Ember Tetra Care 101: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you are looking for a small, colorful fish to add to your aquarium, the Ember Tetra might be the perfect choice for you. These tiny fish are easy to care for and can add a pop of color to any tank. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Ember Tetra care, from tank setup to feeding and breeding.

Ember Tetra is a freshwater fish species that requires a minimum tank size of 10 gallons. They prefer a pH range of 6.0-7.5 and soft to moderately hard water. They are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet of flakes, pellets, and live/frozen foods. Regular water changes and proper filtration are necessary for their well-being.

I first discovered Ember Tetras when I was looking for a new addition to my 10-gallon tank. I was drawn to their bright orange color and small size, and after some research, I decided to bring a few home. Since then, I have found that they are a great addition to any tank and require minimal maintenance. In this article, I will share my personal experience with Ember Tetra care and provide you with all the information you need to keep these fish healthy and happy.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the basics of Ember Tetra care, including tank size and setup, water parameters, feeding, and breeding. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fish keeper, this article will provide you with all the information you need to keep your Ember Tetras thriving. So, let’s dive in and learn everything there is to know about caring for these colorful little fish!

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Species Summary

Ember tetras are small, peaceful freshwater fish that make great additions to any community aquarium.

In this section, we’ll cover everything you need to know about these colorful and lively fish, including their origin, lifespan, appearance, size, growth rate, behavior, and temperament, as well as the differences between males and females.


Ember tetras are native to the slow-moving streams and tributaries of the Amazon River basin in South America.

These fish are well adapted to life in warm, acidic water with plenty of vegetation and hiding places.


With proper care, ember tetras can live for up to 5 years in captivity.

However, their lifespan can be shortened if they are kept in poor water conditions or exposed to stress and disease.


Ember tetras are small, brightly colored fish that are named for their fiery orange-red coloration.

They have a slender body shape and a slightly forked tail fin. Males tend to be more brightly colored and have longer fins than females.


Ember tetras are small fish, typically growing to a maximum length of around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in captivity.

This makes them an ideal choice for smaller aquariums and nano tanks.

Growth Rate

Ember tetras are relatively fast-growing fish, reaching their adult size within just a few months of hatching.

However, their growth rate can be affected by factors such as water quality, diet, and temperature.

Behavior & Temperament

Ember tetras are peaceful, social fish that do well in groups of 6 or more.

They are active swimmers and enjoy plenty of open swimming space, but they also appreciate having plenty of plants and other hiding places to explore.

These fish are generally very peaceful and get along well with other non-aggressive species.

Male vs Female

Male and female ember tetras can be difficult to tell apart, especially when they are young.

However, as they mature, males tend to develop more intense coloration and longer fins than females.

Females may also appear slightly rounder in the belly region when they are carrying eggs.

When I first got my ember tetras, I was amazed by their bright colors and lively personalities. Watching them dart around the aquarium and interact with each other was truly mesmerizing.

I quickly learned that these fish are easy to care for and make great additions to any community aquarium.

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or a beginner, ember tetras are a great choice for anyone looking for colorful, peaceful fish that are full of personality.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

When it comes to ember tetra care, the first thing you need to consider is the tank size. Ember tetras are small fish, so you don’t need a huge tank.

However, you should still give them enough space to swim around comfortably. A 10-gallon tank is ideal for a small school of ember tetras.


Ember tetras don’t require any special lighting, but it’s still important to provide them with a light source that mimics their natural habitat.

A standard aquarium light is sufficient, but you should avoid placing the tank in direct sunlight as it can cause temperature fluctuations and algae growth.

Filtration & Aeration

Good filtration and aeration are essential for maintaining a healthy environment for your ember tetras.

A hang-on-back filter is a good option for a small tank, but you can also use a sponge filter. Make sure to cycle your tank before adding fish to establish a healthy bacterial colony.


Ember tetras are tropical fish and require a consistent water temperature between 75-82°F.

A heater is necessary to maintain this temperature range. Make sure to choose a heater that is appropriate for the size of your tank.


Ember tetras prefer a soft substrate, such as sand or fine gravel.

Avoid using sharp or rough substrates that can damage their delicate fins.


Ember tetras are shy fish and prefer a well-decorated tank with plenty of hiding spots.

You can use rocks, driftwood, and caves to create a natural-looking environment for your fish.


