GloFish 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.

Glofish Tetras are genetically modified fish with brilliant-looking colors. They are the best selections if you need a sparkly version of the common freshwater species such as the Bettas, Tiger Barbs, Zebra Danios, and Rainbow Sharks, among the rest.

The best part? Just like their peers, Glofish Tetras are fun to care for and have plenty of suitable tank mates if you need them as part of a peaceful community tank.

This guide will exclusively answer all the burning questions regarding Glofish Tetra care. For instance, what’s the story behind their sparkly look? Are they compatible with other Tetra varieties? And what’s their best diet in captivity?

The forthcoming paragraphs will discuss Glofish Tetra’s appearance, tank size, water parameters, diet, behavior, tank mates, breeding, and more.

Species Overview

Glofish Tetras are scientifically called Gymnocorymbus ternetzi and result from genetic modifications involving popular breeds like the Zebras, Danios, Tetras, and Barbs.

Zebrafish were the first forms of modified fluorescent fish available in pet stores. But over the years, the pet industry has witnessed plenty of additions targeting the other species.

Despite being a popular ornamental fish in the modern aquarium community, the original idea behind the invention of the fluorescent GloFish Tetras was to help identify common environmental pollutants in water bodies. But it’s fair to say, their role has since changed.

Today, GloFish Tetras are sold as a perfect ornamental fish to light up modern aquariums in unique shades of galactic purple, Starfire red, cosmetic blue, and electric green, among the rest.

ColorFluorescent appearance, several colors
LifespanUp to 3 Years
Care LevelEasy
Behavior & TemperamentPeaceful
CompatibilityPeaceful shoaling fish
Food and DietOmnivores
SizeUp to 2 Inches
Tank SetupFreshwater with plants, rocks, and driftwood
Tank Size (Minimum)3 Gallons


Ideally, beautiful Glofish Tetras are designed to live for up to 3 years in captivity. But that depends on the level of care they get throughout their lives.

Be aware that keeping these fish under substandard environmental conditions will greatly impede their growth and may even shorten their lifespan. The three key elements to keeping healthy Glofish Tetras include diet, tank mates, and tank water conditions.


Glofish Tetras are naturally brilliant. And the only reason you will want to keep them at home is their fluorescent appearance.

Typically, their appearance depends on the specific fluorescent protein genes. They’ve been sold as purple, pink, orange-yellow, blue, green, and bright-red fish.

As far as the general body profile goes, these fish resemble Black Skirt Tetras, with perfectly rounded heads and quadrilateral bodies. The upper body part assumes a streamlined configuration, with a slightly pointed lower section.

What’s more, GloFish Tetras possess dazzling fins. The dorsal fin is slightly pointed, while the tail fin assumes a V-like pattern. On the other hand, the anal fin will extend to cover the largest portion of the lower body.


In general, GloFish Tetras can be classified by color choices, and you will have various options representing the seven colors of the rainbow.

The whole idea is to add a colorful look to home aquariums using an ornamental fish that’s easy to maintain yet peaceful at the same time.

In summary, the full list of GloFish types you can find from local pet stores include the following;

  • Moonrise Pink
  • Cosmic Blue
  • Electric Green
  • Galactic Purple
  • Long-fin Electric Green
  • Starfire Red
  • Long-fin Sunburst Orange
  • Long-fin Electric Green
  • Sunburst Orange


Glofish Tetras grow up to 2 inches long in home aquariums. Generally, these fish assume the same body size, pattern, and shape as the original species involved in genetic modification.

They are intended to grow up to 3 inches long, but many species will only reach the standard 2-inch length in full maturity. The average growth rate and standard length depend on your aquarium or the original pet store conditions.

A cramped aquarium will almost certainly inhibit the fish’s growth and prevent them from reaching the optimal size. 

Glofish Tetra Care

Glofish Tetra care should be pretty straightforward to any aquarist. Usually, it entails quality food, the right tank mates, and the best possible living conditions.

Never forget that these fish are a natural shoaling species and will be stress-free if kept in groups. That being said, the next section will highlight the dos and don’ts of keeping the eye-catching Glofish Tetras at home;

Tank Size

Being the famous shoaling species, never limit your Glofish Tetras to a small tank that could increase the stress levels and make them skittish and anxious at home.

A common, undocumented rule states that for every GloFish Tetra, you need at least a 3-gallon tank capacity.

And with that rule in mind, an average of 5 shoaling species will be best kept in a 15-gallon tank. Generally, it’s important to remain flexible with the tank specifications since you will need an even larger tank if you keep Glofish Tetras together with other species.

Water Parameters

As far as the tank water conditions go, GloFish Tetras prefer the exact conditions they are quite fond of in the wild. Remember, the parent species originate from the South American continent, and your Glofish Tetras will want the same conditions to stay healthy at home.

Now, this region has warmer conditions with slightly acidic water. So, to help GloFish Tetras flourish at home, you will want to monitor the tank water conditions regularly while sticking to the following parameters;

  • Water Temperature: 70-85 degrees F
  • Water Hardness: Soft (1-8 dGH)
  • pH Levels: 6.0-7.5

What to Put in Their Tank?

Setting up the perfect habitat for your Glofish Tetras is never a big deal as long as you understand their requirements in captivity.

Ideally, the tank should have the right decoration, enough vegetation, and suitable filtration equipment. So, let’s start with the plant choice.

As far as quality care goes, submerged plants will be important to the health and well-being of the Glofish Tetras. Vegetation provides shelter and protection to small freshwater fish like the GloFish Tetras.

So, try to include the best options while still allowing your fish to swim freely inside the aquarium. You can add small rocks and driftwood to give your fish enough hiding spots for safety and additional comfort.

We can’t think of better options than fine-sized sand in terms of substrate selection. It replicates the actual river beds in the fish’s original habitat and will be vital to creating a natural-looking environment.

Unfortunately, Glofish Tetras can stage the perfect escape plans. So, you will have to monitor their behavior carefully in captivity from time to time and use a tight-fitting lid to prevent them from jumping out of the tank.

Of course, Glofish Tetras will sour the tank water more often, and you must install the right filtration system to reduce the ammonia levels inside the aquarium.

Common Diseases

The signs of good health in a Glofish Tetra community include a healthy appetite, bright coloration, and clear eyes. They are a hardy species but may suffer from specific freshwater diseases from time to time, depending on how well you care for them at home.

The most common health issues affecting Glofish Tetras include fin rot, ich, and fungus.

Naturally, fin rot causes frayed fish’s fins and can be stubborn without proper medication. The easiest way to control it is to maintain high water quality inside the tank. Sometimes, you can consult a health expert if the symptoms persist even with medication usage.

On the other hand, ich causes white spots on the fish’s bodies and fins. Sometimes, the fish will rub their bodies against hard objects or develop an odd swimming pattern.

The two-step strategy to counter the effects of ich disease includes quarantining the diseased species and using over-the-counter medications depending on expert advice.

Finally, any fungus affecting Glofish Tetras will present with discolored eyes or white cotton-like growths. Like ich, you must isolate the infected fish and seek medical advice right away.

What Do Glofish Tetras Eat?

As natural omnivores, Glofish Tetras will eat any food they can find inside the tank. Therefore, we recommend a diversified approach when feeding these fish to ensure they are properly nourished.

This includes an everyday meal of flakes or sinking pellets in addition to protein-rich foods like bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. Also, these fish do well with algae wafers, vegetables, and frozen meaty foods.

Proper tank maintenance entails daily temperature assessment, weekly water check, and monthly tank water change, accounting for up to 25% of the total composition.

Behavior & Temperament

Glofish Tetras are peaceful shoaling fish that flourish in groups. You should keep at least five species or more in the same habitat to eliminate negative stress and keep your lovely pets in perfect health.

With their social nature and peace-loving trait, Glofish Tetras make perfect tank mates for multiple species, as long as they are equally small, active, and non-aggressive.

The fin nipping habit in Glofish Tetras is associated with long-finned species but shouldn’t be a call for concern if you can find the right companions.

Also, the males can show slight aggression during mating as they compete for partners. Still, this is not risky to your Glofish Tetras. However, you should consider separating the female fish during spawning to minimize any form of aggressive behavior.

Glofish Tetra Tank Mates

You should rely on your knowledge of multiple fish species when selecting new tank mates for your Glofish Tetras.

Precisely, you should understand the newcomer’s activity levels, behavior, and size. The key to giving your Glofish Tetras the perfect environment at home is to select similar-sized companions that are also peaceful. That’s why large and aggressive species shouldn’t even be considered for the same aquarium.

Below, we have listed some of the best tank mates worth trying with the Glofish Tetras at home;


It’s pretty taxing to identify Glofish Tetras by gender. And that makes breeding these species quite challenging in captivity.

However, if you maintain ideal tank water conditions throughout the fish’s lives, they will likely breed at some point. With a fast-approaching breeding season, the females will have an enlarged belly and pair up with a mature male to induce spawning.

Final Thoughts

Glofish Tetra is a popular freshwater fish that’s purely genetically engineered. They are manipulation of popular freshwater species like the Zebra Danios and exactly what you need to introduce a natural flair to your aquarium.

Today, you can find them from local pet stores as peaceful freshwater fish to transform the interior home décor.

We haven’t spotted any flaws in GloFish Tetras just yet and would be glad to recommend them to any aquarist looking for something unique to transform their community tanks. And perhaps you could be the one!