Ember Tetra – Care, Habitat, Tankmates & Details

Ember Tetra, scientifically known as Hyphessobrycon amandae, are predominantly found in Central Brazil’s Araguaia River basin. They inhabit backwater rivers with slow currents and dense vegetation. Their diet consists of a mix of plant matter and tiny invertebrates.

Ember tetra’s have striking orange coloration is their most appealing feature, making them a standout addition to any freshwater nano aquarium.

Their peaceful nature and compatibility with a wide range of tank mates further add to their appeal.

The Ember Tetra, a delightful and lively freshwater fish, is a favorite among aquarists, regardless of their experience level. Their vibrant coloration, peaceful demeanor, and low-maintenance care requirements make them an excellent choice for any aquarium.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the knowledge you need to ensure your Ember Tetras thrive in their new home.

Quick Stats About Ember Tetra

Common Name(s) Ember Tetra
Scientific Name Hyphessobrycon amandae
Origin Brazil
Temperature 77-82°F (22 -28°C)
Size 0.6 – 0.8 inches
Minimum Tank Size 10 gallons
Food & Diet Omnivorous diet
Lifespan 2 and 4 years
Water pH 6.0-7.0
Tank Mates Pygmy Corydoras, Dwarf Gourami, and Guppies
Breeding Egg Scatterers
Disease They may be susceptible to impaction and white spot disease.

Ember Tetra Appearance

Ember Tetras, or Hyphessobrycon amandae, are a sight to behold. The aquarium hobby highly seeks them due to their striking appearance.

A vibrant orange-red hue almost entirely covers these petite fish, consistently across their bodies.

This intense coloration gives them a distinctive and sharp look that’s impossible to overlook in any aquarium setting.

Their dorsal fins are tall and thin, displaying a gradient that transitions from their primary color to a slightly darker tone at the back.

This darker area further transitions into a slightly transparent section at the very edge of the fin, adding to their unique aesthetic appeal.

The caudal fins of Ember Tetras are forked and exhibit a more dramatic color transition than their dorsal fins. The base of the fin matches the color of their bodies, sometimes even brighter.

It then quickly transitions into a darker orange before becoming almost completely transparent. This clear portion of their caudal fin makes up the back half of the fin.

The ventral and pectoral fins are almost entirely clear, creating a fascinating flicker as they swim, adding to their mesmerizing beauty.

Their bodies have the classic tetra build, being thicker and taller in the front half but thinning out significantly behind their dorsal fins.

Natural Habitat of Ember Tetra

Ember Tetras are native to the slow-moving backwater rivers of Central Brazil, particularly in the Araguaia River basin.

Low currents and high-density vegetation characterize their habitats, offering Ember Tetras rich diets of plant matter and tiny invertebrates, along with ample hiding spots.

In the wild, Ember Tetras are found in heavily planted environments. They thrive in areas with plenty of hiding spots and shaded areas, provided by the dense vegetation.

To ensure the well-being and comfort of Ember Tetras, it’s essential to replicate their preference for a plant-rich environment in the home aquarium.

Origin and Distribution

The Ember Tetra is a freshwater fish species that originates from Central Brazil. They are most heavily concentrated in the Araguaia River basin, although sightings have been reported in areas surrounding this hotspot.

Despite their specific geographical origin, Ember Tetras have found their way into aquariums worldwide due to their vibrant coloration, peaceful nature, and ease of care.

They have become a popular choice among aquarists globally, contributing to their widespread distribution in the aquarium trade.

Growth, Size & Lifespan of Ember Tetra

Ember Tetras are small fish, with an average size just under 1 inch in length. This makes them slightly smaller than their popular Neon counterparts.

While there have been instances where an Ember Tetra has grown to be larger than an inch, this is quite uncommon.

The size of these fish is often not visibly impacted by the quality of their care, making them an excellent choice for aquarists who prefer smaller, manageable fish species.

Despite their small size, Ember Tetras are known for their hardiness and adaptability.

In terms of lifespan, Ember Tetras typically live between 2 to 4 years in a well-maintained aquarium. However, with optimal care and a healthy, balanced diet, they can occasionally live up to ten years.

Their lifespan is heavily influenced by the quality of care they receive and the conditions of their habitat.

Ember Tetra Behavior and Temperament

Ember Tetras are known for their lively and engaging behavior. They are active swimmers and exhibit a high level of curiosity about their surroundings.

As shoaling fish, they prefer to stay in groups, creating a vibrant display of color as they move together through the water.

Their temperament is peaceful and non-aggressive, making them ideal for community tanks. They are not shy and will often explore their environment with enthusiasm.

However, they also appreciate quiet times and will retreat to hiding spots for rest. Their sociable nature and engaging behavior make them a joy to observe and a favorite among aquarists.

