Glowlight Tetra – Care, Tankmates, Breeding, Lifespan

Glowlight tetra belongs to – a beautiful unpretentious fish with a peaceful character. Another argument in favor of choosing this particular fish – it feels good in small-volume aquariums.

Newbie aquarists are recommended to choose the most unpretentious species to gain experience in breeding and keeping fish.


  • Scientific Name: Hemigrammus erythrozonus
  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Small
  • Tank size: 30 gallons or larger
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Hardness: Soft to Medium
  • Maximum Length: 3 inch
  • Minimum Aquarium Size: 20 Gal +
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Temperature: 75–81 °F (24–27 °C)
  • Swimming Region(s): Mid-Range
  • Glowlight Tetra Tank Mates: (guppies, platy, swordtail, molly), harlequin rasbora, white cloud mountain minnow, and other tetra species, Corydoras and Loricariids can be tetra tank mates.
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly
  • pH: 6.5-7.5

Glowlight Tetras Habitat and Appearance

Under natural conditions, the glowlight tetra lives in the northeast of South America in the waters of the state of Guyana. Their favorite places are the shallow backwaters of the tributaries of the Essequibo River, hidden by the jungle thickets overhanging the water.

Nowadays, fish of artificial origin is presented on the market, it is impossible to find caught in natural conditions.

The length of the fish is up to 4 cm, the body is translucent with a bright and visible red-coral strip extending from head to tail. Glowlight tetras, like all tetras, has a slender, almost flat body, its weight does not exceed 1 gram. Another distinguishing feature of glowlight tetras is the red outline above the eye and the flickering spot below it in blue.

Gender differences

In females that are noticeably larger than males, the abdomen is rounded and the back is much wider. Males have a slender body. Their coloring is noticeably brighter, white spots on the fins are very prominent.

Both females and males do not differ in behavior. Only during the breeding season, females become slower in their movements, and males, on the contrary, move more actively throughout the aquarium.

Containment and Feeding

There are no special conditions for the content of glowlight tetra. Even a novice amateur aquarist can very well create suitable conditions.

It is better to choose an aquarium of at least 60 liters, as these fish are schooling and feel better in a company of 6-7 individuals.

The parameters for water are as follows:

  • the temperature to be within 23−28 degrees Celsius;
  • acidity in the range of 5.8–7.5 pH;
  • periodic change of water.

Decorating an aquarium is quite simple: a few snags or small figures at the bottom, the bottom itself is covered with dark river sand, floating plants are desirable for diffusing direct sunlight.

At the bottom are several washed brown leaves of medium size that mimic the living conditions of the fish in natural conditions.

Tetra firefly is not gluttonous and not whimsical in the choice of feed. With pleasure, it absorbs both live and frozen food. It is advisable to alternate animal feed with dry or canned.

With prolonged feeding with a uniform feed, the tetra becomes faded and slows down its growth.

Frequency of feeding – two or three times a day in small portions. The fish feeds from the surface of the water or in its thickness. Excess feed entering the bottom of the aquarium is rarely absorbed by it.

Before spawning, prepare a separate aquarium.

The recommendations are as follows:

  • pour prepared water with a level of about 15 – 20 cm;
  • to plant several plants with small leaves (common and affordable Javanese moss is suitable);
  • to ensure dimming, a minimum amount of sunlight should be exposed, as eggs are very sensitive to light.

Spawning water should be soft with a pH of 5.5 – 7.0 and temperature in the range of 25 – 28 degrees Celsius. Fish before spawning is fed animal feed 2 times more often – up to five times a day.

The fish are ready for breeding when the male begins to chase the female and gracefully shake her whole body in front of her. Then the fish are caught (preferably in the evening) and in the morning of the next day, they are ready for spawning.

The spawning process is as follows: the female and the male roll over onto their backs, the female lays eggs on the leaves of plants, and the male releases milk flows onto the eggs.

After spawning, the fish do not care about the eggs, sometimes they even eat it, so they are caught and transplanted back to the main aquarium. After 3 days, fry appears, which are first fed with ciliates and nematodes, and then transferred to food by Naupilia Artemia.

After 15 – 16 days, the young growth of a silvery body color appears, and a longitudinal red stripe – after 30 – 45 days. Puberty occurs after 6 to 8 months, in some cases after 10 months.

Glowlight Tetra diseases

In the period of the appearance of the longitudinal strip, young specimens can become ill with the neon disease.

Their symptoms are as follows:

  • the red strip disappears and the color of the whole body brightens;
  • the fish noticeably lose weight;
  • coordination of movements is disturbed, the fish begin to move unnaturally.

The cause of this disease is pleistophora spores. As of now, It is impossible to cure diseased glowlight tetras, they are removed as soon as possible from the remaining individuals. The prevention of this disease is the cleanliness of the aquarium and adequate filtration of water.