Glowlight Tetra’s Diet: How Often To Feed Them And Best Food?

glowlight tetra's diet

Glowlight Tetras are one of the most beautiful fish that any fish-lover will love to own. They are loved for their bright stripe from the nose to tail which glows in dim lighting, their calm temperament, and shoaling nature. No matter whether you are a beginner or an expert at fish keeping, this beautiful fish is suitable for everyone due to its hardy nature. Now you might wonder what food do these beautiful hardy Glowlight Tetras eat and whether they are difficult to feed. But, surprisingly, Glowlight Tetras aren’t just beautiful but they are quite easy to feed too. They are omnivorous and eat everything from meat to vegetable matter. Food for Glowlight Tetras are also readily available in packet form and can also be made in your home. I’m sure that reading about the Glowlight Tetras diet has excited you so keep reading further for more information.

Ideally, Glowlight Tetras need to be fed 3-4 times a day. Feed them only as much as they can eat under 3 minutes. Monitor how much your fish eats. Initially, add a tiny portion of food in the tank. If your Glowlight Tetras finish the food soon, then add food gradually. If they finish the food you gave them exactly in 3 minutes then always give them the same amount of food. Don’t overfeed or underfeed them. Glowlight Tetras diet may include brine shrimps, water flea like Daphnia, frozen bloodworms and tubifex, micro fish pellets, fish flakes, and other live food like mosquito larvae, wingless fruit flies. Since Glowlight Tetras are omnivorous, they can eat vegetable matter too. However, the secret for a healthy fish includes its diet, so a perfectly balanced meal is necessary.

I had 20 Glowlight Tetras in my aquarium. The beautiful shoal of fish lived for 4 years and I think the secret to their longevity was in their diet. I even noticed that the variation in their diet helped to make their strips glow better. Just like you get good skin through minerals and vitamins in the food, Glowlight Tetras too get a good glow through their food.

Through this article, you will get to know everything about the diet of Glowlight Tetras and how you can prepare their food at home. You will also get knowledge on how to feed them and how often they should eat in a day. You can read below to find out.

Glowlight Tetra Profile

Physical Feature

As you might have guessed by its name, Glowlight Tetra has a glowing stripe from its nose to tail. The stripe glows in dim light and makes aquarium alluring to look at, especially if they are in shoals. The adults are around 2 inches long. Females are rounder and dimmer compared to males.


Glowlight Tetras have an average lifespan of 2-3 years. However, If you take care of them, feed them well, and maintain water parameters giving them a good environment, your Tetras will live to be 4-5 years old.


Hemigrammus Erythrozonus is the scientific name of the fish and they are native to the Essequibo basin in Guyana and also found in Marzuni and Potaro rivers. The rivers have tannins due to the falling of decayed leaves making them acidic and brown. Since Glowlight thrives best in acidic waters, these places are perfect for them.


Since glowlight tetra has a glowing body, its better you give them dim lighting conditions. It prefers to stay beside plants. And blackwater is best for these beautiful fish as it brings out the beauty in blackwater. In their habitat, they find food like algae, insect larvae, daphnia, etc as food.

Social Behavior and Temperament

Do you know about schooling fish? Schooling fish means that they prefer to merge in shoals. Pairing them in a group of 4 (8 or more fishes) makes them feel secure. So, you better not buy them if you are planning on getting less than 8.

Although they don’t always move in shoals, they group together when they feel like any threat is around. And they are scaredy-cats of fish. If any noise or any person walks by their tank, they get threatened and try to group together. Don’t scare them too much and be careful when you’re around them because they can hurt themselves while swimming fast.

Due to its friendly disposition, you can keep them in a community aquarium. But, I recommend you keep them in a tank with only Glowlight Tetras because they look beautiful in groups and somehow, they even look complete in that way.

Best Food To Include In Glowlight Tetra’s Diet

You might think that fish are pretty difficult to feed but this hardy fish isn’t fussy over its diet. They are omnivorous which means that they can be fed vegetable matter too. They eat everything you give them like live food, fish flakes, and pellets, frozen and dried bloodworms, etc. However, they need protein to carry on their development. Their average life span is 2 years but some live up to 5 years. You should balance their diet now and then which includes live and homemade food other than packaged ones. Please read below to find how you can balance the diet of your Glowlight Tetra.

Live Food For Glowlight Tetras

In their natural habitat, Glowlight Tetras eat insect larvae, fruit flies, water fleas, algae. So your aquarium bred Glowfish Tetra can be fed with live food occasionally so that they get natural nutrients. However, live food may cause parasitic disease in your fish so it’s better not to feed them live food. Maybe only occasionally but don’t feed them live food regularly.

