Why Is My Ember Tetras Shaking?

Ember Tetras are beautiful fish that get their name from the red and orange stripes on their body. They are peaceful species of fish that make good community fish if kept in the appropriate aquarium setup. However, sometimes these Ember tetras will start shaking out of the blue and make you question everything you are doing. Why Is My Ember Tetras Shaking? What did I do wrong?

Well, Ember tetras suffer from shimmies which is an uncontrollable shaking of the body and fins. Shimmies are a symptom and not a disease. Therefore, if your ember tetras are shaking, it means there is something wrong with the water conditions in the tank or due to stress from other factors, which we will discuss below.

Shimmies can also be caused by poor water quality, which is typically accompanied by discolored water and cloudy eyes and gills.

Many different things can cause shimmies in Ember Tetras, but you can take steps to cure them!

Let’s start by talking about why Ember Tetras get shimmies in the first place.

Why Is My Ember Tetras Shaking?

Ember tetras are a pretty common fish that many people love. This blog post will talk about Why Is My Ember Tetras Shaking? and how to fix it!

Ember tetras can get shimmies when the water conditions are poor, they have an underlying disease, or if there’s stress in their environment. There can be a few reasons for shimmies in ember tetras, so let’s go over them!

Wrong Temperature

The first reason is that the temperature of their environment isn’t right. Ember tetras are used to water that has a higher temperature compared to what most tanks have. Like for example, you’d want your house heated at about 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit if you were going to be home all day. If your ember tetras are exposed to a temperature around 65 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, they will start showing stress and might even get shimmies because their bodies can’t adapt fast enough!

Poor Water Conditions

The following reason for this fish getting the shakes is poor water conditions. The ammonia level in an aquarium should be 0 ppm, the nitrite level should be 0 ppm, and the nitrate can’t exceed 40-50ppm. If any of these levels are too high or not kept in check, they will stress out your ember tetras!


Another reason that Ember Tetras get shimmies is that there’s a lot of stress in their environment. For example, if there’s an aggressive fish that keeps chasing them, or if they’re being bullied by other tetras and don’t have any spots to hide–this will cause a lot of stress for your ember tetras!

Underlying Diseases

Lastly, Ember Tetras may get shimmies because they have an underlying disease. If they have one of these diseases, like ich or velvet–their bodies won’t be able to keep up with the conditions in their environment and will stress out! Because of this, you must take your ember tetras to a fish store for treatment if you suspect any disease is going on.

How To Treat Shimmies In Ember Tetras? Ways To Stop Ember Tetras From Shaking

Now that you know the reasons behind ember tetras getting shimmies let’s talk about how to treat it!

Add Aquarium Salt

Add aquarium salt in the water to reduce shimmies. Salt can decrease stress levels and help your fish recover faster from diseases or injuries that they might have incurred because of their shimmying behavior.

If you have a dosage of up to one teaspoon per gallon in your tank, this will help improve their chances of recovery. Salt will help them recover faster, but it won’t treat the underlying cause.

Maintain Water Conditions

Make sure your tank is clean and uncluttered so that you can easily spot any potential problems early on. It’s also important to keep up with regular water changes.

Ensure that you maintain proper temperature, pH level, ammonia, and nitrite levels for best results when treating ember tetra shimmies.

The best way to treat ember tetra shimmies is by maintaining proper water conditions. This will help the fish recover faster and prevent future cases of it from occurring again.

Make Tank Look More Lively To Remove Stress

Stress can worsen shimmies as ember tetras are already quite sensitive to changes in the environment.

One way to reduce stress is by making your tank look livelier and more appealing for them to feel relaxed instead of being stressed out. Adding plants with many colors will help provide shelter for the fish from other predatory fish and any other aggressive fish in the tank.

Do not add plants with sharp leaves as they can injure your ember tetras or cause them to get caught on them, preventing them from moving around freely.

Increase Temperature

Increasing the temperature is one of the most common ways to treat shimmies in ember tetras, as it helps them recover faster from this condition.

Increasing the ember tetra’s temperature can help in their recovery process.

It would be best to aim for a range between 73 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit with optimal water temperatures at around 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid Predators And Aggressive Fish

Ensure that you do not add any predator fish to your tank as they may attack your ember tetras and cause them to get injured or stressed, which will worsen their shimmies condition.

If you already have any predatory fish in your tank, make sure you feed them well, so they don’t go looking for an easy meal by hunting down your ember tetras. You should also avoid adding aggressive or territorial fish who might bully the ember tetras.

Quarantine Your Ember Tetra Fish To Treat Shimmies Or Stop Shaking

One of the best ways to treat shimmies is by isolating your ember tetra fish in a quarantine tank so they can recover faster without having stress from other predators or aggressive fish.

By quarantining them, also helps you monitor their recovery process, and it can also help you prevent any additional fish from getting affected by their shimmies.

Why Acclimatizing Your Ember Tetra Fish Is Important To Eliminate Shimmies?

It’s important to acclimate your ember tetra fish when introducing them into a new environment or after treating shimmy to eliminate this disease. Acclimatizing your ember tetra fish is the process of slowly introducing them into a new environment or after treating shimmy to avoid shock, which can lead to death. In addition, this ensures that the water conditions are similar enough for comfort and safety from environmental stressors such as sudden changes in temperature, pH level, and salt content of the water.

The process usually involves transferring a small amount of tank water to a separate container with an equal part of conditioned tap water at a slow pace over about five minutes. Wait another ten minutes before adding this mixture to your new or cleaned aquarium. You should repeat this step for at least one hour if you add the fish to a new environment. If you are treating shimmies, then acclimate your ember tetra for up to twenty-four hours before releasing them into their tank. It may take some time for the water conditions in different body parts (like gills) to match and allow them to adjust to the new environment without shock.


I have answered some of the most asked questions about ember tetra fish.

Can Ember Tetras Have Seizures?

Shimmies is not a seizure. But strokes or other neurological conditions such as swim bladder disease and dropsy, if left untreated, cause this. It’s best to seek immediate medical treatment when you see your ember tetra fish having shimmies. Stay alert as this condition can lead to death if not adequately treated.

How Can You Tell Stress In Ember Tetras?

There are several ways you can tell if something is causing stress in your ember tetras. Some of them are rapid breathing or an erratic swimming pattern, floating towards the top or bottom of the tank. You should also check if your ember tetra has clamped fins. It indicates that they are not receiving enough oxygen in their water. It’s important to maintain high-quality water conditions for your fish, so this doesn’t happen.


In conclusion, ember tetras can get shimmies when under stress due to poor water quality, predators attacking them, and not acclimating them properly. Therefore, you must maintain high-quality water conditions for your ember tetra so that this doesn’t happen again in the future.

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