Ember Tetra: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding & More)

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

Freshwater Ember Tetras belong to certain regions of Brazil. But even if they come from a place far away, these exotic creatures are easy to maintain and care for.

This guide will cover important information about keeping Ember Tetras, such as their water parameters, habitat requirements, breeding, compatible tank mates, and more.

Species Overview

The scientific name for the Ember Tetra is Hyphessobrycon Amandae, and other common names include Fire Tetra. It is a relatively small-sized freshwater fish belonging to the Characidae family. It’s native to the central-western region of Brazil.

If you want to make a pretty-looking addition to your aquarium, Ember Tetras are the most suitable option. In fact, you won’t be the only one considering keeping them in your tank either.

Many fish enthusiasts love to purchase and include Ember Tetras in their home aquariums.

ColorBright Orange or Bright Red
LifespanNearly 2 Years
Care LevelEasy
Behaviour and TemperamentPeaceful
CompatibilityPeaceful and Compatible Fish
Food and DietOmnivore
Size0.6–0.8 inches
Tank SetupHeavy Plantation, Freshwater
Tank Size (Min.)10 gallons

This fish species is relatively new and native to Central Brazil, Mato Grosso State. The main reasons for their popularity as recreational creatures are their bright colours and appearance.

You should know that identifying Characiformes fish species isn’t easy for a beginner fishkeeper. It’s a very challenging task, but fortunately, Ember Tetras’ bright appearance sets them apart from other fish in the same order.

More importantly, your fishkeeping experience won’t matter when you’re looking after Ember Tetras. This is because the fish is a peaceful sea creature. Nevertheless, they remain highly active during their lifespan, which we will discuss below.

Petting this fish species isn’t a difficult task at all, and they’re similar to Black Skirt Tetras in this regard. The main reason why they are so peaceful and not-so-disturbing for any fish enthusiast is that they are smaller freshwater fish species.

Ember Tetras are native to the Araguaia River basin in Central Brazil. Despite that, fish enthusiasts have found certain groups of Hyphessobrycon Amandae in nearby regions as well.

The ideal living environment for Ember Tetras includes low currents, backwater (rivers), and an abundance of vegetation.

Keep the above living conditions in mind to replicate a similar ecosystem to help your Ember Tetras thrive.

In their natural habitat, they rely on extremely small invertebrates and a combination of different small plants as a source of nutrition.

On top of that, the Hyphessobrycon Amandae has a body that’s mainly orange in colour. That’s how they stand out in even the biggest aquariums in homes or commercial, recreational spaces.


The average lifespan of this amazing fish species from the Characidae family is 2 to 4 years. If you hear any rumours that this fish can last nearly 10 years, know that it’s false.

The quality of their living condition will determine how long they live. Therefore, you should focus on providing optimal living conditions with a clean water tank and the appropriate water parameters.

If you want your Tetras to survive and live for their average lifespan or longer, make sure that you provide them with an environment that mimics their natural habitat.

Plants play a vital role in their health and are necessary for their survival. Some enthusiasts claim that heavy plantations and freshwater supply can keep Ember Tetras alive for longer.

However, there is still a need for evidence and research to back these claims.


Before we discuss the appearance of Ember Tetras, you must acknowledge the bright orange to the bright red color range of this vibrant fish species. If you are looking for a fish that is peaceful and doesn’t need high maintenance, this species is the right option.

Watching the beautiful Ember Tetras swim is a delightful sight. Their colors shimmer as they wiggle their tail and soft fins to move across the tank.

Their bright appearance and vibrant orange color make them a unique Tetra in the Characidae family. Besides, it is one of the most sought-after fish species in the entire aquarist community.

These fish have dorsal fins with a bright color that gradually transition into a darker shade near the back of the body.

When you notice the edge of the fin, you will see they are transparent, which adds to the fish’s interesting appearance.

Ember Tetras have caudal fins that appear more forked in comparison to their dorsal fins and also have a better colour transition. The fin base is homogenous in color to the rest of the body, while the transition moves towards a bold and dark orange without turning transparent.

The pectoral fins are easy to see, and they make a minor flicker in the water when Ember Tetras swim. The body shape is somewhat similar to other Tetras, while the size is relatively small.


Ember Tetras don’t grow more than 1 inch in size, which makes them smaller than Neon Tetras. Often, beginner fish enthusiasts confuse the two and assume that they are the same but just have different coloring.

Although some people think they can grow beyond 1 inch in size, there is still no evidence of such a thing. Even with great care and nutrition, its size will remain the same.

Ember Tetra Care

Caring for Ember Tetra is easier in a fish tank. Even as a beginner fishkeeper, you can easily maintain a fish tank filled with Tetras.

