Alestopetersius brichardi the “Cherry Red Congo Tetra”

Hello again all!
If you are located in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving!
As of recently there has been a real lack of new and rare fish/plants coming into the hobby at this time, as it is now Winter, and transporting fish and plants are made more difficult with the chilly weather, thus the lack of posts, sorry about that!

So today I am going to change it up and make a fish post on an African Tetra that is in the top 3 of my favorite African fish. The African Characin that I am speaking of is called Alestopetersius brichardi, commonly known as the “Cherry Red Congo Tetra.” It is rare in that sources for this fish are quite hard to find, the collection site for these fish isn’t the most “safe” of places to go to, and as far as I know breeding successes for this fish are limited if at all.


These fish come from the country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically such places as Yangambi and lake Yandja (at least these places are where the type localities are).

I believe that this fish has it all when it comes to the perfect combination of coloration and finnage. They as their name implies, they are Red/deep Orange hues in color, which in itself, is brilliant, but that’s not all as over their whole body there is a blue and purple metallic sheen!


As for the finnage, there is a long extension/spike in the middle of the caudal fin that comes out about ¾ of an inch to an inch, along with that dark stripe that goes from the eye down the whole length of the body, actually goes through this caudal spike. The Dorsal fin has about 3-4 filaments that come right off those top fin rays.

These Tetras have sexual dimorphism, in other words, the physical appearance differs between the males and females. The females are much more drab in finnage and coloration, basically they are the polar opposite of the brilliant males. They still hold the blue sheen, a smaller caudal spike, and slight orange coloration.

The female is to the right, male is on the bottom left.

Also as with many African Tetras, they are somewhat on the larger size compared to most of the characoid family. They grow to a little over 3-4 inches in length. They aren’t very temperamental, and easy to keep. They prefer softer acidic water, especially if you are planning to breed them, although they are quite lenient in water parameters in terms of just maintaining them.

I wanted to post 2 pictures here that was one of the 1st if not the 1st picture of this fish, collected straight out of the wild. The credit for this photograph is highly-contested, and I dare not name names, but I have heard who the true credit goes to, but I would rather not say here. The colors you see on these fish below are REAL, not fake, these fish in the bag are straight out of the wild. I had a conversation with a friend awhile back where we talked about how in the wild these fish show such a strong red hue, but once tanked they eventually lose it and come to the color of the specimens in the 1st few pictures.


Ultimately he came to the conclusion that the brilliant red hue is mainly diet-dependant, along with the effect of natural sunlight on the fish. Nonetheless even without this crazy red hue, when tanked these fish still exhibit amazing coloration! The proof is in the 1st few pictures, which were taken from when I had an opportunity to keep these amazing fish.

This is just a crazy colorful African Tetra! Hopefully if you want to try these fish out now, that you get that chance soon!
Have a good one people!
If you like what you are seeing please feel free to leave a comment!
Have a good one guys!