What Is The Best Temperature For Tetras?

temperature for tetras

Tetras are one the most beautiful families of fish you can add to your tank. These tropical fish come from the Amazon Basin of South America mostly. Hence, they prefer warm water in the aquarium too. So, this raises various questions for the fish keeper like you and me. What is the best temperature for tetras? How can you maintain the ideal temperature for your tetras in the tank?

Well, tetras are tropical fish and thrive in a temperature that ranges between 75° and 80° F. These fish develop serious health issues when you do not offer the ideal water temperature. So, you can come up with a solution like getting an aquarium heater, right tank placement, etc. for your tetras’ safety and health.

In this article, you will learn more about the relation between temperature and tetras. I hope you’ll find answers to the questions you have in your mind.

Table Showing The Type Of Tetras Along With The Temperature They Ask For:

Types Of Tetra Minimum Temperature Maximum Temperature Preferred Range
Adonis Tetra 71°F 80°F 72°F – 79°F
African Moon Tetra 72°F 81°F 73°F – 80°F
Black Neon Tetras 70°F 81°F 71°F – 80°F
Black Phantom Tetra 71°F 81°F 72°F – 80°F
Black Widow Tetra 74°F 81°F 75°F – 80°F
Black Morpho Tetra 75°F 83°F 76°F – 82°F
Bleeding Heart Tetra 71°F 81°F 72°F – 80°F
Blood-Fin Tetra 69°F 81°F 70°F – 80°F
Blue Tetra 71°F 79°F 72°F -78°F
Buck Tooth Tetra 72°F 83°F 73 – 82°F
Buenos Aires Tetra 63°F 83°F 64 – 82°F
Candy Cane Tetra 72°F 83°F 73 – 82° F
Cardinal tetra 72°F 81°F 73 – 80°F
Cochus Blue Tetra 72°F 83°F 73 – 82°F
Congo Tetra 74°F 82°F 75 – 81°F
Costello Tetra 72°F 81°F 73 – 80°F
Dawn Tetra 65°F 76°F 66 – 75°F
Diamond Tetra 74°F 83°F 75 – 82°F
Discus Tetra 74°F 81°F 75 – 80°F
Ember tetra 74°F 83°F 75 – 82°F
Emperor Tetra 72°F 82°F 73 – 81°F
Filigree Bloodfin Tetra 71°F 81°F 72 – 80°F
Flame Tetra 72°F 83°F 72 – 82°F
GloFish Tetra 71°F 79°F 72 -78°F
Gold Tetra 72°F 81°F 73 – 80°F
Glowlight Tetra 71°F 81°F 72 – 80°F
Green Neon Tetra 72°F 81°F 73 – 80°F
Lemon Tetra 71°F 80°F 72 – 79°F
Mexican Tetra 60°F 73°F 61 – 72°F
Neon Tetra 68°F 80°F 69 – 79°F
Penguin Tetra 71°F 83°F 72 – 82°F
Rainbow Tetra 71°F 81°F 72 – 80°F
Red-Eye Tetra 74°F 81°F 75 – 80°F
Rosy Tetra 74°F 83°F 75 – 82°F
Ruby Tetra 67°F 83°F 68 – 82.4° F
Rummy nose Tetra 71°F 81°F 72 – 80°F
Serpae Tetra 71°F 80°F 72 – 79°F
Silvertip Tetra 71°F 83°F 72 – 82°F
X-Ray Tetra 74°F 83°F 75 – 82°F

What Is The Best Temperature For Tetras?

As we already know, tetras are freshwater tropical fish that hate cold water and thrive in a warm water environment.

When you keep tetras in captivity or an aquarium, the best temperature they ask ranges between 75° and 80° F.

Room temperature cannot maintain the temperature of the tank constantly. That’s why you need to find other ways to maintain the water temperature.

Although, not all tetras prefer warm water, there are exceptions too. Buenos Aires tetra thrive in the tank with cooler water. Learn more about Are Tetras Cold Water Fish?

