Red Tail Barracuda

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Acestrorhynchus falcatus - (Bloch, 1794)
Red Tail Barracuda

A toothy predator every bit as menacing as it looks.


A voracious piscivore, this is the sort of fish sometimes bought small in the mistaken belief that it won't grow and eat most, if not all, other fish in the tank.

Although hardly an ideal community fish for most home aquariums, this and other so-called freshwater barracudas have a devoted following among lovers of large, predatory species. When kept in a spacious tank that allows them to exercise their blindingly fast attacks on live feeder fish, they are fascinating, eye-opening display animals.

See the similar Freshwater Barracuda.

Other common name(s):

  • Freshwater Barracuda
  • Dog Characin
  • Spotted Cachorro
  • Amazon Cachorro

Native range:

Habitat: Found in streams and rivers with constant water flow and requires open swimming space in captivity.

Maximum length: 27.2 cm (11 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 285 L (75 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Top to midwater.


Carnivore. Will greedily eat small fishes, such as guppies and baitfish (shiners). To avoid disease problems, keep feeder fish in a quarantine tank and cull out any unhealthy specimens. A steady diet of "feeder" goldfishes is not recommended. May or may not be weaned onto fish and crustacean flesh.

Aquarium Compatibility

A tough fish to match with others. It will attack and eat anything it considers prey, including most fish less than 2/3rds its own length.

Best kept in groups of three or more of the same species.

Special Care

Need a tank at least 5 ft. (1.5 m) in length. Will smash into the glass walls of small aquaria, causing injury.


Spawning has occurred in captivity, but without success in raising the fry. Spawning activities coincide with the beginning of the rainy season in the wild.

Image credit: JJ
Text credit: JL