Ember Tetra Care: Beginner To Expert Advice

If you’re looking for a way to add a burst of vibrant color and energetic life to your aquarium, Ember Tetras might be just the fish for you. But what’s the best way to care for these cute fish? 

This article will guide you through everything you need to know about Ember Tetra care so you can make sure they’re happy and healthy for as long as possible! So let’s get started.


Ember tetras are a delightful option for beginners, offering a splash of color to any tank. They are social creatures, thriving in groups of 6-10. When selecting a tank, prefer one that is more horizontal and at least 10 gallons in size. Keep the temperature in the range of 73-84°F and maintain a pH between 6.0-7.0.

They’re omnivorous, enjoying a mixed diet of plant and animal matter, but tropical fish flakes or micro pellets should be the mainstay of their nourishment.

With proper care, you can expect your ember tetras to live for up to 3 years!

For tank mates, think of non-aggressive, peaceful species. Consider cardinal tetras, rummynose tetras, pygmy corydoras, and small rasboras. Avoid overly active or larger fish that might intimidate these small and gentle beauties.

Are Ember Tetras Easy To Keep? 

Ember Tetras are incredibly easy to care for and are highly recommended for all fish enthusiasts, regardless of their experience level. And because they’re very forgiving when it comes to minor mistakes, it’s no wonder they’re popular among many fish keepers worldwide!

As long as you take care of their basic needs, such as feeding them small meals multiple times a day and keeping the water quality clean and stable with regular water changes, they’re relatively low-maintenance.

(If you’re interested in the easiest fish to care for, then check out these 15 voted for by over 150 fishkeepers!)

NameEmber Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)
Cost$2.99-$4.99+ Per Fish
OriginCentral Brazil
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan2-3 Years
Size0.8 Inches
Tank Size10 Gallons
FeedingFish Flakes, Live Food, Blanched Vegetables
Community Tank Yes
Tank LevelMid Level
PlantsJava Moss, Anubias, Java Fern, Dwarf Hairgrass, Water Wisteria
Tank MatesNeon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Dwarf Corydoras, Guppies, Otocinclus Catfish, Dwarf Gouramis, Bristlenose Plecos, Ghost Shrimp, Cherry Barbs, Platies
Breeding TypeEgg Layer


Ember Tetras are small, and their bodies light up with a kind of reddish-orange color. It’s a bit like they’re see-through, and this look can be quite special to watch. As these fish grow older, their colors tend to get brighter. And their eyes are also bright red, which is quite a sight!

Because of their bright color, Ember Tetras stand out in any fish tank. They’re sure to catch people’s eyes when they look at your tank.


Even though Ember Tetras are small, they’re still incredibly interesting. Fully grown, they reach about 0.8 inches long. Their small size means they can live happily in all sizes of tanks, from small to large. This makes it easy to find a place for them.


Ember Tetras are naturally social and feel most comfortable in the company of their own kind. They don’t tightly school together but prefer to hang out in loose groups or shoals. And despite their small size, Ember Tetras are surprisingly fast and active swimmers.

They’re generally peaceful and playful, making them enjoyable to watch. Also, Ember Tetras are free-spawning fish and can breed in aquariums, laying eggs on fine-leaved plants or other surfaces.

Are Ember Tetras Peaceful?

Ember Tetras are peaceful fish. They’re not known to be aggressive towards other fish. However, they can be nippy when kept in a tank that is too small or if they’re not given enough hiding places.

Are Ember Tetras Good Community Fish?

Ember Tetras are good community fish. They can be kept with other small, peaceful fish, such as neon tetras, guppies, and mollies.

Do Ember Tetras Nip Fins?

Mostly, Ember Tetras are calm fish and don’t usually nip fins. But if they’re stressed or don’t have enough room, they might act differently.  Keep them in a big group and give them plenty of space to keep them happy.


With good care, Ember Tetras can live for 2-4 years. So, if you choose Ember Tetras, you’ll have them for a while. But remember, how long they live depends on how well you care for them. They need good food, clean water, and a safe home.

Additionally, water quality and the presence of plants are important factors in the health and lifespan of your Ember Tetras. Those living in heavily planted aquariums tend to live longer than those in tanks without plants. If you give them all these things, your Ember Tetras can live a long, happy life.

Water Parameters

Having the right water parameters is absolutely crucial to keep your Ember Tetras happy and healthy in your tank. So, here are some of the important things to remember.

NameEmber Tetra
Tank Size10 Gallons


The pH level for Ember Tetras should be between 6.0 and 7.0. This means the water should not be too acidic or too basic. A pH in this range is just right for these fish. If the pH is right, your Ember Tetras will be more comfortable and healthier.


