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

Updated: October 31, 2022

The Niger tetra is a beautiful, peaceful, and relatively easy to care for freshwater fish.

They’re a great option for beginner fishkeepers, and make a great addition to any community tank.

But even though they’re not too difficult to care for, there are still some things you need to know before you bring them home.

In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Niger tetra care. Tank size, diet, lifespan, tank mates, and more.

Species overview

The Niger tetra (scientific name: Exodon paradoxus) is a freshwater fish that’s native to the Niger River in West Africa.

They are a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts due to their small size and peaceful nature. They are also known for being very hardy fish, which is always a bonus.

Niger tetras prefer to live in groups, so it’s important to keep at least 6 of them together. They are also a schooling fish, so they need to be in a tank with other fish that they can swim with.

These fish are omnivores, so they will eat a wide variety of food. However, they do prefer to eat meatier foods, so make sure to include plenty of protein in their diet.


Niger tetra

Niger tetras are one of the most popular freshwater fish for home aquariums. They’re known for their beautiful coloration as well as their easy-going nature.

The first thing you’ll notice about Niger tetras is their long and slender bodies. They’re shaped a lot like torpedoes which helps them zip around the water with ease.

Niger tetras are a pale greenish-yellow color on their dorsal side. This color fades to a white on their belly and their fins are mostly clear.

The fins on Niger tetras are all fairly standard for a freshwater fish. They have a long and thin dorsal fin that starts about two-thirds of the way back on their body.

The caudal and anal fins are both forked and fairly long. The pectoral fins are short and thin.

One of the most distinctive features of Niger tetras is the black stripe that runs along their sides. This stripe starts at their mouth and extends all the way back to their caudal fin.

This stripe is bordered by a thin line of gold. This really makes these fish stand out and is one of the reasons why they’re so popular.


Niger tetras have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. Once again, this number will change based on the individual fish and the care it receives.

In the wild, these fish don’t live nearly as long as they do in captivity. This is due to a number of factors including predation, water quality, and disease.

In a well-maintained tank with good water quality, a Niger tetra can easily live for 8 years or longer.


The Niger tetra rarely exceeds 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) in length. Most specimens that are available in the aquarium trade are only 1.5 to 2 inches (4-5 cm) long.


Tank Size

The Niger tetra is a very small freshwater fish that only grows to be about 2 inches in length. Even though they’re small, they still need a little bit of space to swim around in.

The recommended minimum tank size for a single Niger tetra is 5 gallons. If you want to keep a school of Niger tetras, you’ll need at least 10 gallons for every 2 fish.

Water Parameters

Niger Tetras are a schooling fish that come from the calm waters of the Niger River in West Africa.

The Niger River is a slow-moving river with little to no current. The water is also fairly murky due to all the vegetation along the riverbanks.

Niger Tetras are used to these conditions and do best when kept in a similar environment. Here are a few suggestions for replicating their natural habitat.

  • Water temperature: 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Water hardness: 2 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Niger tetras are a species of freshwater fish that come from the rivers and streams of West Africa.

They’re a relatively small species that only gets to be about 2.5 inches in length when fully grown.

Niger tetras are a peaceful species of fish that do well in groups. We recommend keeping them in a group of at least 6, but the more the better.

When it comes to setting up their tank, you have a few different options.

Niger tetras are a schooling fish, so you’ll want to set up their tank in a way that allows them to swim in groups. This means you’ll want to include some open space for them to swim in as well as some hiding places.

We recommend using a substrate of sand or gravel. Anything too sharp can hurt their delicate fins.

As for plants, you have a few different options. We recommend using plants that have soft leaves to avoid any injuries. Hornwort, water wisteria, and java moss are all great choices.

You can also include some driftwood and rocks in their habitat. Just make sure that the rocks you use are smooth and don’t have any sharp edges.

Common Diseases

Niger tetras are a hardy and durable fish, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to disease.

The most common sickness that these fish experience is ich. This is a parasitic infection that will present itself as white spots on the body of your fish.

If left untreated, ich can be fatal. However, it’s fairly easy to treat if you catch it early enough.

Other potential diseases include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasites. These are all fairly common in freshwater fish but they’re not as common in Niger tetras.

The best way to prevent your Niger tetras from getting sick is to maintain clean and stable water conditions in their tank. This will keep them healthy and resistant to disease.

Behavior & Temperament

Niger tetras are a schooling fish, so they do best in groups. They’re also relatively peaceful, so they’re a good addition to community tanks. In the wild, they can be found in slow-moving waters in South America.

Niger tetras are not known for being very active fish. They spend most of their time near the bottom of the tank, where they feed on small insects and larvae. When they’re not eating, they’re usually just resting.

Even though they’re not very active, Niger tetras are still fun to watch. They have a very distinct appearance, with their bright blue-green bodies and orange-red fins. When they’re in a group, they’re even more beautiful to look at.

One of the best things about Niger tetras is that they’re very easy to care for. As long as you provide them with a good diet and a clean tank, they’ll be happy and healthy.

Tank Mates

The niger tetra is a small freshwater fish that’s native to the rivers of West Africa. These fish have a reputation for being peaceful and easy to care for, which makes them a popular choice for beginner aquariums.

Because niger tetras are so small, they can’t be kept with larger fish. They’re also delicate, so they need to be kept with peaceful tank mates that won’t harass them.

Here are some good niger tetra tank mates:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Ghost Tetras
  • Ember Tetras
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Guppies
  • Platies


Niger tetras are a fairly easy species to breed. They don’t have a ton of specific requirements, which makes the whole process much simpler.

The first step is to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 10 gallons in size and contain plenty of plants. Niger tetras like to lay their eggs in plant foliage, so the more plants you have the better.

You don’t need to make any changes to the water. Just use water from your main tank. The temperature and pH should be the same.

When ready, add two females for every male. Niger tetras are a schooling species, so they do best in groups. As they get comfortable, the females will start to lay eggs.

The eggs are very small and difficult to see. But don’t worry, the parents will take care of them. They will fan the eggs to keep them oxygenated and clean the area to prevent fungus growth.

In about a week, the eggs will hatch. At that point, you can start feeding the fry baby brine shrimp.


The Niger Tetra is a great fish for beginner aquarium enthusiasts. They’re relatively easy to take care of and are very peaceful, which makes them a good choice for community tanks.

They’re also a very pretty fish, with their bright colors and interesting patterns.

Overall, we think the Niger Tetra is a great fish for anyone looking for a low-maintenance pet that will add some beauty to their home.