Ember Tetra Care Guide

ember tetra

Introduction

The Ember Tetra, or Hyphessobrycon amandae, is a popular freshwater aquarium fish native to the Araguaia River Basin in Brazil. These tiny fish are known for their striking orange-red coloration, which gives them their name. Ember Tetras are a peaceful species that do well in community aquariums with other small, peaceful fish. They are relatively easy to care for and are a good choice for beginner aquarists. Ember Tetras are also active and enjoy swimming in well-planted aquariums with plenty of hiding places. Overall, their bright colors and peaceful temperament make them a popular choice for aquarists looking to add some color to their tanks.

Summary Table

CharacteristicInformation
Common NameEmber Tetra
Scientific NameHyphessobrycon amandae
FamilyCharacidae
Origin / DistributionSouth America, specifically the Araguaia River Basin in Brazil.
SizeThe average adult size of the fish is around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length.
Aquarium SizeThe minimum recommended aquarium size for a school of Ember Tetras is 10 gallons.
Water ParametersIdeal water temperature is between 72-82°F (22-28°C), pH should be between 5.0-7.0, and water hardness should be between 1-10 dGH.
DietThe Ember Tetra is an omnivore and will eat a variety of foods including flake, pellet, and frozen foods. They also enjoy live or frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms.
Feeding FrequencyIt’s recommended to feed Ember Tetras small amounts 2-3 times per day.
TemperamentEmber Tetras are peaceful and do well in a community aquarium setting.
TankmatesSuitable tankmates for Ember Tetras include other small peaceful fish such as other tetras, guppies, and corydoras. Avoid keeping them with large or aggressive fish.
BreedingEmber Tetras are relatively easy to breed in a separate breeding tank. They are egg scatterers and will lay eggs on plants or other surfaces in the tank.
LifespanThe average lifespan of Ember Tetras in captivity is around 3 years.
Care LevelEmber Tetras are considered to be easy to care for and are a good choice for beginner aquarists.
Unique Features / AppearanceEmber Tetras are known for their bright orange-red coloration, which gives them their name. They have a slender, streamlined body and a forked tail.
Conservation StatusEmber Tetras are not currently evaluated by the IUCN Red List, but they are generally considered to be of Least Concern.
Additional NotesEmber Tetras are an active species and do best in a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places. They are also sensitive to changes in water parameters and should only be added to an established aquarium.

Classification

  • Common Name: Ember Tetra
  • Scientific Name: Hyphessobrycon amandae
  • Family: Characidae
  • Order: Characiformes

Ember Tetras belong to the family Characidae, which is a diverse family of freshwater fish found throughout South America. They are part of the order Characiformes, which also includes other popular aquarium fish such as tetras, hatchetfish, and pencilfish. The Ember Tetra’s scientific name is Hyphessobrycon amandae, with the specific name “amandae” named after the daughter of the fish’s discoverer, Dr. Heiko Bleher.

Natural Habitat & Distribution

Ember Tetras are native to the Araguaia River Basin in Brazil, specifically the upper Rio das Mortes tributary. In the wild, they are typically found in shallow, slow-moving streams and tributaries with sandy or gravelly substrates. These streams are often surrounded by vegetation, providing plenty of hiding places for the fish. The water in their natural habitat is generally clear and acidic, with a pH ranging from 5.0 to 7.0.

Ember Tetras are a tropical fish species and require warm water temperatures to thrive. The water temperature in their natural habitat ranges from around 72-82°F (22-28°C). They are a relatively small fish species and are found in large numbers in the wild, often in shoals of hundreds or even thousands of individuals.

Physical Appearance

Size

The average adult size of the Ember Tetra is around 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length.

Coloration and patterns

Ember Tetras are known for their bright orange-red coloration, which gives them their name. They also have a black spot on their dorsal fin and a black border around their tail fin. Their lower body is silver or pale yellow in color.

Body shape and fin structures

Ember Tetras have a slender, streamlined body and a forked tail. They have a single dorsal fin and a pair of ventral fins, as well as an anal fin and pectoral fins.

Sexual Dimorphism

Male Ember Tetras are typically smaller and more brightly colored than females. Males also have more elongated dorsal and anal fins, while females have a more rounded body shape. During breeding season, males may develop a slightly reddish tint to their coloration, while females may appear more plump due to the presence of eggs.

Behavior & Temperament

Ember Tetras are known for their peaceful and social nature. They are a great addition to community aquariums and get along well with other small and peaceful fish.

General behavior

Ember Tetras are a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals. They are an active species that enjoy swimming in open areas of the aquarium as well as hiding in plants and other decorations. They are not known to be territorial and will generally not bother other fish in the aquarium.

