The Ember Tetra fish – scientifically known as the Hyphessobrycon amandae – is one of the most beautiful freshwater fish species that you can get for your aquarium. Ember Tetra is one of those fish species that display bright colors moving fast inside the water and creating a beautiful scene. This fish species belongs to the Characidae family of fish. Ember Tetra is a small and peaceful fish species, meaning that you can put Ember Tetra in your peaceful community aquariums of freshwater species. Ember Tetra is one of the smallest fish species as Ember Tetras only reaches the maximum length of about 0.8 inches.

This fish species shows bright orange-red colors and they swim in a school. So, you will see an orange-red group of fish moving around in your tank at a rapid pace. This will make your tank look alive. Similar to many other tetra fish species, this species is an explorer that would move to every part of the tank to explore. Its diet is simple, and Ember Tetra is also easy to care for, so fish keepers of any level of experience can keep them in their aquarium. Below is a complete guide about Ember Tetra fish.

Basic Facts Table

Family Characidae
Lifespan2 and 4 years depending on care.
Size2 cm or 0.8 inches
DietOmnivore, varied diet including insects, invertebrates, and plant/algae.
Freshwater or SaltwaterFreshwater
Care LevelMinimum
CompatibilityPeaceful Community Tanks.

Tank Companions

The Ember Tetras are some of the smallest fish species. So, when you are pairing them with other fish species, you will have to make sure that your fish would be safe in the presence of other fish species.  You can do that by pairing with the right type of fish species. There are three main factors that you need to consider before introducing any new fish in the aquarium of the Ember Tetra or Ember Tetras to any other tank.

The first thing that you need to make sure of is that you only pair them with other fish species that are capable of living in the same type of water conditions and habitat as the Ember Tetras. If you do not make sure that both have similar water conditions and parameters, there are chances that your fish would die. For example, you cannot pair them with fish species that live in acidic waters, or fish species that require brackish water. In both of these scenarios, your fish will not be able to live in similar conditions as the Ember Tetras require neutral and freshwater.

So, matching living conditions, water parameters, and habitat needs are important factors that you should consider while introducing any fish species in your aquarium. Second, you will need to make sure that the size of your fish is similar to the size of Ember Tetras. You cannot introduce them in an aquarium with larger fish species or introduce any large fish species in their aquarium. Large fish species are aggressive most of the time and they attack and eat the small fish species including the Ember Tetras. So, the large fish would think of the Ember Tetras as the food that you put in their tank and would eat them.

Even if it doesn’t kill or eat them, it would bully the small Ember Tetras and that can induce stress and other health issues. That is why you should only pair them with small fish species that are equivalent to their size. The third factor here is the nature of the fish that you are pairing with the Ember Tetras. If you are introducing other peaceful fish species, that is a good decision. But if you are pairing them with an aggressive fish species, that would be a disaster. Small fish like the Ember Tetras are usually bullied by the aggressive members of the tank because Ember Tetra is a shy and peaceful species.

Here is a list of the possible tank mates of the Ember Tetras.

  • Honey Gouramis
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnow
  • Pictus Catfish
  • Diamond Tetras
  • Zebra Danio
  • Harlequin Rasbora
  • Glowlight Tetra
  • Dwarf Gourami

Apart from these, there is a huge list of possible tank mates. You can also select tank mates based on the factors that are mentioned above.

Species Overview

Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon amandae) is a small fish species, known for its beautiful colors display, and peaceful nature. Ember Tetra is very popular among the aquarists in North America because this species is native to the Araguaia River basin in Brazil. The shape of this fish is similar to other tetras of the same family. Although Ember Tetra is an extremely small fish species, Ember Tetra is capable of swimming extremely fast. Especially when the water currents are slow. Ember Tetra lives in those places where the river bedding is covered with small stones and sand. Ember Tetra is known as one of the most unique fish species that are not commonly seen in fish markets. But you can find Ember Tetra in the aquariums of hobbyists.

This fish is peaceful and exhibits schooling and shoaling behavior if kept in a group. Its striking colors help it navigate and find each other inside the clear water of the river. This is an extremely small fish species and cannot swim against the fast-moving river flow. That is why you can naturally find it near the banks of rivers. Ember Tetra has a habit of swimming in the middle layer of the tank, so, if you are introducing a tank make sure that you introduce them to bottom dwellers and other fish species that live in the lower or upper layer of the tank. This type of situation will help you avoid any type of clashes inside the tank.


