Ember Tetra: Care, Size, Breeding, Lifespan, & More

The Ember Tetra is a species of beautiful and fun freshwater fish that is suitable as a pet for all aquarists. It is not only beautiful but also low maintenance. No matter what aquarium skills you have, this fish is easy to take of and is well behaved. Even a beginner aquarist will have an easy time with it.

Today, we will look at everything Ember Tetra related and how to take care of it. Read on to find out how this stunning creature will become your new best companion.


Ember Tetras, scientific name Hyphessobrycon amandae, are found in the Araguaia River basin in Central Brazil. They are also found in other areas around the hotspot. Their favorite home is in backwater rivers because of their low currents and a lot of vegetation. This is the same kind of environment that you will want to replicate in their tank.

The fish feed on a mixture of small invertebrates and plants. You can easily give them this food combo in their new habitat without any problem.

They are super peaceful and compatible with other tank mates. You might want to start them out as a group and get them gradually accustomed to new mates, more on that later.

The Ember Tetra has a bright orange color that is close to that of goldfish. The color makes them very attractive and outstanding in many freshwater nano aquariums, thus making them a popular choice for most aquarists.


A typical Ember Tetra has a lifespan of between 2 and 4 years. Their lifespan can go up to ten years but that is less likely. However, with proper care and diet, you can increase their lifespan by a few years, helping them live longer and healthier lives.

The quality of water and a large presence of plants are some of the things you should pay extra attention to, as they help create a better environment for the fish. Ember Tetra fish that live in tanks with a heavy plant presence tend to have a longer lifespan than those with little plant cover.


One of the most attractive features of the Ember Tetra is their appearance. They are incredibly beautiful and have a bright red and orange color. Their scales reflect the light around them, making them a spectacle as they swim around in the tank.

The color on their dorsal fins fades from their usual bright color to a slowly darkening tone towards the back. They have thin and tall dorsal fins and the darker tone transitions to an almost transparent section at the edge of their fins. The darkening gradient gives them a distinct look that makes them even more attractive and makes them stand out.

They have forked caudal fins with a drastic transition in their color compared to the slow transition of the dorsal fins. The fins base is usually the same color as their whole body, and it can be even brighter. From the very bottom, however, the color quickly turns into a darker tone, getting a deep, dark orange color that turns almost entirely transparent. The caudal fins’ transparent part takes up the back half of the fish.

The pectoral and ventral fins are also completely transparent. They create a little flicker as they swim away. The color contrast and transitions make the Ember Tetra distinctive and make them a beautiful view.

They have a classic build as other tetra types; they have a thicker and taller front half and a thinning out behind the dorsal fins. It is important to note that their diet and high level of care gives them a better build and directly affect the brightness of their colors. A dull, smaller-built Tetra can be an indication of a fish that has been poorly taken care of at some point.


An average Tetra’s length is just under an inch. They are a little smaller than the Neon Tetra; they are basically the same fish but slightly vary in their size and colors. Ember Tetras can grow bigger than an inch, although that only happens in very rare cases. The quality of care does not directly impact their size.

Ember Tetra Care

Taking care of Ember Tetra is one of the easiest things you can do. They require incredibly low maintenance, which is why they are preferred by many aquarists, no matter their level of experience. The food, habitat, and water quality are all you need to worry about when it comes to taking care of the Ember Tetra.

Recommended Tank Size

Because of their size, Ember Tetras do not require a large space. The ideal tank size for the fish is 10 gallons. This size allows you to have a group of fish together and gives them enough room to move around. It also gives you space to include some plants to create their habitat.

If you desire to keep a more significant number of Tetras together, a 20 to 25 gallons big tank is the ideal size. This tank can easily hold up to 20 to 25 fish, together with the necessary plants. This makes it easy to maintain the perfect balance of fish, space, and plants – leaving them enough room to swim around.

Proper Water Parameters

The Ember’s low maintenance also comes into play here as their water parameters are easy to meet and do not require special equipment. Here are the best parameters you can use to create a habitable environment for the fish:

  • Water temperature: the range should be between 73 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • pH levels: the right pH level ranges between 5-7, although you can keep it close to 6.5 for a better environment.
  • Water hardness: 5-17 dGH.

You can purchase an aquarium test kit that you can use to regularly check these levels from time to time to ensure the parameters are optimal. Check for the frequency at least once or twice a week. Even though the fish are easy to take care of, experienced aquarists prefer to test the water conditions regularly to ensure optimal conditions. This prevents any flukes in the parameter that might harm the fish.