Tank Setup for Ember Tetra

Setting up a tank that closely mimics the Ember Tetra’s natural environment is crucial for their well-being.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to create the perfect home for your Ember Tetras.

Tank Size

Ember Tetras are small fish, but they need ample space to swim freely. A minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for a small group of Ember Tetras.

If you plan to keep a larger group or include other species, consider a larger tank.


Ember Tetras are not particularly fussy about the substrate. However, a dark-colored substrate can help mimic their natural environment and make their vibrant coloration stand out.

Fine sand or small, smooth gravel would be ideal.

Decorations and Hiding Spots

Ember Tetras appreciate a well-decorated tank with plenty of hiding spots. Use driftwood, rocks, and dense aquatic plants to create a natural-looking environment.

Ensure there are open swimming areas as well.

Water Parameters

Maintaining the right water parameters is crucial for the health of Ember Tetras.

They prefer a temperature range of 73°F to 84°F, a pH level between 5-7, and water hardness between 5-17 dGH.

Filtration and Aeration

A good quality filter is essential to keep the water clean and free from harmful toxins. Ember Tetras prefer slow-moving water, so ensure the filter flow is not too strong.

Aeration is also important for oxygen exchange.


Ember Tetras do not require specific lighting conditions.

However, moderate lighting will help showcase their vibrant colors and support the growth of live plants.

Tank Mates

Ember Tetras are peaceful and can coexist with a wide range of tank mates.

Suitable tank mates include other small, non-aggressive fish such as Cory catfish, rasboras, and Neon Tetras. Avoid large or aggressive species that may bully or prey on the Ember Tetras.


Ember Tetras are omnivores and require a balanced diet of plant-based and protein-rich foods.

High-quality flake or pellet food, supplemented with live or frozen foods like Daphnia and brine shrimp, will keep them healthy and vibrant.

Ember Tetra Tank Maintenance Guide

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment is crucial for the well-being of Ember Tetras.

This involves regular water changes, cleaning the tank and decorations, filter maintenance, and monitoring the health of your fish.

Here’s a detailed guide to help you keep your Ember Tetra tank in top condition.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining optimal water conditions in your Ember Tetra tank.

Over time, waste products can build up in the water, leading to an increase in harmful toxins.

Aim to change 10-20% of the tank water on a weekly basis. This will help keep the water clean and the nitrate levels low, providing a healthier environment for your Ember Tetras.

Remember to treat the new water with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals before adding it to the tank.

Cleaning the Tank and Decorations

Over time, algae and waste can accumulate on the tank walls and decorations. Regular cleaning helps maintain a healthy and visually appealing environment for your Ember Tetras.

Use an algae scraper or pad to clean the inside of the tank walls. Avoid using harsh chemicals or soap, as these can be harmful to fish.

For decorations and artificial plants, remove them from the tank and clean them with warm water and a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly before returning them to the tank.

Filter Maintenance

The filter plays a crucial role in maintaining water quality by removing waste products and harmful toxins. Regular maintenance ensures it functions efficiently.

Rinse the filter media in tank water (not tap water, as it can kill beneficial bacteria) during water changes.

Over time, you may need to replace the filter media as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If the water flow seems reduced, check for blockages and clean the filter unit.

Monitor Fish Health

Regularly observe your Ember Tetras for any signs of illness or stress. Changes in behavior, appetite, or appearance can be early signs of health issues.

Common signs to look out for include loss of color, spots or patches on the body, unusual swimming patterns, or a lack of appetite.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to identify and address the issue promptly. Consult with a vet or an aquarium professional for advice on treatment.

Acclimating Ember Tetra

Introducing Ember Tetras to a new tank requires a process known as acclimation. This process helps the fish adjust to the new water parameters, reducing stress and potential health issues.

Start by floating the bag containing the Ember Tetras in the tank for about 15 minutes. This allows the water in the bag to gradually match the temperature of the tank water.

Next, slowly add small amounts of tank water to the bag every 10 minutes for about an hour. This helps the fish adjust to the pH and hardness of the tank water.

After the acclimation process, gently net the Ember Tetras from the bag and release them into the tank. Avoid adding the bag water to the tank, as it may contain contaminants.

Monitor the Ember Tetras closely for the next few days to ensure they are adjusting well to their new environment.

Ember Tetra Diet and Feeding

Feeding Ember Tetras a balanced and varied diet is crucial for their health, color vibrancy, and overall well-being.

Here’s a detailed guide on what to feed your Ember Tetras and how often.

What to Feed

Ember Tetras are omnivorous and thrive on a diet that includes both plant-based and protein-rich foods.

