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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Emperor Tetra - Nematobrycon palmeri : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Boasting a regal presence, the Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri) is adorned with a stunning appearance and complemented by its amiable disposition. As a peaceful, active, and serene species, Emperor Tetras rarely exhibit aggression, though males may engage in competition amongst themselves. They are compatible with various other species but should not be housed with larger fish that might perceive them as prey. These captivating fish truly flourish when in the company of their own kind. The original Emperor Tetras are adorned in a mesmerizing blend of royal blue, purple, and vibrant yellow hues that shimmer and shift. A unique stripe transitions from purple or blue, gradually lightening towards the fins and tail, which are resplendent in yellow. Additionally, Emperor Tetras are available in four other captivating varieties: Rainbow, Blue, Black, and Red. Each of these distinct colorations adds a touch of elegance and intrigue to any aquarium, making Emperor Tetras a highly sought-after addition to the aquatic world.

Emperor Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Emperor Tetras is a relatively simple task, thanks to their distinct physical traits. The most prominent difference between the sexes lies in their eye coloration, with females exhibiting green eyes and males displaying blue eyes. Females are generally smaller in size and possess a fuller abdomen compared to their male counterparts. In contrast, males boast an elongated ray in the center of their caudal fin and extended dorsal and anal fins, features that are absent in females. These pronounced distinctions make it effortless for aquarists to identify and appreciate the unique attributes of each gender within this fascinating species.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameNematobrycon palmeri
Year Described1911
Other NamesBlue Emperor Tetra, Red Emperor Tetra, Rainbow Emperor Tetra, Black Emperor Tetra
OriginsColombia Brazil
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3-6 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.5
TDS50 - 250
73 - 80
22.8 - 26.7

Natural habitat

Discover the exotic beauty of Emperor Tetras - the stunning fish that call the slow-moving sections of rivers, minor tributaries, and backwaters in the San Juan and Atrato River Basins in Columbia home. With their vibrant colours and captivating appearance, these Tetras are a must-see for any fish enthusiast. To thrive, Emperor Tetras seek out environments with dense vegetation and a dark substrate, adding to their allure and making them a unique addition to any aquatic landscape. So if you're looking to add a touch of exotic beauty to your aquarium, look no further than the Emperor Tetra - a true gem of South America's waterways.

How to breed the Emperor Tetra

Breeding Emperor Tetras requires minimal intervention when an appropriate pair is established. To create a conducive environment, transfer them to a separate tank featuring dim lighting, soft acidic water, and live food offerings. Provide either a spawning mop or dense floating plants as suitable locations for egg deposition. An alternative approach involves placing mesh at the tank's bottom, with openings large enough for eggs to fall through but small enough to prevent adult access. Emperor Tetras lay only a few eggs at a time, resulting in a spawning process that may span several hours. As soon as eggs are detected, promptly remove the adults to prevent them from consuming their offspring. If no eggs are visible after a couple of days, the breeding attempt has been unsuccessful. In this case, it is necessary to remove the current pair and initiate the process anew with a different pairing. By following these guidelines, you can successfully propagate the Emperor Tetra species with relative ease.

Diet & feeding

Emperor Tetras can consume dried foods of an appropriate size, but a diverse diet is essential for their well-being. Incorporating daily servings of small frozen and live foods, such as Artemia, Brine Shrimp, Daphnia, and other similar fare, not only promotes breeding but also enhances the vibrant coloration of this species. Providing a balanced and varied diet is vital in maintaining the overall health and vitality of the Emperor Tetra.

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