Aquarium Filters Best Suited For Tetra Fish Fry

Sponge Filter best for filters for tetra fish fry

Raising Tetra fish fry can be pretty tricky at times. They are very small in size, so providing the right-sized food, right aquarium tank size, right parameters, and right Aquarium filtration system for the tetra fish fry is very crucial. You can feed the fry the same fish food that you feed your tetra fish by finely crushing them.

However, for the filtration system choosing one is pretty tricky. The filtration system used in your average tank for the bigger Tetra fish can be overpowering for the small fish. The small fish fry can get sucked in by the powerful filter, and the strong current created by the filters will stress out the small fry and might also kill the fish fry.

There are a few things you need to take care of before you set an Aquarium Filtration System for the tetra fish fry.

  • The strength of the current should be very low, so it will not stress out the fish.
  • The perforation on the filter media also should be small so that the tetra fish fry cannot be sucked into the filter.

And in this article, we will be learning what types of filters are best suited for tetra fish fry. These filters will not only benefit the Tetra fish fry but will also promote the quick growth of the fish as a result of cleaner water.

Heres everything you will need to know for choosing the right filtration system for your Tetra Fish fry.

If you are a beginner then the article “Tetra Fry Care” will help you a lot.

What is an Aquarium Filter?

Aquarium filter is one of the most important requirements for any fish to live a healthy life in your aquarium. It removes all the toxins present in the water of your aquarium. Fish produce a ton lot of toxins as waste material:- both biological and chemical waste. These toxins need to get removed from the water column of your aquarium as it might and will lead to fatal conditions to your fish or other stockings.

Toxins like ammonia, nitrates, and nitrates are only some of the deadly major waste by-products produced by the fish. Accumulation of uneaten food also builds up the toxic waste, which should be mechanical or chemically or biologically removed.

You should be careful while setting up a filter in your aquarium. You should set the filter of the correct ability to filter the amount of water present in your tank. The requirement of filtration depends on the size of the fish and their biological waste. Small fish like tetra fry require very slow running filters.

Adding different types of aquarium plants also helps you remove all these toxins from your aquarium in a natural way. You should always use the right combination of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration should be added for your tank. With a little help of natural filter that is the aquatic plants, your tank will be pretty balanced at all times.

You can also try to incorporate hydroponics to filter your tank or to utilize the waste produced by your fish. You can use Pothos Plants for this purpose. This can be a pretty fun project.

Want to know more aquarium filter? Check the article “Types of Aquarium Filter and Filtration Methods“.

Why Do We Require Filtration in Tank Having Tetra Fish Fry?

We, humans, require clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and good food to eat for a healthy life. If the water that we drink or the air that we breathe in contaminated with any pollutants or toxins, it will lead to a life-threatening condition. Our environment plays a massive role in our survival. Similarly, if the water is not clean in your aquarium, it will lead to a life-threatening condition in the fish.

The metabolism of a Tetra fish fry is relatively faster than an adult Tetra fish. And as a result, the Tetra fish fry produces a lot more of biological waste as pollutes the water more than an adult Tetra fish. And if you do not remove these wastes, these may be fatal for the fish within some days.

The buildup of the toxins in the water column disrupts water parameters. They may cause mild changes in pH and GH but may also result in large ammonia spikes, which causes mild stress to fish and, in the worse cases, may cause severe diseases like ammonia burn or even death. These toxins stress out the fish and don’t let the fish thrive in the tank.

Overall, these toxins only harm the fish in your tank and are best removed from the tank as soon as possible. You can remove these toxins either by adding an adequate filter or even by some partial water changes manually.

Types of Filters That are Best Suited for Your Tetra Fish Fry

When you are looking for a filtration system for tetra fish fry, any strong power filters should be strictly avoided. They produce too strong current for the tetra fish fry to swim in. These types of filters suck in the tiny fish fry. So you will have a harder time trying to save all your tetra fish fry.

Any type of air-driven filter should serve its purpose right for filtration of water containing small fish fry—filters like sponge filter, gravel filters, Matten filters, etc.

Sponge Filters

Sponge FIlter

Sponge filters have a flat base, which is usually weighted, which helps it sink in the bottom of the tank. It has a tube coming from the base with numerous pores for the water to flow. A sponge covers the tube entirely. The sponge also acts as filtration media.

It has an effortless working mechanism. The air from the pump produces a suction force inside the filter. The suction force causes the water to flow through the sponge, and thus filtration occurs.

Sponge filters have decent mechanical filtration, but it excels in biological filtration as the sponge in the sponge filter is home to thousands of beneficial bacterias.

Some of the best sponges that I’ve used and had success over the years are

  • Aquaneat Aquarium Bio Sponge filter,
  • Hikari Bacto-surge Foam filter, and
  • Hugger Aquarium Double sponge filter.

