Profile Photo

Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Black Emperor Tetra - Nematobrycon palmeri var. "Amphiloxus Black" : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Black Emperor Tetras are popular among fishkeepers due to their striking appearance and ease of care. These Tetras are suitable for beginner aquarists because of their hardiness. These Tetras are a schooling species and should be kept in groups of 6 to 10 individuals to encourage natural behaviour. Males will display and compete for females, but this aggression is not a problem in aquariums with ample space and plenty of d├ęcors. Black Emperor Tetras can be kept in community aquariums with other peaceful species, including other Tetras, Rasboras, Danios, and Dwarf Cichlids. You can also keep these Tetras with Corydoras Catfish and small Loaches. Though it has a relatively robust, larger body than many smaller Tetras, it has a tiny mouth. Small dwarf shrimp and their fry may be eaten by adults, but they are possibly safe tankmates for these Tetras. A peaceful and larger invertebrate can also make a good tankmate. Black Emperor Tetras are active swimmers and prefer an aquarium with plenty of plants, both rooted and floating and spindly driftwood. These Tetras also enjoy subdued lighting and would look amazing on a lighter substrate, so their darker colours will pop. The Black Emperor Tetra is an incredible colour morph of the classic Emperor Tetra. Most of its body is a stunning satin black, and they have a cream-coloured snout and bright blue or green eyes.

Black Emperor Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female Black Emperor Tetras can be distinguished quite easily. Males have remarkably elongated caudal and dorsal fins, as well as an extended middle ray to create a trident-like tail. Blue eyes are also characteristic of males. In contrast, females are generally smaller and wider, have shorter fins, and have green eyes.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameNematobrycon palmeri var. "Amphiloxus Black"
Other Namesnone
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 25
KH2 - 8
TDS18 - 215
73 - 81
23 - 27

Natural habitat

Black Emperor Tetras are a colour morph of the Emperor Tetra, which were bred in captivity; therefore, these Tetras do not have a natural habitat in the wild.

How to breed the Black Emperor Tetra

A school with an equal number of males and females will eventually produce a few breeding pairs. It is recommended, however, that each breeding pair have its own breeding tank, as males become quite aggressive when spawning. Therefore, before attempting spawning, separate the male and female for a day or two and condition them with live food. The water temperature will need to be slightly higher than usual in the breeding tank, and the water will need to be soft. Ideally, it would be best if you placed a spawning mop or dense floating plants in your tank, as well as keep the lighting low. A substrate or any other decor is not required in the breeding tank because, during the development of the baby fish, this will make cleaning easier. At dawn, spawning begins; eggs are laid singly over several hours up to the production of fifty to one hundred eggs. After spawning is complete, you should remove the adults, as they often consume the eggs. In order to prevent harm to the fry as they grow, you should install a sponge filter in the tank and change the water weekly. The fry will hatch between 24 and 48 hours later and will be able to eat infusoria or other small foods such as microworms and freshly hatched brine shrimp.

Diet & feeding

In the home aquarium, Black Emperor Tetras will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements. Additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as mini bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide other benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish. This fish is an omnivore in the wild, consuming some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods consider this and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Other Tetras you maybe interested in