The Ember Tetra is one of the smallest fish species as its body has a maximum length of 0.8 inches or 2cm. Its body is covered with reddish-orange colors. When this fish moves its body, it feels like a reddish-orange spear is speeding inside the tank. This distinctive-looking body coloring makes them more appealing for most fish keepers. Apart from coloring this fish, there are other distinctive features such as an elongated body that is thick in the middle. The back of this fish contains a long fin.

There are two fins near the belly of this fish. Ember Tetra is a part of the fish body that is not brightly colored, instead, it gives a darker appearance. Some parts of this fish’s body are also transparent. For example, the edges of the fins, and the place near dorsal fins. Its ventral and pectoral fins are also transparent. Their body is shaped similar to other tetras but Ember Tetra has separate color patterns, and longer fins and these are specific to this species of tetras only.


The Ember Tetra fish is native to the rivers of Brazil, including the Araguaia River in Central Brazil. This fish lives in the backwaters with a slow current. Places on the sides of rivers where there is a lot of vegetation are a common habitat of this fish species. This fish needs specific water conditions and parameters to live and survive. These parameters are not matched properly in other parts of the world. For that reason, this fish species is limited only to this region. But you can find Ember Tetra in ponds and aquariums all over the world.

Natural Habitat

The natural habitat of this species is covered with vegetation. Ember Tetra lives in the middle layer of the water. That is how Ember Tetra protects itself from the fish-eating birds of the area and protects itself from the large fish species that usually live in the middle of the river or near the bottom of the river. Ember Tetra fish species live in musky black waters, light rarely reaches the middle and bottom layer in these places.

That is why this fish needs bright colors to locate other members of its group so that it can swim with them. Its natural habitat is filled with invertebrates and insect larvae that this fish eats most of the time. Ember Tetras also feed on the algae, and vegetation inside their habitat. This type of diet helps them survive inside the water. Apart from that, the Ember Tetras also use the vegetation inside the river as a shelter and a place where they can hide from predators.

Ember Tetra Lifespan

The maximum lifespan of the Ember Tetras is four years, but they rarely reach that lifespan. Most of them die in about their second year in captivity. This might feel like a very short time frame, but for a small species like the Ember Tetras, it is a big deal. In their native habitat, they die mostly because of the presence of predators that eat a lot of small fish including them. But in the tank habitats, these fish species die because of poor care. So, if you can provide the proper care, your fish will have a chance to live longer and stay healthier. That is why you need to make the tank conditions and habitat perfect.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

If you are buying the Ember Tetras, most likely you will need a separate tank for them. This tank should be large enough to accommodate the space needs of your fish, and it should be set up in a way that its environment looks similar to the natural environment of this species. Also, you will have to make sure that the conditions inside the water parameters of the tank are controlled at an optimal range that is perfect for the health of your fish. Read the parts below to know more about building a perfect habitat and tank conditions for the Ember Tetras.

Tank Size

When it comes to the size of a tank for any fish species including the Ember Tetras, a lot of fish keepers say that bigger is better. It is true to some extent, but not always. This is a small fish species, and Ember Tetra only needs a small place to swim and explore. So, buying a large container for the tank would not be a good idea. Because you will be spending a lot of money on something that you will not need. You should look for a perfect size tank. A perfect-sized tank is according to the number of fish and the ratio of fish per gallon. So, if you want to know what size of tank you should choose, know the number of Ember Tetras that you are buying, and multiply it with the fish per gallons ratio.

It would give you a perfect size tank that is not too big or too small. To better understand this, let’s take an example that the fish per gallon ratio of the Ember Tetras is 2/1 fish per gallon, and you are buying ten Ember Tetras. So, you can calculate the size of a tank like this: 2/1(fish/gallons)x 10(number of fish)= 20 gallons.  This is the recommended size for the tank of Ember Tetras. You can use the smaller tanks of 10 gallons but they are for a very small population and would not be sustainable and scalable. That is why you should get a tank that is slightly larger and has room for further expansion.

