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Ember Tetra

(Hyphessobrycon amandae)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 1"
• Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-80° F, dGH 5-17, pH 5.0-7.0
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Brazil, Araguaia River basin   • Family: Characidae
• Species: Tetras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Ember Tetra native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) are native to the Araguaia River basin, which is one of the major rivers of Brazil, with a large number of tributaries and a total length of over 2,600 kilometers. While the Araguaia River is well known for its large water volume and almost the entire length of the river being navigable year round, Ember Tetra are found not in the main river but in the small tributaries and drainage ditches that feed the river.

The minor tributaries, backwaters and flooded areas in which the Ember Tetra calls home are typically characterized by shallow water, soft acidic water, sand or sand / dirt mix substrate and plenty of fallen leaves and branches. In larger tributaries they will be found living near the river banks in the areas of more dense vegetation, where they can evade larger predators and feed on small invertebrates and insect larvae.

At an adult length of only 2 cm (1 inch), Ember Tetra school together in groups as a form of protection. Living in schools has caused the Ember Tetra to develop a well formed social hierarchy and desire to live in groups of their own kind. Hobbyists should always consider the natural habitat, social requirements and tank mate compatibility when choosing fish for their aquarium.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Ember Tetra in the home aquarium.

The small size of the Ember Tetra makes it suitable for smaller aquariums, 10 gallon or larger; however, their small size also means that hobbyists must maintain correct water parameters, provide an environment similar to their native habitat and choose tank mates carefully. Due to this fishes small size and because they are generally housed in smaller aquariums, they are more susceptible to adverse reactions to fluctuations in water chemistry that a larger fish might be able to better tolerate. Their small size also makes the Ember Tetra more easy to stress if they are not provided an aquarium environment that provides them with plenty of places to retreat to if they feel threatened.

Hobbyists should keep Ember Tetra in groups of at least 8 to 10 individuals and provide an aquarium environment that closes matches their native habitat, while also giving them plenty of hiding places in the form of vegetation, driftwood or rocky caves or crevices. Proper tank mates also play a critical role in successfully keeping Ember Tetra in the home aquarium.

Ember Tetra can easily be intimidated and stressed by boisterous fish species similar to Tiger Barbs or by larger more aggressive fish species like many Cichlid species found within community aquariums. Suitable tank mates will be other small Tetra, Barbs, Rasbora or larger peaceful species like Discus.

The ideal aquarium setup for keeping Ember Tetra will include a sand substrate, smaller diameter gravel substrate or mix of the two, plenty of vegetation consisting of either live or synthetic plants and areas of rocky formations and/or driftwood or wood root. Water conditions should be on the warmer side, generally 76 to 80 degrees F with a stable pH between 5.0 to 7.0 and acidic water hardness of dGH 5-17.

They can tolerate other water conditions if they are acclimated slowly and are not subjected to quick fluctuations in either water temperature or chemistry. Lastly, Ember Tetra will appreciate and aquarium environment with gentle, varied water flow that provides water movement throughout the aquarium, while not creating strong or constant water currents.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Ember Tetra and provide a healthy diet.

Being a micro predator by nature, the Ember Tetra is accustomed to feeding on small organisms like small insects, larvae, small crustaceans and worms. However, they will quickly adjust to commercial based flake, freeze-dried or pellet foods designed for tropical community aquarium fish. They can be fed bloodworms, tubifex worms or other similar fair as a treat or supplementation to their staple diet.

Varying their diet will help ensure that they receive all the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain a healthy immune system. Ideally they should be fed small meals that will be consumed within a few minutes, 2 to 3 times per day.

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