Table of Contents
Ember Tetra Overview
|Common Name(s)||Ember Tetra, Amanda’s Tetra, Fire Tetra|
|Scientific Name||Hyphessobrycon amandae|
|Origin||Araguaia River basin of Brazil|
|Temperature||73–84 °F (23–29 °C)|
|Size||Up to 0.8 inch (2 cm)|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 gallons|
|Food & Diet||Omnivorous diet|
|Lifespan||2-4 years on average|
|Tank Mates||Pygmy Corydoras, Dwarf Gourami, and Guppies|
|Disease||Ich, swim bladder disease, fin and tail rot, and popeye disease.|
Ember Tetra Facts
- Ember Tetras are also known as Fire tetras. Their name comes from their appearance; their bright orange coloring tends to be reminiscent of a fire or ember.
- The scientific name for the Ember Tetra is Hyphessobrycon amandae, and Amandae is derived from the name Amanda, as in Amanda Bleher. It was named in honor of the mother of renowned fish explorer Heiko Bleher and the discoverer of the species.
- Ember Tetra was discovered in the Araguaia River basin in Brazil. The Araguaia River is one of the largest in Brazil, measuring a total length of approximately 2,627 kilometers. The Ember Tetra discovery was made there in 1987.
- Ember Tetra belongs to a highly diverse species of fish known as Characiforms. They’re incredibly varied and have over 200 different species in 19 other families.
- The popularity of the Ember Tetra has boomed in recent years. This is partly due to nano-tank owners, who like them for their unique appearance and personality.
Ember Tetra Care
Ember Tetra are known for their hardiness and adaptability, making them suitable for aquarists of all experience levels. With that said, there are certain requirements that must be met in order for them to thrive in an aquarium environment.
Food & Diet
Ember Tetras are omnivores, so their diet includes both plant and meat-based foods. In the wild, these fish feast on zooplankton, small invertebrates, and some aquatic plant matter.
In an aquarium environment, Ember Tetras can be fed high-quality fish food as their staple food, along with various other dry, frozen, and live foods to supplement their diet. These foods may include brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and various other invertebrates. Since they aren’t picky eaters, feeding a varied diet should not be a challenge.
Since they are small fish, it is important that the size of the food being fed is small as well. Large foods may need to be cut into smaller pieces before feeding.
An ideal Ember Tetra tank setup should replicate their natural habitat, which is typically slow-flowing rivers with a substrate of fallen leaves, logs, branches, and aquatic plants that make the water soft and slightly acidic.
In order to ensure the water flow isn’t too strong, installing an aquarium filter with adjustable water flow would be ideal. If the aquarium filter does not allow you to adjust the strength of the water flow, you can install a baffle to reduce the impact of the flow.
A well-planted tank is recommended, but be sure to reserve some open space in the tank for the fish to swim in. They’re small fish, but they are quite active.
A blackwater tank setup would be ideal, as this would mimic their natural environment. The driftwood and decomposing leaves would create a slightly acidic environment. The water stained with tannins would be darker, and this would visually help bring out the bright orange color of this fish.
While Ember Tetras aren’t particularly known to be jumpers, they may jump out of the water under certain conditions. For example, if they are startled, if placed under stress, if placed in an overcrowded tank, or if they are placed in poor water conditions, they may try to jump out of the tank. Therefore, an aquarium lid should be part of their tank setup.
The ideal temperature range for Ember Tetras is 73–84 °F (23–29 °C). In addition to providing an environment with the right temperature range, it is also important to maintain stable temperatures. Sudden changes in the temperature can cause stress and shock, which should be avoided.
The ideal water pH range for Ember Tetras is 6.0-7.0, making them suitable for neutral to slightly acidic waters. Within this range, a pH level of 6.6 is considered to be the most suitable.
With that said, they are quite adaptable fish and they are able to survive a wide pH range of 5.5-7.5.
In addition to the pH level, maintaining a stable pH level is important as well. Sudden changes in pH can be cause health issues for the fish.
The minimum tank size for Ember Tetras is 10 gallons. In a 10 gallon tank, you can keep a school of 6-10 of them, allowing them to thrive as a group. Of course, a larger tank would be even better, but 10 gallons will provide just enough space for the small school to exhibit their natural behaviors.
Due to their small size, they are able to thrive in nano tanks. However, keeping them in tanks smaller than 10 gallons, such as a 5 gallon tank, is generally not recommended. In a 5 gallon tank, there will not be enough space for a school of these fish. If you try to maintain a school of fish in such a small tank, the tank will become overstocked. If you reduce the number of fish in the tank, the fish will not be comfortable.