Tank Setup

After you have selected the tank of the right size, it will be time for you to start working on decorating your tank and creating a tank setup. This tank setup should look and feel similar to the natural habitat of the Ember Tetras. Their habitat contains a lot of small stones, soft sand, plants, and caves. So, make sure that you put everything in the tank as this fish needs. You should start by the bottom layer, you can use soft sand, gravel, and small stones for the bedding of the tank.

After you are done with the bottom layer, you should start planting trees in the tank. Make sure that these plants reach the middle and top layers of the water. This will create a similar vegetative cover that this fish gets inside its natural habitat. It will allow the fish to hide, shelter, and explore this part of the tank. You can also put decorations, and driftwood to make the tank look more natural. Apart from these, there are a few more things that you will need to add to your tank, these include a strong water filtration system, a temperature-controlled heater, and standard aquarium lights.

Water Conditions

The purpose of adding the filtration system into a tank is to maintain the cleanliness inside the water and provide more oxygen to the water. Also, the filtration system creates vibration and these vibrations provide a flow inside the tank. If there is no filtration system, your fish would die within a few days. That is why it is important to use the right type of filtration system for your aquarium to maintain the water conditions.

Next important thing is to use the controlled heating system to control the temperature of the tank. In natural environments, the temperature of the water is controlled by multiple natural factors. But inside the tank, the temperature of the water can drop or go up depending on the weather and climate conditions. That is why you need a temperature controller so that It can sense the changes in temperature and help you maintain it at the exact levels that you want to maintain. Here is a list of the water conditions/parameters that you need to maintain.

  • The temperature at 73°F to 84°F
  • pH levels at 5-7
  • Water hardness at 5-17 GH

These are all of the important parameters of the water that you need to maintain to make sure that your fish lives longer and stays healthier. If you fail to maintain these parameters, your fish would become sick and would die within a few days.

Water Source

There are no restrictions related to any water source. Meaning that you can use water from multiple sources such as rivers, lakes, ponds, floodwater, and rainwater. You can also use tap water. But you will have to clean and filter that water before putting it inside the tank. This is because water from all of the sources can be contaminated and it can harm the fish. That is why it is important to use water after reverse osmosis filtration. Otherwise, you will be putting your Ember Tetras at risk. If the water you put in their tank is contaminated, it can deteriorate the health of your fish and it would eventually kill them. You can avoid this by taking precautions such as testing water to make sure it is safe and filtering it before putting it inside the tank.

Behavior and Temperament

This is a small, friendly, and hyperactive fish species. It is known for its peaceful and friendly nature. It is one of the most social fish species, so if you are putting them inside a tank, you would notice that it would befriend the other members of the tank. You cannot keep this fish alone inside a container, this would cause anxiety and stress in your fish and would not survive for long inside a separate tank.

So, if you are buying the Ember Tetra for your tank, make sure that you buy them in pairs of 4 to 6. Also, it is a schooling and shoaling fish species, but you will have to buy at least 6 individuals to witness the schooling and shoaling behavior in your fish. The Ember Tetra is also known for being a hyperactive species. Meaning that no matter what time it is, you will see them darting through your tank all day and night. Also, it is not a territorial or aggressive fish species, and you should only pair them with other species of the same nature.

Breeding Ember Tetra

Ember Tetra is one of those fish species that are known for being too easy to breed. This species is capable of breeding in tanks if the conditions are right. It rarely requires outside efforts. All you need to do is create a separate breeding tank, put your males and females inside that tank for breeding. After that, you can start increasing the temperature of the water inside the tank to a few degrees. It will give the fish an impression that its breeding season has started. Some expert fish breeders also say that you may have to increase the pH of your tank from 6.5 to 7.

After that, you will notice that small males have started to circle the females to create a mating pair for breeding. Male in this species chases the female, dances around it, and attracts it towards a place where they can breed and the female can lay eggs. You should feed them a good diet. Females at this point would develop eggs inside their belly and would release them after spawning. Male Ember Tetra world fertilizes these eggs and will take care of them. You should keep feeding the male and female inside the breeding tank. Otherwise, they would attack their eggs.

