Ember Tetra – Care, Habitat, Tankmates & Details

Ember Tetra ( Hyphessobrycon amandae ) is a small bright freshwater fish that can decorate any aquarium. It was found in 1986 in the Araguaia River Basin in Brazil.

The representative of the characin family received its name in honor of the mother of its discoverer Heiko Bleher – Ember Bleher. Other names for the fish are red nano-tetra and dwarf tetra.


Scientific Name: Hyphessobrycon amandae
Common Names: Ember tetra, Amanda’s tetra, dwarf red tetra, red tetra, fire tetra
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Color Form: Bright Orange to Bright Red
Lifespan: Up to 2 years
Size: 0.6–0.8 inch
Diet: Omnivore
Family: Characidae
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater, Heavily Planted
Compatibility: Peaceful Community Fish
Temperature: 23–29 C (73–84 F)
pH: 6.5-7.5

Ember Tetra Description

Ember Tetra is the smallest tetra, reaches only 1.5-2.5 cm, with males being slightly smaller than females. The body is oval, slightly flattened on the sides, has an orange-red color.

The brightness of the shades is largely dependent on the environment. Pure orange and yellow individuals living in separate colonies are found in nature.

Once in a new aquarium, the tetra can become pale orange or pinkish, as it will experience stress. However, over time, when the fish gets used to the new conditions, its color will again become bright.

Ember Tetra has a forked tail which is like the dorsal fin, is decorated with light specks. Under good conditions, the tetra can live up to 2-3 years.

In nature, these tetra lives in lakes, swamps and slow-flowing streams located in the tropical forests of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. They prefer soft acidic water, live next to aquatic plants and sunken tree trunks.

Ember Tetra Aquarium Maintenance

Tetras in nature live in flocks of 10–15 relatives or more; therefore, it is advised to keep at least 7–8 such fish in one aquarium. The minimum height of the aquarium is 0.3 m, the length is 0.45 m. 10 liters of water should fall on one pair.

The content of Ember Tetra suggests the presence of a large number of plants in the aquarium. Tetra are habitual to shaded places in nature, You will also need to create similar conditions in the aquarium.

To do this, you can use algae with long stems, stones, driftwood or special decorations. But do not forget that the Ember Tetras are very mobile, so there should be room in the aquarium for their free movement.

The soil should be selected shallow and soft. It is better if it is dark because against its background the Ember Tetra will look as spectacular as possible. Dry leaves (for example, alder or oak) can be laid at the bottom.

They will give the water a shade familiar to these fish. In addition, the leaves will saturate the water with beneficial substances, beneficial bacteria will develop on the floor. The main thing – do not forget to regularly change the foliage.

Aquarium lighting should be soft and diffused. The water temperature is 23–28 ° C. In nature, tetras live in soft water with an acidity of about 6.6, but in the aquarium, they are able to adapt to the acidity of 5–7 and hardness of 5–17 ° dGH. The main thing is to ensure the stability of the water characteristics, as the fish do not tolerate sudden changes.

Ember Tetras do not live in rough rivers, so a filter with a low flow should be installed in the aquarium. To ensure cleanliness, a quarter of the volume of water should be changed once a week. Once a month, it is worth cleaning the scenery and soil.

Ember Tetra Feed

The usual food of these tetra fish in the natural environment is zooplankton and small invertebrates. Living in an aquarium, tetra is unpretentious in food. Both live and frozen food are equally suitable for them – small bloodworms, cyclops, artemia, mine, daphnia.

Dry flakes and granules are also suitable. But you should remember about the small size of the fish, so you need to select the appropriate small feed or grind large.

It is better to feed tetras several times a day in small portions. It is desirable to make the diet diverse – this will positively affect the appearance and activity of the fish.

Ember Tetra Compatibility & Tankmates

Dwarf tetras are peacefull, They get along well with the same small non-aggressive species. Other types of tetras will be good companions for them.

Also in the common aquarium with them you can safely place fish of the following types:

In addition, since ember tetras do not eat food from the bottom, it will be useful to plant small friendly catfishes, which will eat up the rest of the food from the ground. Thanks to this combination of species, the water in the aquarium will stay clean longer.

It is worth taking care that in the aquarium with tetra there are no large aggressive fish. They can eat tetras. But even if this does not happen, bright fish will be in constant stress from such a neighborhood that will negatively affect their appearance.

Ember Tetra Breeding

Breeding Ember Tetra does not cause great difficulties. Maturity is reached by these fish by the age of four months. Females can be distinguished by a rounded abdomen. In addition, females are slightly lighter and larger than males.

If these fishes are the only inhabitants of the aquarium, reproduction can occur without human intervention. Females lay eggs on small-leaved algae, and fry can feed on protozoa that form on dry leaves placed on the bottom.

But there is a possibility that adults will eat offspring, so for reliability, it is worth getting an additional aquarium for fry and follows the recommendations:

  1. Choose the brightest and most active fish.
  2. Before spawning, place the females and males separately.
  3. Increase and diversify the diet.
  4. Prepare a separate aquarium with a volume of about 20 liters, place Javanese moss on its bottom, and on top of it – a grid with microcells or a plastic “grass mat”. Water should have a temperature of 27–29 ° C, the acidity of 5–6.5. The light should be dim, diffused, the filter should be light.
  5. During the spawning period (in the evening), place the females and males together in this separate aquarium.
  6. When eggs appear (usually the next morning), adult fish must be returned to the main aquarium.
  7. The fry will emerge from the eggs in 2 days. For the first feed, they are suitable for artemia, rotifers and small cyclops. After 30 days, the fry will acquire the color of adult ember tetra