‌Ember Tetra – Care, Size, Breeding, Lifespan, & More

In this article, you’ll learn all about the Ember Tetra.

We’ll go over;

  • The care requirements in detail
  • What they look like
  • How big they grow
  • Diet requirements
  • Breeding behaviors

And we’ll answer some of the most popular questions about the Ember Tetra.

Let’s go.


Equipment You Might Need For Your Ember Tetras

  1. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter
  2. NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light
  3. Fluval M Aquarium Heater
  4. Python Pro-Clean Gravel Washer and Siphon Kit
  5. Marina Algae Magnet Cleaner
  6. API Freshwater Master Test Kit

The Ember Tetra (hyphessobrycon-amandae)

Ember Tetra Profile Sheet
Ember Tetra Fish Profile, Care & Tank Setup

The Ember Tetra was discovered by Heiko Bleher, who named the fish Hyphessobrycon amandae after his mother, Amanda Bleher.

These nano fish are part of a vast and diverse species with over 2000 fish, called Characiformes.

These aquarium fish are native to Central Brazil and are primarily found in the Araguaia River basin.

However, you may also be able to spot them in a few other areas near the river basin and Central Brazil.

Ember Tetras have become quite popular among aquarists of all experience levels because of how easy it is to take care of them.

They are also quite visibly appealing and make for an attractive addition to your fish tank.

Appearance: What Do Ember Tetras Look Like?

As the name suggests, Ember Tetra is bright red or bright orange, much like a fire’s dying embers.

They are pretty unique to look at and light up the tank.

If you want your tetras to turn a bright red color, you will have to take special care of their diet, give them live feed, and take extra care of the water pH levels and tank living conditions.

Both male and female tetras are pretty similar in appearance.

Their eyes almost always have a bright orange rim, and most fish also feature a colorful orange gradient in their appearance.

They have elongated bodies, a single anal fin that is merged, a large caudal fin, and one tiny dorsal fin. The dorsal and caudal fins may have a slightly grayish tint or gradient towards the end.

The body is almost always a bright orange color, with the lower body a little brighter than the top.

The top of their head and the area around the eyes and mouth is often a bright red color.

The females usually have a larger air bladder than males, and their bodies tend to become rounded during the breeding season.

You may be able to tell them apart if you are an experienced aquarist, but since they don’t have any specific requirements, you don’t necessarily have to be able to.

Size: How Big Do Ember Tetras Get?

Ember Tetras are pretty small and grow up to a maximum length of 0.8 inches.

Because of their small size, you can include quite a few of these, even in the smallest fish tanks.

You’ll want a few of them as they are shoaling fish and prefer to be surrounded by many others of their kind.

Behavior & Temperament

As mentioned earlier, Ember Tetras are shoaling fish and prefer being surrounded by their kind.

They are pretty peaceful and calm and live well with other non-aggressive fish, they are also quite playful and are fast swimmers, so you may see them darting around and about the tank with other mates.

Though they are pretty adaptable and are not as easy to scare, you will have to give them ample time to adjust to new surroundings.

If you want to introduce different fish species to your tank, you may wish to do so in batches to give your Ember Tetras time to adjust to the changes.

Are Ember Tetras Schooling Fish?

They are not schooling fish. They are shoaling fish. The primary distinction between the two groups is that schooling fish only swim together while shoaling fish stick together for socializing purposes.

How Many Ember Tetras Should You Keep In A School Together

You should only really keep around five to eight Ember Tetras together at a time, and the minimum recommended tank size for them is 5 gallons.

But you can place around 10 to 12 together as well.

What Level Do Ember Tetras Swim At In Your Tank?

Ember Tetras are usually found in the middle of the tank as that is the level they swim at.

You may also find them hiding behind plants as these fish prefer residing in heavily planted tanks.

Though these fish are small, they are not timid at all, but they aren’t aggressive.

They are pretty active, fast, and playful, so you won’t see them laying low and swimming at the bottom.

You will see them moving about the tank and playing with other tetras.

Lifespan: How Long Do Ember Tetras Live?

Ember Tetras don’t have very long lifespans. The average Tetra only lives for anywhere between two to four years.

You may come across some sources on the internet that some Tetras may end up living for about ten years even though these reports are widely inaccurate.

However, you can extend their lifespan by a year or two provided you take excellent care of your fish and pay extra attention to tank habitat. If you can keep your tetras happy, they may live for up to six years even.

Ensure you include lots of live plants in the tank, keep the water clean, and feed them a good amount of live food. Tetras living in tanks with lots of plants tend to live longer than those living in scarcely planted tanks.

Food & Diet: What Do Ember Tetras Eat?

We keep stressing providing Ember Tetras a healthy amount of live food such as shrimp, frozen food, and flakes and ensure their tank is heavily planted.

That is because Ember Tetras are omnivores and require a healthy amount of greenery to munch on in between meals.

Feeding is perhaps the most challenging part of caring for your Tetras.

They are micro predators and require a healthy amount of meat in their diets. However, they have very tiny mouths and do not enjoy searching for food that sinks to the bottom.