So, research well about the particular tetra you are planning to pet or the ones you already have. This will make it easier for you to decide and plan your next move.

What Happens If You Cross The Maximum Or Minimum Level Of Temperature In The Tetra Tank?

You will have to deal with a nightmare when the aquarium temperature crosses the preferred level with tetras swimming around.

The first thing you need to know about maximum temperature is your tetras will not sustain or handle the temperature above that.

Hot or warmer water holds very loss oxygen compared to cooler water. Tetras need enough oxygen to live properly in captivity.

Similarly, the metabolism in the tetra fish increases, and the breathing rate of tetra fish increases as well. When the water starts to get warmer, the oxygen level will not fulfill the requirement of tetra fish.

This will make tetra fish lethargic that in turn affects the feeding process and reproduction too. so, a higher temperature can be a curse for tetra fish and will turn fatal in no time.

And, if the temperature decreases below the minimum point, then the metabolism of tetra fish decreases too.

Hence, your tetra will become sluggish and inactive and you will probably see them staying in the bottom of the tank.

Some tetras may lose their color when the water temperature gets colder than they can adapt to.

Why Should You Maintain The Ideal Water Temperature For Tetras In The Tank?

You see, every fish, even tetras, are poikilothermic animals, so they are not able to maintain their body temperature.

Moreover, Tetras are tropical fish meaning they need a warm climate to survive. Even in the wild, when the water temperature changes drastically, these tetras tend to sit idly on the bottom of the tank.

But this happens rarely as the temperature is constant throughout the year in their natural habitat. They ask for the same when you keep them in an aquarium away from their native land.

Improper water temperature can bring diseases, low immunity, breathing difficulty, etc. to the tetras. So, it is important to maintain the ideal temperature in the tetra tank.

What Happens If You Do Not Maintain The Appropriate Temperature For Tetras In The Tank?

Here is the list of things that can happen to your tetras when you don’t maintain the ideal temperature in the tetra tank:

  1. Less activity
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Compromised immune system
  4. Breathing Difficulty
  5. Metabolic complications
  6. Susceptible to diseases
  7. Organ damage

The beneficial bacteria present in the tank and filter starts to die too when the temperature reaches above 90°F.

These bacteria perform the aquarium nitrogen cycle in the tank but their death can raise the potential risk of ammonia poisoning and nitrite spikes.

Ammonia poisoning can shorten the lifespan of tetra fish and hence you will be blamed for its death.

What Causes The Temperature Change In The Tank With Tetras?

There are a few causative agents that can affect the temperature dynamic of the tetra tank.

Tank Location

Direct sunlight is a curse for the aquarium with tetras as it heats up the water more than necessary. This makes the temperature change constant.

The tank placement near the window or door can make the temperature fluctuation permanent.

Placement of tetra tanks near heating or cooling vent can affect the temperature fluctuation when you turn them on or off.

Water Change

Water with different temperature when exchanged changes the temperature of the tank, and hence affects the tetras present.

Also, the volume and frequency of water change cause the temperature to change too. The larger volume of water change can affect the dynamic of the tank.

So, I recommend you to change water often but in smaller quantities only. This will assure your fish health and tank temperature till you change the water again.

Faulty Heater

When the equipment that is supposed to do its job fails to do it, a nightmare intervenes. The inconsistent, faulty, and useless heater can create a problem instead of becoming the solution.


Some lights can heat the tank while providing the light that in turn impacts the temperature of the tank.

How Can You Maintain The Ideal Temperature For Tetras?

Tetras are quite sensitive to the constant temperature change and can get easily affected and infected. Many tank issues and health hazards in tetra fish follow the temperature change in the tank.

Here are a few things you can do to maintain the best temperature for your tetras:

Placement Of The Tank

You need to avoid keeping the tank near the source of heat. Keep your tetra tank in a place where there is no direct sunlight or heating and conditioning vents.

Also, avoid placing it near the fireplace or in a room with a high-intensity light. Say No to exterior doorways or drafty areas placement too.

