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What are ember tetras?

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Quick Answer

Ember tetras are small, brightly colored tetra that grow to about 1 inch long. The species is native to Brazil, inhabiting quiet tributaries, backwaters and oxbow lakes. Ember tetras swim among vegetation and are vulnerable to other fish due to their small size.

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Full Answer

The ember tetra was discovered in 1986 by Heiko Bleher. Most are an orange to red color, with the eye outlined in black. Males are more slender than females. The females produce an abundance of eggs, but the fry grow slowly, taking up to two months to reach 1/4 inch. Parents are known to eat their young and should be removed after spawning.

Ember tetras prefer water temperatures between 73 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. They are popular fish for tanks, preferring to be kept in groups of six or more. They love to hide among live plants and prefer a dark background against which to swim. The young often seek protection among plant growth. Their water should have a pH near 6.6.

Ember tetras need protection from direct light and do not do well with larger fish. Their best tank mates are bottom-dwelling fish as the ember tetras swim and feed at the middle level of the aquarium. They enjoy flake, frozen and freeze dried food. Live food is suggested to bring out the fish's colors.

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