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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Fire Green Tetra - Aphyocharax rathbuni : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Green Fire Tetras (Aphyocharax rathbuni) are a popular and peaceful shoaling fish species ideal for friendly community tanks or planted aquariums. These delightful fish thrive when kept in groups of eight or more individuals in a densely planted tank, complete with fine gravel or sandy substrate, roots, driftwood, or river rock for them to hide in. Providing them with plenty of swimming space is also essential. While renowned for their docile nature, it is crucial to exercise caution when selecting tankmates for Green Fire Tetras. Opting for faster-moving and robust fish is recommended, as this species has a reputation for fin-nipping. Long-finned fish, such as anabantoids and several Cichlid species, should be avoided. To ensure the optimal health and well-being of Green Fire Tetras, it is recommended to maintain a slightly acidic pH and consistent temperature. While lighting is not essential, these fish tend to fare best in low-light conditions. Tall background plants or floating plants can serve as an ideal accent to showcase their stunning green hues. Green Fire Tetras have a unique spindle-shaped physique and a translucent metallic greenish hue that sets them apart from other species. They boast a metallic yellow streak and a red colour splash on their pelvic and caudal fins towards the anal fin region, in addition to a black patch on the dorsal fin and a red to an orange underbelly. These vibrant colours serve as a testament to the beauty and allure of these remarkable fish.

Fire Green Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Identifying male and female Green Fire Tetras is a relatively straightforward task. Males exhibit a slender physique, pointed features, and are slightly brighter in colouration. Additionally, they possess distinctive white tips on their pelvic, dorsal, and anal fins. Conversely, females lack white-tipped fins and typically exhibit a rounder abdomen, particularly during spawning. These subtle differences serve as key indicators when distinguishing between male and female Green Fire Tetras.\r\n

Quick Facts

Scientific NameAphyocharax rathbuni
Year Described1907
Other NamesRedflank Bloodfin
OriginsParaguay Uruguay Brazil
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH8 - 20
KH4 - 8
TDS36 - 357
68 - 79
20 - 26.1

Natural Habitat

The magnificent Green Fire Tetra is a species of fish that inhabits the clear waters of the Paraguay River Basin, along with the Parana and Uruguay river drainages in South America. Found in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, these fish prefer the slower-flowing streams, rivers, and tributaries shaded by overhanging trees or floating vegetation, providing them with a natural habitat to thrive in. These beautiful fish have adapted to the specific conditions of their environment, allowing them to navigate the varying water systems with ease. The Green Fire Tetra's unique habitat underscores the remarkable adaptability of these fish, a true testament to their resilience and survival instincts.


The breeding process for Green Fire Tetras is relatively uncomplicated. To begin, you will need to set up a separate breeding tank with a pH level of approximately 6.5, very soft water, and a small air-driven sponge filter. Adding plenty of fine-leaved plants, such as Java Moss or Cambomba, is imperative as the eggs are adhesive and require ample coverage while spawning occurs. Little to no lighting is necessary during this process. To encourage spawning, conditioning the adults with an abundance of live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworm is highly recommended. It is important to note that females are ready to breed when their stomachs become noticeably plumper. Some aquarists advise conditioning males and females separately to ensure that spawning takes place solely in the breeding tank. Within 24 hours of placing the adults in the breeding tank, spawning typically commences, usually occurring first thing in the morning. Females can produce up to 500 eggs during this process. Eggs usually hatch two to three days later, and the fry becomes free-swimming two to three days after that. Once the babies have reached the free-swimming stage, feeding them with infusoria-type foods is ideal, followed by newly hatched brine shrimp and fine powdered foods as they grow larger. Once the fry has matured, provide them with the same food as their adult counterparts. Performing regular water changes is essential to ensure the proper development of these fry.

Diet & feeding

Green Fire Tetras are a delightfully undemanding species of fish that will happily consume most aquarium foods, making them relatively easy to feed. However, it is crucial to consider the nutritional value and size of the food provided, as these fish have small mouths and cannot consume larger-sized foods. To ensure optimal health and growth, it is recommended to provide a well-rounded, varied diet that includes high-quality dried foods like pellets, flakes, and granules, as well as regular feedings of live, frozen, or freeze-dried options such as daphnia, tubifex, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. It is imperative to feed these fish only the amount of food they can consume within three minutes, and any uneaten food should be promptly removed to maintain water quality. Adhering to these feeding guidelines ensures that your Green Fire Tetras remain healthy, vibrant, and thriving in their aquatic environment.

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