Social interactions with other fish

Ember Tetras are a non-aggressive species that get along well with other small, peaceful fish. They are not known to be territorial and will generally not bother other fish in the aquarium. They are most comfortable when kept in a group, and will exhibit natural schooling behavior when they feel secure.

Suitable tankmates

Suitable tankmates for Ember Tetras include other small peaceful fish such as other tetras, guppies, corydoras, and small rasboras. It’s important to avoid keeping them with large or aggressive fish, as they may be intimidated or even attacked. Keeping Ember Tetras in a group of at least 6 individuals will ensure they feel secure and exhibit natural schooling behavior.

Aquarium Requirements

In order to ensure the health and well-being of Ember Tetras, it’s important to provide them with a suitable aquarium environment.

Minimum tank size

The minimum recommended tank size for a school of Ember Tetras is 10 gallons. However, larger tanks are always better, as they provide more swimming space and make it easier to maintain stable water conditions.

Water parameters

Ember Tetras prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 5.0-7.0. They also require warm water temperatures, between 72-82°F (22-28°C). Water hardness should be kept between 1-10 dGH.

Filtration and aeration needs

Ember Tetras require a well-filtered aquarium with a gentle flow. In addition, they require adequate aeration to ensure there is enough dissolved oxygen in the water. An air stone or sponge filter can help provide additional aeration.

Substrate preferences

Ember Tetras prefer a fine-grained substrate, such as sand or smooth gravel. They do best in a planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places, but it’s important to ensure the plants don’t create too much shade, as Ember Tetras require some lighting.

Lighting requirements

Ember Tetras don’t have specific lighting requirements, but it’s important to provide some lighting in the aquarium to support the growth of any plants and promote the fish’s natural behavior.

Decorations and hiding places

Ember Tetras do best in a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places, such as driftwood, rock caves, and plant clusters. They also benefit from having some open swimming space in the aquarium. It’s important to provide a balance of decorations and hiding places to ensure the fish feel secure and exhibit natural behavior.

Diet & Feeding

Ember Tetras are omnivorous, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. In the aquarium, they will accept a variety of foods.

Type of diet

Ember Tetras are primarily carnivorous and prefer live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. However, they will also accept high-quality flake or pellet food. It’s important to provide a varied diet to ensure the fish receive all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Feeding frequency

Ember Tetras should be fed small amounts of food several times a day. This can be accomplished by feeding them small amounts of flake or pellet food 2-3 times a day, or by offering live or frozen foods once a day.

Tips for providing a balanced and varied diet

To ensure a balanced and varied diet, it’s important to supplement the Ember Tetra’s diet with live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. These can be offered as a treat once a day or a few times a week. It’s also a good idea to rotate the type of flake or pellet food you offer, to ensure the fish receive a range of nutrients. It’s important not to overfeed the Ember Tetra, as this can lead to health problems and poor water quality.

Tank Mates

Ember Tetras are a peaceful and social species that do well in community aquariums. However, it’s important to choose compatible tank mates to ensure a harmonious environment.

Compatible species

Suitable tank mates for Ember Tetras include other small peaceful fish such as other tetras, guppies, corydoras, small rasboras, and some dwarf cichlids. These species share similar water parameters and will not harm the Ember Tetras.

Incompatible or potentially problematic species

Ember Tetras should not be kept with large or aggressive fish, as they may be intimidated or even attacked. Some examples of incompatible or problematic species include larger cichlids, angelfish, bettas, and some barbs.

Recommendations for creating a harmonious community tank

To create a harmonious community tank, it’s important to choose fish with similar water parameter requirements and peaceful temperaments. It’s also important to ensure there is enough space in the aquarium for each species to establish their own territories. Keeping Ember Tetras in a group of at least 6 individuals will ensure they feel secure and exhibit natural schooling behavior. It’s also a good idea to provide plenty of hiding places and decorations to ensure each species has their own space and feels secure. Regular monitoring of the aquarium and water quality is also important to ensure the health and well-being of all the fish in the community tank.

Breeding

Ember Tetras are relatively easy to breed and can produce large numbers of eggs. Here are some key factors to consider when breeding Ember Tetras:

Breeding behavior

During breeding season, male Ember Tetras will exhibit a more intense coloration, and females will appear more plump due to the presence of eggs. Male Ember Tetras will often chase females around the aquarium and show off their fins and colors to attract a mate. The female will deposit her eggs in plants, which the male will then fertilize.