Live plants not only provide hiding spots for your ember tetras, but they also help maintain water quality by absorbing excess nutrients.

Java moss, Anubias, and Amazon sword are good plant choices for a beginner aquarist.

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I remember when I first set up my ember tetra tank, I was so excited to see these little fish swimming around.

It’s important to give them a comfortable and healthy environment to thrive in, and proper tank setup is the first step.

Water Quality

When it comes to keeping Ember Tetras, maintaining good water quality is essential.

Here are some key factors to consider:

Water Temperature

The ideal temperature for Ember Tetras is between 72°F and 82°F.

Keeping the water temperature within this range will help ensure that your fish stay healthy and active.

Water pH

Ember Tetras prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0.

It’s important to monitor the pH regularly and make adjustments as needed to keep the water within this range.

Water Hardness

Ember Tetras are adaptable to a range of water hardness levels, but they tend to do best in soft to moderately hard water with a range of 4-15 dGH.

Regular testing and monitoring of water hardness is recommended to ensure optimal conditions for your fish.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are important for maintaining good water quality in your Ember Tetra aquarium.

Aim to change 10-20% of the water each week, using a gravel vacuum to remove any debris from the substrate. This will help keep the water clear and reduce the risk of disease.

From my personal experience, I’ve found that maintaining consistent water quality is the key to keeping Ember Tetras healthy and happy.

By monitoring water temperature, pH, hardness, and performing regular water changes, you can create a thriving environment for your fish.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping your Ember Tetra’s tank clean and well-maintained is crucial for their health and happiness. Here are some tips to help you keep your tank in tip-top shape.

Firstly, make sure you have a good filtration system in place. Your filter should be able to handle the volume of water in your tank and should be cleaned regularly. A dirty filter can lead to poor water quality, which can be harmful to your fish. Next, perform regular water changes.

You should aim to change around 25% of the water in your tank every 1-2 weeks. This will help to remove any excess waste and debris, as well as replenish essential minerals and nutrients.

In addition to regular water changes, make sure you clean the tank itself. Use a gentle aquarium-safe cleaner to wipe down the walls of the tank, as well as any decorations or plants. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as these can be harmful to your fish.

Finally, keep an eye on the temperature and pH levels of your tank. Ember Tetras prefer a slightly acidic pH of around 6.5-7.0, and a temperature of 72-78°F. Use a thermometer and pH test kit to monitor these levels regularly and make adjustments as needed.

I personally find that tank maintenance is a relaxing and enjoyable part of keeping fish. There’s something satisfying about seeing your tank sparkle and your fish thrive in a clean and healthy environment. With a little bit of effort and regular maintenance, you can keep your Ember Tetras happy and healthy for years to come.

Tank Mates

If you’re planning on keeping Ember Tetras, it’s important to choose the right tank mates to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. Here are some things to consider:

Compatible Fish Species

Ember Tetras are a peaceful and social species, and they get along well with other small, non-aggressive fish. Some good options for tank mates include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Cherry Shrimp

Incompatible Fish Species

It’s important to avoid keeping Ember Tetras with larger or more aggressive fish, as they may become stressed or even attacked. Some species to avoid include:

  • Cichlids
  • Bettas
  • Guppies
  • Goldfish

How many Ember Tetras can you keep together?

Ember Tetras are a schooling fish, so it’s best to keep them in groups of at least 6-8.

However, it’s important not to overcrowd your tank, so make sure you have enough space for all of your fish. As a general rule, you should have at least 1 gallon of water per inch of fish.

Personally, I’ve had great success keeping Ember Tetras with Neon Tetras and Otocinclus Catfish. They all get along well and create a beautiful display of colors in my tank. Remember, choosing the right tank mates is crucial for the health and happiness of your Ember Tetras.


When it comes to Ember Tetra care, diet is a crucial aspect. In this section, we’ll cover what to feed your fish, how often to feed them, and some tips to keep in mind.

What To Feed

Ember Tetras are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. You should feed them a varied diet that includes both.

Some good options for plant matter include spirulina flakes, algae wafers, and blanched vegetables like zucchini or spinach. For animal matter, you can feed them brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia.


It’s important not to overfeed your Ember Tetras. A good rule of thumb is to feed them small amounts twice a day.

