African Broad Band Darter Tetra Neolebias Unifasciatus
African Broad Band Darter Tetra Neolebias Unifasciatus

African Broad Band Darter Tetra

Neolebias unifasciatus
SynonymsNannocharax shariensis, Nannaethiops angustolinea
DistributionBenin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone & Togo.
Sexual DimorphismMature females are larger and fuller bodied. Males in breeding condition display areas of red colouration.
Maximum Size5.5cm (2.2”)
Water ParametersSoft & slightly acidic is best. pH: 6.0-7.0, dH: up to 12 degrees.
Temperature24-28 deg C (75-82 deg F)
CompatibilitySoftwater community
LightingNo special requirements

The African Broad Band Darter Tetra, given its wide natural distribution area, is perhaps somewhat surprising that the pretty little characin Neolebias unifasciatus is not imported on a much more frequent basis. These fish are best maintained in groups of 6 or more, and although not tightly shoaling, they are of a peaceful disposition and appreciate the company of their own kind. Unusually for a characin, they occupy the lower-middle reaches of the aquarium and can be kept alongside peaceful bottom-dwellers and many placid top-dwelling fish without problems. Fancy long-finned species are best avoided though. The aquarium itself should be at least 3ft long and incorporate areas of dense planting and shady tangles of bogwood. From time to time, the males may become a little territorial with one another, but plenty of visual barriers within the aquarium will help to keep this at a minimum. This species will not tolerate elevated levels of nitrate, so be sure to carry out regular partial water changes.


Flake, micropellets, small frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, baby brineshrimp, cyclops etc.


An egg scatterer that requires soft, acidic water in which to spawn (pH: <6.0, dH: <5 degrees). Some good sized clumps of Java moss or spawning mops should be used to collect the eggs. Remove parents after spawning has ceased in order to prevent predation.

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