gills, and sometimes in mature fish there is an orange lateral stripe down the body from the opercle to the base of the caudal fin.


External links[edit]