Silver Tip Tetra Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More

Caring for Silver Tip Tetras can be a rewarding experience for any aquarium enthusiast. These small, energetic fish are known for their striking silver-tipped fins and peaceful nature, making them a popular choice among fish keepers.

Silver Tip Tetras require a tank size of at least 20 gallons, water temperature between 72-82°F, and a pH range of 6.0-7.5. They are omnivores and need a varied diet of high-quality flakes or pellets, as well as occasional live or frozen foods. They also require hiding places and a well-planted aquarium. Regular water changes and tank maintenance are important for their health.

Recently, I curated an aquarium for these enchanting silver beauties. Interestingly, they exhibit a playful behavior towards other fish, creating a harmonious underwater environment.

Proper tank setup is crucial for the well-being of Silver Tip Tetras. Ensuring optimal water conditions, maintaining appropriate vegetation, and catering to their dietary needs will keep them healthy and thriving in your tank.

Silver Tip Tetra

Species Summary


Silver Tip Tetras originate from South America, specifically the Upper Amazon Basin in Brazil and Colombia. I remember when I first learned about their natural habitat, it made me appreciate their resilience and adaptability.


An interesting fact about Silver Tip Tetras is that their lifespan typically ranges from 3 to 5 years. However, with proper care and a well-maintained aquarium, they can sometimes live even longer.


What caught my eye when I first saw Silver Tip Tetras was their stunning appearance. They have a silvery body with hints of yellow and orange, especially near their fins. Their shining scales create a mesmerizing shimmer in the water.


Silver Tip Tetras are small fish, which makes them perfect for various aquarium sizes. Generally, they grow to about 2 inches long.

Growth Rate

In my experience with Silver Tip Tetras, I’ve noticed that they have a moderate growth rate. It takes approximately 6 to 12 months for them to reach their maximum size.

Behavior & Temperament

One of my favorite aspects of Silver Tip Tetras is their behavior and temperament. They are peaceful, active, and social fish that love to be in groups. When I first added them to my aquarium, they quickly became the life of the party and engaged with other tank inhabitants.

Male vs Female

Sexual dimorphism in Silver Tip Tetras is subtle but can be distinguished. Males are usually slimmer, and their coloring may be slightly more vibrant. Females, on the other hand, have a more rounded body, which can make them appear larger.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

I recommend a minimum tank size of 15 gallons for Silver Tip Tetras. In my experience, they’re active swimmers and larger tanks allow them to thrive naturally.


Keep the lighting medium to low for the best living conditions. I found that using LED or fluorescent lights on a timer for 8-12 hours per day works well.

Filtration & Aeration

Invest in a quality filter and air pump. I’d advise an efficient hang-on-back filter or sponge filter to aid in water movement and oxygenation.


Silver Tip Tetras enjoy a temperature range of 72-79°F. In my setup, I use an adjustable heater to maintain consistent water temperatures.


A darker, fine-grained substrate is ideal. I’ve been using sand in my tank which brings out the vibrant colors of the Tetras.


Add plenty of hiding spots like rocks and driftwood. Personally, I’ve included some small caves and hollow logs in my tank, creating a natural environment for Tetras to explore.


Live plants are essential, as they provide shelter and help maintain water quality. Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Swords are among my favorites for adding greenery to my Silver Tip Tetra tank.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

Ideal water temperature for Silver Tip Tetras is between 72-79°F (22-26°C). I had an experience where my aquarium heater malfunctioned, causing the temperature to drop suddenly. Keep an eye on your tank’s temperature to avoid any problems.

Water pH

Silver Tip Tetras prefer slightly acidic water with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. Once, I faced a pH spike in my aquarium, which made my tetras stressed. Using proper buffering solutions can help maintain a stable pH level.

Water Hardness

These fish can tolerate a wide range of water hardness, from 2-15 dGH. I learned that softer water conditions might be better for them if you’re trying to encourage breeding.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining a healthy environment. I usually perform 25-30% water changes every two weeks. It is crucial to avoid letting waste build-up and keep nitrate levels in check, as it can be harmful to Silver Tip Tetras. Be sure always to dechlorinate tap water before adding it to your aquarium.

Tank Maintenance

When it comes to Silver Tip Tetra care, maintaining a clean and healthy tank environment is essential. I’ve found that regular water changes play a crucial role in this process. Every week, I replace about 25-30% of the water with fresh, treated water.

Proper filtration is another key aspect. I use a high-quality filter that’s efficient at removing waste particles and ensuring the water remains crystal clear. I also check the filter’s performance regularly and clean it whenever necessary.

In my experience, monitoring water parameters is vital to prevent any imbalances that could harm the fish. I test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates regularly and take corrective actions if I notice any fluctuations.

I also pay attention to the tank’s temperature and lighting. Silver Tip Tetras prefer a stable temperature between 70-79°F (21-26°C). I use a reliable heater and thermometer to ensure the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much.

