How To Care For Ember Tetras


The Ember Tetra is an amazing fish for almost any small aquarium. This fish are super small, so should easily be able to live in a small aquarium.

These fish are almost guaranteed to brighten up any aquarium you have. They are also pretty hardy, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to know how to care for them.


school of red fish in a fish tank
By Mbdtsmo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

If you’re looking for a beautiful fish, get some ember tetras! These fish are stunning!

These fish are a great touch to almost any aquarium.

Usual Behavior

Ember tetras are a schooling fish, so I recommend getting at least a school of 6 or more.

They are peaceful fish and unlikely to be the bully of the aquarium.


Expect these little guys to live up to three years. Remember to care for these fish properly so they can live as long as possible.


Ember tetras don’t even get an inch long (about .75 inches in length), so will never need a large aquarium. That doesn’t mean they can live in tiny aquariums though.

Ember Tetra Care

Okay, now that we know a little bit about these fish, it’s time to learn how to care for them. Always keep any fish you have to the best of your ability so they will live a long, happy life.

Tank Size

Saying that these fish don’t get even an inch long, they can easily live in a 5 gallon aquarium. But, many aquarists recommend keeping these fish in a 10 gallon tank.

How Many Ember Tetras For A 10 Gallon?

I’d say for every gallon of water you have, you can have one ember tetra. So, for a 10 gallon tank, you could keep about 10 fish.

I suppose you could also have a few more saying how small they are, but make sure that you don’t overstock your tank!

Tank Mates

These fish really aren’t that aggressive, so just make sure that these fish are kept with other peaceful fish that are around the same size. You can keep neon tetras, guppies, and danios along with these fish.

Remember to never keep any large and/or aggressive fish with ember tetras, or else they might turn into a snack!


Saying that these fish such tiny mouths, it might be a little hard finding food to feed these fish.

You could always feed your ember tetras live foods like baby brine shrimp, vinegar eels and baby daphnia.

If you can’t feed these fish live foods all the time (which I understand), then I recommend feeding adults (not ember tetra fry) some fry food.

Yes, ember tetras are so small that they should be fed fry food when they’re adults, not fry.

Water Parameters

Make sure that the parameters in the water are stable. Unstable water parameters can make the fish stress which will make them susceptible to diseases!

  • pH: 5.5-7.0
  • Temperature: 68-82 Fahrenheit or 20-27.7 Celsius)
  • Hardness: 1-10 dKH

Possible Diseases

They’re pretty hardy, but that doesn’t mean they never get sick. Watch out for the following diseases and health conditions.

  • Bloat
  • Ich/White Spot Disease
  • Constipation

Typical Price

The online stores I visited sold them for just about 2-3 dollars an individual. So, they aren’t super expensive.


Here are some frequently asked questions about ember tetras.

Do Ember Tetras School?

Yes, ember tetras do school and I recommend getting at least 6 or more. If you don’t, your fish might get stressed which can make them susceptible to illnesses.

Are Ember Tetras Aggressive?

No, they aren’t aggressive. They are actually pretty peaceful. Remember that when you’re picking tank mates that you don’t get large and aren’t aggressive.

Do Ember Tetras Need A Heater?

Unless your room temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, then yes. They are tropical fish so they will need warm water.

Are Ember Tetras Easy To Care For?

Yes they are hardy. But, still make sure to keep them the best of your ability.

What Do Ember Tetras Eat?

They will eat a variety of live foods and should also accept fry food. Remember that only adults should be fry food however, as the fry’s mouths are just too small.

Breeding Ember Tetras

Breeding ember tetras shouldn’t be that hard. But, there are a few things you need to know.

First of all, ember tetras don’t care for their fry. So, make sure you have a separate tank for them.

In the breeding tank, you’re going to need softer water. A pH of 6.5-6.8 should do. The temperature should be fairly warm; the water should be 73-79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remember to feed these fish well. The tank should be filled with plants and hiding places for the fish.

Once they have bred (note that the mating ritual is subtle, so may not catch it), separate the parents and the eggs.

The eggs can take 1-2 days to hatch. The fry should grow pretty quickly.

Are Ember Tetras For Me?

The ember tetra is a small, colorful, fish that should brighten up just about any aquarium.

These fish are peaceful and easy to care for, just remember that if you are planning on them having tank mates that they aren’t too large.

So, if you’re looking for a small, beautiful fish that doesn’t need a large aquarium, then perhaps they are.

If you can’t have ember tetras but like their look, I recommend getting some chili rasboras.

Check Out These Articles:


It’s A Fish Thing

Ember Tetras Guide: How Many Can You Have In a 10 Gallon Tank?

Tank Addict

Caring For Ember Tetras: The Perfect Community Fish?

Fish Tank Advisor

Ember Tetra: a Species Profile

Aqua Imports

Ember Tetra – Group of 5 Fish

Live Aquaria

Ember Tetra

Flip Aquatics

Ember Tetra

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