Are Tetra Fish Easy to Keep and Care for?

Tetra Fish Easy To Care And Keep

Tetra fishes are one of the best fish that anyone wants to have in the aquarium. But many people still have questions in their mind that ‘Is tetra fish easy to keep and care or not?’ Let’s find out in this article, shall we?

Having prior experience in this field, I can assure you that tetra fish is one of the most natural fish to keep and care for. These fish easily jells up with almost any other non-aggressive species of fish with no doubt. They will school efficiently in the aquarium due to their size and nature.

Tetras are one of the most common and popular tropical fish among fishes due to its size, inexpensive, strong colorations. There are numerous species of tetra fish like Neon Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, Rainbow Tetra, Glowlight Tetra, Rummynose Tetra, etc. These types of tetra fish have excellent colorations and are less sensitive to the water conditions than other fishes. Their maximum size is 2 or 3 inches long, and their lifespan is around ten years.

Easy Ways to Care and Keep Your Tetra Fish

If you have the gist of what kind of fish are the Tetras, let us know what makes them unique. Most people who have experience with tetra say that fish are very less demanding. Due to the nature of tetra fish, the water parameters, food, tank mates are easily achievable. Hence, making tetra fish one of the easy fish to keep and care for the owners.

In the following sections of the article, we can find out the ways tetras make it easy for the owners.

Setting up the Tank

Setting up the tank is the prior first stage that is needed to be done correctly to keep fish. Larger the tank size, better the fish will feel. You can easily see a larger aquarium as the tetra size is only a few inches. The ideal aquarium size is 10 gallons for five small tetras. There must be a space of six inches for each fish in your aquarium to avoid the term ‘congested.’ As most of the tetras are a bit aggressive, so you have to put them in at least a group of six or more than six.

As the aquarium, once set up, you can make significant changes in it. You have to place your aquarium tank away from the direct sunlight as the setup aquarium is challenging to move. After all these, you can get the necessary equipment like an aquarium filter, aquarium pump, an aquarium heater, biofilter, aquarium lights. Without the presence of essential equipment, there is no possibility of the existence of a proper aquarium environment.

Detail description for setting up a tetra fish tank might interest you.

Requirements for the Tank

Adding an aquarium heater helps you to maintain the right temperature for the aquarium. An air pump helps to boost the oxygen level in the aquarium. You also can add up the decoration and substrate items like lively plants, gravel, pirate ships, castles, and so on. The decoration items just add up the extra beauty to your aquarium and provide enough hiding spots for your tetra fish fry. But one thing you should avoid too many decorations as it reduces the swimming area for your fish. And it might add up stress to your fish, which is not so good. Try to avoid artificial plants and add up lively plants. Live plants tend to balance biochemical and maintain the required nutrients in the water.

With the growth of online shopping, there is an availability of a wide variety of aquarium equipment and decoration items for your aquarium. You can quickly get all the required equipment and decoration items.

Do tetra fish need lights?

As tetra is tropical fish, they require the lights to be on in their tanks for twelve to fourteen hours per day. It will maintain a proper circadian rhythm in the tank. So, it is better to add aquarium lights in your aquarium as it adds up extra beauty in the aquarium also.

Are aquarium filter and heater compulsion for tetra fish?

Yes, it is a close compulsion for you to add an aquarium filter in your aquarium for the tetra fish. Aquarium filters filter all the unnecessary toxic chemicals from the water and ensure proper aqua-cycle.

Tetra fishes like Neon tetras and cardinal tetras require a heater that keeps the aquarium at about 72–80 degrees Fahrenheit. Like every living being needs an appropriate temperature for survival, tetra fish also need an aquarium heater for sure.

You may like the descriptive article about tetras needing heater and filter. Also, check out our article on aquarium filter and filtration methods for tetra fish.

Do I need an air pump for my fish tank?

No, it’s an optional choice for you to add an air pump in your aquarium. Air pumps have two functions. First, the air pump produces bubbles through your tank. Secondly, it maintains an adequate concentration of oxygen in the tank. As long as your tank has sufficient water movement together with surface agitation, you don’t need an air pump. But saying that, if added to the air pump, is somehow beneficial, however.

