Why Do Ember Tetra Change Color? Find Out Here

Ember Tetra is a popular fish in the aquarium hobby. They have a variety of colors and patterns, which many aquarists find appealing. If you have been noticing that your Ember Tetra has changed color or is not as vibrant as it used to be, then it could be because of any number of reasons. Why Do Ember Tetra Change Color? 

There are many hypotheses as to why this happens, but no concrete answer has been found yet. Some believe that it is caused by stress, diet, or poor water quality. 

Others think that genes play a role in coloring and that old age may be the cause for some Ember Tetras losing their vivid colors. The truth is we don’t know exactly why these changes happen and there might never be one single reason for it!

In this blog post, we will explore some possible causes for Ember Tetra changing colors and what you can do about it!

Should You Be Worried If Ember Tetra Change Their Color?

No, there is no need to be. This usually occurs with some Ember Tetra more than others and it does not seem to affect their wellbeing at all. Yes, you should try to see the reasons behind it. If you can see that ember tetra is stressful, then you have to worry.

Why Is My Ember Tetra Changing Color?

There are multiple reasons why your fish may have lost its color or changed colors. Genes play a role in the coloring of these tetras so if you bred two bright orange ember tetras together, then they might produce offspring that don’t look as bright! 

Stress and Diet

Stress can also make them change color but this often goes away when stress levels decrease again. Diet plays a part too since what they eat will reflect on how colorful they appear. If you feed them food high in carotenoids then their colors will be brighter.


Pregnancy in female Ember Tetras may also result in them losing some of their colors temporarily since it takes a lot of energy from them. But after they have delivered fry, which usually happens within 14 days after mating, you should notice an improvement in their appearance once again! 


Genes play a huge role in the coloration of your Ember Tetra. If you have two fish that are siblings, they may look completely different even though their parents were bright red! This is because genes control what colors can show up on which parts of their body and how dark or light it will be.

If an Ember Tetra starts to change color, it is not always a cause for concern. In fact, many fish will change colors as they age. This is usually due to their genes and there isn’t anything you can do about it. However, if the fish looks very pale or sickly, then you might want to consider treating him or her for diseases.

Poor Water Quality

If your tank’s water quality is poor, it can affect the coloring of your Ember Tetras. One common issue that can arise from dirty water is Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich). This disease causes small white spots on the body of the fish and can eventually lead to death.

Poor water quality is another reason for Ember Tetra changing colors, but this one has to do with the color of their skin rather than what they ate or how stressed they are. A fish’s scales reflect light and if these aren’t healthy then they won’t be bright either! Poor water conditions can cause certain diseases that will affect your fish’s coloring as well.

Other signs of poor water quality include cloudy water, red gills, and lethargic behavior. If your fish exhibits any of these symptoms then it is a sign that there might be something wrong with the water in their tank so you should test the pH levels and ammonia content!

Wrong Lighting

Wrong lighting could also lead to changes in coloring since many tetras need a specific light spectrum to look their best. If they cannot get enough of the colors that they need then you will notice them losing some of their vibrant appearances.

Aggressive Tank Mates

If your Ember Tetra has to interact with other fish on a regular basis, then it might start losing some of its colors. This is because the stress from having tank mates can weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to diseases.

Another reason why an ember tetra might change color or lose some of their vibrancy is aggressive companions in their tank. If they have to share space with another large fish, for example, this could cause enough stress that will wear down on them over time leading to changes in coloring since they won’t be able to fight off disease as easily anymore!


Did you know substrate plays a part in how colorful your Ember Tetras turn out? the darker substrate will reflect less light and make the fish look duller. If you have a light substrate, then your fish will be brighter because the colors will be reflected off of it!

Hormone Induced Colors

Some Ember Tetras might change color due to their hormones and this is usually only temporary. For example, when they are stressed out or ready to mate their coloring might change. This could last anywhere from a few hours to a day or two.

If you are looking for vibrant Ember Tetras that always look their best, then try to keep them in an environment with low-stress levels and healthy water conditions! It’s also important to feed them food high in carotenoids so their colors stay bright!

And finally, genetics play a big role in what colors your tetras end up coloring because different genes control each part of their body.

Old Age

One of the most common reasons for a fish to change color or lose some vibrancy is because they have simply aged. As tetras get older, their colors will slowly fade and become duller as a result!