What to Include in Ember Tetra Tanks

Heavy vegetation is the main component of Ember Tetras in their natural habitat, and the main thing you will need to include in an Ember Tetra tank is plants. They are comfortable in this kind of environment as the plant cover makes them feel comfortable.

Aside from the comfort, the plants also have a significant impact on the quality of water in the tank. Some of the plants you can use include Anacharis, Hornwort, and Java Moss.

Food and Diet

Like any other organism, Ember Tetras will need a balanced diet for them to thrive. It helps them have a healthy life and enable them to live longer lives. You want to make sure they get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients, whereby, variation in the diet is necessary in order to provide them with this.

You can give your Ember Tetras a mix of freeze-dried or frozen food and flake fish food. This mixed diet is an excellent place to start feeding your fish. When it comes to living food, you can feed your fish, brine shrimp, and Daphnia. They are a great source of nutrients and proteins. You can also feed them other small fish that can boost their protein levels.

Snacking is also something that can help supplement the fish’s diet. You can give them plants as snacks from time to time. You might also see them snacking on the vegetation in the tank from time to time. This is completely fine; their snacking will not damage the plant.

Expert aquarists recommend feeding them anywhere between 2-4 times every day. The most recommended time is three times a day. Make sure not to overfeed the fish as this can cause multiple health problems. Ensure you pay close attention to the fish to spot any signs of malaise as soon as it occurs.

Common Health Problems

Ember Tetras are incredibly hardy creatures and are not susceptible to most potential health problems. This just goes to prove how easy and unproblematic Ember Tetras are. Any new aquarist who doesn’t have enough practice with fish can easily introduce themselves to taking care of fish with them.

They can, of course, still get health problems, but with proper care and the correct diet, the chances of any of this causing serious harm are low. To ensure your fish have the healthiest life possible, always ensure they have a completely balanced diet and their water quality is as required. You should check it every few days to make sure everything is up to par. Any lapse in their maintenance increases their chances of getting infections and illnesses.

Behavior and Temperament


Ember Tetras tend to be active despite their small size. Their temperament and behavior make them fun fish to have around. They are also shoaling fish, meaning they are almost always in a group, so you can get a big tank that can accommodate a lot of fish.

They are not aggressive and can get along well with other tank mates without bothering each other. They are also relatively curious and will love to explore their tank as a group. They enjoy mingling with other creatures of the same size, and they are not shy.

However, they will spend some of their time in the vegetation. They see it as their safe space, and will hide out there when they want to rest. In general, Ember Tetras are model inhabitants, and they won’t give you any trouble.

Best Tank Mates

Ember Tetras are naturally gentle creatures that get along well with plenty of other fish. They will do their own thing without bothering other fish in the tank. Though they are reasonably active, Embers will not go out of their way to interfere with the other tank mates.

The most important thing when looking for their tank mates is the space. Embers tend to occupy the middle part of the tank and will not go to the top or bottom, so you can find mates that won’t cross paths with them.

You should also look for mates that are around the same size as the Ember Tetra because larger fish might see them as a snack. Some of the best tank mates include cory catfish, pigmy catfishes, Neon Tetras, and rasboras. You can also have non-fish mates such as the Cherry shrimp and the nerite snail.

The Shoal and its Importance

The Ember Tetra is a shoaling fish that likes to be with others. You can keep at least 10 of them together so that they enrich and make each other feel comfortable. This is necessary with the Embers because of their shoaling nature; if they are kept alone, they are more open to extreme stress, hurting their mental and physical health.


Their breeding is an easy undertaking that doesn’t require you to do a lot. You will need a tank with male and female fish for a start. The water should have a pH of around 7 with temperatures slightly above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions encourage the fish to start the spawning process.

After spawning, the parents leave the fry to fend for themselves. This is your opportunity to take the fry to a safer tank where they can grow comfortably. You can take them to an average size tank, with fellow fry, where they can grow without having to fight for food with their parents and other tank mates.


Beautiful, easy, and low maintenance, the Ember Tetras are some of the best freshwater fish anyone can get. They are perfect for both beginner aquarists and experienced ones as well.

Their beauty and color, combined with their fun, active, group behavior, make them addicting to watch. The Ember Tetra is an excellent choice for you no matter your expertise; they are one purchase you will never regret!