Ideally, you should feed them live food, and that too, preferably something that squirms a little to give the Tetras the gratification of a chase and hunting down their prey.

You may want to look at feeding worms, baby brine shrimps, baby daphnia, vinegar eels, grindal worms, etc.

These options don’t quickly sink to the bottom and are small enough for the Tetras to prey on them easily with their tiny mouths.

You will also have to grind the food to make sure the Tetras don’t choke on it. Try to keep their diet as diverse as possible if you want your Tetras to be happy and healthy.

Breeding & Reproduction

Ember Tetras are some of the easiest fish to breed.

All you have to do is keep the males and females together in a tank to aid reproduction.

You may want to pay extra attention to the water pH levels and keep them at seven throughout the breeding season.

Make sure to adjust the water temperature towards the higher side of the upper limit, do not let it go below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the Ember tetra lays eggs, it abandons them, leaving them to fend for themselves.

You may want to remove the fry from the large tank and move them to a smaller fry tank to help them grow out and improve their survival chances. Once they grow up to medium size, you can move them to the regular fish tank.

Ember Tetras are free spawning fish, so they don’t particularly care about the babies. They leave them to fend for themselves once they are born. But when the Tetra is about to spawn, you will notice changes in behavior among the males and females.

The males will chase the pregnant female around the tank. They may also become more aggressive.

The change in activity and behavior encourages the females to spawn and give birth quicker.

You may need to set up a small breeding tank with dim lighting and an active filter.

You should completely filter out the water weekly to facilitate healthy breeding and birthing.

Is It Hard To Breed Ember Tetras

Like we mentioned earlier, it is not at all challenging to breed Ember tetras. All you have to do is put them together in a tank, and they will reproduce. However, once your Tetra is pregnant, you may want to pay extra attention to tank conditions.

But How do you tell if your Tetra is pregnant or not?

How to Tell If Your Ember Tetra Is Pregnant?

There aren’t any physically visible signs to tell whether your Tetra is pregnant or not.

However, you will notice slight behavioral changes that will give you an idea that your Tetra may be expecting.

Firstly, you should look at the size. The female fish will start to grow around the belly right before it spawns.

You may also want to look at behavioral changes between males and females.

The male fish get aggressive towards the females when they are pregnant and chase them around – the added exercise and chasing speed up the spawning process.

Because you will have to set up a separate breeding tank, you need to look for early signs of conceiving.

Thus, it would be best to look for bubble nests around the tank, which a female tetra will build plenty of before she needs to spawn.

This Tetra creates these bubble nests with their saliva, and you may find them among rocks and hidden between plants.

How Often Do Ember Tetras Reproduce

Breeding Tetras in captivity is quite different from breeding them in their natural habitat.

However, if you can successfully recreate tank conditions precisely similar to that of their natural habitat, they may spawn every two weeks or so.

Do Ember Tetras Lay Eggs?

Yes, Ember Tetras lay eggs, but they are egg-scatterers, and they leave their eggs all over the tank.

Thus, it is pretty hard to determine exactly how many eggs do they lay.

Caring for Ember Tetra Fry

Before you even begin thinking about caring for the fry, you have to watch for the breeding mother.

Please make sure you feed the pregnant mother live feed at least a couple of weeks before she spawns, or she may end up eating the fry.

What to Feed Ember Tetra Fry

Once the female spawns, we suggest taking out the eggs and putting them in a separate tank to prevent the adult Tetras from eating the fry.

Once you separate the fry, make sure you feed it dry food only.

The fry are very delicate, with an extremely slim body and an even smaller mouth.

It cannot digest hard foods and needs something easy to ingest and digest.

Once the fry are a few weeks old, you can start giving them live food as well, along with dry food and other healthy and diverse food options.

How Fast Will Ember Tetra Fry Grow?

Ember Tetra fry grow very slowly.

They can take up to a couple of months to grow around 0.25 inches long.

Habitat & Ideal Tank Conditions

We have said it before, and we will say it again, Ember Tetras are very easy to care for.

Here are just a few requirements that you need to fulfill. As long as you can satisfy said conditions, your Tetras will thrive in your tank.

Tank Size: What Size Aquarium Do They Need?

Ember Tetras are quite active, and despite their small size, need a substantial amount of space to move around in.

Ideally, it would be best if you placed them in a 10-gallon tank. The minimum size you can put them in a 5-gallon tank.

Can Ember Tetras Live In A Bowl?

Ember Tetras have specific habitat requirements and need a substantial amount of space, and love a heavily planted tank.

They are shoaling fish and need other tetras to socialize with.

So, as long as it has enough room and plants, a bowl can be suitable for Ember Tetras.

Do Ember Tetras Like a Current?

They are freshwater fish and are usually found in swampy areas near the river basin.

Thus, they are not fond of strong currents.

They do like the presence of a prolonged and soft current, which is also healthy for the tank, but anything too strong can disturb the Tetras.

What Is the Best Flow Rate for Ember Tetras?

They are peaceful fish and love a mild current to slow current.

You can even use mild bubblers to aerate the tank and generate a steady flow that will keep the tank’s living conditions ideal for Ember Tetras.