Ember Tetra can change color due to old age if not treated properly over time since their genes control how vibrant they look. This can happen when they get older and after a while, their colors will begin to fade leaving them looking duller than before!

How To Bring Your Ember Tetra Into Their Vibrant Color?

There are many ways to do this but no surefire way to make them go back to how they used to look. You can place some plastic plants or other decorations into your aquarium which will help give them somewhere to hide from potential aggressors while also providing more surface area for algae growth.

Another thing you could try is adding a bag full of activated carbon, gravel cleaner, filter media, multiple biological filters, or even all three.

Maintain Water Conditions

Try and keep your water conditions as stable as possible so it does not affect Ember Tetra coloring! Make sure there is no fluctuation between day and night temperatures or sudden changes in pH levels, oxygen content, hardness, nitrates, etcetera!

If you are having issues with keeping your fish’s coloration bright for an extended period of time (more than two weeks) then try adding live plants into your tank since this helps filter out impurities from the water while also providing cover for tetras who might be shy.

Newer tanks tend to have a harder time keeping the water clean which is why live plants are recommended for anyone with an aquarium that’s less than six months old.

Good Food And Diet

Another way to keep your Ember Tetra looking their best is to feed them high-quality food. This means staying away from brands that contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives since they will not be good for your fish’s overall health.

Look for pellets or flakes that are made specifically for tetras and other small fish – these will have all of the nutrients they need in order to stay healthy!

Image Food For Cardinal Tetra Link
Josh’s Frogs Melanogaster Fruit Fly Culture Kit (Makes 10 Cultures) buy amazon
Ocean Nutrition Instant Baby Brine Shrimp 0.7-Ounces (20 Grams) JarBrine shrimp buy amazon
1000+ Live Daphnia Magna buy amazon
Exotic Nutrition Bulk Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae (10 lbs.) – High-Calcium Insect Treat buy amazon
9 OZ Matured Micro worm Mega Culture – Ready to Harvest – Live Fish Food buy amazon

Eliminate Stress

One of the most common reasons for Ember Tetra changing colors is because they are stressed out. There are many ways you can help reduce stress in your fish tank, but the most important one is to make sure that it is properly cycled.

If you have a new tank then it will take about two weeks for the beneficial bacteria to grow and start breaking down the ammonia and nitrite levels. Until then, you will need to do water changes every other day in order to keep the levels from getting too high!

Another way to reduce stress is by adding kind tank mates who aren’t aggressive towards Ember Tetras. This means avoiding fish like Oscars, Piranhas, or Angelfish since they are known for being predators. Choose instead peaceful community fish like tetras, barbs, gouramis, etcetera!

Add Plants And Decorations

Last but not least, you should add some plants and decorations to your tank. Ember Tetras are mostly herbivores so they will appreciate having some vegetation in their tank while also providing them with a place to hide when they feel scared or threatened!

Treat Diseases

If you notice that your fish’s coloring is not improving no matter what you do then it might be a sign that they are suffering from a disease. In this case, you will need to take them to a pet store for treatment and hope for the best!

Is Ember Tetra A Naturally Bright Fish?

While most tetras do tend to be bright fish, it is important that we mention the fact that there are many species of this type of tropical freshwater fish which means each variety has its own coloration. You can find tetras like Pearlscales (who have silver scales), Glowlight Tetra (a pinkish shade), Green Neon Tetra (emerald green scales), etcetera – all these colors look fantastic but might require specific care if you want to keep them looking good!


How Long Does It Take For Ember Tetra Fry To Get Color?

Once your spawn reaches about half an inch in length, they will start developing their natural coloring. This means that it might take up to two months for your fry to look like real adults so be patient!

Do Male Fish Attract Females By Changing Colors First?

Even though this is not 100% accurate since color changes can happen due to environmental factors or stress, males who are more vibrant tend to get the most attention from females during mating season – just another reason why having brightly colored fish is a great choice. With proper care and tank conditions, however, there’s no limit on how bright these little guys can be!


So there you have it – a few simple tips on how to help your Ember Tetra stay in their most beautiful color possible. By following these guidelines, you will not only make your fish happy and healthy but also ensure that they look fantastic for everyone to admire! If you have any other questions or suggestions, be sure to let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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