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.

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℃

Photos of the Gold Tetra

Gold tetra
Gold tetra
Gold tetra

Natural Habitat

Gold Tetras are found in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru and Brazil as well as the Amazon River basin in South America. They inhabit Slow moving rivers, tributaries coastal creeks as well as flood plain lakes where it's sometimes found in mildly brackish conditions.

What to feed the Gold Tetra

The Gold Tetra will usually eat all kinds of foods To keep a right balance, give them a high-quality flake food every day and feed them frozen or lives foods such as bloodworm or brine shrimp as a treat.

When providing them with food, only offer what the fish can eat within a few minutes and remove any leftovers. These fish will overeat if given the opportunity, so keep a close eye on them during feeding time.

How to sex the Gold Tetra

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.

How to breed the Gold Tetra

Gold Tetras have been successfully bred in captivity, but unfortunately, the young produced in the aquarium appear to lose their gold colouring.

The best method to generate these fish is in gatherings of 12 with six males and six females. Feed this gathering with small live nourishments, and nature should dominate, and spawning will start. The female will, at that point lay her eggs on the plants or moss.

You will require a separate breeding tank, as this will help to increase the yield of fry. The tank will need to be dimly lit with clumps of plants, moss or spawning mops. A sheet of mesh at the bottom of the tank also works as long as the holes are broad enough so that the eggs are able to drop through but small enough to keep the parents out. The water should be soft and acidic, and you should increase the temperature by a few degrees. A small air-driven sponge filter is all that is needed for filtration. You can also filter the water through aquarium-safe peat.

When a successful spawn has been accomplished, eliminate the parents to avoid the fry being consumed.

Eggs will incubate around 24 to 36 hours later, and fry become free-swimming 3 to 4 days after that. For the initial few days feed the fry infusoria-type nourishments until they are big enough to accept microworms, nauplii or brine shrimp.

The fry is light-sensitive during the early stages and requires an environment that is as dark as possible.

Other Tetras of interest

African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
Black Neon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
Black Phantom Tetra(Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 12/10/2020 - Updated: 22/11/2021 17:41:40