Tetras are considered to be active schooling fish that function well in a peaceful and serene aquarium. It is best to stock six or more tetra fish of the same species in an aquarium but mind you, the size of the aquarium should be considered first so as to determine the suitable stocking density for the aquarium.
Filters are one of the critical components of aquarium be it freshwater or saltwater aquarium. Filters are important because they remove physical waste products from the aquarium. Filtration also increases the oxygen in the tank by causing water movement.
Tetra fish can live for 48 hours without a filter given that the bioload in the aquarium is minimal. But if you want them to live for a longer period without a filter, you need to be performing a 25% daily water change to increase the oxygen level in the aquarium and to reduce the pollution. Having a heater can be helpful in such an aquarium to provide an optimum living condition for the fish.
The primary purpose of the filter in the aquarium is to remove fish excrement, excess food, solid and free-floating particles, decaying organic matter and harmful chemical substances from the aquarium water.
- Tetra Fish Aquarium Care
- Neon Tetra and Cardinal Tetra fish
- Housing Requirements for Tetras
- Tetra Fish Feeding
- Tetra Fish Tank Mates
- Putting It All Together
Tetra Fish Aquarium Care
Tetra fish family contain little sparkling and beautiful fish and they easy to incorporate into community aquarium or any other kind of fish tank setup. One good thing about Tetra fish, they can be kept and cared for by both beginners and expert aquarists with ease.
|Care Level||Can be challenging|
|Color Form||Varied among species|
|Size||Up to 2″|
|Diet||Omnivore (will eat prepared food)|
|Minimum Tank Size||15 Gallons|
|Tank Set-Up||Tropical freshwater with open swimming space|
- Tetras should be kept in a minimum of 15 gallons (57 litres) cycled tank. As a beginner aquarist, you should strongly consider starting with larger tank size because it’s better for larger shoal and it also gives a wide error margin when maintaining the aquarium.
- High temperature can make tetra fish to be hyper-active and increase their metabolic rate leading to stress. Likewise, a lower temperature will affect their immune system. So, their temperature should be optimum at all time.
- In the wild, tetras live in soft to very soft water. Therefore, putting them in hard water will affect their internal system.
With that said, A heater, mild illumination, some plants, a small air pump and a sponge filter should be enough for successfully keeping tetra fish.
When lighting a tetra aquarium, a dark background is most preferable because it will help them settle in and reduce their stress level.
Tetra fish don’t function well when lights come from the bottom of the tank, so you should use dark colour instead.
This will help their colour to pop out and at the same time will prevent them from going pale when attempting to hide.
Neon Tetra and Cardinal Tetra fish
Neon Tetras are environment-friendly tetra fish and has been in the aquarium hubby fish for a longer time than cardinal Tetras. A simple sponge filter is enough to take care of the nitrification process in their aquarium.
Neon tetras are active fish that function well in school. They prefer to be kept in groups of six or more tank mates. In the wild, they are mostly found in slow-running water, and this can also be done by keeping them to mimic their natural environment.
Cardinal tetras are more expensive in comparison to neon tetra, but many aquarists prefer cardinal tetra because of their brighter colouration.
Cardinal tetras can be kept together with neon tetra in the aquarium because they are both peaceful fish and they originate from the same habitat.
Housing Requirements for Tetras
Since tetra fish originate from the Amazon River Basin, therefore the most natural plant décor are plants that also originate from the Amazon River, e.g. Amazon Sword Plant. But you can also use fake plants and décor as they work perfectly fine.
Large gravel that won’t fit the mouth of the fish should be chosen to prevent choking. Like I said earlier, a dark coloured substrate is recommended for tetra fish.
You need to incorporate a heater and a filter into their aquarium to provide a suitable living condition for both the fish and beneficial bacteria.
Tetra Fish Feeding
What Do Tetras Eat?
