How Often Should You Feed Tetra Fish?

how often to feed tetra fish

When you are in charge of taking care of tetra fish or any other fish, you have to feed them right and provide sufficient food. You certainly cannot risk the life of tetra fish by messing the feeding schedule. Anyway, you might be concerned about what and how often does tetra fish eat. You don’t have to worry a lot regarding this but stick with this article to solve your queries.

Tetra fish are omnivorous and hence, can consume both meat and plant. They can eat anything edible you provide them and what fits in their mouth. And feeding frequency depends on the health of your tetra fish: You should feed a healthy normal tetra twice a day however you need to feed sick tetra once a day.

Moreover, you have to make a legit schedule diet plan for tetra fish if you want to keep one. Here, you have to know what food does tetra eat, how often they can eat, and their feeding schedule for taking better care of tetra.

In this article, I will tell you how often you should feed tetra fish and many more. I hope you will read this article till the end.

How Often Should I Feed Tetras?

Tetras can eat anytime when you supply food in the tank. Still, you have to be careful about the feeding process since tetras should not be overfed.

Even they open their mouth to eat more often, avoid feeding them at large. Overfeeding can be dangerous, and you can only feed tetras twice or once a day.

Tetras love leafy vegetables so, feed them veggies once in the morning and once during the night.

In the same vein, you have to follow a similar routine for your tetras. However, let me tell you how often to feed for a baby or fry tetras and adult tetras below:

For Adult Tetra

For big or adult tetra, you can feed them twice or once a day. You can feed them meat, earthworms, tubeworms, and frozen items. Some adult tetras do not like flakes so, be alert about not feeding those flakes for them.

However, observe these two major activities:” bloating of tetra fish body, and spending the most time in the filter to search for food.”

It will help you to know whether you are over or underfeeding tetra if you observe these activities.

 For Baby Or Fry Tetra

Fry tetra or baby tetra can be a bit responsive when it comes to the caring schedules. Feeding the baby tetras is like they need food more time than the adult tetras. So, feed baby tetras thrice a day. I have also written an article on How To Feed Tetra Fish Fry Properly | Dos & Don’ts With Alternative Food

You can keep fry tetras in a separate tank, and this can give them extra care. When this small fry turns mature, you can keep it with other fish and apply the same food habits for them like adult tetra.

You might like to read more about Tetra Fry Care – How to Care for Baby Tetras?

Signs You Are Overfeeding Tetra Fish

Many tetra fish keepers get the problem of overfeeding the tetras. Most people do not know whether the food that they are feeding to their fish is sufficient or not.

Sometimes people also feed the fish only to see the beauty of how amazing tetra looks while eating.

Overfeeding can bring dangerous consequences for tetra fish lifespan due to different health hazards it invites.

So, you have to know if you are overfeeding your tetras and have to stop it as soon as possible.

Here I will show you some signs of tetra fish if you are overfeeding them:

  • Tetra fish starts to get fatter than usual, and this is unhealthy.
  • The filter tends to get clogged since you are overfeeding tetra fish. When tetra fish produce a heap of waste from their body and this waste will eventually clog the filtration system. Learn more about Types of Aquarium Filter For Tetra Fish and Filtration Methods.
  • Leftover food is another sign that you are overfeeding your tetra fish. You can see this leftover food floating in the water in the tank.
  • As you feed more food items to fish, there will be a collection of uneaten food. This leftover food can lead to the growth of excessive green algae inside the tank. It can be a bit difficult to eliminate these algae from the tank eventually. Read more about Do Tetra Fish Eat Algae? – Should You Add Algae To Their Diet?
  • Similarly, you can go near the tank and open the lid and smell the tank, and it will smell bad due to rotten food.
  • Lastly, when you overfeed the tetra fish, they cannot consume food and leave it in the water. This leftover food can make water cloudy and foamy.

Signs You Are Underfeeding Tetra Fish

There are numerous signs you can find if you are underfeeding your tetra fish. Underfeeding can give birth to diseases for the tetra fish so, feed tetra fish quality and nutritious food items.