The aquarium location plays an important role while deciding the future of tetras in captivity. So, be careful and wise, my friend!!

Use Of Good Quality Heater

You cross-check everything you buy when it comes to your family. Why not do the same for your tetras?

Cheap heaters can be a burden and not a boon unless you want to spend money more often.

Invest in something good that will last long as well, this will definitely help your plan your budget.

Moreover, your tetras need a heater to survive and thrive in the tank. I highly recommend you to use Aqueon Adjustable PRO Aquarium Heater or Hitop Submersible Adjustable Aquarium Heater.

The latter comes in different types with various outputs, you can choose according to the size of tank you have.

Proper Circulation Of The Tank Water

Heaters and filters in the tetra tank are the long-lived best friends that help each other. Proper circulation of water helps to circulate the heat energy throughout the tank.

The filter is the one that starts water circulation while filtering. And hence this process transports the heat to every nook and corner.

This helps to create an equal temperature and heat transport throughout the tank, and hence the consistency.

The equal distribution of heat with adequate circulation takes off half the workload away from the heater. Hence, the filter helps to prolong the life of the aquarium heater.

Use Of Thermometer

While maintaining the temperature is quite necessary, so is monitoring the temperature. You need to get a thermometer to check the water temperature constantly.

When you miss the ideal temperature with a huge margin, this thermometer will help to know the exact reading.

This reading will make it easier for you to know and decide what your next steps should be. Check the temperature regularly to check and maintain the water temperature of the tetra tank.

You can buy the thermometer from the nearby pet store or amazon. If you decide to go with amazon, SunGrow Neon Tetra Thermometer is an ideal choice for your tetra tank.

Water Exchanges

You should avoid exchanging the water with a different temperature than the temperature of the tank.

Always do the water change with the water that mimics or has nearly the same temperature as the one in the tank.

There are ways to maintain the tetra tank temperature without a heater. Learn more about it here Maintain Tetra Fish Tank Temperature Without Heater | Power Outage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the probable and frequent questions you might be wondering about.

Do Tetras Need A Heater?

Yes, Tetras need an aquarium heater in the tank along with the filter. As mentioned above, tetras are tropical fish and need an environment that mimics their natural habitat.

They need aquarium temperature to be around 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and normal room temperature cannot maintain that.

You need support from equipment i.e., a heater to check, maintain, and stabilize the temperature of the tetra tank. You can read a detailed article Do Neon Tetras Need Heater For Survival?

Can Fish Die If The Water Is Too Warm?

Warm water has a lower concentration of dissolved oxygen than cold water. Hence when the water is too warm, the oxygen level plummets.

Fish, like any other living beings, need oxygen to respire and survive. Algae and Beneficial bacteria, too, need oxygen to bloom and degrade organic matter respectively.

While all the living beings use the dissolved oxygen in the tank, fish starts to gasp and long for oxygen. This is fatal for the fish if the temperature doesn’t slip back to normal as soon as possible.

In A Nutshell

Briefly, tetras are tropical fish that prefers a warm climate than cold water. They develop health issues that can get fatal and result in death. So, it is necessary to take the steps mentioned above to maintain the proper temperature for tetras. The best solution to the problem related to temperature fluctuation in the tetra tank is to get an aquarium heater appropriate for your tetra and tank size accordingly. Here is an article about Best Tank Size For Tetra Fish? Neon, Cardinal and Other Similar Tetras.

Do not make your fish suffer, it is not a good thing to do. Provide them an ideal environment to live in, and you’ll find these beautiful tetras swimming around happily and graciously.

Good luck!

Happy Fish Keeping!!!

Recommended Articles:

  1. 4 Step Process on How To Keep Tetra Fish Happy And Healthy –
  2. Are Tetra Fish Easy to Keep and Care for?
  3. Top 10 Easy to Care Tetra Fish – Perfect For Beginners
  4. How Do Tetra Fish Sleep? Ensure They Get Enough Rest

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