Emperor Tetra Fish Care, Tank, Size, Lifespan, Breeding, Tankmates, Full Guide 2021


Emperor Tetra

Emperor Tetra is one of the most beautiful fish in the tetra species; its scientific name is (nematobrycon plameri).

They belongs to the Columbia region of South America, which is found in the atrato and san Juan river valleys.

The Emperor Tetra has all the features; it is a beautiful, attractive and peaceful freshwater fish and easy to care for.

These fish belongs to the characidae family. this tetra fish is and Royal and charming in comparison to other tetras.

If you are looking for beautiful, attractive and peaceful freshwater fish, it will be a great option.


The emperor tetra is a beautiful and attractive fish, having varieties of colour on its body.

These tetra has a yellow colour on its body, a long black stripe from the head to the fins,

Moreover, blue, brown and red colour can also be seen on their body.
You can also see Rainbow shades on their body which makes them more impressive.

Here, if we discuss about their eyes, the male tetra and female tetra have different eyes colours.

Emperor tetra Behaviour

The emperor tetra is a calm, peaceful tempered fish and likes to live with calm fishes. 

These tetras love to float with a group of at least 5-6 

some times you will see emperor tetras chasing each other this is common in tetra spices.

Are Emperor Tetras aggressive?

The emperor tetras are non-aggressive fish, and it will rare to see them with aggressive behaviour with their tank mates. 

Emperor tetra Lifespan

Emperor Tetra fish

The Average Lifespan of emperor tetra is about 6 years,

In some cases, they live more, and it depends on how you care about your tetra fish.

If you take them correctly, provide the proper water, and the right environment, then the chances of survival will increase. they will perform very well and bring their original colour.

Emperor tetra size

How big do emperor tetras get?

Emperor tetras reach their average size of about 1.5 to 2 inches; however, they can be up to 3 inches long when given the right environment.

If we talk about male or female size, then the females are quite bigger than males.

Tank setup

You need to set up an aquarium that contains good quality water and environment for these beautiful species.

Through this, you will help your fish to thrive well in an aquarium; the emperor tetras are preferred to live with dim low light.

Here you need to set up a tank with dim light, and you can also use a filter to clean the tank water.

Along with this give them a great environment and help them to maintain their colours.

Tank size

If we are talking about the tank size of emperor tetra, it also depends on the numbers of fish you will keep.

what size do emperor tetra need ?

Suppose you will keep them in a school of 6 or more fish; you need to set up an aquarium of 20 to 25 gallons.

It will be the best in terms of maintenance, and the fish can easily float around the aquarium.

How many emperor tetra can I put in a 10 gallon tank?

Around 2-3 emperor tetra, you can put in a 10 gallons tank.

Tetra tankmates

Are emperor tetras schooling fish?

Emperor tetras a schooling fish that prefers to live in groups; they do really well in a group of at least 6 or more.

Some precaution is necessary when choosing tank mates; if you keep them with large fishes, they can harm as the emperor tetra is a quite small fish.

They favour to live with fishes of their size and similar nature, non-aggressive fish.

you can add them with danios, Corydoras, loricariids, Rasboras, guppies, Cory catfish, pencil fish, dwarf Gourami, honey Gourami. 

Water parameters 

In this fishkeeping’s journey, water plays an important role,

Because of not paying much attention to the water parameters, several fishkeepers commented that their fish are dying day by day.

They also told us that the water quality of their tank was poor at the time. 

So take care of water parameters and use filters that will help to keep the aquarium water clean. 

Water temperature :- 73° F – 81° F

pH level :- between the range of 5 to 7.5

Water hardness :- should be between 3-8

Emperor tetra Feeding 

Emperor Tetra fish care

Emperor tetra likes to eat all kind of food, but you should provide them with high-quality food. 

In the wild, they eat insect, larvae and worms etc. But in the aquarium, you can feed them frozen foods such as daphnia, bloodworms, brine shrimp and black worms.

Feeding is also necessary to give them a good quality of food to bring their original colours and make them healthy.

Give them small food to eat easily if you give them big food, they would not eat properly and pollutes your tank atmosphere. 

Health and Disease 

Emperor tetra is a hardy fish of the tetra group, which has a high ability to fight any disease,

But many times, fish become sick due to poor water condition and external causes.

These tetra is mostly infected with ich infection parasitic infestations skin pores. 

To protect the fish from these diseases, it is necessary to clean the water and identify the disease at the right time so that it can be treated.



Emperor Tetra Price

Although the price of emperor tetra will depend on your local store,
However, they will cost you around 3-4 dollars per fish.

It’s better to keep them in a group of 5-6 now you will have to pay anywhere from 18 to 25 dollars.

Breeding process 

The breeding process of emperor tetra is not a hard task for you; for breeding these tetras, you need to prepare a separate tank and raise the water temperature between 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Keep the pH level closer to 7 and keep the tank light dim or use dense floating plants in the aquarium. 

They will lay their eggs on plants so the egg can be safe. 

About a week before breeding, feed them live foods. 

After this, put them in the breeding tank; ensure that you’re putting them in the ratio of 2:1 (two females and one male.

The female will lay 50–100 micro eggs together, making sure to remove all adults (male or female) from the breeding tank after laying the eggs.

Tank decorations 

As they live in the wild or love to float around small plants and hidden dark areas, making sure you will put dim light on the aquarium. 

There is no issue with decorating an aquarium for these beautiful tetras, 

Now start decorating your aquarium with the sand substrate (dark sand substrate if possible) in the bottom of the tank;

by using this as a lyre, you can cover the scarface area, add some driftwood and rocks over the tank to decorate it, 

Okay, now put some dense plants in the aquarium; as we earlier said, they love an atmosphere similar to the wild. 

After all, add some floating plants and twisting branches; it will definitely make your aquarium beautiful. 


Also read about:- penguin tetra


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