Red fin hap Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 3, 2022

Red Fin Haps are a beautiful and easy to care for freshwater fish that we recommend all the time.

This species adds an interesting and distinct look to any aquarium, and will quickly become the star of the show (even though they don’t want the attention).

But there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to this fish. We’ve read so many conflicting suggestions on care and tank mates over the years!

So we made this guide to set the record straight. In it, you’ll learn the correct Red Fin Hap care guidelines (and tips on how to breed them).

Species overview

The redfin hap (scientific name: Coptodon rendalli) is a freshwater fish that’s native to Lake Malawi in Africa.

They are found in the southern and eastern portions of the lake (which is the second deepest lake in Africa).

The redfin hap prefers to stay in waters that are between 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit and has a diet that’s mostly made up of algae.

This fish is a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts because of its beautiful coloration. The body is a light blue with dark blue spots, and the fins are a bright red.


Red fin hap

The Red Fin Hap is a beautiful freshwater fish that is easily recognizable due to its bright red fins. The body of this fish is long and slender with a tapered tail. The color of the body is typically a light gray or silver with a hint of green. Depending on the light, the body may appear to be more on the gold side. The fins are where this fish really shines, as they are a deep red. The dorsal fin is tall and pointed, while the tail fin is forked. The pectoral and ventral fins are also red, but are much shorter than the others. The Red Fin Hap is a peaceful fish that does well in community tanks. They are not aggressive towards other fish and will not bother plants.


The average lifespan of a red fin hap is around 6 to 8 years. However, there are a number of factors that can impact their life expectancy.

For example, if they’re kept in subpar conditions then their lifespan will be shortened. This is true of any fish, of course.

Another factor to consider is whether or not the red fin hap has been bred in captivity. If so, then their lifespan will be on the shorter end of the spectrum.


The redfin hap reaches a maximum length of around 4 inches.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for a single red fin hap is 50 gallons. This is a lot of fish for a small tank and you will need to be prepared to do a lot of water changes to keep the water quality high.

If you’re looking for a fish that can be kept in a smaller tank, we recommend looking at another species.

Water Parameters

The Red Fin Hap is a tropical fish that requires warm water with a moderate flow. The water should be well-oxygenated and the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.

The water hardness can be between 5 and 15 dGH, and the alkalinity should be between 2 and 12 dKH.

What To Put In Their Tank

The Red Fin Hap is a peaceful fish that does best in a community tank. They are not too picky when it comes to water conditions and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures.

When it comes to setting up their tank, you have a lot of options. These fish are not too picky when it comes to plants, but we recommend including some floating aquarium plants. This will provide them with some shade and a place to hide if they need it.

You can also add some rocks and driftwood to their habitat. Just make sure that any rocks you add are smooth and don’t have any sharp edges.

The Red Fin Hap is a bottom-dwelling fish, so the substrate you use is important. We recommend a soft, sandy substrate for their tank. This will be easier on their fins and body as they swim around.

Common Diseases

The Red Fin Hap is a pretty hardy fish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. Just like any other freshwater fish, they can contract various diseases and illnesses if they’re not kept in optimal conditions.

One of the most common diseases that these fish get is ich. This is a pretty widespread illness that can affect any freshwater fish, and the Red Fin Hap is no exception.

The most obvious symptom of ich is the presence of white spots on the body, fins, and gills of your fish. If you notice this, it’s important to take action immediately and treat the problem.

If left untreated, ich can be fatal. However, it’s usually fairly easy to treat if you catch it early enough.

Another disease that these fish are prone to is hole-in-the-head disease. This is another pretty common illness that’s caused by poor water quality.

It will present itself as one or two pits/holes in the skin of your fish’s head. While it’s not usually fatal, it can be pretty unsightly.

As always, the best way to prevent your fish from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable tank. This will keep the water quality high and decrease the chance of your fish getting sick.

Behavior & Temperament

The red-finned hap is a peaceful and social fish that does best when kept in groups. These fish are known for being relatively active, and they love to swim around in the middle and top levels of the water column. They’re not bottom-dwellers like some other fish, so you’ll often see them cruising around their tank.

They’re also known to be quite playful, and they love to interact with their tank mates. So, if you’re looking for a fish that’s both active and social, the red-finned hap is a great choice!

Although they are peaceful fish, red-finned haps can be a bit nippy. They may nip at the fins of other fish, so it’s best to keep them with fish that have similar body shapes and swimming habits.

Tank Mates

With their peaceful nature and lack of aggression, there are plenty of tank mates that work well with red fin haps.

These fish come from Africa and prefer to stick to the middle and lower levels of the tank. As a result, you can easily add tank mates that stay near the top or bottom of the water column.

Other docile fish species are best for creating a community tank. Some good red fin hap tank mates include:

  • Platy Fish
  • Guppies
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Endler’s Live Bearers
  • Pygmy Cories
  • Swordtails
  • Snails


Breeding red fin haps is a bit more difficult than some other freshwater fish, but it can be done with some care and attention.

The first step is to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 20 gallons in size with a sandy bottom. The water should be fairly shallow (around 6 inches) and well-filtered.

You’ll also need to add some plants to the tank. Red fin haps like to lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. Java fern and Anubias are good choices.

When the tank is set up, add a pair of red fin haps. It’s best to add one male and one female, but you can add more if you want.

The next step is to trigger spawning. The easiest way to do that is to lower the water level a bit and raise the temperature to around 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

You may also need to add a bit of salt to the water. Red fin haps are used to living in brackish water, so a little salt will help to trigger spawning.

Once the water conditions are to their liking, the red fin haps will start to spawn. The female will lay her eggs on the leaves of the plants. The male will then fertilize them.

Once the eggs are laid, it’s best to remove the adults. They have a tendency to eat the eggs.

The eggs will hatch in around 24 hours. Once they hatch, you can start feeding the fry baby brine shrimp.


The Red Fin Hap is a great fish for beginners and experienced fish keepers alike. They’re relatively easy to care for and are very peaceful, making them a great addition to any community tank.

They’re also very hardy, so they can withstand some beginner mistakes. Overall, we think they’re a great fish for anyone looking to add something a little different to their tank.