Why Is My Ember Tetras Not Moving?

Ember Tetras are some of the most beautiful fish you can put in your tank, but they also come with many problems. Have you ever seen your Ember Tetras not moving? If so, you are probably wondering why they stopped swimming.

The probable reasons for ember tetras not moving in the tank are diseases, stress, bad water conditions (o² deprivation, pH, and temperature), hiding from bad tank mates, ammonia poisoning, improper feeding or sleep.

If you want to know how to deal with ember tetras that stopped moving, then one must follow some basic steps. These include performing water changes maintaining proper aquarium conditions, oxygenating your tank, etc.

If you notice that your Ember Tetras no longer move (or swim at the top), then it is time to take action.

This blog post will provide a list of reasons why your Embers aren’t moving and how to deal with it.

Reasons Why Your Ember Tetras Isn’t Moving

There are many reasons why your Ember Tetras isn’t moving. These include diseases, pregnant ember tetras undergoing labor, stress due to terrible tank conditions (o² deprivation, pH, and temperature), hiding from bad tank mates, or ammonia poisoning, to name a few.


Ember Tetras are susceptible fish, and they can catch many different diseases. Therefore, if your fish look sick or injured, you should check if it has any of the following symptoms – loss of coloration, parasites on their body, redness around gills, bulging eyes, etc.

Many diseases can affect Ember Tetras. These include Neon Tetra Disease, Hole in the Head disease (HITH), and ich, to name a few of them.

Pregnant Ember Tetras Undergoing Labor:

If you are breeding Ember Tetra, then it is common for the females to stop moving. They go through labor (yes, fish can give birth!). When this happens, then always check with your local veterinarian before cooking them up into a meal!

Ember tetras will sometimes stop moving when they are about to give birth or undergoing labor because they are exhausted. They have just given birth to a new batch of fish, so they need some time for themselves before moving again.


Ember tetras can stop swimming after being stressed due to bad tank conditions or harmful interactions with other aquarium fish. If you see your ember tetra is trying to hide in your tank, then it is a sign that they are stressed.

Sometimes your Ember Tetras may just be stressed out. This can happen for many reasons, such as having a tank mate that is bullying them or just not feeling well in general (e.g., they might be hungry).

Bad Water Conditions:

This includes oxygen deprivation and pH/temperature swings. When your Ember Tetra stops moving, then it means you should check the water parameters. If they are not correct, then do a water change, and everything should be fine!

Bad water conditions can cause stress to Ember Tetras and other fishes, making them stop moving around the aquarium. If you see that an ember tetra has stopped swimming, then check if there’s any problem with the water parameters (temperature, pH, o² level), and make sure your tank is clean.

Hiding from Bad Tank Mates:

Suppose you have a community aquarium with different fish species. In that case, it is possible for some harmful interactions to happen between them, which can stress your Ember Tetras and make them stop moving around the aquarium. In this case, it’s best to keep one school of ember tetra in each tank, so they don’t feel stressed.

Sometimes your Ember Tetra might stop moving because another fish is bullying it in the tank. In this case, you need to separate those two or else one of them will die soon enough – it is as simple as that!

Ammonia Poisoning:

If you have just started your aquarium, there might be an ammonia buildup in the tank, which can cause stress to Ember Tetras and other fish, making them stop moving around. You should check if this is the case by doing a water change with feeding some live food.

Sometimes your Ember Tetra might stop moving because there are high levels of ammonia in the water. This happens when you do not clean up after feeding them or if they have a disease. Any tank can be affected by this easily – so always keep an eye on things!

Improper Feeding:

If you do not feed your Ember Tetras properly, then they might stop moving. This is because the fish will be hungry and weak, so look at how much food you give them!


Sometimes Ember Tetra stops moving because it’s sleeping. They sleep during the day (weird, huh?). This means that the fish is healthy and happy, so you do not need to worry about it!

How To Deal With Ember Tetras That Stopped Moving?

I know you are wondering this. So here is how you can deal with Ember Tetras that stopped moving.