Most Tetra fish are omnivorous, meaning that they can eat both animal and plant food source. They love to eat small worms and insects. In the wild, they eat algae, small invertebrates and crustaceans.
Feeding Tetra fish.
It would be best if you were feeding tetra fish with a variety of foods to ensure balance and adequate amounts of nutrients.
It would help if you fed newly acquired tetras with live foods such as brine shrimp, Daphnia monia, fruit flies and ground worms.
For best result, you should rotate their diet daily and feed them with only what they can eat within two minutes. This will ensure that they finish all the food you fed them. This is because excess food will settle to the bottom of the aquarium, thereby increasing the biomass and if there is no functioning filter in the tank, it will lead to illness and infection among the fish.
Tetra Fish Tank Mates
It would help if you only kept tetra fish in a tank with peaceful, small and herbivorous fish. I won’t suggest Guppies, Molly and halfbeaks because they are hard water fish. I won’t suggest Angelfish either because they can easily cannibalize on tetra fish once fully grown.
Here is my suggestion of tank makes for tetra fish that have little to no chance of failing, provided they are equally taken care of.
Sparkling Gourami (Pygmy Gourami)
This is my number one recommended fish because they are one of my favourite freshwater fishes for aquarium because Sparkling gourami care is very easy and can be taken care of by beginner hobbyist and they are also beautiful.
Like Tetra fish, sparkling gourami is also small freshwater fish and doesn’t require large tanks to survive. They are also an omnivore, and they mostly eat zooplankton and insects.
Sparkling gourami is gentle and peaceful fish. They are active fish and enjoyable to watch.
Sparkling gourami Descriptions
|Water Temperature||750F to 810F (240C to 270C)|
|Water Hardness||5 – 10 dKH|
|pH||6 – 8|
Bolivian Rams are a beautiful addition to tetra fish in a tank. They are very peaceful fish and can easily get along with other fish in a tank without issues.
Bolivian Ram is easy to care for once you stick to their preferred water parameters. The best thing is to mimic the water parameters of their natural habitat.
A standard filtration system will work perfectly for them. You just need to make sure that the filter is powerful enough to treat the water efficiently.
Bolivian Ram Descriptions
|Water Temperature||700F to 800F (210C to 270C)|
|Water Hardness||1 – 10 dKH|
|pH||6 – 7.5|
Tetras and their species
Most tetra fish are peaceful and can get along well with one another of similar-sized but with some exception. For example, Serpae tetras have a tendency to bite especially when they are kept in small numbers.
Other species like Buenos Aires tetras can get quite large, active and intimidating to smaller and timid fish. But in general, they are all good tank mates.
Corydoras catfish are eye-catching catfish with their tiny whiskers. They are shoaling species and rarely kept appropriately by aquarist. They are happy in groups of six or more.
Corydoras are peaceful and generally keep to themselves by not making any trouble in their habitat.
Corydoras are small fish which makes them suitable to be kept with tetra fish. They also have a pretty long lifespan.
Corydoras Catfish Descriptions
|Water Temperature||700F to 800F (210C to 270C)|
|Water Hardness||2 – 10 dKH|
|pH||5 – 7|
Harlequins Rasboras don’t cause many problems, as they are known to be easy to keep. They are not aggressive and tend to stay away from taller or more energetic fish.
Harlequins are named after black marks reminiscent of a harlequin costume. These signs are clearly distinguished by the subtle shades of silver, orange and blue that are normally found on its main body.
Harlequins Rasboras Descriptions
|Water Temperature||720F to 820F (220C to 280C)|
|Water Hardness||1 – 10 dKH|
|pH||5 – 7.5|
Putting It All Together
Now that you are aware of how long it can take tetra fish to live without filter, now is the right time to get your tetra fish aquarium filter if you want them to be performing at their best and to avoid unnecessary death of the fish.
If you have any other question about tetra fish or you want to share your stories about tetra fish or any other aquarium fish, you are always welcome to leave a comment.