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Why Are My Ember Tetras Hanging Out By The Heater?

The best way to tell if your Ember Tetra needs a heater is to look at the water temperature and make sure it stays between 73°F – 82°F (23°C – 28°C). If the water gets too cold, you may want to invest in a heater for them or find another solution like adding some live plants or rocks around where the current will keep warmer water nearer to them. But are they hanging out near the heater? Why Are My Ember Tetras Hanging Out by The Heater?

Ember tetras are schooling fish, so they may be hanging around the heater because it provides a good place for them to hide. If your water is low in temperature or has poor quality, this will also cause Ember Tetras to stay closer to their hiding places.

Adding plants and decorations that give the Ember Tetras places to hide will encourage them to come out.

You may have more questions about this. Hence, read on to discover more.

Reasons Why Your Ember Tetras Is Hanging Around The Heater

I will list and discuss the most common reasons why your Ember tetras keep hanging around by heater.


When fish are in a cold environment, they will try to find the warmest spot. This would be around the heater in an aquarium tank because it keeps their body temperature at a comfortable level for them throughout day and night.

Blank Tank

If your fish have been recently introduced into an empty tank without any decor or substrate, then there is nothing to hide behind or explore. This can be scary for fish, and they will want to stick close to the heater because it is familiar, even if they are not comfortable around it yet.

Low Temperature

If your aquarium water temperature is kept at a shallow level throughout the day, Ember tetras may feel stressed out, so you need to increase the temperature slowly.

Ember tetra is hanging around by the heater because they are cold or feel threatened in their tank environment.

If your water temperature is low (below 70 degrees Fahrenheit), this can cause stress for all of your fish. In addition, you should make sure that you do not place the heater near any of your plants because this may result in damage.

Strong Current

You should also make sure that you do not have a strong current close to the heater, which will cause stress for all of your fish, and they may even hide from it by hanging around the heater.

If there is too much build-up of dirt on any of your aquarium tank’s surface, then this will cause the water to become cloudy, and it may even clog up your heater.

If your current is either too strong or not directed properly, the fish will feel uncomfortable because they are constantly being pushed around their own tank and cannot relax.

You can turn down the water flow coming out from the power filter to make it more gentle but do remember that you should always have some movement in the tank.

Tank Is Dirty

If your aquarium water is not clean, it will probably affect the health of all fish there, and Ember tetras might feel like they are constantly swimming into dirty water that does not look very appealing to them. Therefore, you need to maintain a good level of hygiene for your aquatic environment so that you can keep your Ember tetras healthy and happy.

Newly Introduced Ember Tetras

If you have just recently introduced the fish into your aquarium, they may feel stressed out because of all the changes in their environment. Therefore, it would be best to keep them separated from other tank mates for at least a month so that you can monitor their health closely and slowly introduce them to other tank mates.


Sometimes, if an Ember Tetra feels threatened by the introduction of another fish or spawning, they may hang around near the heater because that’s where they feel safe.

Also, if your tank temperature gets too low and you have a pregnant Embers Tetra, she will go there to protect her babies from getting cold as well!

If you have a female Ember tetra that is pregnant, then she will need more space, so try not to overcrowd her with other fish in the same tank.

It is quite stressful on the mom-to-be and also your unborn fry as well. Therefore, you should give at least 20 gallons of space per adult fish so that they can be more comfortable.

How To Coax Your Ember Tetras From Staying Away From Heater?

It will help if you improve the conditions in your aquarium tank slowly. If you do it too quickly, then all changes happening at once will stress out the fish.

Many pet shops are now selling heater guards for aquarium tanks with heaters to protect your pet from burning itself on accident. Ensure that you purchase one that fits your specific tank

They may not function properly, and they may start to behave abnormally. Improve water quality, gradually increase temperature, and look for any signs of stress on your fish, such as heavy breathing or unusual behavior.

There are several ways to coax your fish away from the heater.

Improving Water Quality

The first step is to improve the water quality. You need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your fish tank clean because this will encourage them to play near the heater again. A good way of doing this would be to use a gravel cleaner to remove any debris from the bottom of your tank. You can also add some plants and maybe even an air stone which will help improve the water quality.

It would help if you considered getting a heater guard for your fish tank because this serves two purposes.

The first thing is that it will stop the fish from getting burned by touching your heater, and secondly, it will make the tank look more aesthetically pleasing.

Decorate Your Tank

This is not an immediate fix, but it will make the fish feel more at home. This is not an immediate fix, but it will make the fish feel more at home.

You can also decorate your aquarium with some ornaments to encourage them away from the heater area.

Put in a few different hiding places for all your fish, so they don’t have to gather around the heater area anymore.

You could also try adding some plants or even just a few rocks scattered across your tank so they don’t huddle together all of the time.

Next time if you see your Ember Tetras hanging around near the heater again, try adding some decorations that will allow them to hide when needed.

Adjust The Current And Temperature

The next thing you can do is adjust both the current and temperature inside your fish tank to be just right.

You can also try to adjust the current in the tank by adding some floating plants or any other material that can act as a barrier.

The last but most important thing is the cleanliness of your aquarium tank. If it’s not properly maintained, Ember Tetras may feel uncomfortable, and they will keep coming back to the heater again and again.

Maintain Temperature

The final thing you want to do is maintain the temperature inside your fish tank to keep them healthy and happy.

You can accomplish that by buying a heater guard, adding some plants, adjusting the current in your aquarium, decorating with rocks ornaments, changing water quality slowly over time using a gravel cleaner, and adjusting the temperature until it is just right.


I have answered the most frequently asked questions about ember tetras in this blog post.

What Is The Temperature Of Ember Tetras?

The water temperature should be kept around 76-80 degrees Fahrenheit (24-26 degrees Celsius). It is important to maintain stable and clean water conditions for your fish.

Do Ember Tetras Need Heater?

Yes, it is important to have a heater in your tank for all tropical fish because it will help maintain stable water conditions.

Ember Tetras don’t require the heater to survive inside an aquarium tank because they can survive at room temperature for like a week or two, but if you want them to thrive, then yes, they do need a heater.

Do Ember Tetras Need Filter?

Yes, you should always use a filter when keeping any aquarium fish or invertebrate alive and healthy. It will provide the necessary filtration that makes sure their environment is clean and healthy.


In conclusion, your fish tank should have a heater guard, some ornaments placed in the aquarium to make them feel more at home and comfortable, clean water conditions by using a gravel cleaner every few weeks, which will remove any debris from the bottom of your fish tank.

Now you can add some plants to your fish tank, decorate with rocks ornaments, change the water quality slowly over time using a gravel cleaner, adjust the current in your aquarium by adding floating plants, for example, and maintain temperature until it is comfortable enough inside your fish tank.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below, and I will answer as soon as possible.