Providing an adequate tank size and group size will ensure that these fish are able to thrive. They will be able to exhibit their natural schooling behavior and exhibit their bright colors.
Ember Tetra Size
Ember Tetra are very small fish, only reaching up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) in size. The average size is 0.6 – 0.8 inches (1.5-2cm).
Some are known to reach 1 inch (2.5 cm) in size, but this would be rather rare.
Since they are small fish, trying to grow these fish to a large size usually isn’t the intention. However, providing a good environment and proper care will enable these fish to reach an adequate size. Due to their small size, they are considered to be nano tanks.
Ember Tetras have an average lifespan of 2-4 years. With good genetics and good care, they may live 5 years or even longer.
Providing good care for these fish would consist of ensuring that their tank setup meets their requirement and it is regularly maintained. By doing so, you can make sure that these fish are able to live as long as it possibly can.
While there are sources claiming that these fish can live up to 10 years, the accuracy of this is questionable. If they were able to live for 10 years, this would be considered a rare occurrence.
Ember Tetras are small peaceful fish, and they would be good tank mates with other fish of similar size and temperament.
Here’s a list of compatible tank mates for Ember Tetras:
- Betta Fish: Betta fish and Ember Tetra are compatible as tank mates. They have similar requirements regarding water parameters and diet. If fin nipping becomes and issue, make sure that there’s enough tank space, enough food, and the Ember Tetras are kept in a group of 6 or more.
- Guppies: Ember Tetras and Guppies are compatible as tank mates. Since they are both peaceful fish that thrive in similar conditions, they would be great tank mates. Providing enough tank space and plenty of plants for cover will help ensure they can live together peacefully.
- Corydoras: Many Corydoras species are great tank mates for Ember Tetras. Among many, compatible Corydoras species would include Bronze Corydoras, Pygmy Corydoras, and Julii Corydoras. In addition to the fact that Corydoras are peaceful fish, there is very little chance of conflict because they inhabit different levels of the aquarium. Corydoras spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank, while Ember Tetras spend most of their time towards the middle and top of the tank.
- Harlequin Rasboras: Harlequin Rasboras and Ember Tetras are compatible as tank mates. They are both peaceful fish that thrive in similar environments. Providing plenty of tanks space and keeping the tank well-planted will allow the fish to thrive together.
- Rummy Nose Tetras: Rummy Nose Tetra and Ember Tetra are compatible as tank mates. They are both peaceful fish that thrive in similar environments. Since they are both active fish, providing enough tank space is important. A well-planted tank will mimic both of their natural environment.
- Zebra Danios: Zebra Danios and Ember Tetras are compatible as tank mates. They have similar requirements regarding water parameters and diet. Be sure to provide enough tank space for both fishes.
- Neon Tetra: Neon Tetra and Ember Tetra are compatible as tank mates. They are both peaceful fish that thrive in similar environments. Since they are both active fish, providing enough tank space is important. A well-planted tank will mimic both of their natural environment.
- Cardinal Tetra: Cardinal Tetra and Ember Tetra are compatible as tank mates. They are both peaceful fish that thrive in similar environments. Since they are both active fish, providing enough tank space is important. A well-planted tank will mimic both of their natural environment.
- Chili Rasbora: Chili Rasbora and Ember Tetra are compatible as tank mates. They are both peaceful fish that thrive in similar environments. Since they are both active fish, providing enough tank space is important. A well-planted tank will mimic both of their natural environment.
- Dwarf Gourami: Dwarf Gourami and Ember Tetra are compatible as tank mates. They are both peaceful fish that thrive in similar environments. Dwarf Gouramis can be great a centerpiece fish in small tanks, while Ember Tetras provides a great contrast as a schooling fish.
- Aquarium Shrimp: Most types of aquarium shrimp and Ember Tetras are compatible as tank mates. Among many, Cherry Shrimp, Bamboo Shrimp, and Amano Shrimps are some examples of compatible aquarium shrimp types. Since aquarium shrimps and Ember Tetras inhabit different levels of the tank, there is very little chance of conflict. While Ember Tetra may be a threat to juvenile shrimp and their eggs, they shouldn’t be a threat to adult shrimps.
While Ember Tetra are peaceful fish that are great for most community tanks, there are fish that they aren’t compatible with as tank mates. For example, Ember Tetra are not compatible with Angelfish, Oscar fish, Flowerhorn fish, and many other larger aggressive fish. These larger aggressive fish can cause multiple issues such as taking all of the food, fin nipping, causing constant stress, and even eating the smaller fish.
