Ember Tetra Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

To care for Ember Tetras, start by setting up a tank with live plants and a darker substrate. Maintain stable water temperature and feed them a variety of flake, frozen, and live foods like worms and brine shrimp.

ember tetra

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Ember Tetra Species Profile and Identification

The Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) is a small, brightly colored freshwater fish native to the Araguaia River basin in Brazil. Discovered in 1987 and named after Amanda Bleher, the mother of fish explorer Heiko Bleher, they belong to the Characin family, part of the Characiformes order.

  • Appearance: Ember Tetras are known for their striking orange and reddish hue, often accompanied by a mild translucency near the pelvic fin. Their eyes tend to mirror the body’s color and are outlined in black.
  • Size: A typical Ember Tetra measures about 2 cm (0.8 inches) in length when fully grown.

Ember Tetra Supplies

Before setting up your Ember Tetra tank, it is essential to gather all the necessary supplies for providing the best care for your fish. These supplies include:

  • tank with a minimum volume of 10 gallons (about 40 liters) at least. Larger is always better for the overall welfare of your fish.
  • An aquarium filter that has a water flow of about 4-5 times the volume of your tank, in this case, an air-powered sponge filter should suffice.
  • heater to maintain the suitable water temperature for Ember Tetras, between 73-84 °F (23-29 °C ).
  • substrate that mimics the Ember Tetra’s natural environment, which includes dark-colored sand or smooth gravel.
  • Live plants, such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Vallisneria, to provide hiding spots and replicate their natural habitat. Floating plants like Amazon Frogbit can also assist in diffusing intense light.
  • Driftwood and dried leaf litter to offer decor as well as fostering the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
  • LED lighting that doesn’t emit heat and can be adjusted to mimic the dimly-lit natural habitat of Ember Tetras.
  • Water testing kits for monitoring water parameters such as pH, hardness, and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Food supplies: a variety of flake, frozen, and freeze-dried foods, as well as live foods like worms and brine shrimp to provide a balanced diet and enhance their colors.

With these supplies in hand, you will be fully prepared to create a thriving and healthy environment for your Ember Tetras.

Ember Tetra Tank Setup

Setting up an Ember Tetra tank properly is crucial for the health and well-being of your fish. Choose a tank with a minimum size of 10 gallons to provide ample swimming space for your Ember Tetras.

  • Substrate: Use a dark substrate to mimic their natural habitat, making the fish feel more comfortable and displaying their vibrant colors better. You can use sand or fine gravel as a suitable option.
  • Plants and Decorations: Fill the tank with a variety of live plants that offer both hiding spots and free swimming areas. Some great plant choices for the Ember Tetra tank include Java moss, Java fern, and Amazon swords. Add driftwood and rocks to create a more natural-looking environment.
  • Filtration: Install a gentle, air-powered sponge filter that is adequate for the tank size. Ensure the filter provides a water flow of 4-5 times the volume of your aquarium.
  • Heater: Maintain a stable temperature of 23-29°C (73-84°F) with a high-quality aquarium heater. Place the heater near the filter’s output for even heat distribution.
  • Lighting: Use subdued lighting with floating plants to create some shaded areas, as Ember Tetras prefer a dimly lit environment. LED lights on a timer are a practical choice for maintaining consistent light levels.

By carefully planning and setting up your tank specifically for Ember Tetras, you’ll create a comfortable environment that promotes their natural behavior and well-being, ensuring they thrive in your care.

Ember Tetra Water Requirements

Providing the right water conditions is crucial for the health and well-being of your Ember Tetras. These fish require specific parameters to thrive and display their vibrant colors. In this section, we’ll discuss the optimal water conditions for Ember Tetras:

  • Temperature: Ember Tetras thrive in a temperature range of 23-29°C (73-84°F). Ensure that you have a high-quality aquarium heater to maintain a stable temperature. A sudden change in temperature can stress the fish, making them more susceptible to illness.
  • pH: Maintain slightly acidic water, with a pH of around 6.6, for your Ember Tetras. Never let the pH drop below 5.0 or rise above 7.0. Use a pH testing kit and adjust accordingly to ensure optimal health for your fish.
  • Hardness: Ember Tetras have adapted well to a wide range of hardness levels (5-17 dGH). However, their natural habitat has soft water. Aim to have a water hardness level between 18-179 ppm, and be sure to check this parameter occasionally using a reliable water hardness test kit.
  • Water Movement: Gentle filtration is ideal for these fish, as their natural habitat consists of gentle currents. An air-powered, sponge-style filter is usually sufficient for providing proper water movement.

Here’s a summary of Ember Tetra water requirements:

Parameter Ideal Value
Temperature 23-29°C (73-84°F)
pH 6.6 (5.0-7.0 acceptable)
Hardness 18-179 ppm (5-17 dGH)
Water Movement Gentle filtration

By maintaining these water conditions, you’ll create a stress-free environment where your Ember Tetras can thrive. Remember to perform regular water tests and make any necessary adjustments to keep your fish happy and healthy.

Ember Tetra Diet and Feeding

As a beginner, providing a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the health and growth of your Ember Tetra. With their small size, a proper diet helps bring out their vibrant colors and maintain their energy levels. To achieve this, you should offer a combination of dry, live, frozen, and freeze-dried food options.

  • Dry food: High-quality flake food is a great base for their everyday diet.
  • Frozen and freeze-dried food: Supplement the dry food with frozen or freeze-dried options such as daphnia, bloodworms, and tubifex.
  • Live food: For the best results, offer live food like brine shrimp, micro-worms, and fruit flies occasionally.