Ideal breeding conditions

To encourage breeding, it’s important to provide Ember Tetras with an environment that mimics their natural habitat. This includes a planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and a slightly acidic water with a pH between 5.0-7.0. Raising the water temperature to the upper end of their preferred range (around 82°F or 28°C) can also help stimulate breeding.

Raising fry (offspring) and specific care requirements

Once the eggs are laid, it’s important to remove the adult fish from the breeding tank, as they may eat their own eggs or fry. The eggs will hatch in 24-36 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming after 3-4 days. The fry can be fed infusoria, freshly hatched brine shrimp, or liquid fry food. As they grow, they can be transitioned to finely crushed flake or pellet food. It’s important to keep the water clean and well-filtered, and to perform regular water changes to maintain good water quality. Providing the fry with plenty of hiding places and plants can also help them feel secure and reduce stress.

Health & Disease

Ember Tetras are generally hardy fish that are not prone to many health issues. However, it’s important to monitor their health regularly and take action if any problems arise.

Common diseases and their symptoms

Some common diseases that may affect Ember Tetras include:

  • Ich (white spot disease): white spots appear on the fish’s body, fins, and gills.
  • Fin rot: the fish’s fins appear frayed or ragged, and may turn black or red.
  • Velvet: a yellowish-gold or grayish film appears on the fish’s body.
  • Dropsy: the fish’s body appears bloated and the scales may stand out from the body.

Prevention and treatment strategies

Preventing diseases in Ember Tetras is all about maintaining good water quality and providing a healthy environment. Regular water changes, good filtration, and a well-balanced diet can help prevent many common diseases. It’s also important to quarantine any new fish before adding them to the main aquarium, to prevent the introduction of diseases.

If a disease does occur, treatment will depend on the specific disease and its severity. In some cases, simply improving water quality and making sure the fish are well-fed can help them recover. In more severe cases, medication may be required. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using medication, and to remove any activated carbon from the filter, as it can absorb the medication and render it ineffective. It’s also a good idea to isolate any sick fish in a quarantine tank to prevent the spread of disease to other fish in the main aquarium.

Care Level

Ember Tetras are a relatively easy fish to care for and are suitable for beginner to intermediate fish keepers.

Difficulty of care

Ember Tetras are a hardy species that can tolerate a range of water conditions, making them relatively easy to care for. They have simple dietary requirements and do well in a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places. However, like all fish, they do require some basic care and attention to maintain their health and well-being.

Special considerations or requirements

One important consideration when caring for Ember Tetras is to keep them in a group of at least 6 individuals, as they are a schooling fish that feel more secure when kept in a group. It’s also important to provide a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and decorations, to ensure the fish feel secure and exhibit natural behavior. Additionally, regular monitoring of the aquarium and water quality is important to maintain a healthy environment. Finally, it’s important to follow basic fish care guidelines, such as performing regular water changes, keeping the filter clean, and providing a balanced diet, to ensure the long-term health and well-being of the Ember Tetra.

Conservation Status

The Ember Tetra is not currently listed on the IUCN Red List and is considered a species of least concern in terms of conservation status. However, it’s important to note that many fish species are facing threats from habitat destruction, pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

Legal restrictions on keeping the species in captivity

In general, there are no legal restrictions on keeping the Ember Tetra in captivity, as they are a commonly available aquarium fish. However, it’s important to ensure that the fish have been obtained through legal and sustainable means, and that they have not been taken from the wild in a way that harms their natural populations. It’s also important to follow local laws and regulations regarding the possession and care of aquarium fish.

Additional Information & Fun Facts

  • The Ember Tetra is a relatively new species in the aquarium trade, having only been discovered in the 1990s.
  • Ember Tetras are named for their bright orange-red coloration, which resembles the glowing embers of a fire.
  • In the wild, Ember Tetras are found in clear, acidic blackwater streams in Brazil.
  • Ember Tetras are a favorite among aquascapers, as their bright coloration and small size make them a great addition to planted aquariums.
  • Ember Tetras are a schooling fish that feel more secure in a group, and will exhibit more natural behavior when kept in a group of at least 6 individuals.
  • Ember Tetras are a relatively peaceful species that do well in community aquariums with other small, peaceful fish.
  • Ember Tetras are relatively easy to breed, and can produce large numbers of eggs in a well-planted breeding tank.
  • Some hobbyists have reported that Ember Tetras can be shy and easily stressed, and that providing plenty of hiding places and a well-planted aquarium can help reduce stress and promote natural behavior.
  • Ember Tetras are a popular choice for nano and planted aquariums, as their small size and bright coloration make them stand out in smaller tanks.
  • In some parts of the world, Ember Tetras are known as “fire tetras” or “glowlight tetras”, due to their bright coloration.

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