Everything You Need to Know About Tetra Fish

Posted by Stacey Venzel
Tetra Fish

Tetras are the true rainbow fish of the freshwater species.

With colors ranging all over the spectrum and around 150 species, tetras exhibit a lot of variation. They range from chubby to slim, spotted to striped, multi-colored to neon.

These freshwater fish are quite the swimmers, and they prefer to do so in the middle of the tank. Tetras are social so be sure to have a school of them in your tank. Some species are more aggressive than others and will bite at long-finned fishmates.

If you are breeding tetra, keep a floating plant in the water for the female to lay her eggs on. Adults will also often eat the eggs, so relocate the nest to another tank if need be.

Males are usually smaller than females. Due to their overall small size, tetras are easy prey for carnivorous fish. Be wary of community fish tankmates!

What about fish tanks for tetras? Tank size is important! Tetras should be kept in a tank that is not less than 20 gallons. When you're preparing for the tank set up the most important pieces of equipment you will need for a tetra tank is a filter and an aquarium heater. Food variety includes frozen foods, freeze-dried foods, and prepared foods.

Shade and appropriate lighting lessen the stress on tetra fish, which in turn, makes them healthier. They like to hide in heavy vegetation, so planted aquarium plants are important in your tank. Water conditions are also important to monitor so consistent water changes are imperative.

Tetra aquarium fish are omnivores enjoying algae, brine shrimp, and small bloodworms.

Their average lifespan is five to eight years and do well in a community tank.

Hover over the image for more information. 

Tetra species (both common name and scientific name) include:

  • Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)
  • Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
  • Serpae Tetras (Hyphessobrycon eques)
  • Diamond Tetra (Moemkhausia pitteri)
  • Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus)

To check out some fishkeeping essentials from Amazon, go here.


Do you have tetras? Tell us in the comments below.

WATCH NOW: Betta Fish Are Super Colorful!

recommended for you

Everything You Need to Know About Tetra Fish