Perform Water Changes

First of all, do not panic and keep calm when you see your Ember Tetra is inactive in the aquarium. Then, do a 25% water change immediately with de-chlorinated or treated water.

Water Changes should be the first thing to do when your Ember Tetras stop moving suddenly or not swimming around the tank-like they used to.

If your Ember Tetra does stop moving, then this usually means some serious problems are going on. So first, make sure your water parameters are suitable, and if this does not fix the situation, you need to do a water change.

Maintain Water Conditions –

Check for pH levels, ammonia level, nitrite & nitrate levels. If you find any of these parameters are high, then it is certain that the fish has stopped moving because of bad water conditions.

Oxygenate Your Tank Water

Make sure to oxygenate your tank with an air pump or a bubbling stone so there will be enough dissolved oxygen in your aquarium water for the Ember Tetra to breathe.

Adding an air stone is a great way to oxygenate the water. You can also use an air pump or a protein skimmer (this will help remove harmful toxins).

Keep Friendly Tank Mates

Sometimes your Ember Tetra might stop moving because of other fish in its environment! So make sure you keep peaceful tank mates and do not put any fish in there that might bully your Ember Tetra.

Do not keep other fish in the same tank with Ember Tetra that is causing stress. Keep peaceful, small to medium-sized community fish only so that there will be no threat of danger for your Ember Tetras. Also, make sure to have a separate quarantine/hospital/treatment tank if you are treating any of your Ember Tetra for some disease or parasite.

Treat Diseases

What if the problem is not due to inadequate water conditions but because of a bacterial infection? If this is the cause, then you should treat it right away. Always keep an antibiotic like Maracyn-Two handy just in case something like this happens.

If you already know what is wrong with your fish, then treat it immediately! This will help things move along faster, so get to the store and buy some medications today!

Is Your Ember Tetras Dead Or Just Not Moving?

If you did everything, and your fish is still not moving, then it might be too late for them already. However, if the fish was just inactive for a while but started swimming around again after some time of rest, there’s no problem. It means that your Ember Tetra needs a break from all the stress it has been going through. This is perfectly normal, and you do not have to worry about it at all!

Well, it is tough to tell if your fish is dead or not. However, it might be good to perform some water changes and see if the tetras start moving around again after that. You should probably take them back home if they do since there must have been something wrong with their tank conditions.

Is It Dangerous To Put Dead Ember Tetras Back In The Tank?

Yes, it is. If the tetra was sick before dying, then there are chances that you might get sick yourself if water from its tank transfers to your tanks during water changes or any other time when you are transferring fish around in multiple aquariums. This transfer can take place through nets, hands, or even the air.


Why Is My Ember Tetras Swimming At Top Of The Tank?

If your tetra is swimming at the top of the tank, then it might be because there is not enough oxygen in the water for them to breathe correctly. You can fix this problem by simply adding more plants, ensuring the filter works, and cleaning the tank properly.

What Is The Lifespan Of Ember Tetras?

The estimated lifespan of an adult ember tetra fish is around six to eight years. However, this can vary depending on how well you take care of your pet fish, as some environmental factors will affect the lifespan of your fish.

Is My Ember Tetras Sick?

If you have noticed significant changes in their behavior, such as a change in swimming pattern, then it is likely that they are sick and might not live for very long if left untreated. It would help if you immediately took them back to the pet store where you bought them from because only a professional can tell what is wrong with them.

Final Words

Summing up, we hope this blog post helped you to understand the reasons behind ember tetra not moving and how you should deal with it.

If your fish is still alive, we recommend that you do a few water changes and watch its behavior for the next couple of days. Don’t hesitate to contact the store you purchased your ember tetra(s) from, as most of them are very helpful and will assist.

If it is dead, please follow this blog post to learn how to deal with deceased ember tetra. We would recommend that you also purchase some water conditioners for future purposes.

If you have questions about why your ember tetra is not moving, please leave a comment below, and I will be happy to answer them. Thanks for reading! Have a good day!

Good luck on your fishkeeping journey!

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