Max Size: 5cm

Broken Line Tetra (Hemigrammus ulreyi)

The Broken Line Tetra is relatively rare in the hobby; however, they make a lovely addition to most aquariums.

Broken Line Tetras are a peaceful and active schooling species and make an excellent addition to a general community tank. However, these fish can be a little shy, so keeping them only with similar sized and peaceful fish would be better as they will not compete well with very boisterous or larger tankmates.

Ideally, it would be best to keep these Tetras with other South American species such as Hyphessobrycon or Hemigrammus as well as Pencil Fish, Apistogramma Dwarf Cichlids, smaller Loricariids and Corydoras. However, In a more general community, you can combine these fish with Barbs, smaller Rasboras, Anabantoids and West African Dwarf Cichlids. Due to their shape, they are also safe to keep with larger Cichlids such as Angelfish or Discus.

Due to their schooling nature, it would be best if you kept Broken Line Tetras in a group of at least six individuals as they will fare much better when in the company of their own kind. In addition, like most Tetras, they look far more striking when maintained like this.

You can keep these fish in either a densely planted aquarium or a biotope aquarium. You can use river sand as a substrate for a biotope set up and decorate the tank with some driftwood roots or branches. You can also put dried leaves in their tank to mimic their natural habitat by staining the water with tannins. Alternatively, you can use RO water that has been peat filtered. Subdued lighting is preferred by this species.

There is a prominent black and yellow band running from their eye to the base of the caudal fin on the flanks of Broken Line Tetras. As the bands approach the pelvic fins, they break, hence the name. The dorsal fin on these fish are also marked with yellow and black, and the anal fin is edged in white.


Broken Line Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameHemigrammus ulreyi
Other NamesUlrey's Tetra
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 4 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 12
74 - 80℉
23.3 - 26.7℃


In the home aquarium, the Broken Line Tetra 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.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account 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.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is fairly easy to differentiate between male and female Broken Line Tetras. Mature females usually are slightly larger than males and have more plumper bellies.

Other Tetras of interest

Adonis Tetra(Lepidarchus adonis)
African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Arowana Tetra(Gnathocharax steindachneri)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 08/09/2021 14:59:40 - Updated: 21/09/2022 15:11:11