Ember Tetras like their water warm. The best temperature for them is between 73 and 84. If the water is too cold, it can make your fish sick. But if the water is at the right temperature, your Ember Tetras will be active and happy.

Water Hardness

The hardness of the water is also important for Ember Tetras. They prefer water that’s not too hard. The best hardness for these fish is between 3 and 15 dGH. If the water is in this range, your Ember Tetras will feel more at home.

Tank Size

Finally, the size of the tank matters too. Ember Tetras need enough space to swim and play. A tank of 10 gallons or larger is best for them. 

Ensure that your tank has enough space to comfortably house a small group of Ember tetras. Also, keeping them in a slightly larger tank will help maintain water stability and provide them with more room to swim.

Ember Tetra Care Sheet

If you love colorful fish, then here are 58 great choices for your fish tank!

What Do Ember Tetras Like In The Wild?

Ember Tetras come from the warm and slightly acidic waters of the Araguaia River in Brazil, a part of the lush Amazon rainforest. This river is a blackwater river, which means that the water is dark and acidic. This is because the river flows through rainforests, releasing tannins and other organic stuff into the water. 

The bottom of the river is covered with sand and muck, and there are a bunch of different plants, like water lilies, reeds, and grasses. These plants are great hiding and resting spots for Ember Tetras as well as other inhabitants of the rivers. 

Ember Tetras love hanging out together in the wild, often swimming in groups of 10-20. They’re active fish that enjoy darting about in the water. But, they also like to stay near the river bottom, where they find most of their food and a safe spot to be.

And when it comes to their diet in the wild, Ember Tetras aren’t fussy about what they eat. They love to munch on small plants, algae, and tiny water animals. 

How To Setup A Tank For Ember Tetras 

If you are thinking about setting up a tank for Ember Tetras, here are the steps you need to follow:

Choose the Right Tank

Ember Tetras are small fish, so you don’t need a large tank. A 10-gallon tank is a good size for a group of 6-8 fish.

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Add a Filter

Maintaining clean water is essential for your Ember Tetras’ health. So, consider using a hang-on-back filter or a canister filter suitable for a 10-gallon tank.

Aqueon QuietFlow 10 LED PRO Aquarium Fish Tank Power Filter For Up to 20 Gallon Aquariums
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Add Substrate

Ember Tetras enjoy digging in the substrate, so opt for soft materials like gravel or sand, with a depth of at least 1 inch. You can enhance the tank even further with rocks or driftwood for hiding places too.

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Add Plants

Adding plants helps filter the water and provides hiding spots for your Tetras. Select plants that thrive in your tank’s water conditions. If you want the full benefits go for live plants, however, if you just want hiding places you may want to opt for silk plants.

Add Decorations

While Ember Tetras are not too shy, they appreciate some hiding spots. Make sure to include rocks, driftwood, or other safe decorations to make your Tetras feel secure. Avoid sharp or jagged decorations that could harm the fish.

Add Water

Fill the tank with water treated with a water conditioner. This will remove harmful chlorine and chloramine. It’s easiest to use tap water, however, some people used bottled spring water as well.

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Add a Heater

Maintaining the right water temperature is crucial for your Ember Tetras. Choose a heater suitable for a 10-gallon tank. Once you’ve done this, place it near the filter so warm water can be spread evenly through the tank.

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Test the Water

Once the tank is filled and the heater is functioning, test the water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Keep ammonia and nitrite levels low, and ensure nitrate levels remain below 20 ppm using a water testing kit.

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Add Fish

When water parameters stabilize, gradually introduce your Ember Tetras over a few days. This reduces stress and minimizes the risk of disease. Start with a small group and add more as needed.

Maintaining the Tank

Regular maintenance is vital to keep your Ember Tetras healthy. Perform a 25% water change weekly, and make sure to feed the fish a high-quality diet, incorporating both plant and animal matter. And don’t forget to clean the tank regularly to remove waste and debris.

(If you’ve never setup a tank for fish before, here is a complete guide on how to do it! Along with 24 beginner mistakes.)

Do Ember Tetras Like Plants?

Ember Tetras love plants! In the wild, they’re found in areas with lots of vegetation. In an aquarium, plants provide Ember Tetras with places to hide, play, and explore. Plus, the plants can also help keep the water clean.

Do Ember Tetras Like Driftwood?

Ember Tetras like having driftwood in their tank. Driftwood can make the tank look more like their natural home, and it also gives them a fun place to swim around and explore.

Ember Tetras Male Vs Female

The color, body shape, and behavior can help you tell male and female Ember Tetras apart. This can be really helpful if you’re thinking about having more of these little fiery fish in your tank.

Let’s start with color. The males are usually a bit brighter, more of a deep red-orange color. The females? They’re a bit paler, not quite as bright as the males.