You can adjust the amount based on how much they eat in a few minutes. If there is leftover food in the tank after a few minutes, you’re feeding them too much.


Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your Ember Tetras:

  • Rotate their diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
  • Don’t feed them too much live food, as it can cause digestive issues.
  • Make sure the food is appropriate for their size. Small pellets or flakes are best for Ember Tetras.

Personally, I’ve found that my Ember Tetras really enjoy frozen brine shrimp. They go crazy for it! Just make sure to thaw it out before feeding it to them.

Common Diseases


Ember Tetras are generally hardy fish, but they can still fall victim to a few diseases. One of the most common diseases is called Ich, which is caused by a parasite.

Another disease is Fin Rot, which can be caused by poor water quality or injury. Dropsy is also a common disease that can be caused by bacterial infection.


If your Ember Tetra is suffering from Ich, you will notice small white spots on its body.

Fin Rot can cause your fish’s fins to become frayed or discolored.

Dropsy can cause your fish to become bloated and its scales to protrude.


If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to act quickly to treat your fish. For Ich, you can add medication to your tank to kill the parasite.

Fin Rot can be treated by improving water quality and adding medication. Dropsy can be treated with antibiotics, but it’s important to catch it early.


The best way to prevent diseases in your Ember Tetras is to maintain good water quality. Make sure to test your water regularly and perform water changes as needed.

Quarantine any new fish before adding them to your tank to prevent the spread of disease. I once had an Ember Tetra that developed Fin Rot due to poor water quality.

I quickly treated him with medication and improved his living conditions. He made a full recovery and lived a long and happy life in my tank. Remember, taking care of your Ember Tetras’ health is crucial for their well-being.

Signs of a Healthy Ember Tetra

When it comes to keeping your Ember Tetra healthy, it’s important to know what signs to look for. Here are a few things to keep an eye on:

  1. Bright Colors: One of the most obvious signs of a healthy Ember Tetra is bright and vibrant colors. If your fish’s colors are looking dull or faded, it could be a sign of stress or illness.
  2. Active Behavior: Healthy fish are usually active and swimming around their tank. If your Ember Tetra is lethargic or spending a lot of time hiding, it could be a sign of a problem.
  3. Clean Fins: Take a close look at your fish’s fins – they should be clean and free of any tears or damage. Damaged fins can be a sign of poor water quality or aggression from other fish in the tank.
  4. Good Appetite: A healthy Ember Tetra should have a good appetite and be eager to eat when food is offered. If your fish is refusing food or seems uninterested in eating, it could be a sign of illness. Remember, these are just a few signs of a healthy Ember Tetra.

If you notice any changes in your fish’s behavior or appearance, it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian or experienced fish keeper to ensure that your fish stays happy and healthy.

Personally, I always keep a close eye on my Ember Tetras to make sure they’re doing well. I love watching them swim around and interact with each other, and it’s always a relief to see that they’re healthy and happy.

Signs Your Ember Tetra Is Sick

If you have an ember tetra, it is important to keep an eye on its health. These small fish are susceptible to a variety of illnesses that can quickly become serious if not addressed promptly. Here are some signs that your ember tetra may be sick:

  1. Loss of Appetite: If your ember tetra is not eating or appears to have lost interest in food, it may be a sign of illness. Check for other symptoms and consider consulting a veterinarian.
  2. Lethargy: If your fish is spending more time than usual resting on the bottom of the tank or seems to be moving more slowly than usual, it may be a sign of illness. Observe your fish closely and look for other symptoms.
  3. Abnormal Swimming: If your ember tetra is swimming erratically or struggling to maintain its balance, it may be a sign of illness. Check the water quality and look for other symptoms.
  4. Discoloration: If your fish’s color has faded or changed in any way, it may be a sign of illness. Look for other symptoms and consider testing the water quality.
  5. Breathing Problems: If your ember tetra is gasping for air or appears to be struggling to breathe, it may be a sign of illness. Check the water quality and look for other symptoms. Remember, the best way to keep your ember tetra healthy is to provide it with a clean, well-maintained tank and to monitor its behavior closely.

If you notice any of these symptoms or anything else that seems out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.

Personally, I once had an ember tetra that lost its appetite and became lethargic. I consulted a veterinarian and learned that the fish had a bacterial infection. With proper treatment, my ember tetra made a full recovery.