You can get live food from your local fish store. And you can also cultivate the live food and make homemade food for your lovely pet fish.

Pre-Packaged Fish Food For Glowlight Tetras

It is best to feed them high-quality packaged fish food because it contains all the protein, omega fatty acids, and necessary nutrients to help your Glowlight Tetra grow at a normal rate. However, you should read the ingredients in the package to see if you are giving your fish the necessary requirements or not.

You can buy fish flakes, pellets, and wafers which contain all the nutritional requirements. There is a difference between fish flakes and pellets. Fish flake starts losing the quality of food after you open it while pellets retain their quality for a long time even after you’ve opened it. I personally prefer flakes because I can know how much food I’m giving my pet fish. You can also scoop out excess pellets from the water if you think you’re feeding them too much.

The packaged food is made by chemists, specialists, and biologists so they contain the essential nutrients that mimic natural live food. They must contain protein and Omega 3 Fatty acids to make Glowlight Tetras grow at their natural pace. Some packages also included minerals and vitamins to bolster up the fish metabolism. See that some also contain natural color enhancing formulae so their stripes become more saturated as they age.

Homemade Food For Glowlight Tetras

There is no better day than today when you realize that your fish can appreciate your cooking. Since they aren’t particular about their diet, you can feed them dried and frozen bloodworms, Daphnia, brine shrimp, plant matter, etc. However, a balanced diet is important for your Glowlight Tetras to glow and grow normally so you shouldn’t only feed them homemade food. You should bear in mind their food should be cut in tiny pieces so the fishes can swallow them easily. Here, you can briefly see how to prepare homemade food for your Fish.

Brine Shrimp

It is a nutritious food both for fry as well as adult Glowlight Tetras and my Tetras loved to eat them. You can buy the shrimp eggs from your supplier. Then, hatch the shrimps in 2 liters of water. Add salt (preferably kosher salt) and keep an optimum temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the tank. After they hatch, strain the shrimps and wash them in freshwater and drop them into the tank to feed the tetras.

Micro Worms

I used to buy micro worms and raise them in a shoebox and they reproduced acting as a continuous source of food. It made it easier as I didn’t have to find other protein to feed them.

You can put a cup of oatmeal inside a plastic container in a box and add brewer’s yeast and keep the micro worms in the box. Replace the oatmeal every 2-3 weeks.

The micro worm can be picked and fed to both adult and fry but cut them into fine particles.

Any Meat Which Acts As A Protein

Did you know that meat is a good source of protein? Any meat like a  thoroughly ground earthworm, shrimp, fish, beef, bloodworm meat is suitable for Glowlight Tetra. Bear in mind that you should cut it in a tiny size so that the fish can eat the protein with ease.

Plant Matter For Glowlight Tetras

Since Glowlight Tetras are omnivorous, they get to benefit from including plant sources in their diet along with meat sources.

Thoroughly chopped spinach added with spirulina and algae is good for them.

The above homemade food is best for Glowlight Tetras but what if you run out of food? Don’t worry, you can feed your fish boiled rice, boiled peas, lettuce, sprouts. However, buy the above food immediately so your fish gets the required nutrients.

Related Article: Tetra Fish Diet

Commercially Available Food For Glowlight Tetra’s Diet

You might think that packaged food is bad for Tetras similar to a human packaged junk food. However, you’ll be surprised to know that these food fulfill the nutritional requirements as it is improved by biologists, specialists, and chemists and helps make your Tetra happy and healthy. Some even contain natural color enhancing formulae to make your Tetra glow more.

There are two types of pellets: Floating and sinking pellets. Glowlight Tetras eat only the floating pellets so you should buy floating pellets. and even if you give them lots of food, you can always scoop food out using a net.

There is an upside to packaged food as the ingredients are listed in the package and you can carefully examine and know whether your fish is getting the required nutrition for its development and if it is safe to feed them. So you shouldn’t merely see the price point but also the nutrient that the food provides. This is why commercial fish food one of the best food you can give to your fish.

Here is a list of 7 best food for Glowlight tetras you can buy

  • Tetra Tropical XL Granules
  • Hikari Tropical Semi-Floating Micro Pellets
  • Fluval Bug Bites Granules For Tropical Fish
  • API Fish Food Flakes
  • Omega 1 super Color Flakes
  • GloFish Special Flake Food
  • Tetra-Min Tropical Granules Nutritionally Balanced

What Are The Food For Glowing Tetras During Different Stages Of Life Cycle?

You might think that by being hardy, Glowlight Tetras eat equally in all stages of their life but their diet needs to be varied so they get the nutrition required for their development. Besides, the Glowlight fry has a small mouth which fits similar sized food like infusoria. Read below to find out what you should feed your Tetras in different stages of their life.