Next, take a look at their bodies. Females have rounder bellies. Why? They’re the ones who carry the eggs. Males, on the other hand, have sleek, thin bodies.

Lastly, let’s talk about how they behave. Males are pretty active, moving around a lot, especially when they want to impress the females. On the other hand, female Ember Tetras are usually quieter and more peaceful. They like to swim calmly around the tank.

Ember Tetras Diet

Ember Tetras are pretty simple when it comes to their diet. They’re not too picky, which makes them great for beginners.

First off, Ember Tetras are omnivores. This means they eat both plants and meat. In the wild, they usually munch on small insects, algae, and plant matter.

But what about in your fish tank? Well, they’ll happily eat most things you give them. A good staple for their diet is high-quality flake food. This kind of food has a mix of everything they need – a bit of protein, a bit of plant, all packed into tiny flakes.

Now, it’s always a good idea to mix things up. Try giving them some freeze-dried or live food now and then. Daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms are all good options. And if you have live plants in your tank, you might see your Ember Tetras nibbling on them. That’s perfectly normal, and it’s a good source of food for them.

Just remember – it’s important not to overfeed your fish. A good rule is to only give them as much food as they can eat in about 2-3 minutes, once or twice a day. Any leftover food can make the tank water dirty, and nobody likes a dirty home!

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Ember Tetras Tank Mates 

Here are some of the best tankmates for Ember Tetras. If you like the look of them, just click on the headline to find out how more about them!

Neon Tetras

Neon Tetra Care Sheet

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasbora Care Sheet

Dwarf Corydoras

Dwarf Corydoras Care Sheet


Guppy Care Sheet

Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish Care Sheet

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami Care Sheet

Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Plecos Care Sheet

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp Care Sheet

Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barb Care Sheet


Platy care sheet

If you want to know about other great fish for your ember tetras, then check out these 50 great community fish!

10 Tank Mates For Ember Tetras!


Ember Tetras, like most small fish, love to have plants in their tanks. Plants can give them places to hide, play, and they even help keep the water clean. So, here are 5 great plants that your Ember Tetras will love:

Java Moss

Java Moss is a really easy plant to grow, and it doesn’t need a lot of light. It creates a lush green carpet that your Ember Tetras can hide in. Plus, if your fish have babies, the little ones will love the moss too!

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Anubias plants are tough and grow well in different conditions. They have broad leaves where your Ember Tetras can rest or play hide and seek. And the best part? They’re slow growers, so they don’t need much maintenance.

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Java Fern

This is another low-maintenance plant. Java Ferns are pretty tough, and they don’t mind if the light is a bit low. They have long, thin leaves that create a nice, leafy area for your Ember Tetras to swim through.

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  • Provide natural resting and hiding places for your smaller fish and invertebrates

Dwarf Hairgrass

If you want to create a grassy meadow look in your tank, this is the plant for you. Dwarf Hairgrass is a carpeting plant, meaning it grows low and covers the bottom of the tank. It’s a bit more demanding, but your Ember Tetras will love the dense cover it provides.

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Water Wisteria

This is a fast-growing plant that can help keep your tank water clean. It has feathery, bright green leaves that look really pretty. Plus, it can grow in different ways, so you can use it to create different looks in your tank.

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Breeding Ember Tetras can be an exciting project, but it does require some preparation and attention to detail.

Set Up a Breeding Tank

First, you need a separate tank for breeding. Ember Tetras prefer soft, slightly acidic water for spawning. Aim for a pH of around 6.0-7.0. The water temperature should be kept a bit warmer than usual,  to encourage spawning. Use a sponge filter to keep the water clean without creating too much current.

Add Plants

The breeding tank should have plenty of plants or a spawning mop. This gives the female a place to deposit her eggs. As mentioned before, Java Moss or a similar plant is excellent for this purpose.

Select the Breeders

Choose healthy, mature Ember Tetras to be parents. You can identify the females by their rounder bellies, and males by their brighter coloration. A good ratio is two males for every female.

Condition the Breeders

Feed the chosen breeders a high-quality diet to get them in the mood for breeding. This can include brine shrimp, daphnia, and other nutritious live or freeze-dried foods.


After conditioning, place the breeders into the breeding tank. They usually spawn in the morning. The female will scatter her eggs on the plants or spawning mop, and the male will fertilize them.

Post-Spawn Care

After spawning, remove the parents to protect the eggs, as Ember Tetras can sometimes eat their own eggs. The eggs should hatch in about two to three days.

Feeding the Fry

Once the babies, or ‘fry,’ start swimming, they will need to eat. Feed them a diet of infusoria or commercially prepared fry food until they’re big enough to eat brine shrimp nauplii or finely crushed flake food.

Ember Tetras Common Diseases

Here are some of the most common diseases your Ember Tetras can get and what you can do to treat them.