Here are some suitable food options:

  • High-quality flake or pellet food: These should form the staple of your Ember Tetras’ diet. They are nutritionally balanced and easy for the small Ember Tetras to eat.

  • Live or frozen foods: Daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms are excellent sources of protein. They also stimulate the Ember Tetras’ natural hunting behavior.

  • Vegetable matter: Ember Tetras will appreciate small amounts of blanched vegetables like spinach or peas. They may also nibble on the soft leaves of aquatic plants.

  • Vitamin and mineral supplements: These can be added to their food occasionally to ensure they are getting all the necessary nutrients.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your Ember Tetras 2-3 times a day, offering only as much food as they can consume in 2-3 minutes.

Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and health problems in the fish.

Observing Eating Habits

Monitor your Ember Tetras during feeding times to ensure they are eating well and not showing signs of illness.

Healthy Ember Tetras are eager eaters. If you notice a fish that is not eating or is isolating itself, it may be a sign of stress or illness.


Ember Tetra Tank Mates

Ember Tetras are peaceful and sociable fish, making them compatible with a variety of tank mates.

However, it’s essential to choose tank mates that share similar water parameters and are non-aggressive.

Here are some suitable tank mates for Ember Tetras:

  • Neon Tetras: These fish are peaceful and share similar water parameters, making them ideal tank mates for Ember Tetras.

  • Corydoras Catfish: These bottom-dwelling fish are peaceful and will not compete with Ember Tetras for space.

  • Rasboras: Small species of rasboras, like Harlequin Rasboras, are peaceful and make excellent tank mates.

  • Dwarf Gouramis: These fish are peaceful and occupy the top part of the tank, allowing Ember Tetras to swim freely in the middle.

  • Cherry Shrimp: These invertebrates are peaceful and will not bother your Ember Tetras.

  • Pygmy Corydoras: These small catfish are peaceful and will share the bottom of the tank with Ember Tetras without any issues.

  • Small Danios: Fish like Zebra Danios or Pearl Danios are active swimmers and get along well with Ember Tetras.

Tank Mates to Avoid

Avoid keeping Ember Tetras with large, aggressive fish that may bully or eat them.

Here are some fish to avoid:

  • Cichlids: Most cichlid species are aggressive and may bully or eat Ember Tetras.

  • Large Catfish: Species like the Pictus Catfish are predatory and may see Ember Tetras as food.

  • Oscar Fish: These fish are large and aggressive, making them unsuitable tank mates for Ember Tetras.

  • Arowanas: These large predatory fish will likely eat Ember Tetras.

  • Bettas: Male Bettas can be aggressive and may not get along with Ember Tetras.

Breeding Ember Tetra and Fry Care

Breeding Ember Tetras is relatively straightforward and can be a rewarding experience.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to breed Ember Tetras and care for the fry:

Breeding Ember Tetra

  1. Set Up a Breeding Tank: Set up a separate breeding tank with similar water parameters to the main tank. The tank should be dimly lit with plenty of plants for the eggs to adhere to.

  2. Choose Healthy Breeders: Choose healthy, mature Ember Tetras for breeding. A balanced diet rich in live foods can help condition them for breeding.

  3. Spawning: Ember Tetras will scatter their eggs among the plants. After spawning, remove the parents to prevent them from eating the eggs.

Fry Care

  1. Egg Incubation: The eggs will hatch in about 24-36 hours. The fry will remain attached to the plants until they are ready to swim freely.

  2. Feeding the Fry: Once the fry start swimming freely, feed them infusoria or commercially available fry food. As they grow, you can gradually introduce micro worms or brine shrimp nauplii.

  3. Water Changes: Regular water changes are crucial to keep the water clean and prevent the buildup of harmful toxins.

  4. Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the fry for any signs of illness or stress. With proper care, the fry should grow quickly and can be moved to the main tank once they are large enough.

Ember Tetras are peaceful, vibrant, and easy to care for, making them a great choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

By understanding their needs and providing them with suitable tank mates and optimal care, you can ensure your Ember Tetras thrive.

Breeding Ember Tetras can also be a rewarding experience, offering a fascinating insight into the life cycle of these beautiful fish.

ember tetra 6

Recognizing Stress in Ember Tetra

Stress in Ember Tetras can lead to health issues and a decrease in their overall well-being.

Here are some signs that your Ember Tetras may be stressed:

  • Changes in Color: Ember Tetras are known for their vibrant color. A stressed fish may lose its color or appear dull.

  • Changes in Behavior: If your Ember Tetras are hiding more than usual, swimming erratically, or showing signs of aggression, they may be stressed.

  • Loss of Appetite: A decrease in appetite is a common sign of stress in fish.

