Green Fire Tetra (Aphyocharax rathbun): Ultimate Care Guide


The Green Fire Tetra (Aphyocharax Rathbuni) is one of the best tetras you can add to a peaceful community aquarium.

Green Fire Tetras are native to the Paraguay region of South America, and more specifically, the freshwater basins of the Paraguay River basin. Green Fire Tetras can also be found in abundance in South America’s pristine freshwaters. The primary colour of this species is shimmering green, with a brilliant red tail base. The crimson spreads over the fish’s underbelly until it reaches its belly. As the fish matures, it develops red and white fins, giving it a distinguishing appearance. The Green Fire Tetra has a life span of 4 years on average.

Green Fire Tetra Care

The Green Fire Tetra is a relatively simple fish to care for. The tank temperature must be between 73 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water pH must be between 6.5 and 7.0. The Green Fire Tetra is generally 2″ in length; thus, the tank should be 10 gallons or larger. The Green Fire Tetra is quite easy to feed. While most brands of commercially available fish flake or micro pellet would suffice, many aquatic experts recommend supplementing with high-quality protein sources such as frozen, freeze-dried, or live meals (such as bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, or tubifex worms). Because it is a carnivore, the Green Fire Tetra thrives on a diet high in animal proteins.

Green Fire Tetra (Aphyocharax rathbun)
Green Fire Tetra (Aphyocharax rathbun)

Green Fire Tetra Tank Setup

Your tank setup should include dense vegetation, subdued lighting, and aquatic soil, sand, and/or gravel. Since the Green Fire Tetra is a tropical fish, you will need to add a heater to the tank to maintain the water temperature at a stable and healthy temperature. This will ensure the best quality of life for your fish.

Green Fire Tetra Tank Mates

It’s not difficult to find the perfect tank mates for your green tetra fish. Tetra species of all sizes are welcome.

Here’s a list of friendly tank mates:

  • Rasboras
  • Danios
  • Hillstream Loach
  • Kuhil Loach
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Corydoras

They can coexist with practically any tiny to medium-sized fish with the same temperament and water requirements due to their placid nature. Of course, you don’t want to include fish four times the size of your tetras, lest they end up as dinner. Though these inconspicuous creatures are known for biting fins, they are not aggressive. Goldfish and other slow swimmers with long fins may be in danger.

Are Green Fire Tetra School Fish?

Different tetra species will form schools and swim together, much like the Green Fire Tetra fish are school fish and tend to thrive in schools of six or more, and in a well-decorated aquarium, they will be less stressed and show their best colours. Dark substrates and decorations will help to bring out the vibrancy of your tetras’ colours. Keep the aquarium cover on tight to prevent them from jumping out if they feel threatened. Provide a gentle but consistent current. Different tetra species will form schools and swim together

How to Breed Green Fire Tetra

To successfully breed Green Fire Tetra, you’ll need a separate tank. You’ll need to adjust the water parameters in the breeding tank somewhat. Normally one should boost the water temperature by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Freshwater encourages the fish to reproduce. Adding a lot of live plants will also boost the survival rate of the fry. In the tank, a couple of female egg-laying Green Fire Tetras and a male Green Fire Tetra should suffice. They breed on their own and prefer to do it at night, therefore you should keep the tank in a dimly lit area. Male fish hunt female fish until she deposits her egg on a flat, smooth surface, at which point the male fish fertilizes the eggs. After the breeding procedure is completed, try to remove the parents to let the egg be on its own. The fry takes roughly 36 hours to hatch out of the egg.

Green Fire Tetra Male and Female

Male Green Fire Tetra have whitened tips on their anal, pelvic, and dorsal fins, which distinguishes them from females. Females, on the other hand, have a protruding tummy when they are ready to spawn. Males and females can be distinguished by the coloration of an adult Green Fire Tetra.

Green Fire Tetra Disease

The Green Fire Tetra has a high level of immunity and is rarely sick. However, due to poor water conditions, neglected water parameters, and other factors, their immune is weakened, and due to this, the risks of contracting numerous diseases are raised. If the water quality is severely damaged, the Green Fire Tetra is affected with ich illness and fin rot. If these conditions develop, you can try to treat them by performing a significant water change and fast restoring of the water parameters to their original state.

Where can I find Green Fire Tetra for Sale?

The Green fire tetra is readily accessible at most pet stores, and because it is a more beginner-friendly fish, the cost of purchasing and caring for one is relatively low. If you prefer to not use big box companies, there are usually private-owned companies that sell great quality pet fish and the products you need to care for them.

Green Fire Tetra vs Neon Tetra

The Green Fire tetra and the Neon Tetra are known to be mixed up often and this is because many people find they look the same. The reality is though, these are two different species of the family Characidae. The Green Neon Tetra is scientifically known as Paracheirodon simulans. They originate from the blackwaters of upper Orinoco and Negro Rivers in South America. Even though both The Green Fire tetra and the Neon Tetra look the same, they should not be habited with each other. Aside from the colours, these two tetra species differ in behaviour. The Green Neon Tetra is calm, while the Green Fire Tetra is fidgety and always seems on the go.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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