Do Ember Tetra Eat Dead Fish?

If you have ever owned an aquarium, then you know that one of the most difficult things to do is keep the fish from eating each other. Whether it be a goldfish in a bowl or a school of Ember Tetra in your tank, this is something that every aquarist has to deal with. In this article, we will answer some common questions about whether or not Ember Tetra eats dead fish and if they should be allowed to do so. Do Ember Tetra Eat Dead Fish?

It’s common knowledge that fish eat dead fish. But do your Ember Tetras also enjoy eating the occasional dead meal? It turns out, they might.

To find out more, keep reading!

Do Ember Tetra Eat Dead Fish?

The short answer is yes, Ember Tetra will eat dead fish if they are hungry enough.

You should not however feed your ember tetra dead fish. You should feed them with brine shrimps, bloodworms, microworms, etc.

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Reasons Why Ember Tetra Eat Dead Fish

There are many reasons why your tetras may be eating the occasional dead meal.


As stated before, Ember Tetra will eat dead fish if they are hungry enough. This is especially true when food gets scarce or the water conditions aren’t ideal for them to live in.

Hunger is one of the most common reasons. If your Ember Tetras are hungry enough, then they will eat dead fish if that is all that’s available to them.

To Eliminate Parasites

Ember Tetra has been known to eat dead fish so that their body can eliminate parasites and other harmful organisms from their body.

Another reason why the tetra might be eating their own kind has to do with parasites. Sometimes a larger fish can pick up parasites. Moreover, this makes it easier for other types of smaller parasite-related diseases to spread.

Does Ember Tetra Eat Their Baby Fry?

Ember tetras are known to be infertile egg layers, meaning that they do not lay eggs in the water column for others to eat. If you have ever owned a tank with baby fish of any species inside it, then you already know how difficult it can be to keep them from eating one another.

While it is not necessarily a good thing if your tetras are eating dead fish, they definitely do not eat their baby fry. They might nip at them or bully them sometimes but this will only hurt the babies and has no real effect on how healthy they grow up to be.

Do Ember Tetra Fry Eat Dead Fish?

It is very common for the fry of any species to eat dead fish if they are hungry enough. This can be especially true with ember tetras, as their babies will often grow faster than tetra’s which means that they need more food to support themselves and their rapidly growing bodies.

Do Ember Tetra Nip Fins And Bite Other Fish?

Ember tetras are known to nip fins and bite other fish, but they typically do this out of aggression rather than hunger.

If your Ember Tetra is biting the tail or fins of another fish in your tank then it may be because he/she wants to be protecting his/her territory.

If you see your Ember Tetra nipping at the fins and tail of other fish in the tank then you should provide plenty of hiding places and shelters for your smaller or more timid fish.

This way the tetras will not be able to harass them as much and they will feel more comfortable in their own home and not be as scared.

What To Do If The Ember Tetra Bites:

If your tetra does nip the fins or tails of other fish, then you should try to move them to a different tank rather than trying to get the tetra to stop. This is because if you leave them in the same tank together, they will probably still nip the fins of other fish, and it might even get worse.

If you try to separate them, then the tetra is likely to be less stressed by keeping them separate from each other.

Do Ember Tetra Eat Other Fish?

Ember tetras are not typically aggressive towards their own kind or other small fish they are usually not in the tank with.

If an ember tetra nips at another fish, it will probably be out of aggression rather than hunger.

They usually do this to protect their territory and only eat small amounts of anything when they feel stressed or frightened.

Should You Let Your Ember Tetra Eat The Dead Fish?

If you have an eyewitness account of your Ember Tetra eating a dead fish, then it is likely they are doing this because they are hungry rather than simply being in the tank with potential food.

That being said, if they are not in any discomfort or in danger of starvation then there is no need to intervene and feed them something else.

Ember Tetras can be very picky eaters and this might not necessarily mean that they are starving.


Does Ember Tetra Get Lonely?

Ember tetras do not live well in a solitary tank, as they like the company of their own kind. This is because ember tetras instinctively school together to protect themselves.

Some fish keepers keep ember tetras in schools of 6 or more. But if you want to keep them with any other variety of tetras, you should only keep them in groups of 3 or less.

Keeping larger numbers than this can result in some fish getting bullied and stressed by the more dominant members of the school.

Why Are All My Ember Tetra Dying??

If your Ember tetras are all dying as soon as you get them, then it is likely that you have a water quality issue. In this case, you should test the level of Ammonia in your tank and change the water if necessary.

Low levels of Ammonia can cause fish to become very stressed and eventually die from it.

If you are sure that the level of Ammonia in your tank is low, then you can connect it to overcrowding or overfeeding. You should try reducing the number of fish in your tank. You should also only provide them with enough food each day to eat within 15 minutes. This will reduce the amount of uneaten food decaying at the bottom of your tank.


If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the article above then leave them in the comment section below. I read all feedback. I’ll do my best to respond to legitimate concerns and questions with a personal reply to every single person who takes the time to write one.

Thanks for reading!

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