Feeding Fry

Fries are tiny and this stage is a critical stage in their lifecycle. Their mouth is also tiny and only fit microscopic food.  I researched about what baby Glowlight Tetras eat and found out that they require infusoria. I fed my fry infusoria and they ate it well. You can buy infusoria in a fish store and culture them in your own home. Just simply fill a bottle with the aquarium water and keep the store-bought infusoria in it. Also, keep fish food and a lettuce leaf inside the bottle and keep the bottle under sunlight for a week. After a week, cloudy water is formed. Again after a few days, a pinkish color appears in the water which is infusoria. Just pour the water in the tank to feed your cultured infusoria to your fries.

Your Fry also requires live food and the best live food is baby brine shrimps. Fries should be fed 3-8 times a day and the amount depends on the number of fries in the tank. I also like adding micro worms to the diet for variation. These baby brine shrimps and micro worms will create a hunter instinct in them and they’ll start growing mentally and physically due to that.

The fries might grow at different rates depending on the amount of infusoria they have consumed. Consuming infusoria, some fry become strong and start eating baby brine shrimps and micro worms.

Such a diet is recommended for around 2 weeks and you should keep giving them all the above three variations of food.

Related Article: Tetra Fish Fry Diet

Feeding Juveniles

At around 2-3 weeks, your Glowlight Tetra fry becomes stronger and bigger. This growth spurt stage is called Juvenile. With a proper diet, they develop their distinguished glowing stripe in this stage.

However, you should feed them slowly and make sure that they recognize the new food you’re giving them else it’s going to foul the water tank.

Feeding Adults

After 3 and a half months, the juveniles become adults. These adults consume powdered food and even live food like Insect larvae, wingless fruit flies, algae, frozen bloodworms, water fleas, brine shrimp, etc. They usually don’t eat the food when it has sunk. Otherwise, adults are pretty easy to feed.

How Often And How Should You Feed Glowlight Tetras?

There is often a lingering question that every fish-owner asks and that is how often and how to feed the pet fish. The answer to this question isn’t very easy and neither difficult. If you give your fish the required amount of food daily, then there is no problem. My Glowlight Tetras only ate the food that was floating in the water. They didn’t swim down to get more food. The food sunk in the tank and accumulated. It was very hard to clean my tank frequently so I stopped giving them food more than they could eat.

That is why you should plan and calculate the amount of food according to the number of fish to feed.

Ideally, you should feed them 3-4 times a day. Feed them only as much they can eat under three minutes. Monitor how much your fish eats. Start with a tiny amount. If they finish it too soon, gradually add more but don’t add anymore after 3 minutes. If at the end of three minutes, any extra pellet remains, then scoop the food with a net. The amount of food that your fish finishes under three minutes, that amount you should give to your fish. Don’t overfeed or underfeed them.

Don’t pour all of the food once a day. This will cause the piling of food in the aquarium which can lead to overfeeding and dirtying the tank. Feed them thrice a day during your breakfast, lunch, and dinner in tiny portions so that they can eat the required amount.

Glowlight Tetras are opportunistic feeders in the wild. So, if you give them food 3-4 times a day, your fish will feel like it’s living in the natural wilderness of home.

What Happens When You Feed Glowlight Fish Tetras Too Much Food?

Too much of anything is harmful. You might love your Glowlight tetras too much and overfeed them. Don’t do that. This is one of the major mistakes new fish owners make.

You should feed them only as much as they eat under 3 minutes. Some fish pellets float in the tank and your Glowlight Tetras will feed on it. Overfeeding in such conditions can cause bloating which is a serious condition in fish.

You should not add extra food for later thinking that they are intelligent enough to differentiate between lunch and dinner. Moreover, the pellets will sink. Even if the pellets are floating in the water, you should reduce the amount of food for their next meal or scoop out with a net.

On the other hand, the extra food goes to waste and pollutes the water which requires frequent cleaning. Decomposing uneaten fish food also adds to the nitrogen levels (increased nitrites and nitrates), and ammonia levels which lowers the oxygen and pH. This imbalance in water parameters might turn into another factor harming your fish.


Being a hardy fish, Glowlight Tetras are very easy to maintain and they eat whatever is given to them. However, they too, require certain variation and schedule in their diet.

By reading the above post, you might have got an idea about what to feed them and how often to feed them along with the required amount.

With patience and persistence in feeding them, your Glowfish Tetras can light up the aquarium and make the world, both inside and outside the aquarium, happy.

Related Article: Albino Glowlight Tetra

Also Read:
How To Prepare Your Tetra Fish For Vacation
Do Tetra Fish Eat Shrimp

Image Credit: Peter Maguire, Flicker

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top