It’s crucial to feed your Ember Tetra small, frequent meals – two to three times daily should suffice. Provide enough food for them to finish in 2-3 minutes. This ensures that you avoid overfeeding and protects the water quality of your aquarium. Pay attention to their behavior to see if they’re happy and healthy; if required, adjust portions and food types accordingly.

Ember Tetra Care Schedule

Ember Tetra care is straightforward, making it ideal for beginners. It is essential to follow a proper care schedule to ensure your fish thrive and live a long, healthy life.

Below is a simple Ember Tetra care schedule:


Feed your Ember Tetras with high-quality live, frozen, or flake foods that are specifically designed for small tropical fish. Providing a variety of foods will help maintain their vibrant colors and ensure overall health.


Perform a 25% water change every week to maintain water quality. This helps prevent harmful chemicals from building up, such as ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.


  • Test water parameters (pH, temperature, hardness) to make sure they are within the recommended range for Ember Tetras.
  • Clean your filter by rinsing it in the water you remove during a water change. This prevents the loss of beneficial bacteria, important for maintaining a healthy aquarium.
  • Prune and maintain any live aquarium plants to ensure adequate swimming space and prevent overgrowth.


Replace your aquarium light bulbs, as their intensity decreases over time. Proper lighting is essential for the health of your fish and aquarium plants.

Regularly observing your fish and tank conditions will help you detect any potential problems early on, and prompt action will ensure your fish’s well-being.

Ember Tetra Health Problems

Ember Tetras are generally hardy fish but like any other aquatic species, are not immune to health issues. Maintaining pristine water conditions and a stress-free environment are essential to prevent most common health problems. Some of the major health concerns you might encounter include:

  • Ich (Ichthyophthirius): This is one of the most common freshwater fish diseases, identifiable by tiny white spots on the fish’s body. To treat Ich, raise the water temperature to 86°F (30°C) for a few days and use a commercial Ich medication.
  • Fin Rot: Caused by bacterial or fungal infections, Fin Rot manifests as fraying or disintegrating fins. Improve water quality and administer antibiotics or antifungal medications as appropriate.
  • Swim Bladder Disease: This ailment affects the fish’s buoyancy, causing them to float at odd angles or struggle to maintain their position. Fasting the fish for a day or two, then feeding them Daphnia or boiled, de-shelled peas can help clear the blockage.
  • External Parasites: If you notice your Ember Tetras rubbing against surfaces or decorations, they might have external parasites. Treat the tank with a proper parasite medication to eliminate the parasites.

Regular monitoring of water parameters and watching out for signs of distress in your fish will help you identify any health problems early on. Quarantine new fish and plants before adding them to the main tank, to reduce the risk of introducing pathogens.

Finally, providing a balanced diet and stable living conditions will greatly contribute to your Ember Tetras’ overall health.

Ember Tetra Tank Mates

Choosing the right tank mates for your Ember Tetra is crucial in maintaining a peaceful and thriving aquarium environment. Since Ember Tetras are small, peaceful, and active fish, they do best when paired with similarly-sized and non-aggressive species. Here are some great tank mate options for your Ember Tetras:

  • Neon Tetras: These colorful fish make excellent companions for Embet Tetras, as they are similarly-sized and share similar water requirements.
  • Small Rasboras: Such as Harlequin or Chili Rasboras, these peaceful fish prefer to swim in schools and make for entertaining tank mates.
  • Dwarf Cichlids: Like Apistogramma or Ram Cichlids, these small and relatively peaceful cichlids can coexist well with your Ember Tetras, which can serve as dither fish.
  • Small Catfish: Corydoras, Otocinclus, or even smaller Plecos make great bottom dwellers that can help clean up leftover food and provide a balanced community.

It is essential to avoid housing your Ember Tetras with larger, more aggressive fish, as they may become stressed or be outcompeted for food. Remember that providing ample hiding spaces and live plants can encourage natural behavior and reduce potential conflicts between your fish.

Ember Tetra Breeding

Breeding Ember Tetras can be a rewarding aspect of keeping these beautiful fish. To maximize their breeding success, you should ensure that they are well-fed with nutritious foods and provided optimal water conditions.

  • Set up a separate breeding tank with mature water, dim lighting, and a mesh or substrate to protect the eggs.
  • Use a smaller aquarium filled with mature, slightly acidic to neutral water, and maintain a temperature around 20-28°C.
  • Condition the adults by feeding them live and frozen foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp prior to breeding.

Introduce a single pair or a group consisting of one or two males and several females to the breeding tank. Leave them in the breeding tank for 2-3 days before removing them. Shortly after, the first batch of fry should become visible.

  • The fry should be fed with Paramecium or a specially designed dry food with a size of 5-50 microns.
  • Once the fry grows larger, introduce them to Artemia nauplii, microworm, etc.

Maintaining a breeding environment with proper conditions for the fry will encourage their growth and increase survival rates. When the fry have reached an appropriate size, they may be moved to the main aquarium or a separate grow-out tank.


Proper care and attention to the Ember Tetra’s needs will ensure a healthy, thriving, and vibrant community of fish for beginners to enjoy. By following this guide, even the most inexperienced hobbyist can create a beautiful and balanced environment for their new aquatic pets.

We hope you found this information helpful, and please feel free to leave a comment or share your own experiences with Ember Tetras below.

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