  • Rapid Breathing: If your Ember Tetras are breathing more rapidly than usual, this could be a sign of stress.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to identify and address the cause of the stress.

This could be due to poor water quality, inappropriate tank mates, or a lack of hiding spots.

Common Health Issues and Treatments for Ember Tetra

Like all fish, Ember Tetras can be susceptible to certain health issues.

Here are some common health problems and their treatments:

  • Ich: This is a common parasitic disease that causes white spots on the fish’s body. It can be treated with over-the-counter medications and by raising the tank temperature slightly.

  • Fin Rot: This bacterial disease causes the fins to become ragged and torn. It can be treated with antibacterial medications.

  • Fungal Infections: These can cause fluffy white growths on the fish. Antifungal medications can be used for treatment.

  • Swim Bladder Disease: This can cause the fish to have difficulty swimming. It can often be treated by adjusting the fish’s diet and ensuring the water quality is optimal.

Always consult with a vet or aquarium professional if you’re unsure about diagnosing or treating a health issue.

Additional Tips for a Healthy Aquarium

  • Regular Maintenance: Regular water changes and tank cleaning are crucial for maintaining a healthy environment.

  • Balanced Diet: Feed your fish a balanced and varied diet to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.

  • Monitor Water Parameters: Regularly test the water to ensure the parameters are within the ideal range for your fish.

  • Quarantine New Fish: Always quarantine new fish before adding them to your main tank to prevent the spread of diseases.

ember tetra 02

Should You Get an Ember Tetra for Your Aquarium?

Ember Tetras are a fantastic addition to any freshwater aquarium due to their vibrant color, peaceful nature, and relatively easy care.

They are suitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists and can add a splash of color to your tank.

However, like any pet, Ember Tetras require a commitment to their care and well-being.

Before deciding to get Ember Tetras, ensure you can provide them with the appropriate tank conditions, diet, and care they need to thrive.

If you can, you’ll be rewarded with a lively and colorful addition to your aquarium.

Conservation Status: Ember Tetras in the Wild

Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon amandae) are not currently listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

However, like all species, their natural habitats could be affected by human activities such as deforestation and pollution.

It’s important to support conservation efforts and sustainable practices to ensure these beautiful fish continue to thrive in their natural habitats.

Availability & Pricing

Ember Tetras are widely available in pet stores and online due to their popularity among aquarists. They are typically sold at a reasonable price, making them an affordable choice for many fish keepers.

However, prices can vary depending on factors such as the size of the fish and the location of the seller.

Always purchase from reputable sellers to ensure you’re getting healthy, ethically sourced fish.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ember Tetras

In this section, we’ll address some common questions that prospective and current Ember Tetra owners may have.

This will provide additional insights into the care and keeping of these vibrant fish.

Q – What is the ideal tank size for Ember Tetras?

Ans – Ember Tetras are small fish that typically grow to just under an inch in length. However, they are schooling fish and prefer to be kept in groups.

A 10-gallon tank is often sufficient for a small school of Ember Tetras, but larger is always better.

Q – How many Ember Tetras should be kept together?

Ans – Ember Tetras are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6-10.

They are more comfortable, less stressed, and exhibit more natural behaviors when kept in a school.

Q – Are Ember Tetras hardy?

Ans – Yes, Ember Tetras are known for their hardiness. They can adapt to a range of water conditions, making them a good choice for beginners.

However, like all fish, they thrive best when their specific needs are met.

Q – Can Ember Tetras live with other fish?

Ans – Absolutely! Ember Tetras are peaceful and get along well with many other species of similar size and temperament.

They make excellent community fish but avoid housing them with larger, aggressive species.

Q – How long do Ember Tetras live?

Ans – With proper care, Ember Tetras typically live between 2 to 4 years in captivity.

Providing a balanced diet, maintaining good water quality, and keeping stress levels low can contribute to a longer lifespan.

These are just a few of the many questions you may have about Ember Tetras.

Conclusion: Is the Ember Tetra Right for Your Aquarium?

Ember Tetras are a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. Their vibrant color, peaceful nature, and relatively easy care make them a popular choice among both beginner and experienced aquarists.

However, like any pet, Ember Tetras require a commitment to their care. From providing the right tank conditions and diet to regular tank maintenance and monitoring their health, these fish rely on their owners for their well-being.

If you’re prepared to provide the care they need, Ember Tetras can bring a splash of color and a lot of joy to your aquarium.

Their lively nature and social behavior make them not just pets, but also fascinating creatures to observe and interact with.

In conclusion, if you’re considering adding Ember Tetras to your aquarium, you’re on the path to a rewarding and engaging experience.

These vibrant swimmers are sure to bring a new dimension of life and color to your aquatic environment.