The Buenos Aires Tetra Resource

Buenos Aires Tetra

Buenos Aires Tetra“Buenos Aires Tetra” is the common name for the Hyphessobrycon anisitsi species.

Adult size: 7-8cm
Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
pH: 6.5-8.5
Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
Decor: Rocks, Driftwood, and Plants
Substrate: Any
Lighting: 8-10 hrs/day
Diet: Omnivore

How To Keep Buenos Aires Tetras
How To Breed Buenos Aires Tetras
Other Information About Buenos Aires Tetras


How to Keep Buenos Aires Tetras


If you adopt Buenos Aires Tetras from a contaminated source, your aquarium may become infected. As a result, you need to ensure you only adopt ones that are kept in a healthy environment.

They can be adopted from:

Before adopting them, understand:

  • Buenos Aires Tetras have an average life expectancy of 5-6 years.
  • Buenos Aires Tetras may be identified under the common name of: Diamond Spot Tetra.

Tank Requirements

• Tank Size & Population Density

If your Buenos Aires Tetras are in an aquarium that is overstocked, they will become stressed – weakening their immune systems – causing them to be more prone to diseases, and they won’t grow to their appropriate size. As a result, you need to follow the rule of one inch of fish per gallon of water, but keep in mind:

  • Buenos Aires Tetras must be kept in at least a 20 gallon aquarium.
  • Buenos Aires Tetras eventually grow to be 2-3 inches long.

How do I setup a fish tank? (Opens new tab)
How do I determine the size of my aquarium? (Opens new tab)

• Canopy & Lighting

The canopy of your aquarium ensures:

  • Your fish don’t jump out of your aquarium.
  • No contaminates enter your aquarium.

As a result, equip your aquarium with a canopy that completely covers it.

As far as lighting goes, if you want your Buenos Aires Tetras to be most comfortable, the amount of light they get needs to mimic the amount of sunlight they receive in their natural habitat. The amount of time you should leave their aquarium’s lights on to achieve this varies. If it’s in a room that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, you should turn their lights on during sunlight hours. However, if it’s is in a well-lit room, then 2-3 hours per day is all that is necessary.

Decor & Substrate

When keeping Buenos Aires Tetras, they will thrive if you decorate their aquarium with decor and substrate that mimics their natural habitat.

The natural decor for them consists mainly of rocks, so you should add plenty of them to their aquarium. In addition, you can also add decorative pieces such as driftwood and plants. As for live plants, use Anubias or Java Fern, anything else is likely to be dug up by the fish.

When arranging these things though, you need to ensure you:

  • Place the decor so that it creates plenty of caves and hiding places, but also make sure there are lots of open swimming areas.
  • Place the decor in a fashion that allows you to see them – don’t create a barrier for them to hide behind.

Both gravel or sand is a suitable option for them. In either case, you need to ensure you:

  • Clean their substrate beforehand. Otherwise, the residue that is on it will make their aquarium cloudy.
  • Fill their aquarium with at least 2 inches of substrate.

Water Parameters

If the water in your Buenos Aires Tetras’ aquarium doesn’t reflect that of their natural habitat, they can become stressed – weakening their immune systems – causing them to be more prone to diseases. As a result, you need to ensure their aquarium has a pH level of 6.5-8.5 and a temperature of 72-82°F (22-28°C).

• pH
pH can be measured by using a Freshwater Master Test Kit. If you measure your water’s pH level and it needs to be altered: remove your fish, adjust the pH, then acclimate your fish back into your aquarium – since they are sensitive to drastic changes of pH.

• Temperature
To measure your aquarium’s water temperature, equip your aquarium with an aquarium thermometer.

Ammonia, Nitrites, & Nitrates

The subject of Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates tends to be very dry. In its simplest form, they are all a byproduct of fish waste (fish poop & uneaten food) and are toxic to Buenos Aires Tetras. As a result, you need to ensure their aquarium has:

  • An Ammonia concentration of 0-0.2 mg/L.
  • A Nitrite concentration of 0-0.2 mg/L.
  • A Nitrate concentration of 0-20 mg/L.

If you need to test these concentrations, use a Freshwater Master Test Kit.