Maintaining the Water Conditions

Like human beings need safe water, fish also need clean and well-maintained water for survival. As there will be the presence of different chemical toxins, excrete time to time water changing is required. You need to change at least 25% of total water within a week. Though tetra fish are less sensitive to water conditions, you have to be a bit aware of this, as risk is always there. So maintaining water parameters at the appropriate level is very vital as it ensures the good health of your fish.

Checking up the water condition by using different kits will be preferable. A water conditioner also can be used while maintaining the water. It is beneficial especially for dechlorinating chlorine and chloramine like chemicals.

However, according to some studies the best condition for your tetra fish are mentioned below;

  • Temperature = The best temperature of an aquarium for your tetra fish is 72 Fahrenheit to 78 Fahrenheit.
  • pH = Keeping the ph value between 5.5 and 7 will be the best for the tetra fish.
  • Water hardness = Water hardness of around 4kH to 8kH goes well with your tetra fish.
  • Nitrite and Ammonia = As, both Nitrite and ammonia are toxic to your fish. Keeping nitrite zero and ammonia zero will be the best zone for your tetra.
  • Nitrate = However, nitrite and ammonia should be zero, but nitrates around 40ppm is fine. And better if the reading goes under 40ppm.

One more thing you have to consider is that you should avoid overcrowding the tetra fish. Overcrowd simply leads to the deterioration of your water quality. And decline can impact on your fish health with no doubt.

Feeding the Tetra Fish

One of the main reasons tetra fish is easy to care for is their feeding habit.

It is recommended to feed your tetra fish with a varied diet of frozen processed and live foods. Providing a varied diet ensures the fulfillment of all the required nutrients which your fish needs for healthy survival. Tetras easily accept foods like fish flakes, Brine shrimp, Bloodworms, Beefheart, Krill, Plankton and Daphnia, etc. So there is no much trouble while feeding your tetra fish as it is omnivores in nature.

Freeze-dried foods

Tetra will eat a variety of freeze-dried foods, bloodworms, Beefheart, krill, plankton, brine shrimp, and daphnia. These foods will give your fish some variety, and if you are going to breed the tetra fish, a varied diet will deter them from eating their fry. You can provide these as live food over freeze-dried foods. However, Live foods are more nutritious; it has a risk of transferring disease in your aquarium tank.


It’s not something you think of usually, but you can also offer your tetra fish different kinds of vegetables if you run out of food. Tetra fish will easily accept things like; lettuce, peas, and cucumbers, which ensures to fulfill needed nutrients and variety for your fish. Offering flakes in the morning and then a live/ freeze-dried food/ vegetable in the evening will do best for your fish. It will surely ensure your tetra fish good health and potentially increase their lifespan time.

But one thing you have to be aware of is that you should not overfeed your tetra fish. Overfeeding can have severe impacts on your fish health. The uneaten foods also should be removed after two minutes of the feeding period.

What Happens When You Lack Care?

Even though tetras are relatively hardy fish, they can get sick if not cared for well. Sometimes even when you are following instructions correctly, your fish might get sick, unfortunately. Your fish might get some common type of diseases like Anchor Worms, Ich, fin, tail, and mouth rot, and so on. This kind of condition is commonly caused due to poor water quality, overcrowd. If not cared, your fish will properly, just not be sick and suffering; it might kill your fish too. Some of the common symptoms that your fish shows when you lack care are listed below;

  • Fish shows restlessness behavior.
  • Change in physical appearance is seen.
  • Bloating
  • Unusual swimming patterns
  • Discoloration and color dullness is mostly seen.

What to do if you notice the above symptoms?

No matter how big the problem is, there is always a solution for it in this world. If your fish shows any symptoms like above, you can easily follow the following tips;

  • Use commercially formulated treatments and follow the instruction properly.
  • Increase the water temperature for around ten days to boost the speed of the parasites’ life cycle.
  • Add two to three tablespoons of aquarium salt per 5 gallons of water for around ten days.
  • Perform a partial water change, add aquarium salt to the tank and treat the water with a bactericide like Myxazin or Melafix.


Keeping beautiful fish like tetra fish in your aquarium is a lovely thing in itself. In comparison, tetra fish tend to be secure in keeping to the rest of the species of fish. Even though tetra is easy to maintain, you need to show some care to them, while keeping them. And with the implementation of the right information and facts, it will be even easier for you to care for your tetra fish.

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