Lastly, I maintain the tank’s overall cleanliness by wiping the inner glass surfaces and siphoning out any debris settled at the bottom. This helps keep the water in pristine condition, which is crucial for the health of my Silver Tip Tetras.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

When I had my Silver Tip Tetra tank, I found they got along well with several other species. They are a peaceful, schooling fish and can coexist with:

  • Small Characins: e.g. neon tetra, ember tetra, and black neon tetra
  • Corydoras: e.g. albino cory, panda cory, and peppered cory
  • Dwarf Gouramis: e.g. honey gourami, flame gourami, and powder blue gourami

It is essential to have at least 6 Silver Tip Tetras together so they can form a proper school.

Incompatible Fish Species

Avoid keeping Silver Tip Tetras with larger or aggressive fish species, as they may get intimidated or bullied. In my experience, I found that they don’t do well with:

  • Cichlids: e.g. convict cichlid, Jack Dempsey, and Texas cichlid
  • Large Catfish: e.g. redtail catfish, pimelodus, and iridescent shark
  • Large Predatory Species: e.g. arowana, gars, and piranhas

Remember, it is essential to consider each fish’s temperament and size when setting up a community tank.


What To Feed

As an avid aquarium enthusiast, I recommend feeding Silver Tip Tetras a balanced diet consisting of high-quality flakes and pellets. Additionally, to ensure their nutritional needs are being met, include live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms in their diet.


I tend to feed my Silver Tip Tetras in small portions two to three times daily. Doing so helps with cleaner water conditions while replicating their natural feeding behavior.


Some helpful suggestions I’ve discovered while caring for Silver Tip Tetras include:

  • Variety: Mixing up their food types keeps them interested and healthy.
  • Overfeeding: Avoid overfeeding, as it can lead to poor water quality and health issues in your fish.
  • Sinking pellets: Utilize sinking pellets for shy or slower eaters, ensuring they get their fair share.

Remember, a varied and balanced diet will ensure your Silver Tip Tetras thrive and display their best colors.

Common Diseases


One time, I noticed that my Silver Tip Tetra seemed less energetic than usual. I began to suspect that it was suffering from one of the common diseases, such as:

  • Ich
  • Fin Rot
  • Swim Bladder Disease


In my experience, it’s crucial to quickly identify the symptoms associated with these diseases. For example, Ich is characterized by tiny white spots on the fish’s body, while fin rot appears as tattered or discolored fins. Swim bladder disease, on the other hand, makes your fish struggle with balance or swimming properly.


When my Silver Tip Tetra showed signs of Ich, I promptly addressed the issue by raising the water temperature (82°F-86°F) and adding an Ich treatment. For fin rot, I used a mild antibiotic solution, while with swim bladder disease, I fasted my fish and provided it with a high-fiber diet, such as green peas.


To prevent these diseases, I recommend:

  1. Maintaining good water quality: Test for ammonia and nitrate levels, and keep them in check. Perform regular water changes.
  2. Avoiding overstocking: Make sure your tank isn’t overcrowded to reduce stress among the fish.
  3. Feeding a healthy diet: Offer a balanced diet with a variety of high-quality foods.
  4. Quarantining new fish: Isolate and observe newcomers for at least two weeks to avoid introducing diseases into the established community.

Signs of a Healthy Silver Tip Tetra

When I first started keeping Silver Tip Tetras, I quickly learned that identifying the signs of a healthy fish is crucial for maintaining a thriving community tank. Here are some key indicators of a healthy Silver Tip Tetra:

  1. Vibrant coloration: A healthy Silver Tip Tetra will have vivid, iridescent colors. The silver tips on their fins should be prominent and shimmer as they swim.
  2. Active and social behavior: These fish should be seen swimming actively around the tank, interacting with their tank mates, and generally displaying playful behavior.
  3. Good appetite: A healthy Silver Tip Tetra will readily accept food when it’s offered and exhibit a strong appetite. I remember one of my Tetras who would always be the first to the surface during feeding time, demonstrating its robust health.
  4. Clear eyes and healthy gills: The eyes of a healthy Silver Tip Tetra should be bright and clear, with no signs of cloudiness or bulging, while their gills should be free of redness or inflammation.
  5. Proper body shape: A Silver Tip Tetra in good health should have a sleek and streamlined body, free of any lumps, bumps, or irregularities.

By paying close attention to these signs, I’ve been able to ensure that my Silver Tip Tetras remain in good health and continue to thrive in their aquatic environment.

Signs Your Silver Tip Tetra Is Sick

I remember when I first started keeping Silver Tip Tetras, I was unsure about how to tell if they were healthy or not. Over time, I learned to look for certain signs that indicated my fish might be sick. Here, I’ll share those signs with you.

One tell-tale sign is loss of appetite. If your Silver Tip Tetra is eating less than usual, or not eating at all, it might be unwell. Keep an eye on their eating habits and make a mental note of any changes.

Another indication is sluggishness or lethargy. If your fish is swimming more slowly than usual, or resting near the bottom of the tank, this could be a cause for concern. Healthy tetras are generally lively and active swimmers.