If you need to reduce these concentrations, ensure proper:


Buenos Aires Tetras are omnivores, so their diet regimen should consist of meats and vegetables.

They should be fed twice per day – for a total of 14 feedings per week. For a majority of the feedings, they should be fed a staple food consisting of either flakes or pellets. For the other feedings, they should be fed special foods.

During each feeding, they should be fed as much food as they can eat in 2 minutes. The exact foods they should be fed varies, depending on their size:

Of course, this is just our feeding method. You are more than welcome to design your own diet regimen for your Buenos Aires Tetras. In either case though, ensure you:

Health Issues

Buenos Aires Tetras are most-commonly affected by Ich or Malawi Bloat.

Tank Mates

As far as keeping Buenos Aires Tetras with the same species, it is best to keep them in groups of 5 or larger. This will make them the most comfortable since in the wild they are a schooling fish.

In regards to keeping Red Empress Cichlids with other kinds of fish, other kinds of tetras, danios, barbs, and non aggressive cichlids all make for great tank mates.

If you are ever unsure if two species are compatible or not, you can check this Compatibility Chart.


How to Breed Buenos Aires Tetras

Reproduction Process

Buenos Aires Tetras typically reach sexual maturity at 6 months of age. To reproduce, first the female’s belly will fill with eggs and become rounded. Then, when dawn approaches, the male will shake his body in a dancing fashion in an attempt to attract a mate. Eventually, the female will approach the male and shake her body beside him. After some shaking, the male will lead the female to a spawning site.

At the spawning site, the male and female tumble and dance their bodies together. As this happens, the female releases several of her adhesive eggs – which the male then fertilizes. This behavior repeats itself several times over the course of 2-4 hours. When it’s all over, about 2,000 will be deposited within the spawning site.

After the eggs have been spawned, the parents do not care for them whatsoever. As as a matter of fact, spawning takes up a large portion of the parent’s energy, so, after it’s done, they search for food. Oftentimes, this means they will eat the eggs they have just spawned if they haven’t already been swept away by the water’s current.

Anyways, after the eggs have been spawned, they usually hatch within 24-36 hours. When hatched, the fry will have a egg sack attached to them, so they can absorb nutrients. After about 3-4 days though, they will have consumed their egg sack and will be free-swimming.

Our Recommended Breeding Technique

Required Aquariums:

  • 20 gallon (community)
  • Two – 5 gallons (isolation)
  • 5 gallon (breeder)


  • Put the school of Buenos Aires Tetras into a 20 gallon aquarium and provide them with the appropriate aquarium setting.
  • Observe the fish closely. Once you notice a pair of them always swimming together, then you have identified a breeding pair.
  • Remove the pair from the 20 gallon tank and place them into 2 separate 5 gallon aquariums.
  • Then for the next 3 weeks, feed the male and female bloodworms and brine shrimp twice per day.
  • Once the three weeks are up, place the male and female together into a new 5 gallon aquarium. Make sure the new aquarium has an elevated plastic grate on the floor.
  • Cover the aquarium with a cardboard box and wait until the morning. In the morning, remove 1/3 of the card board box so that a little bit of light is shining in.
  • Once the spawn occurs, remove the male and female and relocate them back into their original 20 gallon aquarium.
  • Change 50 percent of the water in the aquarium with the eggs. Then, cover it back up with the cardboard box and wait for 36 hours.
  • At this point, the fry should be free swimming and you can begin supporting them with New Life Spectrum Small Fry Starter


Other Information About Buenos Aires Tetras


Buenos Aires Tetras naturally live in schools within the streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds of South America – specifically, within the Paraná River, the Uruguay River, the Río de la Plata River, and all their surrounding bodies of water. After they were discovered though, they were exported in large groups to enter the aquarium trade.

They still inhabit the waters of South America today, but now many of them live, and are bred, inside Florida fish farms.

Conservation Status

Buenos Aires Tetras have not been evaluated by the IUCN, therefore their Conservation Status isn’t listed on the IUCN Red List.

Taxonomic Status

The Taxonomic Status of Buenos Aires Tetras was most-recently published in 1907 by Carl H. Eigenmann as:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Hyphessobrycon
Species: H. anisitsi


Before you go: