Blue Emperor Tetra Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information
The Blue Emperor Tetra (Inpaichthys kerr) are is an attractive Tetra species originating from the Upper Aripuanae and Madeira river basins of the Brazilian Amazon. Their brilliant blue / purple coloration makes them a stand out species in the tropical freshwater aquarium trade, as there are not too many other species that exhibit a bright blue / purple coloration like the Blue Emperor Tetra. They are commonly sold within the hobby under a variety of common names including: Purple Emperor Tetra, Inpaichthys Tetra, Blue Emperor Tetra, Regal Tetra and Royal Tetra. They are also sometimes mistakenly sold as Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri), but they can easily be distinguished as they possess an adipose fin unlike the Emperor Tetra.
Blue Emperor Tetra have a very peaceful disposition, thus they should be housed with other small to medium sized peaceful community species. They do best when housed in groups of 6 or more individuals in a well planted aquarium that emulates their natural Amazonian habitat. Ideal tank mates include: other Tetra, Hatchet Fish, Cory Cats, Rasbora, Gourami, peaceful Barb species and some smaller Cichlids like Rams Cichlids. The Blue Emperor Tetra will have a difficult time competing with boisterous species like many Barb species and Danio species for food and territory. Also do to their small adult size, the Blue Emperor Tetra is not well suited for aquariums with Angelfish or larger Shark or Catfish species who will often eat the sleeping Tetra during the nighttime hours.
The natural river habitat of the Blue Emperor Tetra is comprised of slowly moving river tributaries that with leaf covered river bottoms, plenty of tree root structures, filtered light from the jungle canopy above and a soft sandy river substrate. The waters of their natural habitat are also stained a brown tea color from the fallen leaves of the jungle canopy above. Ideally aquariums housing Blue Emperor Tetra should have areas containing root structures, some vegetation, diffused lighting in some areas and low to moderate water currents. While this species can adapt to a variety of tropical community aquarium habitats, they should be provided with some key elements of their own natural habitat. Most importantly some areas of the aquarium should contain wood root, plants and low water currents. Aquariums with darker substrates and dense vegetation will help bring out the brilliant blue and purple coloration of the Blue Emperor Tetra and provide them with a good sense of security.
Blue Emperor Tetra are an omnivorous species that will readily accept a variety of flake, crisp, freeze-dried, frozen or live foods. A typical tropical species staple flake will satisfy their complete nutritional needs; however, they can be offered bloodworms, brine or other similar foodstuffs to give them some variety in their diet. Ideally the Blue Emperor Tetra should be fed 2 to 3 times per day small amounts of food that they will consume within a 5 minute period.