How To Set Up A Proper Tank For Ember Tetras?

Ember Tetras are a great fish to keep in your aquarium. They will add color and beauty as they swim around the tank. But setting up a proper tank for them is not always an easy task. There are a lot of things to keep in mind before keeping Ember Tetras. So, How To Set Up A Proper Tank For Ember Tetras?

You can set up a proper tank for ember tetras by providing them correct tank size, diet, tankmates, water conditions, and of course ideal living environment.

First, you need to choose the right tank for Ember Tetras. Ensure that your aquarium is big enough and provides at least 15 gallons of water capacity, as these tetra fish are active swimmers. They also tend to jump out from open-top tanks, so you should cover the tank with a hood or lid for safety reasons.

This blog post will show you how to set up a proper Ember Tetra Tank by going over some basics of creating a tropical environment that meets their needs.

We’ll also share with you all the mistakes that can be made when setting up an Ember Tetra Tank, so you don’t make any of these common errors!

Let’s Dive In!

How To Set Up A Proper Tank For Ember Tetras?

Setting up a tank for Ember Tetras can be quite simple. However, there are some basics that you should know if you want your fish to stay healthy and happy.

Here is how you need to set up a proper tank for ember tetras:

Choose The Right Tank

The size of the tank is probably one of the first things that need to be kept in mind while setting up an aquarium for Ember Tetras.

They are quite active fish and require a lot of swimming space. The minimum size tank for Ember Tetras is 20 gallons or more, depending on the number of tetras you have in your aquarium.

Add Substrates, Gravels, Or Sand

One essential aspect that many people don’t think about while setting up an aquarium for Ember Tetras is adding substrate.

Ember Tetra tank should have live plants which need to be anchored well in the substrate so that they do not get uprooted easily. You can use fine gravel, sand, or even aquarium pebbles for this purpose.

The base material you choose must ensure proper aeration and also provide good anchoring spots for live plants.

Keep Lots Of Live Plants

Ember Tetras are not very picky about their aquarium plants. But it is always better to use them in your tank for healthy growth and happy fish.

The most popular choices include Java fern, Amazon Swordplant, and Vallisneria, among others. You can also use some floating plants to provide a more natural look.

Create Hiding Spots

Ember Tetras are schooling fish and require hiding spots in their aquarium. You can add rocks, driftwood, or even PVC pipes for your tetra school to hide when feeling threatened. This will also help keep them busy during the day since they are quite active fish.

Use Filter, Heater, Air Pumps, Light, And Necessary Equipment

Setting up an aquarium for Ember Tetras also involves setting the equipment like a filter, heater, and air pump.

While choosing a filter, you must ensure that it is big enough to keep your tank clear of debris and waste.

A good filter will also provide the necessary aeration to your aquarium. A heater is always needed in an enclosed space like a fish tank during colder months when the water temperature drops below desirable levels for Ember Tetras.

Finally, you must also invest in lighting and air pumps that have been designed specifically for tropical community tanks.

Penn Plax Cascade 400 Submersible Aquarium Filter,  Eheim Jager aquarium heater, and NICREW Single Channel LED Light Timer are good choices for the filter, heater, and light for ember tetras respectively.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Keeping Ember Tetras In Your Tank

It is necessary to keep a few things in mind before setting up an Ember Tetras tank. One of the most important is cycling your aquarium. Other necessary things to do are acclimation and maintaining the tank.

Cycling The Tank

One important aspect that needs to be kept in mind while setting up an aquarium after Ember Tetras is cycling the tank.

When you put new fish into a tank, it does not mean your tank is ready to house them right away.

Instead, cycling an aquarium means adding ammonia or food-grade shrimp extract, which will help the bacteria grow and develop in your tank.

This cycling process takes around a week to ten days or more, depending on how big your aquarium is.

Before you add Ember Tetras to your aquarium, you must prepare a proper environment for them.

This means setting up the filter, aeration system, substrate, and plants well in advance. This will ensure that they have all the essentials from day one when you introduce them into their new home.

In addition, cycling an aquarium means setting up the bacteria that will help break down fish wastes and other debris.

Finally, it is important to note that cycling an aquarium takes around a month or more depending on your tank size, water quality, etc.