Any of these Sponge filter brands you choose to go with will provide enough filtration for your tetra fish fry.

Corner Filters

Corner Filter

Corner filters also keep the water pretty clean but are not as efficient as the sponge filters. You can place the corner filters in the corners of the tank, which allows it not to occupy much space in your tank.

The Corner Filters work with the same principle as the sponge filters.

The Corner Filters have lesser surface are for the beneficial bacterias to grow in. These filters are a lot harder to maintain compared to The Sponge filters.

Corner filters are of two types. One is having an airstone within. It makes your corner filter a lot quieter while maintaining a good filtration. The other one has no airstone within. The filtration is the same. However, this type of corner filter tends to make a lot of noise.

I would prefer and recommend the Corner filter with the airstone. It is a lot more quieter and provides the same level of filtration.

Some of the best brands producing the Undergravel filters are Penn Plax under gravel filter, Lees Premium UG Filter, etc.

Undergravel Filters

Undergravel filters would be my last choice. YOu can find Undergravel filters in various shapes. Most of them are square. Usually, it measures about 12 inches by 12 inches (length * breadth).

It uses the gravel from the tank as the mechanical media and also provides a surface for beneficial bacteria to accumulate in.

They do provide decent filtration but is very hard to clean and are not good overall in the long term.

Powerhead Filters

These filters are usually not safe for the fish fry. These types of filters produce a lot of flow in the tank. This causes the fish fry to stress out. The current can be too much for the fry to bear. Your fish fry can get sucked by the powerhead filters.

Powerhead filters might not be the best choice for tetra fish fry. I would only suggest these filters if you’re left with no other options for filtration.

Some of the best powerhead filters for tetra fish fry are the ones that you make on your own. By doing some small modification, some powerhead filters can be made Tetra fish fry safe.

Which Filtration System is the Best for Tetra Fish Fry?

You will have the best results for your fish fry by using the air-driven filters. It comes in all shapes and sizes, so there’s one for everyone. You can discreetly place one in your tank without making it too obvious. If you can place it carefully in your tank, it will add up to the beauty and simplicity of the tank.

The rate failure of these sponge filters is almost zero to none. You can never go wrong with a sponge filter. And it is pretty easy to clean too. It is cheap to buy, simple to maintain, and requires almost no effort to keep it running in your tank. You can use these filters to quickly cycle a new tank in cases of emergency.

The air-driven filters are some of the most economical choices, even for adult tetra fish. Air-driven filters like sponge filters have been the filter of choice for many fish breeders throughout the world.

Recommendations of Filtration System for your Tetra Fish Fry

I would recommend you to go with any type of sponge filters, as they provide good filtration with a gentle flow. And at the same time, the sponge acts as a surface for the beneficial bacteria to grow. I would prefer a Matten filter over other sponge filters. Sponge filters come in various types. Some sponge filter even incorporates gentle powerheads to insure excellent filtration.

Matten filter is some of the most underrated filters. Matten filters, which are also known as Hamburg Matten filter (HMF) is a special type of sponge filter with a minimalistic feature. The Matten Filter also helps you hide all the aquarium equipment like heater behind it and maintain a clean look in your tank. It has a large surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow on, so the filtration of water is pretty good. The water flow is also not that strong, which enables the fish fry to swim freely without any external force stressing them out like in the case when you use a powerhead filter.

However, if you don’t have Matten filters, you can also use sponge filters. Sponge filters are a great alternative to the Matten filters. Sponge filters also provide similar filtration rates, and the only downside with this filter is that it has a relatively smaller surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow compared to the Hamburg Matten filter.

Matten Filters are easily available in your local fish stores. However, if they are not available, you can easily make it on your own. It can be a pretty decent DIY project for your aquarium tank. All you need is a piece of sponge media that fits your aquarium tank and your trusty handy pair of scissors.


You should take care of filtration beforehand if you are expecting a new batch of fish fry. In cases like tetra fish fry where the fries are very small in size, the type of filter should be picked with precaution. You should not use a filtration system that produces large flow as it will stress the fish fries and also may cause fatalities. And also, an underpowered filter should not be used as they are not capable of cleaning and cycling the tank properly.

Tetra fish fries have a relatively quicker metabolism rate than the adult Tetra fish, so they produce relatively faster than the adult fish, so they require a proper filtration system in their tanks.

Among various filters that are available in the market in the current day, above mentioned are some of the filters that suit and fulfill the filtration need of a tank containing tetra fish fry. You can also use other filters for similar purposes, but the rate of success may vary from filter to filter. In my opinion, these filters have served me the best while growing out any tetra fish fry. You can also try and test different varieties of aquarium filters and find out which works best for you.


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