DiseaseSymptoms or CausesSuggested Action or Treatment
IchWhite spots on body and fins, flashing behaviorTreat with medication containing formalin or malachite green
Fin RotDeterioration or fraying of fins, redness or inflammationImprove water quality, treat with antibiotics if severe
Velvet DiseaseYellow or grayish film on body, loss of appetiteTreat with copper-based medication
DropsySwollen abdomen, protruding scalesIsolate infected fish, treat with antibiotics
ColumnarisCotton-like growth on body or fins, ulcers or soresImprove water quality, treat with antibiotics or antifungals


How Many Ember Tetras Can You Keep Together?

Generally, Ember Tetras should be kept in groups of at least 6-10. This is because they feel safer and less stressed in a group, which is crucial for their health. Plus, seeing a group of Ember Tetras swimming together is quite a sight, with their bright colors lighting up the tank like underwater fireworks!

Remember, you also need to consider the size of your aquarium. As a rule of thumb, you need about 1-2 gallons of water per Ember Tetra. So, if you’re planning on having a group of 10 Ember Tetras, aim for a tank that’s at least 20 gallons.

Also, be aware that Ember Tetras are very active swimmers and love to zip around the tank. So, the more space they have, the happier they’ll be.

If you have a bigger tank with the right conditions, you can definitely keep more than 10 together. The most important thing is to make sure they have enough space and that the water quality is maintained.

Can You Keep Ember Tetras In A 5 Gallon Tank?

It’s not the best idea to keep Ember Tetras in a 5-gallon tank. They like being in a group, and a 5-gallon tank is too small for that. It’s better to have a tank that’s at least 10 or 20 gallons.

Can You Keep Ember Tetras With Bettas?

Ember Tetras can sometimes live with bettas. Both types of fish are peaceful, but bettas can sometimes be a bit aggressive. If you try it, keep an eye on them and make sure the betta doesn’t bully the tetras.

Can Ember Tetras Live With Guppies?

Ember Tetras can live with guppies. Both types of fish are calm and like similar types of water. But make sure there’s enough room and places to hide for all your fish.

What Is The Minimum Number Of Ember Tetras?

Ember Tetras like to be in groups. The smallest number you should have is 6, but having 10 or more is even better. This helps them act naturally and feel safe.

Facts About Ember Tetras

Your Ember Tetras are already interesting, but here are some facts that’ll help you appreciate their uniqueness even more!

  1. Ember Tetras are the smallest species of tetra in the world.
  1. Ember Tetras get their name from their bright, fiery colors. They’re one of the few species of fish that have such a bold, warm color, making them a standout in any aquarium.
  1. Ember Tetras love being in groups and can get stressed if kept alone or in too small a group. They’re happiest when they’re in a school of at least 6-10.
  1. In the wild, Ember Tetras are found in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.
  1. When breeding, female Ember Tetras scatter their eggs all over plants and substrates. The parents don’t care for the eggs or fry, so it’s up to the fish keeper to protect the future generation.

How Much Do Ember Tetras Cost?

Ember Tetras are not considered expensive and can be easily found in pet stores and online at reasonable prices. In most pet stores, you can expect to find Ember tetras selling for around $1 per fish. However, when purchasing online, you might come across deals like $2 for 4 Ember tetras.

Can You Mix Neon Tetras And Ember Tetras?

Ember tetras and neon tetras can be mixed in a community tank. They’re both small, peaceful fish with similar water requirements.

To mix the two species, choose a tank that’s large enough for both and provide plenty of hiding places. Feed them a high-quality diet and do regular water changes. Monitor the tank for signs of aggression and separate the fish if necessary.


Here are some more frequently asked questions that people have about ember tetras.

Do Ember Tetras Lay Eggs?

Ember Tetras do lay eggs. When it’s time to have babies, the female fish spreads her eggs around the tank, and then the male fish makes the eggs ready to hatch.

Do Ember Tetras Eat Snails

Ember Tetras don’t eat snails. They’re small fish with tiny mouths. They eat tiny foods like flakes or small pellets, not larger creatures like snails.

Are Ember Tetras Beginner Friendly

Ember Tetras are definitely beginner-friendly. They’re not too picky about their water and they’re peaceful fish, which makes them a great choice if you’re new to keeping fish.

What Is The Easiest Tetra To Keep?

The easiest tetras to keep for beginners include red eye tetras, black skirt tetras, serpae tetras, bloodfin tetras, neons, black neons, glowlights, lemon tetras, and of course, ember tetras. 


Keeping Ember Tetras isn’t just about maintaining an aquarium; it’s about creating the most comfortable home for them. With a balanced diet, a spacious and well-planned tank, and careful attention to their social needs, you’ll create a home where your Ember Tetras can thrive!

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