The Ember Tetra Resource

Ember Tetra

ember tetra“Ember Tetra” is the common name for the Hyphessobrycon amandae species.

Adult size: 2cm
Minimum tank size: 10 gallon
pH: 5.0-7.0
Temperature: 70-84°F (21-29°C)
Decor: Rocks, driftwood, and plants
Substrate: Any
Lighting: 8-10 hrs/day
Diet: Omnivore

How To Keep Ember Tetras
How To Breed Ember Tetras
Other Information About Ember Tetras


How to Keep Ember Tetras


If you adopt Ember 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:

  • Ember Tetras have an average life expectancy of 2-4 years.
  • Ember Tetras may be identified under the common names of: Red Dwarf Tetra and Fire Tetra.

Tank Requirements

Tank Size & Population Density

If your Ember 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:

  • Ember Tetras must be kept in at least a 10 gallon aquarium.
  • Ember Tetras eventually grow to be 0.8 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 Ember 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 Ember 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.

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 Ember 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 5.0-7.0 and a temperature of 70-84°F (21-29°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 Ember 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:


Ember 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 Ember Tetras. In either case though, ensure you:

Health Issues

Ember Tetras are most-commonly affected by bloating, Ich, and other infections.

Tank Mates

Ember Tetras can be kept with other Ember Tetras or with other fish. If they are kept with other Ember Tetras, they are schooling fish, so it’s best to keep several of them together.

In regards to keeping Ember Tetras with other kinds of fish, you should ensure the species you keep with them with are compatible. To determine if they are, use this Compatibility Chart.


How to Breed Ember Tetras

Reproduction Process

The mating process for the Ember Tetras starts much like a lot of other fish species – with the male displaying his colors and doing a dance in front of the female. He does this in attempt to draw her attention and court her to a spawning site.

Once the female is willing, she will follow him back to a spawning site that the male has prepared. The male and female will both begin trembling side by side. It is at this point that sperm and eggs are deposited, resulting in several fertilized eggs. This process is repeated several times until there are anywhere from 50-1000 eggs.

The male and female both use up a lot of energy during this process and it is not uncommon for them to eat some of their eggs to help replenish themselves.

The eggs will hatch after 3-4 days. They will be free swimming 3-4 days after that. The fry will grow very slow, it will be 2-3 months before they start gaining any substantial size.

Our Recommended Breeding Technique

Required Aquariums:

  • 10 gallon (breeder)
  • 10 gallon (grow-out)


  • Add a Sponge Filter to their aquarium – it ensures the Ember Tetras don’t get sucked up by the filter.
  • Crowd the aquarium with Java Fern – it makes them comfortable and promotes breeding.
  • Add 8-10 Ember Tetras to the aquarium and provide them with the appropriate aquarium setting. Males and females are very difficult to distinguish, so adding a group of them like this will ensure your aquarium gets a fair amount of each sex.
  • After the reproduction process occurs, the fry will be free swimming in 2-3 days. At this point, relocate the fry into a 10 gallon aquarium.
  • The 10 gallon growout should not have any decorations or substrate, this makes it easier for the baby fry to eat. It should also have a sponge filter so they don’t get sucked up.
  • In the early stages, it is best to feed the fry New Life Spectrum Small Fry Starter.
  • To help with the development of the fry, you can change their water every 3-4 days.


Other Information About Ember Tetras


Ember Tetras were found 15 years ago, in the Araguaia River by Heiko Bleher. They are still a relatively new species to the fishkeeping hobby, so not much is known about keeping them, in comparison to other species.

Conservation Status

Ember 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 Ember Tetras was most-recently published in 1987 by Jacques Géry and André Uj as:

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


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