Silver Tip Tetra: Care, Lifespan, Tank Mates

Silvertip tetras are a popular freshwater fish species among aquarium enthusiasts due to their ease of care and striking appearance. They are known for their vibrant silver and black coloration, which adds a beautiful splash of color to any community tank.

This article will provide all the information about caring for silvertip tetras, including their behavior, tank requirements, breeding habits, lifespan, and ideal tank mates.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this guide will help your silvertip tetras thrive in their new aquatic home.

Key Takeaways

  • Silvertip tetras are easy to raise and resilient, making them great pets for freshwater aquariums.
  • They require a minimum of a 20-gallon tank with warm water and a neutral pH level.
  • They can be more aggressive than other tetra species and should be kept in groups of at least six or seven fish with carefully chosen tank mates.
  • Breeding silver tip tetras requires a separate breeding tank and conditioning with high-protein foods. The eggs typically hatch in 24 to 36 hours, and the fry becomes free-swimming after three days.

Species Summary


The silver-tip tetra may not be as well-known as other tetras, but it is a stunning freshwater fish with a personality to match. These resilient fish are easy to raise and thrive in most tropical biotype aquariums, making them a great addition to any community tank.

Endemic to South America, silver tip tetras can be found in small streams and tributaries, particularly in the Sгo Francisco basin in Brazil. They can also adapt to white and blackwater environments, making them versatile fish to keep.

Silvertip tetras are happiest in large social groups as shoaling fish. When kept in a spacious aquarium, these colorful fish create a mesmerizing wave that is truly a sight to behold! Make sure to give them plenty of space to swim and play.

Overall, the silver tip tetra is a unique and enjoyable fish to keep. With their stunning appearance and active personality, they are sure to bring joy to any aquarium.

Average Silver Tip Tetra Size

Silvertip tetras are generally small, measuring around 1.2 inches in length. While they can grow up to two inches, it’s relatively rare. Achieving such growth requires a combination of good genes, excellent care, and a bit of luck.

Despite their small size, silver-tip tetras are fascinating creatures that can add much character to your aquarium.


These freshwater fish can live up to five to eight years with proper care. However, many factors can affect their lifespan, including genetics and the level of care you provide. So, giving them the best possible care is essential to keep them stress-free and healthy.

Good husbandry is crucial to keep your silver tip tetras healthy. Genetics is a factor, but proper care can make all the difference. So, keep them comfortable and well-fed, and you’ll be rewarded with a tank!


Silvertip tetras have a body shape reminiscent of other fish in the Characidae family. Their torpedo-shaped silhouette is strikingly similar to the neon tetra and cardinal tetra. However, unlike these species, the silver tip tetra lacks an adipose fin behind the dorsal fin.

Male silver-tip tetras have a deep copper color that’s quite eye-catching. Their semi-transparent bodies have a lovely coppery sheen that reflects light beautifully under most conditions. On the other hand, females have a more subtle yellow undertone, and their body color is closer to silver. They’re also larger and plumper than their male counterparts.

Male and female silver-tip tetras have golden-yellow fins with bright silver at the tips. This is how they get their name. They also have a black mark at the base of their tailfin, extending into the caudal fork. This mark is flanked on either side by a touch of yellow.

Silver Tip Tetra Care

Taking care of silver-tip tetras is a breeze! These fish are incredibly tough and can handle typical tropical conditions with ease. They’re low-maintenance and don’t require too much fuss.

However, you should keep a few things in mind if you want your silver tip tetras to be at their best. These little fish have personality quirks and preferences, so catering to them will help them thrive.

To make sure your silver tip tetras are happy and healthy, here are some care tips to get you started:

Tank Size

They don’t need a huge aquarium to thrive. A small group can live happily in a standard 10-gallon tank. But if you want the best for your fishy friends, a tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended.

Why 20 gallons? It supports a small shoal and provides space for their active lifestyle. You should provide about three gallons of volume for each adult tetra you plan to keep. You can scale up to keep them with other community fish.

So, don’t worry about having to buy a massive aquarium. Opt for a 20-gallon tank instead for the best results.

Water Parameters

These fish are all about warm water, neutral pH levels, and low hardness. But don’t worry; we’ve covered you with the preferred parameters below.

To keep your silver tip tetras happy and healthy, aim for a water temperature between 64°F to 82°F. Around 72 to 74 degrees is ideal, but keep an eye on it with a reliable aquarium test kit.

When it comes to pH levels, aim for neutral. This means keeping it between 6.0 to 8.0. And remember to regularly test and monitor the water hardness, which should be between 4 to 8 KH.

Maintaining water quality is crucial for silver tip tetra care, so ensure you have the proper equipment to do it well. Stay on top of these parameters, and your fish will thrive!

Setting Up Their Tank

To create an optimal environment for Characid freshwater fish, it is essential to carefully set up their aquarium with suitable substrate, decorations, and water parameters.

Sand is recommended for the substrate, as it mimics their natural habitat and allows easy cleaning. In terms of decorations, driftwood, rocks, and Indian almond leaves should be included to provide hiding places and create a natural environment.

A filtration system is crucial for maintaining water quality and should be selected based on the tank size.

LED lights are popular lighting options due to their energy efficiency and ability to simulate natural sunlight. Regular testing with a water testing kit is necessary to ensure appropriate water parameters, such as pH and temperature.

By providing a well-decorated tank with appropriate water parameters, filtration systems, lighting options, and a balanced feeding schedule, you can create a healthy and thriving environment for your silver tip tetras.

Potential Diseases

Like any other fish, Silvertip tetras can get sick when they’re in a crappy water environment. But don’t worry; they have no unique health problems. They can fall victim to typical tropical fish illnesses like ich, fin rot, and velvet disease. Luckily, these conditions are easy to cure with over-the-counter medication and some effective quarantining.

To avoid these issues, ensure your water conditions are in check. Silver-tip tetras are hardy and can resist diseases independently but have limits. When water conditions change frequently, the fish suffer from tons of stress. This weakens their immune system, making it difficult to fight diseases.

To prevent diseases, test your water parameters regularly and do weekly water changes.

Doing so keeps your silver tip tetras healthy and happy.

Food & Diet

Silvertip tetras are opportunistic eaters in the wild – they’ll feast on anything from insects to plant detritus! In captivity, providing them with a varied, high-quality diet is crucial. Premium flakes or dry granules should form the base of their meals, with balanced formulas or those geared towards enhancing their color vibrancy.

A fish’s hue is a great indicator of overall health and nutrition. If you notice your silver tip tetra losing its signature coppery sheen, it’s time to switch up its food! Add protein-packed snacks like bloodworms, Daphnia, brine shrimp, and flakes or pellets. These can be freeze-dried, frozen, or live.

Offer them a few meals daily to keep your silver tip tetras healthy. Remember to give them enough food to finish in two minutes, and clean up any leftovers to keep their tank water in tip-top shape.

Behavior & Temperament

The behavior and temperament of Characid freshwater fish can be described as slightly more aggressive than other small tetras, which may require careful consideration when selecting tank mates.

These fish are social and can become territorial, so keeping them in groups of at least six or seven is recommended. It is also important to avoid putting them in the same tank as large aggressors or fish with long fins, as they have a habit of nipping fins.

Aggression management is crucial when keeping silver tip tetras with other fish. While they can be slightly more aggressive, they can still make great tank mates with the right companions. It is important to monitor their behavior and separate any fish showing aggression.

Additionally, male silver-tip tetras have brighter colors than females and may exhibit more aggressive behavior during breeding. These fish also have specific feeding preferences and should be fed a balanced diet with high-protein foods to support their breeding habits.

Tank Mates

To maintain a harmonious tank, consider introducing similar-sized tetras, peaceful bottom-dwellers, and other compatible species. Some great options include black skirt tetras, Buenos Aires tetras, zebra danios, mollies, most types of rasboras, blind cave tetras, cory catfish, serpae tetras, peaceful types of plecos, and platyfish.

In summary, with thoughtful planning and carefully selecting tank mates, silver tip tetras can thrive in a community tank setting. Avoiding incompatible species and choosing compatible ones can help create a peaceful and enjoyable environment.



Breeding silver-tip tetras in captivity is a breeze! These fish are egg scatterers, so you can expect the females to lay eggs all over the tank. It’s best to provide plants to lay their eggs on to ensure safety. Remember that these fish don’t have any parental instincts, so removing the adult fish is essential to maximize the eggs’ survival rate.

To create the perfect breeding environment, set up a 10 to 20-gallon tank with similar water parameters as the primary tank. To induce spawning, aim for slightly acidic water. Adding plants with soft and dense leaves or a mesh layer will keep the eggs safe.

Place three pairs of male and female silver-tip tetras into the breeding tank to start the breeding process. Condition the adults with high-protein foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp.

Over time, the males will become more vibrantly colored, and the females will swell up with eggs. Once they’re ready, the pairs will mate, usually in the early morning. The females will lay their eggs all over the tank, and the males will fertilize them.

After spawning, remove the adults and place them back into the primary tank. The eggs typically hatch in 24 to 36 hours, and the fry will continue to feed on their egg sac for another three days. Once they become free-swimming, provide brine shrimp, infusoria, or micro worms to encourage growth until the babies are large enough to eat everyday foods.

Breeding silver tip tetras is a fun and rewarding experience that is easy to do. With a little effort and the right equipment, you can successfully breed these beautiful fish in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of a silver tip tetra?

The average lifespan of a silver tip tetra is around 5 to 8 years.

Can silver tip tetras be kept with shrimp or snails?

Silvertip tetras can be kept with shrimp and snails in at least 20 gallons of tank. However, their slightly aggressive behavior may lead to nipping at the smaller creatures.

How often should water be changed in a silver-tip tetra tank?

The frequency of water changes in a fish tank with silver-tip tetras depends on the tank’s size, filtration system, feeding schedule, and water parameters. Tank decoration can also affect water quality. Generally, a weekly 25% water change is recommended.

Are there any specific diseases or health issues that silver tip tetras are prone to?

Like most fish, silver-tip tetras can get sick if they live in dirty water. They don’t have any special health problems, but they can get the same illnesses as other tropical fish. So, watch out for ich, fin rot, and velvet disease!

How many silver tip tetras should be kept in a 20-gallon tank?

A 20-gallon tank can support a small shoal of Silver Tip Tetras, with at least six or seven fish recommended.


In conclusion, silver-tip tetras are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. Proper care is necessary for any pet to ensure a long and healthy lifespan. Providing a spacious tank with plenty of hiding spots, plants, and adequate filtration is essential.

A varied diet of high-quality flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods will keep your silver tip tetras healthy and happy.

When it comes to tank mates, silver-tip tetras are generally peaceful and do well with other non-aggressive species. However, monitoring their behavior and ensuring they aren’t being bullied or outcompeted for food is essential.

Breeding silver tip tetras can be challenging but rewarding, and a separate breeding tank with plenty of hiding spots and live plants is recommended. With proper care, silver tip tetras can provide years of enjoyment to their owners.