The Redfin Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus taeniurus)

Posted by Aquatropic Staff on September 15, 2022

The Redfin Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus taeniurus) thumbnail image

Name and morphology 
The Redfin Flagtail Prochilodus (Semaprochilodus taeniurus) is a member of the family Prochilodontidae. They are a beautiful fish that reaches a little under a foot in length, and has a silvery body with orange and black striped caudal (tail) and anal fins, red pelvic fins, and a black and white spotted dorsal fin.

Distribution and Habitat The Redfin Flagtail is widespread throughout the Central and Western areas of the Amazon basin. They migrate into faster moving waters to spawn, but normally inhabit blackwater or flooded forest habitats.

Aquarium Requirements An aquarium of 120 gallons or larger makes a great home for the Redfin Flagtail. Sand is the best substrate, & driftwood will help recreate their natural blackwater/flooded forest habitat. Tannins could be added to the water through the use of blackwater concentrates or botanicals, but is not necessary. They are generally peaceful, and have a small mouth so can be housed with almost any other fish that won’t fit in their mouth. They are usually antagonistic towards other fish in similar appearance to them – so avoid housing them with other Prochilodus looking fish.

Feeding The Redfin Flagtail is an omnivore, but its diet in captivity should be focused on algae and greens. A good flake or pellet that is intended for algae eating fish is a good start, and added some blanched leafy greens such as romaine, spinach, kale, chard or similar greens will probably be appreciated! In the wild they are grazing on algae growing on surfaces – and they will do the same in the home aquarium. They are consuming small invertebrates while doing this, so added some small frozen foods such as spirulina enriched brine shrimp, blood worms, or blackworms would round out their diet nicely.

Breeding The Redfin Flagtail has not been bred in the home aquarium. They migrate to fast moving waters to release their eggs into the current for dispersal – recreating this in captivity would be very difficult, and as they are aggressive towards conspecifics it’s unlikely that they would tolerate living with potential mates for very long.

Conclusion An Iconic fish, the Redfin Flagtail Prochilodus is a great choice for a larger oddball or South American community tank. Call and ask your local fish store to order a sustainably sourced Redfin Flagtail Prochilodus from Aquatropic today!