Eggs and Fry Care

Eggs and Fry of this species do not need much protection or care. Once the eggs hatch and fry come out, initially they start eating the egg sacs. After that, they learn to swim and find food for themselves. The Fry of Ember Tetra can eat algae and small larvae, and a special diet that is prepared for the fry. It is up to you to decide whether to introduce them to their parent’s tank or create a separate tank for them. If their original tank has enough space and scalability for more fish, you should add the fry into that tank otherwise create a new one to avoid overcrowding.

Diet of Ember Tetra

The Ember Tetra is an omnivore species, meaning that it has a varied diet. It can eat a lot of things including insects, larvae of insects, invertebrates, shrimps, algae, and vegetables. This means that you can feed the Ember Tetras anything of your choice. But it is better to create a proper diet and feed them according to that chart. You should feed them flakes, pellets, and stored meat. On normal days and weekends, you can feed them live insects, worms, and invertebrates.

Diseases of Ember Tetra

The Ember Tetra is known as a hardy and durable fish species and it is immune to a lot of fish diseases and problems. But still, some diseases can affect the health of your fish. Here are the details about these diseases and how to treat them.

  • Ich Disease – White Spots Disease: It is one of the most common fish diseases that is also found in the Ember Tetras. This is caused by a parasite and causes the formation of white spots on the body of the fish. It can kill your fish, so if you see any signs of this disease, quarantine that fish, and cycle the water in your tank. There are treatments available for this disease.
  • Wasting Disease/Skinny Disease: This is also a common fish problem that attacks the Ember Tetras. It causes your fish to lose weight and become pale. It happens because of water pollution and infections and can kill your fish. But it is also a treatable disease.
  • Fin And Tail Rot Disease: As the name suggests, it is a disease that is identified by the fins and tail rotting. It happens when you put them in a tank with fish species that nibble on the fins and tails of Ember Tetra. Your fish can recover from this with medication but you should protect your fish to avoid such issues.

Most of the diseases that are listed above happen only if you do not care for your fish properly. The main reasons behind these diseases are tank cleanliness and wrong pairing. So, make sure that you take proper care of your fish, keep your tanks clean, and pair your fish with the right type of fish species. 

What is the Ideal Size For The Tank?

The smallest tank that you can use for the Ember Tetras is the 10 gallons tank but it is not a recommended size. The 20 to 25 gallons tank would be better for keeping the Ember Tetras.

Are Ember Tetras a Saltwater or Freshwater Species?

The Ember Tetra is a freshwater fish species.

Are Ember Tetras a schooling species or not?

Yes, the Ember Tetra is a schooling and shoaling species. That means they prefer to swim in a group. The minimum number of fish to complete a school is 6.

Are Ember Tetras Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Yes, the Ember Tetras are suitable for your aquarium and there are several reasons to support this argument. Including the fact that it is one of the smallest, most peaceful, and most beautiful fish species. Also, it is a hyperactive fish species that would make your tank look alive. Ember Tetra is also one of those species that are good for fish keepers of any level as it is very easy to take care of them.


The Ember Tetra is a fish species native to Central Brazil’s Araguaia River basin. It is one of the most famous fish species among aquarium fish lovers. This fish is known for its beautiful body, bright colors, and peaceful nature. Also, it requires minimum care and can live for a long time if you properly take care of it. It is a perfect choice for a lot of aquariums, but it is a rare species. So, you might not find it in your nearby fish markets. But you can buy it from online marketplaces and enjoy its beauty in your aquarium. 


Question: What are some of the best Ember Tetra tank mates?

Answer: Ember Tetra is a small, peaceful, and hyperactive fish species. So, you should pair it with fish species that can live in similar conditions and have similar nature. These include Honey Gouramis, White Cloud Mountain Minnow, Pictus Catfish, Diamond Tetras, Zebra Danio, Harlequin Rasbora, Glowlight Tetra, and Dwarf Gourami.

Question: Can you keep Ember Tetra with shrimps?

Answer: Yes, you can keep the Ember Tetras with shrimps in your tank. It would make a great companion for them. But make sure that you only pair them with shrimps of similar size.

Question: Are Ember Tetras common?

Answer: No, Ember Tetras are not a common species, it is rarely seen in aquarium markets. But you can find it online as there are a lot of online marketplaces that sell this fish online.

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