Ember tetra Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: October 28, 2022

The Ember tetra is a beautiful and unique freshwater fish that is sure to add some color to your aquarium.

This little fish is perfect for beginner fishkeepers, as they are very easy to care for. In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about Ember tetra care. We will go over their diet, tank mates, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Ember tetras (scientific name: Hyphessobrycon amandae) are a species of freshwater fish that are native to Brazil. They’re found in various parts of the Amazon basin, specifically in the Rio Negro tributary.

These fish are relatively small, only growing to be about an inch long when fully matured. However, they more than make up for their size with their vibrant colors and patterns.

Ember tetras are relatively easy to care for and make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They’re peaceful fish that get along well with other species, and they’re not particularly finicky when it comes to water conditions.

One thing to keep in mind with ember tetras is that they are a schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least 6. This will help them feel more comfortable and reduce stress levels.


Ember tetra

The Ember Tetra is one of those fish that is impossible to miss. They’re a beautiful little fish that is covered in a vibrant red color.

This color is solid all over their bodies with a few exceptions. The first is a small black spot that is located on their dorsal fin. The second exception to the rule is a thin black line that runs from their mouth all the way to the base of their tail.

This line is actually broken up into a series of dots that get smaller as they approach the tail. Ember Tetras also have red eyes that really stand out against their bodies.

The fins on this fish are relatively standard as far as tetras go. They have a small dorsal fin that is located towards the back of their bodies. Their anal and caudal fins are also small, but they’re both symmetrical and well-rounded.

Ember Tetras have a long and thin body shape that is very hydrodynamic. This helps them swim quickly and maneuver easily in their environment.


The average lifespan of Ember tetras is around 3 years. However, there have been reports of these fish living up to 5 years in captivity.

As with any fish, the lifespan of Ember tetras can be impacted by a number of different things. Poor water quality, for instance, can shorten their lifespan significantly.

Stress is also a big factor. If these fish are constantly being harassed by tank mates or if they’re not getting enough to eat, their lifespan will be shorter.


Ember tetras are one of the smaller aquarium fish breeds, only growing to be about 1/2 an inch in length when fully mature.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for Ember tetras is at least 10 gallons. This is the minimum size we recommend for a school of 5-6 fish.

If you want to keep a larger school or add tank mates, you’ll need an additional 2-4 gallons per fish.

Water Parameters

The ember tetra is a small, peaceful fish that is perfect for a beginner aquarium. They are very easy to care for and can thrive in a wide range of water conditions.

The ideal water parameters for ember tetras are:

  • Water Temperature: 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 6.8-7.2
  • Water Hardness: 2-8 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Ember tetras come from South American streams which tend to be on the murky side. Because of this, you won’t need to worry about having a ton of plants in their tank.

In fact, we recommend avoiding plants altogether. Not only will ember tetras nibble on them, but the plants will also do a number on the water quality.

Instead, focus on adding some driftwood and rocks to their habitat. These will provide some hiding places for the fish and help break up the line of sight a bit.

The substrate you use is up to you, but we recommend something on the darker side. This will help these little fish feel more comfortable and less exposed.

As for the water itself, you’ll want to keep it on the acidic side. A pH of 6.0-7.0 is ideal, but these fish can tolerate a range of 5.5-7.5.

Common Diseases

The ember tetra is a fairly hardy fish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. There are a few diseases that are more common in this species than others.

The most common disease that affects ember tetras is known as ich. This is a parasite that will attach itself to your fish and feed off of their blood.

The most obvious symptom of ich is the presence of white spots on the body of your fish. If you notice this, it’s important to act quickly and begin treatment.

Other potential diseases include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and velvet. These are all fairly common in freshwater fish and can be treated with the help of a vet.

As always, the best way to prevent your fish from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable environment. This will make your fish much more resistant to disease and will help them to stay healthy.

Behavior & Temperament

The ember tetra is a very peaceful fish that does well in a community tank. It is an active swimmer and will often be seen swimming in the middle or top of the tank.

The ember tetra is a very social fish and does best when kept in groups. It is known to be a shy fish, so a group will give it the confidence it needs to come out of its shell.

The ember tetra is not an aggressive fish and will not bother other fish in the tank. It is, however, known to be a fin nipper. So, it is best to avoid keeping it with fish that have long flowing fins.

The ember tetra is a very easy fish to care for and is a great choice for beginner aquarists.

Tank Mates

Ember tetras are small, peaceful fish that do well in community tanks. They’re not aggressive and get along with most species.

In terms of compatibility, you have a few options. The ember tetra is a tropical fish, so you’ll need to provide warm water.

You also have to be careful about choosing tank mates that are too small. Ember tetras are known to eat smaller fish, so it’s best to avoid any that might fit in their mouths.

Here are a few ember tetra tank mates to consider:

  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Swordtails
  • Neon Tetras
  • Glowlight Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Black Skirt Tetras


Ember tetras reach sexual maturity at around 4 to 5 months old. At that point, you can start to look for signs of spawning.

The biggest clue is when the females start to swell with eggs. Once you see this, set up a breeding tank. It should hold at least 5 gallons of water.

The water temperature should be at the high end of the Ember tetra’s range. Aim for around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The water should also be soft and acidic. A pH of 6.0 should suffice.

You don’t need to add any special substrate to the tank. A layer of peat moss on the bottom is fine. As for decorations, add some plants. Live plants are best, but you can also use plastic plants.

When everything is set up, add a group of 6 to 8 Ember tetras to the breeding tank. The ratio of males to females doesn’t matter too much. Just make sure that there are more females than males.

The Ember tetras will start to spawn within a few days. The female will lay her eggs on the plants. After she lays the eggs, the male will fertilize them.

Once the eggs are fertilized, the parents will eat them. So, it’s best to remove the adults after spawning.

The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours. Once they hatch, you can start to feed the fry baby brine shrimp.


The Ember Tetra is a great fish for beginner aquarists or those looking for a low-maintenance fish. They’re easy to care for and don’t require a lot of attention.

They’re also a beautiful fish that will add some color and life to your tank.

If you’re looking for a fish that’s easy to care for and doesn’t require a lot of work, the Ember Tetra is a great choice!