Ember Tetra Care Guide – Diet, Breeding & More

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The Ember Tetra is one of the most popular tropical fish kept as a pet. This fish is a great choice if you want to add a splash of color to your aquarium.

 There are a lot of interesting and appealing things about these fish that you should learn before getting one.

Ember Tetra Appearance

The bright red-orange coloration of the ember tetra makes it quite a striking fish to say the least. These fish only grow up to 0.8 inches in length as fully mature adults. They have an elongated body, a big caudal fin, and a fairly little dorsal fin. The red color really stands up on the upper part of their head, as well as near their eyes.

Ember tetras are able to swim along smoothly and gracefully due to the slender back half of their body. Their scales are very close to each other, giving them an almost see through appearance that is mesmerizing.


Ember tetras are not shy or timid at all, but they also aren’t known for being aggressive. You will likely see yours swimming around a lot, and they are very fun to watch. Keep in mind that it could take up to a few weeks for your fish to really get used to their new environment. It is important that you avoid startling them during this initial period.

It is also fairly common for these fish to hide away sometimes in plants, caves, or whatever else is available in their tank. When your fish goes into hiding, it’s most likely because they just want to relax for a bit. The calm and docile nature of the ember extra means that they get along well with lots of different types of fish.

Natural Habitat

Ember tetras tend to be found in slow-moving lakes, rivers, and even swamps. They actively seek out regions with dense plant life and trees. This gives these fish a place to hide from predators.

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Ember Tetra Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

Just one ember tetra will require a tank that is at least 10 gallons. While these fish are small, they need a good amount of space to swim around. If your fish is kept in a tank that is too small, they won’t live very long.

Make sure that you put a good amount of plants in your tetra’s tank so they will have somewhere to hide out and relax once in a while. The java fern and Java Moss are two good plant choices for these tanks.

Light-colored rocks are the best choice of material for the substrate, though gravel also works well. You want to set up your tank to mimic your fish’s natural habitat as closely as possible.

You don’t need a very powerful filter for your tank, as these fish are accustomed to slow moving bodies of water. In fact, a filter that is too powerful can leave your fish feeling constantly disoriented.

2. Water Conditions

It is best to keep the pH level of your tetra’s water between 5.5 and 7 with a maximum hardness of 18Dh. The temperature of the water can range from 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Ember Tetra Tank mates

Because ember tetras are very calm and docile, they tend to get along with lots of different fish. Some of the best tank mates for these fish include neon tetras, dwarf cichlids, and microrasboras. You should avoid keeping them with any bigger or aggressive fish, as this is just asking for trouble. 

You can keep these fish together without any issues. In fact, they tend to thrive when kept with their own kind. Just make sure that they have lots of room to swim around.

4. Ember Tetra Food

You should give your ember tetra high quality flakes on a daily basis. It’s also a good idea to give them the occasional grindal worm or daphnia. A mix of frozen and live foods like these will provide your fish with the protein they need to stay healthy and thrive over the long term.

When you give these fish any live or frozen food, make sure that the pieces are small enough for them to eat without any issues. They are quite small, so big pieces can be difficult for them to swallow. You can feed these fish 2-3 times each day. These fish don’t need to be given any supplements as long you provide them with a diverse diet on a regular basis.

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Ember Tetra Breeding

If you are going to breed these fish, you’ll need to have a small aquarium ready for their offspring. Make sure to keep the lighting low in the tank that your two fish are in. it is also important that you not use a very strong filter.

Common Health Problems

The primary health concern with Ember Tetras is a parasitic infection that can cause skin and digestive problems. The most common external sign of this infection is white dots on the fish’s body. This is usually a result of excess algae in the fish’s tank. If you keep their tank clean, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.


  • Ember Tetras have a beautiful orange-red coloration that makes them very beautiful and pleasant to look at.
  • These fish are known for their elongated body, which gets increasingly narrow towards the back. This allows them to swim along gracefully.
  • It is fairly common for these fish to be very active most of the time, swimming around playfully.
  • Sometimes these fish will hide out for a little while when they need to relax.
  • You should keep your ember tetra in a tank that is at least 10 gallons.
  • A temperature of range of 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit is best for these tetras.
  • Make sure that you use small light-colored rocks for the substrate of the tank.
  • You don’t need a powerful filter, as these fish are used to slow-moving bodies of water.
  • You will want to feed your fish a combination of dry food (flakes), as well as live and frozen foods.
  • These fish can easily develop a parasitic infection that is potentially lethal if the water in their tank is not changed out regularly. This is caused by an excessive buildup of algae.
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