What Temperature Is Best for Ember Tetras

The ideal temperature range for Ember Tetras is between 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can Ember Tetras Live in Cold Water?

They are hardy freshwater fish and can survive a wide range of ideal water and temperature conditions.

So, yes, they can live in cold water, but they may not breed or reproduce.

Water Parameters

Besides the temperature, these are the few other water conditions you will have to cater to.


Make sure you keep the PH range between 5.5 and 7.0.


Keep the water soft between the KH range of 4.0 and 8.0.

What to Put In Ember Tetras Tanks

The most important thing that Ember Tetras need are plants and quite a few of them too.

They use plants to hide, play, build nests, and also as a food source.

So, make sure you include quite a few plants in their tank.

It also helps keep them comfortable and makes it easier for them to adapt to the new surroundings.

Do Ember Tetras Need A Filter?

You can skip out on the filter, but you will need to regularly clean the tank water if you don’t include a filter.

We suggest you include a filter because Ember Tetras eat live food, which can increase nitrate levels in a tank and lead to the death of all inhabitants.

Do Ember Tetras Need A Heater?

Ember Tetras can survive in a wide temperature range.

However, if you want to aid breeding and reproduction, you may need to include a heater to maintain water temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do Ember Tetras Need A Bubbler?

Yes, they will need bubblers to recreate the soft and mild current used to live in as freshwater fish.

However, make sure the bubblers you install are not aggressively strong to disturb or scare the fish.

Ember Tetra Tank Mates

Ember Tetras are pretty small in size and are peaceful fish.

You can pair them with other peaceful fish. However, please don’t put them together with aggressive or predatory fish as they may end up becoming someone’s dinner.

Here is just a quick list of some fish that you can keep with your Ember Tetra.

  • Pygmy Corydoras
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Barbs
  • Rasbora
  • Red Cherry Shrimp
  • Neon Tetra

However, for a more detailed discussion check out the article on Ember Tetra Tank Mates.

Can Ember Tetras Live with Betas?

Suppose you want to create a beautiful and colorful aquarium. Betta fish are beautiful bright red and blue, and Ember Tetras are a beautiful bright red and orange.

They are both nano fish but require a substantial amount of space to be happy.

So make sure you take that into account when painting them together.

Can Ember Tetras Live with Neon Tetras

You can keep Ember Tetras with Neon Tetras, and they do well together.

However, we suggest that you keep Ember Tetras with their species.

If you do decide to keep them with Neon Tetras, you should keep quite a large tank to avoid overstressing the fish, as you will have to include quite a few of each to create the ideal habitat for them.

Can Ember Tetras Live with Shrimp?

Ember Tetras make great tank mates for shrimp. These peaceful fish are quite uncompetitive and will leave the shrimp alone.

Can Ember Tetras Live with Guppies?

Ember Tetras can live happily with Guppies because both fish are very peaceful and uncompetitive.

As long as you include the ideal number of each species, a minimum of six each, they will remain comfortable and happy.

Care: How to Care for Ember Tetras

These fish are not at all hard to keep.

Keep them well-fed in a heavily planted tank, and they will remain happy as long as there are enough of them to be able to socialize.

You don’t have to worry about aggressive behavior, and they are hardy fish and can survive in a wide range of water conditions.

Common Diseases

They are pretty healthy fish and are not known to be prone to any specific diseases.

However, some common diseases like ich can affect most fish if you don’t care for them.

As long as you give them a diverse range of food options, including live food, you Embers will do well at least once every two weeks.

Where to Buy Ember Tetras?

Ember Tetras are pretty commonly available. You can search for them online and find pet stores near you that sell Ember Tetras.

You can also contact any of the following retailers from the list below to purchase Ember Tetras.

  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • Amazon
  • Live Aquaria

How Much Do Ember Tetras Cost?

Ember Tetras are readily available and are not at all costly. You can easily find one for around $2.99.

For a 10 gallon tank, you will need around 10 to 12, so you can expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $35.88.

Are Ember Tetras Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Yes, these nano fish are ideal for Aquariums provided it is heavily planted and has enough space for the fish to move around freely.

What Other Small Fish Look Like Ember Tetras?

Neon Tetras, Chili Rasboras, Cardinal Tetras, and Discus fish are pretty similar to Ember Tetras in appearance and size.

Video: Ember Tetra | Beginner Guide

Here is a great video from Fish For Thought. If you have a chance to check out his channel I highly recommend it, a very funny take on fish care videos.


Are Ember Tetras Hardy?

Yes, they are hardy fish and are quite adaptable.

Are Ember Tetras Fin Nippers?

No, Ember Tetras are peaceful and do not exhibit any aggressive traits such as fin nipping.

They are exceptionally playful, and you will see them darting around, and the most aggressive they get is when they chase each other.

Other than that, you have nothing to worry about.

Do Ember Tetras Jump?

No, they are mid-level swimmers and stay towards the middle of the tank. You don’t even have to include a lid over your tank if you only have Ember Tetras in it.

Are Ember Tetras Livebearers?

No, they lay eggs. In fact, they are egg scatterers.


Jack Dempsey
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