Max Size: 4.5cm

Dawn Tetra (Aphyocharax paraguayensis)

Dawn Tetras are hardy, undemanding, very active, and aggressive towards slower-moving and smaller fish; therefore, they aren't suitable for the community aquarium. However, as a group grows, they become less aggressive.

Dawn Tetras look best in planted aquariums. Areas of dense vegetation will be appreciated by these fish, as well as some open areas for swimming. You can also add driftwood and bogwood to your aquarium to benefit your Tetras. Also, be sure to include some floating vegetation since it tends to swim at the top of the aquarium. It is also essential to have a very tight-fitting lid for the aquarium because it will occasionally jump.

The Dawn Tera has a silvery body colour, and in the central, lateral area to the caudal fin root, they have an opalescent pale green colour reflecting from the scales behind the gill plates. In addition, there is a moderately full, black line that runs along the spine from the back of the gills to the caudal fin and then continues along the lower caudal fin to the tip of the fish, making these fish unique.

Most of the fins are transparent; however, the anal fin has a strong black band closest to the body before becoming transparent. Approximately one-third of the way back to the tail, the black caudal peduncle extends into the caudal fin. The caudal fin has white patches below and above this black section, extending about one-third of its length. Caudal fins are transparent on the rest of their length.


Dawn Tetra
Dawn tetra
Dawn tetra
Dawn Tetra
Dawn Tetra
Dawn Tetra
Dawn Tetra
Dawn Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameAphyocharax paraguayensis
Year Described1915
Other NamesPanda Tetra, Paraguay Tetra
OriginsBolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
Aquarium LevelMiddle
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespanup to 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
TDS18 - 268
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Dawn 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 relatively easy to determine males from females. The male has more distinctive, bolder markings and a more decisive marking on the anal fin whereas, the females are slightly fuller-bodied than the males.

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: 21/09/2020 - Updated: 04/10/2022 15:04:20