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Ember Tetra

By | Last Updated: 18th May 2020

Ember Tetra is a popular freshwater fish, highly sought-after by fish hobbyists because of its striking appearance, as well as a peaceful, friendly, and adaptable nature. These friendly fishes enjoy moving in big groups, even when kept in an aquarium. It was first described by German fish explorer Heiko Bleher in 1987, and was named after his mother Amanda.

Ember Tetra

Quick Information

Scientific Name Hyphessobrycon amandae
Other Names Amanda tetra, red tetra, dwarf red tetra, fire tetra
Origin Araguaia River Basin, and other parts of Central Brazil
Type Freshwater fish
Conservation Status Not recorded
Behavioral Characteristics Playful, active, peaceful, adaptable, curious
School Size 4 – 6
Physical Traits Bright-colored; small-sized; slightly elongated body compressed a little to the back; small, thin dorsal fin; large caudal fin; a single anal fin which is merged
Scale Texture Compact and closely-knit giving them a transparent look
Colors Bright orange or reddish-brown; distinct black outline around the eyes, and a blackish gray layer on its dorsal and anal fins
Size Small; overall length of about 0.8 inches (2 cm)
Lifespan 2 – 3 years (longer if well-maintained)
Sexual Dimorphism Present; Males: Bright coloration, distinctly elongated body, smaller abdomen;
Females: Slightly light coloration, rounder body, oblate abdomen appearing bigger during the breeding period
Health Problems Parasitic disease resulting in white dots on their skin, alongside digestive problems; black spot disease
Approximate Price Around 12$
Ember Tetra Size
Ember Tetra Fish

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelBeginner
Tank Size5 US gallons (20 liters)

Water Parameters

pH Level 6.5 – 7.5 (water must be acidic)
Temperature 73 – 84°F (23 – 29°C)
Hardness 5 – 17 dGH
Aquarium  Water FlowLow

Tank Ambience

Lighting Low, dimmed, subdued
Substrate TypeDark-colored substrate involving thin leaves and Java moss; glass marbles, grass matting
Preferred Tank Mates Compatible with: Neon tetra, pygmy corydoras,  dwarf gourami,  betta, cardinal tetra, discuss,  harlequin rasbora, barbs, red cherry shrimp, hatchet fish, other ember tetras 
Incompatible with: Larger, aggressive aquarium fish like rainbow shark, tiger oscar
Suitable Position in the TankMiddle


FeedingGranules, flakes or other dry foods; live foods like brine shrimp and worms (like daphnia)
Frequency3 times a day

Important Things To Know For Fish Keepers

  • This tetra is rarely available in pet stores, so you may have to directly  contact breeders or those who deal in fish trade to acquire them.
  • Like most freshwater fish, they too show sensitivity towards sudden change in water temperature or lighting in the tank.
  • Restlessness, loss of body color, bloated stomach, and having trouble in swimming are some indicators of a sick ember tetra.
  • Since these tetras occupy the middle portion of the aquarium, other fishes thriving in the bottom layer would serve as great tank mates for them.
  • A heavily planted aquarium is ideal for the ember tetra since it would help them swim through the plants conveniently, also protecting their fry.
  • For many colorful aquarium fishes, a carnivorous diet alongside flakes and granules helps to retain their color. So, your ember tetra’s fiery red body might eventually turn pale if it only has commercial fish food.
Ember Tetra Tank
Ember Tetra Habitat

Q. Why do ember tetras sometimes develop black marks on their belly?

This has been a concern among many owners though the reason remains unidentifiable. Black spot disease and chemical reactions in the aquarium are some probable reasons mentioned by many owners. You could consider checking the water conditions, and changing the water if necessary. If the black marks keep getting worse you might have to consult your vet.

Q. Can they get aggressive on occasions?

Aggression is a trait unlikely of the ember tetra. However, if stressed or agitated, particularly during the mating season or while competing with others for food, one could spot them chasing each other, a typical behavior seen in most species. The same reasons might also make them show resentment towards schooling.

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