Tetra Fry Care – How to Care for Baby Tetras?

school of baby tetras| Tetra Fry Care

Tetras are freshwater tropical fish that require certain water conditions to thrive. In the wild, the water in the rivers and streams is constantly flowing. Due to this, the water parameters such as temperature, pH level, hardness, etc. adjust according to the change in the climates. Similarly, tetras breed in the rainy season in the wild. Whereas, in your aquarium tank, the tetras breed when the water parameters and the tank environment is controlled and monitored. Breeding tetras is not that much of a difficult task. You need to care for the tetra fish babies and try to save them otherwise; there will not be any left.

You need to follow certain procedures so that you save the tetra babies. It is not a great burden to save the tetra babies. However, you will need to give a little bit of your time and extra effort. As the tetra fish babies are delicate and very small, you need to monitor them carefully for a few weeks of their birth.

I will try to explain about the necessary precautions that you must take in order to care for and save tetra fish babies.

Breeding Tetra Fish – How Tetras Are Born?

If you have researched about tetra care, you must be aware that in order to breed tetras successfully, you must separate the breeding pairs. We do this to get the tetras ready for mating. You need to separate the breeding pairs about two or three weeks prior to the mating.

The breeding tank should have a clean and prepared water. The tank should also have a peat filter with live plants. Once the breeding tank is ready, you need to introduce the breeding pairs into the tank. First, you need to add the female tetra and then only the male tetra. You need to place two to three females in the tank so that male does not only focus on a particular one female.

After you do this, you need to keep an eye on the pairs for some time. This ensures that the male tetras are not aggressive towards the female. If you find the male aggressive then you need to separate the female from the tank.

The fertilization process can be indicated when the fish start to chase each other. The male fertilizes the eggs. Once you achieve this, you need to remove the male tetra immediately so that I do not attack the female or the eggs.

The eggs will hatch after hours after the female lay them. You need to remove the females from the tank as well. You must do this so that the adult tetras do not end up eating the eggs.

Learn more about breeding tetras in our previous article.

Tetra Fry Care: Care Guide for Tetra Fish Babies

Once the eggs hatch, you will be responsible for the delicate, small babies all at once. If you want your tetra fish babies to live adult tetra life, you must care for the tetra while they are babies.

Here are some of the steps you can follow to save or care for tetra fish babies. Keep reading further to know more.

Keep tetra fish babies in a separate tank

Tetras fall under the category of fish that harms their own babies. Some fish tend to take care of their eggs and fries but tetras are not one of those species. Hence, you must be the one playing the role of guardian for the tetra babies.

Therefore, the first step you need to take is removing the parents from the tank. As I have mentioned in the article before, you need a separate breeding tank. Once, the females lay eggs, you can raise the tetra babies in the same tank by providing them with suitable water conditions and diet.

Protect the eggs

When you have a bare gravel substrate at the bottom of the tank, it can protect the eggs from the parents, as the eggs will roll between the gravel pieces. However, it will also be difficult for you to scoop out the eggs.

One of the methods to prevent this from happening is using thick plants at the bottom of the tank. This makes sure that the eggs fall on top of the plants and can help you monitor them properly.

Provide the tetra fish babies with proper filtration

You should be particularly careful when you set up a filter in your tetra fry tank. Since the tetra babies are very tiny, you cannot use filters having small holes where they can fit easily. You also should avoid using filters that produce small bubbles through the water. If you use this, the bubbles get trapped under the tetra’s growing scales and can hurt them.

You can use sponge filters in this case. These filters can provide both mechanical as well as biological filtration, which will help to clean the tank. The sponge filters also do not create a strong suction and do not hurt the tetra babies.

Provide Darkness for the eggs

After the female lays eggs, you can turn off any artificial lights. You can also cover the tank with a towel to avoid the lights. Many tetra fish owners and breeders believe that lights in the tetra baby tank should be as minimal as possible. This is because too much light can cause to develop fungus into the eggs.

This is an extra precaution that you can take in order to make sure that your tetra fish babies are saved.

Make sure the tetra fish babies feel secure

Sometimes the tetra babies can feel stressed out. Even if the fries are not under any kind of stress, they may seek out hiding places in the tank.

When this happens, you need to create an environment in which they will feel safe and less stressed. Tetras naturally seek out a hiding spot. However, tetra babies are very small, if you plant the aquarium heavily, you might not be able to observe them very easily.

To overcome this problem, you can set black paper at the back of the tank where you are keeping the tetra babies. By doing so, you can make tetra babies feel safe without having the problem of making it difficult for you to observe them.

Diet for tetra babies

After the eggs hatch, it will take few more weeks for the tetra babies to swim freely in the tank. You need to observe this part very carefully, as once the fries start to swim; they are mostly looking for the food.

As soon as they hatch, you can feed the tetra babies with few small drops of infusoria a few times a day.

Some tetra fish babies can get large and aggressive. You will be in luck if this happens because you can feed them with brine shrimp right away. However, if this is not the case then you will need to provide the tetra babies with only smaller foods.

One of the inexpensive and easy foods for the tetra babies can be boiled egg yolk. After boiling the egg, all you need to do is just take the yolk out and add some water. You place both water and yolk in a container and shake it vigorously. The yolk should dissolve into the water. You can feed this to your fry.

You can also feed your tetra fries micro-worms in the first few months of their growth. There are also commercially available flake foods and fry foods in local or pet markets. After consulting with the experts, you can purchase them as well.

Maintaining water conditions

The fish fries are very fragile at first. You need to provide them with a suitable living condition and monitor them until they adapt to the aquarium conditions.

One of the ways in which you can care for them is by maintaining the water conditions. This includes temperature, pH level as well as hardness. You must also ensure that there are no bacterial and fungal developments in the water.

You must research the suitable tank conditions required by the specific tetra fish babies that you have and act accordingly. Filtrations and water temperature should be regular no matter what.

Furthermore, you must also carry out frequent water changes in a week. You can create suction from aquarium tubes so that you do not harm the fries but can remove any solid wastes from the bottom of the tank.

Closing Remarks

Finally, if you follow the above-mentioned process carefully, there will be a great chance of survival of your tetra fish fries. As your tetra fish babies grow, it will be easier for you to care for them. Once they have developed, either you can move them into the adult tetra tanks or you can also create the environment for adult tetras in the same tank as well.

You can also sell them if you want to. However, if you want to sell them, you need to make sure that you acclimate back to the pH level of tap water 1 to 2 weeks prior. If you are not able to do this, your tetras will die at once when you sell them.

When the babies turn adult, you will also notice the bright colorations throughout their bodies. You need to feed them with a high protein diet to ensure their optimum growth.


You must be worried about the survival rate of tetra babies. Yes, it is true that there will be a lot of dedication and you need to invest your effort and time. If you care for the tetra fish babies and provide all the necessities, there is a high chance of a great survival rate.

Despite providing all the requirements and doing everything you can, there might still be some fries that will not make it. When this happens, it is bound to break your heart as you have cared and shown them the same affection as you would show a child. You need to move on from that and care for the living fries because they will need a lot of affection as well.

I hope that you have some idea from this article all the responsibility as a fish owner that you should follow in order to care for tetra fish babies. I hope that you will get a high survival rate for your tetras.

Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqol-J-819E

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