Tetra Fish Care | Everything You Need To Know About Tetra Fish

Tetra Fish is one of the most common freshwater fish in fish keeping hobby. And the reason for this is because of its availability, its color, schooling behavior and many more. Tetras are easy to keep and maintain and are quite good with the homely environment and can surpass the level of decorum attained the house by other fish.

I have done quite much more research than I had imagined I would. With the time invested in fish keeping which is my favorite hobby of most. Here are my findings of the common tetras available and the way to maintain their life, food and fish tank universal activities to be certain. Also, this article follows the proficient techniques around the world of fish keeping and most especially about (You have already guessed it); Yes, you are right its Tetra fish. I hope the article comes out to be helpful in all times of fish keeping and becomes much more like a guide to keeping tetras.



Origin of Tetra Fish

Tetra Fish is a small and colorful fish native to freshwater rivers, clear and blackwater streams of Central America, South America, and Africa. To date, there are more than 150 species of tetra native to these freshwater streams and rivers. Tetra is found in the water where only a little amount of light penetrates through the water feeding insects, worms and small crustaceans. They live in a large school, the move from one place to another in a group.

Common Tetras in The Market

Black Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra

Cardinal Tetra

Lemon Tetra

Green Neon Tetra

Head And Tail Light Tetra

Glowlight Tetra

Ember Tetra

Disk Tetra

Diamond Tetra

Bucktooth Tetra

Blind Cave Tetra

Bleeding Heart Tetra

Black Skirt Tetra

Black Phantom Tetra

Tetra Fish Description


Tetras are quite small in size and are very much unique in shape and size. Most of them are slender and oval in shape and the body length or to be true about the ergonomics; ranges from 4.5 to 9 cm.


Very much the reason behind the fish keeping is the viewer’s idea. Anyone invited at your home tends to fix his/her eyes on the decency of your home and its attributes such as your curtains, carpets, the shoe rack, sofas, television and all. But, fish tank and the fish in them are the main perspectives in giving a rating to the beauty of the house. Tetras are very quiet and calm by nature. They roam around the small universe of their water world inside a tank.


The cost of smaller things tends to get unfathomable at times. Diamonds!. Well, no issues here as tetras being small in size the pricing on them is reasonable and not too hard to comprehend. Prices of the tetras range from 3$ -to-5$ per piece. And yes with the number increasing, you might get lucky with discounts. Happy fish keeping my friends!

Tetra Fish Care

Tetras are one of the most beautiful designs of nature and are the best at their behavior. Let us discover the idea and techniques behind fish keeping generally focusing on tetras.

Tank size

Fish have their way of dancing around their water world. The best way is by giving them their space of 10-15 gallons aquarium where they can live happily ever after. In my experience with fish keeping, I have changed the pattern a lot to maintain the environment, but it’s all up to the owner how he/she wishes to pet their fish.

A larger tank is better balanced regarding water parameter fluctuation, and tank size does matter. Have you ever imagined you living in a container? Same goes with your fish, let them feel home in your tank. As they are fast swimmers, I would recommend getting at least a 30-Gallon tank adding live plants, trying to replicate Tetra Fish’s natural habitat.

Water quality

The next most important factor is water quality. We all love the best things around us and the best people too. If you are welcoming tetras in your homely environment which I assume is best already since you thought of fish keeping. And, so does our new friend and family tetra needs to live and rejoice too. So, fresh and calm water to be managed on a daily basis is loads of work. Hence, for this purpose of keeping fish healthy and shining in your tank; there is a filter available in the market, and they help a lot. You can bet on it!

Water Temperature

Most tetra fish are hardy fish; thus, they can adapt to quite a wide range of water temperatures. As fish is a cold-blooded animal, their body temperature depends on the temperature of the water. So, if the water temperature is quite low, it will lead to several diseases like fin rot, a fungus disease, white spot disease and many more. The temperature is the real deal inside the tank of most other requirements. Tetras are tropical and need around 72-82° F of temperature. There is heater available in the market which is quite smart by the build and tends to maintain the required and fixed temperature we apply for the fish to live in. Come on; you don’t want to let that poor fella shiver in the cold or heat him now. Do you?

Buy quality brand heater because they are safer, don’t explode and reduce your electricity use. Here are the heater and Thermometer I use.

Water pH Level and Hardness

Moderately found in Africa. Hence, by far the best we can do to protect our tetras is by giving their suitable habitual water taste. In your tank, you might need to change the water once a week to maintain the pH of the water as it changed with time and got a little too angsty for fish to handle.
The required pH for tetra is 7.5-9. You can add aquarium salt and fit their environmental salinity by adding ¼ cup of marine salt per gallon of water. Hurray! Our tetras will be happier this way.

Water Filtration

If you ask any professional and experienced aquarists, they will always recommend a filter that has a higher capacity than what you need for the tank. For me, a canister filter or a sump system works the best. Filtration is not much of a heavy task for fish keepers. Remember, just like you need the freshness in the air, water, and food. They need it too, after all, they are our lovely tetras.