As a fish owner, you have to make a food schedule and a well-planned diet for tetra fish. Here are some signs which your tetra fish can show if you are underfeeding:

  • Tetra fish looks skinnier than usual this is because you are not feeding enough food for tetras.
  • The color of tetra fish can also change when they do not get food. Tetra starts losing their beautiful color, and it makes them look dull and sick.
  • Tetra fish can start nipping the plants and substrates in search of food as you are not giving them sufficient food.
  • They will have sunken bodies if you do not supply them with food. So, feed them the right and adequate amount of food.
  • If you underfeed tetras, this can ultimately lead to death. So, you should be aware of the food amount you give to tetras.

Food You Can Feed To Tetra Fish

For tetra to live longer and to be in sound health, they need nutritious foods and you need to careful with tetra fish diet. Nutritious food helps make their body go strong and be active overall.

Tetra fish need vitamins like vitamin A from green vegetables for stronger bones, vitamin b they get from yellow veggies like pumpkin and carrots for being active, vitamin c from algae, fish, and fish egg for proper digestion process.

Another way of feeding tetra right can be homemade items, which can be easy as you can easily make homemade food for any fish.

Likewise, you can also make homemade items for tetra fish. You can go to the kitchen and search for leafy vegetables like lettuce, kale, and Spanish -boil it and feed tetras.

The greens leaves are rich in vitamins, proteins, and irons, which are eminent for fish. Tetra fish are utterly consumers, so you can also feed them homemade items like carrots, frozen fish fry, oats, and many more.

As you know that the tetra fish is omnivorous that can consume both plants and meat.

The teeth and digestive tract of tetra fish always crave meat and plants so, make sure you supply them with quality meat and plant products loaded with high vitamins and proteins.

This fish can eat varieties of food to become healthy and to survive as all other living being does.

Food That You Must Avoid For Tetra Fish

Now, you know what food you can supply for tetras, now let me describe the food to avoid for them.

Even though tetra fish are omnivorous, they cannot digest everything you give them. In the same vein, tetra fish cannot digest grains and some plant food since they are not suitable for them.

You should eliminate food items with lots of fats since fats can be risky for the health of tetras, therefore, be sure to check the fat levels in fish food.

More than 3% of fat in food items is risky for the health of tetra. However, adult tetras can feed up to 6 percent of the fats but avoid fat food for fry tetras. Besides, avoid food with high cooking oil contents generally.

Do not buy food that comes in the large cane since it contains low vitamins food for fish. Likewise, if any fish food includes water, more than 10 %then, it is low-grade food for tetras.

Another thing to keep in mind is to store dry foods in a tight container to avoid air moisture reaching inside it.

If you are not careful about diet, for tetra-fish, then they can end up getting food poison.


Here are answers to few frequently asked questions you might like knowing answers to.

Can I Overfeed Tetras?

You cannot overfeed your tetras since it can harm their health. The overfeeding leads to damaging the digestive system of your tetras. When you overfeed and oversupply food items to your tetras, then the food can be in the water. This leftover food can give birth to harmful ammonia, and this ammonia can harm the health of tetras.

How Long Can Tetras Go Without Food?

Tetras can go without food for two weeks. The adult tetra fish do not need a meal every time. However, small or baby tetras need food two times a week. Nevertheless, you can leave your tetras without food for four days, which is good for tetras’ health.

I have also written an article on How Long Can Neon Tetras Live Without Food? Have a look!!!

To Sum Up,

Tetra fish are gorgeous fish that are omnivores. Once you make and make the right feeding habit, then it can be worth it. Feeding tetras is not as hard as other fish. You can give them edible homemade food as well.

Also, once you maintain the proper food diet for tetras, it can help tetras to remain active and healthy. Mature tetras can eat two times a week, and small tetra can thrice a day. It depends on the mature tetras and fry tetras. Lastly, I want you to be a responsible fish keeper and do not overfeed tetras. I hope this article is beneficial for you.


Recommended Articles:

  1. How to Set up an Aquarium for Tetra Fish
  2. 12 Best Tetra Fish Tank Mates And Fish To Avoid

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top