Breeding Ember Tetras can be a fun and rewarding experience. In this section, we’ll cover everything you need to know about breeding these beautiful fish, including the setup, how to breed, and care.

Breeding Setup

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Before you start breeding Ember Tetras, you’ll need to set up a breeding tank. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Aquarium tank (10-20 gallons)
  • Heater
  • Filter
  • Live plants
  • Breeding cone or mop

Make sure the temperature in the tank is around 78°F, and the pH level is between 6.5 and 7.0. Use a sponge filter to avoid sucking up any eggs or fry.

How To Breed

Once your breeding tank is set up, it’s time to introduce your Ember Tetras. You’ll need to have a ratio of one male to two females.

When the female is ready to lay eggs, she’ll start to follow the male around the tank. The male will then lead her to the breeding cone or mop, where she’ll lay her eggs.

The male will then fertilize the eggs. After a few hours, the eggs will hatch, and the fry will start to swim around the tank.

Make sure to remove the parents from the breeding tank, as they may eat their own eggs or fry.


Caring for the fry is essential for their survival. Here are some things you’ll need to do:

  • Feed them small amounts of baby brine shrimp or crushed flakes several times a day.
  • Keep the water clean by doing frequent water changes.
  • Make sure the temperature is consistent.
  • Use a sponge filter to avoid sucking up any fry.

Remember, breeding Ember Tetras requires patience and attention to detail. With the right setup and care, you can successfully breed these beautiful fish. I remember when I first tried breeding my Ember Tetras.

It took a few tries to get the setup just right, but it was worth it when I saw the fry swimming around the tank. If you’re patient and dedicated, you can experience the joy of breeding these amazing fish too.

Product recommendations for Ember Tetra:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets – This is a high-quality fish food that is perfect for Ember Tetra. It contains all the essential nutrients that your fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. API Aquarium Test Kit – It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  3. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Ember Tetra and other freshwater fish.
  4. CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate – This substrate is perfect for creating a natural environment for your Ember Tetra. It contains live bacteria and is easy to maintain.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter – This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  6. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Ember Tetra healthy.
  7. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Ember Tetra. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.
  8. Seachem Flourish – This is a liquid fertilizer that is perfect for promoting healthy plant growth in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Ember Tetra and other freshwater fish.
  9. Marimo Moss Balls – These are a great addition to any aquarium, including one housing Ember Tetra. They provide a natural habitat for your fish and help to maintain water quality.


Congratulations! You now have all the information you need to take care of your Ember Tetra fish. Remember to keep their water clean and well-maintained, feed them a balanced diet, and provide them with a suitable environment to thrive in.

One thing I learned from my personal experience with Ember Tetras is that they are social creatures that enjoy the company of their own kind. I highly recommend getting a small school of at least six of them to keep them happy and healthy.

Don’t forget to monitor their behavior and health regularly, and seek professional help if you notice any unusual symptoms or behavior. With proper care, Ember Tetras can live up to five years and bring you joy and relaxation as you watch them swim gracefully in their tank.


If you’re considering getting Ember Tetras, you may have a few questions. Here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: How many Ember Tetras should I get?

A: Ember Tetras are small fish, so you can keep them in groups of 6-8 in a 10-gallon tank. However, if you have a larger tank, you can keep more. Just make sure you don’t overcrowd the tank.

Q: What should I feed my Ember Tetras?

A: Ember Tetras are omnivores, so you can feed them a variety of foods. They enjoy live and frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms, as well as high-quality flake and pellet foods. Make sure to feed them small amounts several times a day.

Q: Do Ember Tetras need a heater?

A: Yes, Ember Tetras are tropical fish and require a heater to maintain a temperature between 72-82°F. Make sure to use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust the heater as necessary.

Q: Can Ember Tetras live with other fish?

A: Yes, Ember Tetras are peaceful fish and can live with other small, peaceful fish like other Tetras, Guppies, and Corydoras. Just make sure not to keep them with larger, aggressive fish that may bully or eat them.

Q: How often should I do water changes?

A: You should do a 25% water change weekly to keep the water clean and healthy for your Ember Tetras. Make sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals from tap water before adding it to the tank.

Overall, Ember Tetras are a great addition to any aquarium. I personally love watching them swim around and interact with each other. With proper care and attention, they can live for several years and bring joy to your home.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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