Acclimation To Freshwater Aquariums And Ember Tetras Tank

One of the first things you need to do after adding new Ember Tetras to your tank is acclimating them.

It is important to ensure that the water conditions are similar for both you and your tetra school.

To do this, slowly add a small amount of aquarium water to the bag or container holding your new fish until it starts releasing waste into the freshwater.

When you buy new fish, you must slowly introduce them into their environment for proper acclimation.

Introducing fish to a completely new environment will stress them out, and you do not want that for your Ember Tetras.

Hence when the time comes before introducing them into their tank, make sure they are properly acclimated by floating the plastic bag with water from their pet store in it for two hours or so, which should be enough for the fish to adapt slowly.

Maintaining Ember Tetras Tank Water Parameters

Keeping an aquarium has always been a test of patience and endurance for every aquarist, where a mismatch can occur.

While you keep your tank water parameters in check by following various protocols which vary from one another depending on the type of fish and the type of water, you must keep a close eye on your Ember Tetras because they are not very easy to figure out.

Mistakes You Might Make While Setting Up Ember Tetras Tank

While setting up an aquarium for Ember Tetras, you can make certain beginners’ mistakes that can make their lives miserable or even get them killed.

Some of these mistakes are:

Not Cycling The Aquarium Before Adding Fish

Cycling your aquarium is the process of establishing the biological filter in it through a series of small and frequent water changes before getting fish to live inside it.

If you add Ember Tetras without cycling, they might get shocked by the sudden change in water parameters and die.

Even after cycling the aquarium, if you do not perform small frequent water changes, it can create a lot of stress on fish by creating an environment for harmful bacteria to grow, affecting your health.

Not Acclimating Ember Tetras Before Adding Them To The Aquarium

It is important to acclimate your Ember Tetras to the aquarium water before releasing them inside it.

The process of acclimating requires you to add a small amount of aquarium water in a container with a bag containing Ember Tetra.

Wait for a few minutes, and then release fish into the tank gradually by adding more aquarium water until you release all of them completely.

If you release them directly into the aquarium, it is shocking for them, leading to their death.

Not Maintaining Essential Water Parameters Of The Aquarium

It is important to keep an eye on some essential water parameters like pH, ammonia, and nitrite levels (these two are harmful to fish), temperature, etc.

In addition, there are certain things that you should keep in mind while keeping Ember Tetras, like maintaining a pH level between acid and alkaline, making sure that temperature does not go below or above a certain limit.

Using a filter and air pump is also important along with the heater to maintain the environment of the aquarium stable for your fish.

Not Checking Water Parameters And Mistakes Due To It

Water parameters are important for your Ember Tetras’ health, and if you do not check them, it can lead to disaster.

There is a possibility that the harmful bacteria might start growing in aquariums due to low pH levels or sudden temperature drops, which will affect your fish’s immune system, making them vulnerable to diseases even death.

Not Maintaining The Proper Aquarium Size

It is important to keep in mind the aquarium size when you are thinking about getting Ember Tetras.

In general, they need a small-sized tank with at least a 10-gallon capacity. Or else they are not able to swim properly or even stressed out due to lack of space.

Not Using A Proper Substrate

It is important to use a proper substrate in the ember tetra tank. Ember Tetras like having substrates on which they can swim and mimics their natural habitat.

Therefore, you should avoid using sharp decorative rocks or gravels that will tear their tiny fins and make them look awful.

Aquarium sand works well for ember tetras as it gives them a nice place to swim and does not hurt their delicate fins. Remember to use blackish substrate for these ember tetras.

Using A Power Filter Instead Of Air Pumps And Sponge Filters

Although power filters are the most common way of filtration in aquariums, I advise that you use an air pump or sponge filter for your Ember Tetras tank.

These two types of filters help in creating water current, which is essential for Ember Tetras.

In addition, this will save you the trouble of having a noisy power filter that can disturb your tetra’s rest and make them feel stressed out.

Honestly, I have been using canister filter I have mentioned above, so try going for that.


In conclusion, you should keep all these things in mind while setting up an aquarium for Ember Tetras. They are a delicate species that their surroundings can highly affect them. Therefore, following the above-mentioned tips and tricks is best to ensure your fish stays healthy and happy.

If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Good Luck!!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!

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