Tetras are a species of small tropical fish commonly kept as pets. They are fairly hardy and easy to care for, which makes them a good choice for people that do not have much experience of keeping fish. Learning more about tetras, how to create a tank, and how to care for them, keeps the fish happy and healthy.
Overview of Tetras
Neon tetras and cardinal tetras are the most common types. They have a bright blue or red stripe, which makes them a popular choice for decorative aquariums. They are quite small, with an adult size of around 2.5 centimetres. Tetras are schooling fish, so they are happiest in large groups. This means that owners should always keep at least five tetras in a tank, preferably more. They are non-aggressive and it is safe for them to be with other non-aggressive fish species of roughly the same size.
Creating a Tetras Tank
In order to stay healthy, a group of 10 tetras requires a
that holds at least 38 litres of water. Plants are an important part of the tank because they give the fish places to hide. Plastic fish tank plants or live plants are both acceptable. It is also important to have a heater to maintain a comfortable and safe temperature for the fish. A vital component for a tank is a filter that keeps the water clear and removes harmful toxins.
Caring for Tetras
Tetras require a water temperature between 20 and 28.9 degrees Celsius to survive, with an ideal temperature between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. The ideal pH for the water is between 5.0 and 7.0, so owners should have a pH testing kit to perform regular checks. Switch off any aquarium lights for 8 to 12 hours every night to give the fish a cycle of light and dark that feels natural. Tetras are omnivores, which means they need a varied diet to prevent malnutrition. Feed them a high quality tropical fish food for most meals, but occasionally supplement it with daphnia, bloodworms, or brine shrimp. Feed tetras twice per day, but only as much food as they can eat in 3 to 5 minutes. After this time, scoop out any uneaten food because overfeeding tetras is extremely dangerous to their health.