Penguin Tetra Fish Care, Tank, Size, Lifespan, Breeding, Tankmates, Complete Guide 2021


penguin tetra

The penguin tetra (thayeria boehlkei) comes from the upper Amazon River, South America.

This fish color pattern looks like a penguin with pale to Golden body color and has black vertical stripes.

stripes extend down the bottom half of the tail, which looks similar to a penguin.

They are beautiful and very easy to care for, and one major thing in these tetras is they are tolerant of almost any water parameter found in community tanks.

If you keep them in a group, they perform very well and stay away from stress, so make sure you will lead them with a group.

If you are still thinking of taking care of these tetras so keep reading this dedicated article,

After reading this, we are sure that it will be easier for you to set up a tank and take care of these beautiful little tetras.


Penguin Tetra has markings similar to penguins; Hence they are called penguin tetras.

The penguin Tetra has a thick black stripe on its body that extends down the bottom half of the tail.

These tetras have a golden color around their body, red color is also found in the wings of these fish, and this color can be seen near the anal fins.

How big do Penguin Tetras get?

This Penguin Tetra Size grows up to 3 inches; the false penguin theatre has a larger size than other tetras.

Social behavior

Penguin Tetra is a peaceful shoaling fish that likes to live with a group of other fish.

If you add them to the aquarium alone, they may not perform very well.

They can live easily with these fish, and for this, you must have a large tank as they can be easily kept.

Are Penguin Tetras aggressive?

Penguin Tetras are non aggressive calm fish and prefer to be kept in groups of 5-6 or more,
sometimes a little aggression can be seen in these tetra fish.

Try to keep the environment of your tank similar to their natural environment; for sure, they will perform very well.

Penguin tetra tankmates

Penguin tetra tankmates

Penguin tetra is a group fish that likes to live in groups of at least 5-6.

They will perform well when you put your penguin tetra in a school of 5 to 6 or more. 

Penguin tetra should be kept with suitable friendly tankmates; otherwise, they will spoil your tank’s atmosphere. 

This will create a stressful environment in the tank; you can keep them with some peaceful fishes.

such as as- Hemigrammus or hyphessobrycon tetras, pencil fish, Corydoras, and loricariids, Apistogramma etc. 

Penguin Tetra Life span

Penguin Tetra has an average lifespan of about 3 to 5years, but in a well-maintained aquarium, they can Live upto 7-8 or more years.

If you want to take care of these beautiful tetras, you can go with them; they are easy to care for and maintain.

Ensure you provide them a good environment that can push them to live a healthy life.

To increase the lifespan of penguin tetras, take proper care of them and provide a favorable environment.

Do penguin tetras die easily?

Penguin Tetra can live about 3 to 5 years, but they can die easily with slight changes in the aquarium environment.

If the water chemistry changes drastically, the Penguin Tetra begins to feel stress and depression and catch low immunity.

Fishkeeping difficulty

Penguin tetra fish

You can easily keep them with proper care of food and water, and you should always focus on providing a good environment to them.

If you are just a beginner in fishkeeping, it would be the best choice for you to keep these beautiful tetras.

Penguin tetras are more likely to live happily in the aquarium than in the rivers.

The penguin Tetra can easily exist with computable tank mates.

These Tetra are hardy, and if you choose the right place to take care of them, they are easy to rear.

We appreciate you because this will be a good choice for you; also we can say it may be an effortless task for you.

However, it may take little time, Let’s get to the point; now tank size,

What size aquarium do penguin tetras need?

To take care of the penguin Tetra, you must have a larger tank or fish aquarium in which the fish can be easily managed.

For this, you should have a tank of about 15 to 20 gallons.
However, you can select a 10-gallon tank, but it is the best option if you go for 15 to 20 gallons, so your fish can be reared easily.

Water conditions

The penguin Tetra are tropical water fish, and these fish should be kept in tropical water conditions.

Try to raise the temperature of your tank from 22 to 28 ° C (72 to 80 ° F).
They will perform well in this temperature.

And you will see the good health of your beautiful penguin tetras.

Water pH

The penguin Tetra can easily survive water PH with 5.8 to 8.5; even most fish keepers keep them in the slightly basic water around 8 to 8.5.

Water hardness

You can keep about the hardness of your tank water; 20dGH. Penguin Tetra loved being with moderate water.

Water maintenance

The water in the tank must be changed continuously as it is necessary for every fish tank.

If you keep dirty water in your tank, it will definitely affect your fish, color and causes disease.

Gender different

That can be difficult for you; generally, you will see that the female tetras are slight bigger than the male tetras.

And the male fish can be brighter Than a female fish, And other the Penguin Tetra female has a more rounded body compared to the male tetra.


Much decoration is not needed for these tetras.

Although they love to swim around heading sports and plants, but also need a little space to float freely.

So when you decorate your aquarium, make sure you will leave some room for them if you want to decorate their tank.

You can decorate the tank easily by using this small stuff such as plants, wood, rock, and sand. 

Health and diseases

Penguin tetras are very unlikely to get sick because their immunity is higher than other fishes. 

But sometimes this fish can get sick and usually cause; Ich disease and bacterial infection, which can be prevented by medicine and by taking proper care of the fish. 

Now you might be thinking about Ich, let me explain to you quickly.

What is Ich?

this is a simple disease that causes white spots on a fish’s body due to which is also called white disease.

Due to these diseases, there is a problem of itching in fish, which can be prevented with proper prescription and a decent arrangement of the tank. 

There’s no much worry regarding that disease; it can be prevented.

little about Fungal and bacterial infections

Fungal and bacterial infections are caused by negligent and not replacing water weekly.

It affects the health of your fish.
Be sure to change the aquarium water regularly. That always keeps your fish healthy.

Care and maintenance

Penguin tetra images fish care

These tetras should be kept in tropical water conditions; however, they can adjust with any water parameter.

They are peaceful species, and it is easy to care for; they float at the top level of the aquarium.

Penguin tetra may be a good choice for a complete beginner.

If your tank is already installed for other tetras such as: – rummy nose tetra, black neon tetra, candy cane tetra, diamond tetra, flame tetra etc.

It will be easier for you to perform very well in an already established tank than in the new tank.


The Penguin Tetra breeding process is easy; they need food or good water quality to survive.

If we are talking about their size, female tetras are larger than male tetras.

Prepare a separate tank for breeding and add some male or female tetras for spawning.

After spawning, remove all the adult penguin tetra as they are omnivorous; they can eat their eggs themselves.


Hope this article provides you enough information about how to care for penguin tetras fish.

All you have to do is follow all the steps given in the article, and you can easily set up your aquarium.
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