Max Size: 4cm

Gold Tetra (Hemigrammus rodwayi)

The Gold Tetra is a pretty fish. These tetras are peaceful and relatively hardy. They are not as ordinarily available as other more popular and colourful Tetras. Still, if you can find them, they make an excellent addition to the community tank as well as a nano tank or a planted aquarium.

They are usually shy when kept in small numbers and are not able to display their best colours. So it is advisable to keep them in a school of their own kind as well as other small fish. This will give them a feeling of assurance.

These Tetras have a silvery body with a gold display, and this is due to a specific layer on its skin that defends it against trematode parasites which not only makes it an appealing fish but also functional. This fish is more susceptible to disease, especially skin parasites, than many Tetras so this species is not recommended for the beginner aquarist. The golden colour comes from guanin, which is secreted by its skin to protect it against these parasites. This makes it seem like it has been coated with gold dust, hence its name.

Gold Tetras have a fantastic sense of hearing and can quickly detect any disturbances in the water.


Gold tetra
Gold tetra
Gold tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameHemigrammus rodwayi
Other NamesGolden Tetra, Brass Tetra
OriginsBrazil, Guyana, Peru, Suriname
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH1 - 15
75 - 82℉
23.9 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Gold 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 differentiate male from female Gold Tetras. Adult females are more rounded in the belly, larger and duller than males. In contrast, the male's anal fin has a white leading edge and contains more red pigmentation than that of the female.

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: 12/10/2020 - Updated: 22/11/2021 17:41:40