In fact, all you have to do is maintain their habitat, water parameters and give them a proper diet.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size is 10 gallons or more. This is suitable for when you plan to keep a group of Ember Tetras in one place. This tank will be large enough to accommodate the plantation as well.

However, if you wish to increase the number of fish to 20-25, you can go for a 20 or 25-gallon water tank.

Water Parameters

Maintaining water parameters isn’t challenging at all. Here are some of the best water parameter guidelines for your Ember Tetras:

  • pH level around 5-7
  • water hardness around 5-17 dGH
  • the water temperature around 73°-84° F

Keep an aquarium water test kit for water quality inspections once or twice every week. While this fish species can tolerate different water conditions, we recommend that you be careful to maintain a constant environment that ensures their health.

What to Put In Their Tank?

As discussed earlier, you have to include a lot of plantation (but do not overdo it) for your Ember Tetras in their 10 or 25-gallon water tank.

Plantation reflects their primary natural habitat. Hence, they will be more comfortable with vegetation and won’t suffer from stress.

Common Diseases

Ember Tetras are not at risk of developing many diseases. However, poor diet and poor water parameters can put them at risk of falling sick. Therefore, you should focus on proper maintenance and cleaning of the water tank.

In addition, be careful about water tank contaminants and impurities since they can cause parasitic infections in Tetras, including Ember Tetras.

Parasitic infections can cause deadly bloating and digestive disorders in Ember Tetras. The noticeable signs of any parasitic or fungal disorder are white dots, skin pores, and other issues.

What Do Ember Tetras Eat?

A balanced diet is important to help your Ember Tetras thrive. Considering their smaller bodies, you can try adding variation to the diet. The common food for them is frozen, dried, and mixed flake food.

Also, Ember Tetras feed on brine shrimp and daphnia for proteins and other nutrients. Since their primary ecosystem comprises vegetation, you can add aquatic plants to their tanks as well.

As for a feeding schedule, you can feed them 2-4 times a day, but avoid overfeeding at all costs.

Behaviour & Temperament

Ember Tetras make great pets because of their peaceful nature, and they are fun to watch as they move inside the water tank. The view is simply amazing and spectacular.

In addition, this fish is quite active in comparison to other tetras.

Ember Tetras are shoaling fish, and that is why you will notice them moving around the water tanks in small groups. The group of small Ember Tetras looks like bright orange bullets moving swiftly through the water.

Since this fish species is curious, you will find them moving around the corners of the tank or whatever container you place them in. Hence, be careful to only add only safe decorations and instruments to their water tank.

If you find them hiding around the plants, it may be that they’re nibbling on them, but you don’t have to worry. They will only eat a small amount from the plantation in the water tank.

Lastly, you don’t have to worry about aggression issues with Ember Tetras, so they make for amazing tank mates if you have other compatible fish species.

Ember Tetra Tank Mates

First and foremost, due to the peaceful nature of Ember Tetras, you can choose different types of fish as tank mates.

Since Ember Tetras remain strictly among their own group, they rarely interfere with other fish species. Despite being very active, they don’t interact with other types of fish as much.

If you are looking to accommodate other fish species with Ember Tetras, the only thing you have to make sure of is that you have a big enough water tank.

Although Ember Tetras won’t take much space, you still need to make sure they let the other fish move freely.

Ember Tetras usually need a bigger area in the middle of the tank to swim with school members. So, it’s better to find tank mates that won’t occupy the middle portion of the water tank.

Here’s a list of some of the many compatible fish species that can live with Ember Tetras:


The process to breed Ember Tetras is quite straightforward and simple. It doesn’t require a lot of effort from your end.

However, you may have to identify the male and female Ember Tetras so you can put them inside a tank with optimal water parameters.

You should keep the pH around 7 or 6.5, which means that you will have to keep the temperature over 80°F at a minimum. The temperature and water quality will promote breeding.

Once the breeding begins, the fish will abandon the fry.

This means, to preserve and help the species continue the reproduction, you can move the fry to a separate tank and feed them until they grow big enough to return to the main tank.

Final Thoughts

If you like the different fish in the Characidae family, especially Ember Tetras, you can keep them in your aquarium with little maintenance.

The ease with which you can maintain them makes them a suitable option to start your fishkeeping hobby.

You will find Ember Tetras at just about any pet store around you, including commercial aquariums that let you borrow fish pairs and groups for safe fishkeeping.

Do you like petting freshwater fish? If so, once you have these pretty Ember Tetras in their tank, it’ll be a treat to watch them move across the lush vegetation inside.

Try out the Ember Tetras and make sure to provide them with the right ecosystem in your water tank. Furthermore, try to follow all the guidelines to ensure that you provide the required water parameters for your Ember Tetras.