As a general rule of thumb, fish with similar temperament, size, and tank environment should be kept together.
Are Ember Tetra Schooling Fish?
Since Ember Tetra are loosely schooling fish, they are considered to be shoaling fish. Even though they don’t always swim in tight schools, they should be kept in a group. This allows them to feel secure and exhibit their natural social behaviors. While they may appear to be spread out at times, they will most likely start swimming in a tight school if they feel the presence of a threat. If they are completely alone, they may feel threatened and stressed, even without the presence of a real threat. A stressed fish may look pale, be less active, and be more prone to disease.
How Many Ember Tetra Should Be Kept Together?
Ember Tetra should be kept in a group of at least 6. However, keeping them in a larger group of 10 or more would be ideal. Keeping as many of them as the tank size allows without overstocking the tank would be good.
In their natural environment, they are known to shoal in large groups of 100 or more. While they may swim in large groups, since they are small fish, they are able to navigate through dense vegetation.
Being kept in a group of adequate size allows the fish to feel safe and interact with each other.
Are Ember Tetra Fin Nippers?
Ember Tetras are generally not considered to be fin nippers. They are considered to be peaceful fish that will not bother others. However, they may nip the fins of other fish under certain conditions, especially when the fish is placed under stress.
For example, if the fish is alone or placed in a very small group (under 6), it is possible that they may nip the fins of other fish. While it may appear as if it is a sign of aggression, it is possible that it is more of a defensive behavior. When they are kept in a group of an adequate size, fin nipping is occurs less often.
Other conditions that induce stress, such as the lack of food or overcrowded tank environment may result in increased fin nipping behavior.
By placing them in a large group and providing a proper environment for them to thrive in, you can reduce the chances of fin nipping behavior. Once again, these fish aren’t generally considered to be fin nippers.
Breeding Ember Tetras is not difficult, especially if you have a healthy group of them that are already well-established. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to breed them Ember Tetras:
- Condition the Fish: The first step is to condition a school of Ember Tetras. This usually involves feeding them a diet of high-quality flake food and live or frozen foods to ensure they are in optimal health for breeding.
- Prepare a Breeding Tank: The ideal size of a breeding tank is 10-20 gallon tank. It should have a temperature range of 73–84 °F (23–29 °C), and staying towards the higher end of this range is recommended for breeding. The pH range should be 6.0-7.0, and the most idea pH would be 6.6. Sponge filters are generally recommended for breeding tanks, as it provides gentle water flow and prevents eggs and fry from getting sucked in.
- Add Spawning Mops or Plants: Sink a large mass of Java moss or yarn spawning mop in the tank. Ember Tetras prefer to lay their eggs on these surfaces.
- Add Substrate: Adding large gravel or marbles to the bottom of the tank will help the eggs fall through the cracks, and prevent it from getting eaten by the adults.
- Introduce the Fish: Move the female of the spawning pair into the spawning tank by herself. After a day or so, introduce the male.
- Spawning: The female will lay her eggs on the spawning mop or plants. As the female lays its eggs, the male will chase the female and fertilize the eggs along the way. The female will lay around 20-40 eggs at a time. If the fish are not spawning, a large water change of approximately 50% may help encourage spawning. Large water changes mimics the rainy season, which is when these fish often breed in their natural environment.
- Post-Spawning Care: After spawning, it’s recommended to remove the parents to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs should hatch in a few days.
- Raising the Fry: Once the fry hatch, they can be fed infusoria or other suitable small foods until they are large enough to eat regular food. It’s also beneficial to have a matured aquarium with lots of natural microfauna for the fry to feed on.
Ember Tetra Male vs. Female
Female ember tetras tend to be rounder than their male counterparts because their abdomen increases in size when carrying eggs. Male ember tetras are usually brighter in color as well. With that said, they can be difficult to identify the sex of these fish.
While Ember Tetra are hardy fish, they are susceptible to several common diseases such as Ich, swim bladder disease, fin and tail rot, and popeye disease.
Regular maintenance is key to preventing disease. Regular maintenance will allow you to monitor the fish, resulting in early detection of health issues as well.
Where Can I Find Ember Tetra for Sale?
Ember Tetras are popular fish and they are available in most aquarium stores, both online and local. In addition, they are quite affordable as well. While prices may fluctuate, you can purchase them for approximately $3 each. Since these are fish that prefer to be kept in groups, be sure to purchase at least 6 of them.
Since Ember Tetras are hardy, colorful, and peaceful, they are the perfect fish nano fish for almost any tank. As long as you provide a proper tank setup and regularly maintain it, you can expect to enjoy a thriving group of vibrant fish.