How Long Do Ember Tetras Stay Pregnant?

Ember Tetras are one of the most popular freshwater fish in the aquarium hobby. They’re fairly easy to care for, and they come in many different colors! But How long do ember tetras stay pregnant? How many eggs do ember tetras lay? How often do ember tetras reproduce? And more!

Ember tetra pregnancy lasts about two weeks, but it’s hard to tell if an ember tetra is pregnant. You can figure this out by checking the abdomen for roundness or by feeling for an egg between their pelvic fins.

In this article, we’ll explore all things related to Ember Tetra pregnancy- including how many eggs do ember tetras lay, and what to expect when Ember Tetra eggs hatch.

How Long Do Ember Tetras Stay Pregnant?

First thing first, ember tetras are egg layers and egg-scatterers, not livebearers. Hence, these ember tetras are not and will not be pregnant. The correct term here is gravid with eggs: how long will ember tetras be gravid with eggs?

Ember tetra will be gravid with eggs for about 14 days before they lay those all over the tank. In your words or generalizing this, ember tetras are pregnant for nearly 14 days.

How To Tell If My Ember Tetra Is Pregnant?

Confused about whether your ember tetra is pregnant or just fat?

No worries, I have the answer for you.

Noticeable Big Belly:

The females will show noticeable bulges on their bellies especially when seen from the top view of them swimming upside down in a school or chasing after food in your tank. Note that the females will have a bit more turbulent swimming pattern than the males.

Notice the spawning behavior:

Females will lie on their side or upside down in the gravel while males swim around and release milt over them. Females lay eggs which they clutch with their pelvic fins for about a minute before releasing them to be fertilized by male milt or a male will pick up eggs from the gravel to fertilize them.

How Many Eggs Do Ember Tetras Lay?

Ember tetra eggs are very small and female lays eggs by scattering it all over the tank, so it’s hard to tell how many ember tetra eggs they lay.

However, we can talk about estimation and general numbers here. Ember tetra females can lay anywhere between 20 and 40 eggs, depending on their size.

They will usually be more than happy to do this as long as there is an adequate number of males in your tank (more than one).

Do not get your hopes up and think that your tank will be full of ember tetras babies after breeding these tetra fish.

Most of the time, even these eggs will not hatch or the other fish present in the tank will eat them up.

You might end up with a maximum of 10 to 15 ember tetras fry after every spawning event.

How Often Do Ember Tetras Reproduce?

Ember tetra can reproduce as early as their first year with a maturity of up to 12 months and even more than that given the right conditions.

If the temperature is kept constant, ember tetra can produce offspring every two weeks. The key here is to make sure that there are enough males of breeding age in your tank for females to choose from. (the more males, the higher chances of fertilization and success).

You have to be very lucky to have your ember tetras breed this frequently. Although they are not considered hard fish to breed, they will still give you hard time.

Ember tetras are egg layers that lay their eggs scattering all over the tank with no specific location. They are often seen laying their eggs during morning hours and usually do this every day for about four days; with the new eggs being laid around each other until there is an additional.

How Long Does It Take For Ember Tetras Eggs To Hatch?

Ember tetra eggs will hatch within 24 to 36 hours. The fry is most vulnerable during the first three weeks of their life, which is also when they have a higher mortality rate due to newly hatched fish being eaten by more established fish or from lack of food.

They will survive on the egg sac for few days. Don’t worry, these juveniles will most probably start swimming after 36 hours to 1 week of hatching.

You can feed them Infusoria after 36 hours and can start feeding them brine shrimp, etc. in a week.

Do Ember Tetras Die After Laying Eggs?

No, ember tetras do not die after laying eggs. They can lay up to three batches of eggs every spawning season. That lasts for about four months from spring to fall in North America.

The only reason female ember tetras die after laying eggs can be if they were already sick.

Female ember tetras are vulnerable throughout the pregnancy and are more susceptible to diseases during this.

Her immunity system doesn’t function as better as when she was not carrying any eggs.

This weakened female ember tetra can easily contract diseases due to bacteria and parasites present in the tank.

Hence, this will probably bring death to your ember tetras. If you are able to maintain optimum tank conditions and water quality while feeding these tetras good quality food, there is no way they will die after laying eggs.

Do Ember Tetras Eat Their Babies?

Yes, these ember tetras eat their eggs as well as small babies until they can fit in their mouths.

Not that this is intentional, it is purely unintentional and just the way they are. They will eat anything that fits in their mouth.

That’s why you need to keep an eye on their fry and make sure there is no one around them.

It is even better to move parents ember tetras away from the breeding tank once your ember tetras lays all the eggs.

You need to act responsibly and take care of these tetra fry so that you can have many more ember tetras together.


In conclusion, ember tetra females will show noticeable bulges on their bellies and this is a sign of pregnancy. If you are able to maintain optimum tank conditions, water quality and feed these tetras good quality food, there’s no way they will die after laying eggs.

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