Sometimes, fish show signs of illness through their appearance. If you notice changes in your Silver Tip Tetra’s coloring, pale gills, or clamped fins, these could indicate a problem. Likewise, swollen eyes or abdomen or visible sores on the body are signs of distress.

Finally, take note if your fish is gasping for air at the surface or rubbing their bodies against objects in the tank, as these can indicate respiratory stress or irritation from parasites.

In my experience, the sooner you catch these symptoms and take action, the better the chances that your Silver Tip Tetra will recover. So, keep a close eye on your fish and trust your instincts when you feel something might be off.


Breeding Setup

When I set up a separate breeding tank for my Silver Tip Tetras, I chose a 10 to 20-gallon tank with a sponge filter. I also made sure to have the water temperature around 78°F and a pH of 6.0-7.0.

  • Planted tank with floating plants
  • Lighting: subdued
  • Decorations: hiding places

How To Breed

I conditioned my breeding pairs by feeding them high-quality live or frozen foods to encourage them to spawn. After this, I selected the healthiest and most active pair for breeding.

  1. Introduce the pair into the breeding tank during the evening.
  2. Wait for them to spawn, usually within 24 hours.
  3. Observe the female lay eggs and the male fertilize them.


Caring for the eggs and fry is crucial in the breeding process. I found these tips helpful:

  • After spawning, remove the adult fish to prevent them from eating the eggs.
  • Maintain water quality with a sponge filter.
  • Eggs hatch within 24-36 hours.

Once the fry became free-swimming, I fed them infusoria or liquid fry food for the first few days. Gradually, I introduced baby brine shrimp and microworms as they grew. With attention and care, my Silver Tip Tetra fry started showing their beautiful colors within weeks.

Product recommendations for Silver Tip Tetra:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets: These pellets are specially formulated for small tropical fish like Silver Tip Tetras and contain high levels of protein and other essential nutrients for healthy growth and vibrant coloration.
  2. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer: This handy tool makes water changes a breeze and can help maintain a healthy environment for your Silver Tip Tetras.
  3. Seachem Flourish Excel: This liquid fertilizer can provide your Silver Tip Tetras with essential nutrients and help promote healthy plant growth in your aquarium.
  4. API Aquarium Test Kit: Regular water testing is crucial for maintaining a healthy environment for your Silver Tip Tetras, and this test kit can help you monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your tank.
  5. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump: This compact and efficient pump can help improve water circulation in your aquarium and provide your fish with a more natural environment.
  6. Zoo Med Laboratories AquaSun LED Aquarium Hood: This energy-efficient LED hood can provide ample lighting for your Silver Tip Tetra tank and help promote healthy plant growth.
  7. Seachem Prime: This water conditioner can help remove harmful chemicals from tap water and make it safe for your Silver Tip Tetras.
  8. CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate: This substrate is specifically designed for planted aquariums and can provide a natural-looking environment for your Silver Tip Tetras.
  9. Omega One Freeze-Dried Krill: This tasty treat can provide your Silver Tip Tetras with a high-quality source of protein and help promote healthy growth and coloration.


As a Silver Tip Tetra owner myself, I can say that providing proper care for these fish can make them thrive and live a healthy life. It is important to maintain well-balanced water parameters and a clean aquarium. Remember to offer a varied diet and replicate their natural habitat with hiding spots, live plants, and good water flow.

It’s also essential to buy a group of at least six Silver Tip Tetras to keep them happy and stress-free. I have seen that schooling fish like the Silver Tip Tetras feel more secure in a group and display more interesting behaviors.

In my experience, these fish can be a wonderful addition to a community aquarium, as they are peaceful and get along well with other non-aggressive species. Just make sure to research compatibility with your other aquatic friends to prevent potential conflicts.

With proper care and attention, Silver Tip Tetras can bring joy and beauty to your aquarium for many years to come. Happy fishkeeping!


How often should I feed my Silver Tip Tetra?

I feed my Silver Tip Tetras twice a day, offering them a mix of high-quality flakes and frozen or live food. Keep the portions small so they can finish it within a few minutes.

What tank size is suitable for Silver Tip Tetras?

For a small group of 6 Silver Tip Tetras, a 10-gallon tank works, but I recommend a 20-gallon tank or larger. This allows the fish to have enough space to swim and feel comfortable.

What are the ideal water parameters for Silver Tip Tetras?

  • Temperature: 72-82°F
  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Hardness: 4-18 dGH

I keep my tank within these parameters to maintain good health and coloration.

Is it okay to keep a single Silver Tip Tetra in a tank?

Silver Tip Tetras are schooling fish, so they fare better in a group of 6 or more. I’ve observed that they feel safer and display more natural behaviors when in a group.

What tankmates are suitable for Silver Tip Tetras?

I’ve had success with peaceful and similarly-sized tankmates, such as:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Mollies
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Guppies
  • Small Barbs

Always monitor new tankmates to ensure compatibility.

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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