An aquarium filter not only helps in filtering your aquarium water but also helps in colonizing beneficial bacteria in its chambers. These beneficial bacteria help in killing the toxins in your aquarium. This is a part of the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle.

Water Maintenance

I cannot live inside a tank, and I know it’s the same with you, my dear friend. So, for them to live inside a tank, they need proper care and attention.

For your tetras to be alive, fresh and refurbished every day, you need to change the water once a week. Maintain the pH, assure their living and dancing temperature, maintain the hardness and the content of water such as nitrate and ammonia in it. Fish and their lives are both short and are quite much of the beauty of our home. If you wish to be happy you do the things you want to do in an environment you are comfortable and compatible with. So, does our tetra need for their compatibility? Take care of them for mother nature shall not forgive you for not keeping them happy. I dare you!

Get a decent-sized filter so that your maintenance time and cost decreases. However, you need to change at least ¼ of the tank water and replace it with fresh water. Always keep in mind that, you should never change the whole water at once.

For checking your water parameter, you will need some test kits. These test kits are your helping hand in maintaining your aquarium water chemistry. These kits will help you to know the situation of water in your tanks like water hardness, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate content in your aquarium which might get toxic as it increases.

For those who are looking for these test kits. I recommend you to get API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST. I have been using this kit for more than a year now, it’s cheap and has all the kits I need to examine my aquarium water.

Tetra Fish Diet

Tetras are an omnivore in nature, so they eat small grasses and worms. Since you want to change in your style of food, you eat in days and nights we need to do the same for our tetras too.
Feeding them the same diet will bore them out, and they will not dance as you know beauty has a price too. So feed them anything prescribed by the fish retailers in the market and it is quite easy to find on the web too. Algae Wafer vegetables and blood worms are common for tetras. Just like you munch on canned foods, they do too. There is canned food available for tetras at shops. Buy it and feed the tetras, my dear friend. But, don’t feed them enough as you know they are living beings can be attacked by gastritis too!

Tetra Fish Tank Mates

Peaceful by nature, tetra fish don’t need heavy machinery around them to sustain a happy environment. However, you need to make sure that tetras thrive in a group as they are schooling fish. So, the first tankmate for your tetra fish is of its kind. A group of at least six tetra fish is recommended so that you can see their schooling behavior. After that, you can add fish that are compatible with the type of tetra you have. For small and friendly tetra here are my top picks: glowlight tetra, neon tetra, cardinal tetra, an apple snail, guppies, Corydoras catfish, shrimps, molly, pleco, cherry shrimp, red cherry shrimps, swordtail.

Lighting the Tetra Tank

You need light, and our little tetras need it too. But they are quite solemn by nature and do not demand extra lighting except for ambient lighting. So, if you plan on shedding drops of light to their life, you are free to do so.

Fluorescent Light Vs. LED Lights

A fluorescent light will not only make your tank look good, but it will also save you money. If you are planning to keep live plants buy a special fluorescent bulb that is designed to promote plant growth. But I will recommend you to buy LED lights because the fluorescent light needs to be changed in every six months as they fade away and their spectrum shifts as they age. So get a LED light, they last longer than any lights and consumes far less power than any other lights.

How Many Lightings do Tetra Fish require?

Lightening helps to mimic your tetra’s natural environment in your aquarium; it helps to regulate your tetras eating and sleeping pattern. Plants require light for photosynthesis. For a tank that houses only, tetra only needs the amount of light to see your tetra fish. However, if you are planning to keep them in a planted that, you need to lighten up the tank as the plan requires. A planted tank needs one to five watts per gallon of water for 8-10 hours. There is varieties timer available in the market which can help you set up a timer for the lighting and accustom them in day and night time of lighting.

Breeding Tetra Fish

If you are planning to breed 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 needs are. Males are usually smaller than females. Due to their overall small size, tetras are easy prey for predatory fish. Beware of community fish tank mates!

Setting up Tetra Breeding Tank

Been breeding Tetras for years now. Here are my techniques for breeding tetras.

Get a Decent Sized Tank

Twenty gallons of the tank will do the job in my opinion.

Decorate Your Breeding Tank

Here to decorate the tank, I mean to add plants and driftwoods and rocks. This allows frying a hiding place from their parents and other prey.

Stock Your Tank

The final stage is to add your breeding pair to the tank and let them do their work. You need to introduce three females to one male.

How do you know if your Tetra Fish is Pregnant?

After the setup is done for tetras, we go days and weeks and let them have their fun around the vicinal tank. And, after several days you will notice some changes in female tetras and they will start laying eggs that will convert into beautiful little tetra fry to add up their family. How great is mother nature?

Caring Tetra Fry

Tetra’s parents are not good with schooling and guardianship. Hence, you are their hero in this scenario. Yolks and brine shrimps are their favorite foods. You can even feed than food pallets and food flakes crushing them into a fine powder. Nuzzle them cute ones with homely love, care and attention my dear readers and future fish keepers and hobbyists.

Hopefully, this helps out for your fish keeping days from today on. Here, I ask for leave and promise to come back with another episode of my experiences with tetras and other cute small fishes.

Happy fish keeping!

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