Long-Finned Characin (Brycinus longipinnis)

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Long-Finned Characin

Brycinus longipinnis

114 Litres (30 US G.)

10.2-12.7cm (4-5 ")




6.0 - 8.0

21.7-25.6°C (71 -78 °F)

6-13 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

3-5 years



Additional names

Longfin Tetra, Long-Finned Characin, Long-Finned Tetra, African Long-Finned Tetra

Additional scientific names

Alestes chaperi


An African species of Tetra found on the Atlantic border of the African continent from Gambia to Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Males are more vibrant in colour.

Tank compatibility[edit]

They are very peaceful schooling fish. They are, however, very aggressive eaters that may out compete more timid fish for food and have been known to starve out shy tank mates. B. longipinnis are great tank mates for more robust fish and can even handle being housed with smaller species of spawning Cichlids in an adequately sized aquarium. These Characins are quick and robust without being nippy and therefore are great dither fish in general. If interested in breeding African riverine Cichlids (such as Pelvicachromis) in a biotope tank, B. longipinnis are a particularly appropriate choice for dither fish.


They have a varied diet in the wild, including insects, crustaceans, plant matter, and some algae and other plant material. In the aquarium they appreciate any food offered, and it is not difficult to entice them to eat. Frozen and live foods intensify their iridescent green sheen. Like many fish they like frozen bloodworms, live and frozen brine shrimp and live daphnia.

Feeding regime[edit]

They will eat any time food is offered and will gorge themselves until their stomachs are distended, so care must be taken not to overfeed them. Once daily feedings are sufficient, or if feeding several times a day, offer smaller portions. They are mainly mid water feeders, but will eat at any level if that is where the food is. In some cases this fish will get to the food very quickly and eat it so voraciously that other fish may have trouble getting enough food.

Environment specifics[edit]

Keep in a spacious tank with some hiding places and plenty of open swimming space. This fish has been known to grow to 5 inches long, so it is unsuited to small tanks.


A schooling fish that primarily interact only with their own kind. Peaceful but not easily intimidated by other fish. Upper-middle to top level swimmers. They prefer to swim in open water without a lot of obstructions.


Silver with green/brown iridescent sheen. Short yellow-orange and black bands on the caudal peduncle. The top part of the eye is yellow-orange.


External links[edit]