Lemon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis) Fish Species Profile

The Lemon Tetra is a peaceful easy to take care of small fish that can adapt in many different water conditions making it an ideal fish for the community tank.

The Lemon Tetra is one of the larger and heavier, torpedo-shaped tetras, its body is a transparent yellow, with a pearlescent glow emitting from the scales.

The anal and dorsal fin is marked with yellow and black.

The anterior three or four rays being an extreme, lemon-yellow in tone, while the dorsal fin is mostly black with a yellow middle patch.

The eye is a unique feature of this fish, the upper half of the iris being an intense red, in some individuals almost gemstone-ruby in appearance.

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon pulchripinnis
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 8 year
Maximum Sizeup to 5 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature70 - 80 ℉ (21.1 - 26.7 ℃)
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH3 - 8


The Lemon Tetras inhabits clear water, with a moderate current, and tend to dwell in the shallows near to shore. They are often found in densely vegetated areas of narrow, overgrown streams in the Tapajos River basin.

The Tapajos River runs through a warm and muggy part of Brazil before it releases into the legendary Amazon River about 500 miles above Para.


Lemon Tetras should be on a varied diet. They are unfussy eaters and will accept a wide range of different food types.

They will accept high-quality tropical granules or flakes as the staple of their diet and will eat live, freeze-dried or frozen meaty foods such as Daphnia, blackworms and brine shrimp. Lemon tetras also like blanched vegetables.

Sexing the Lemon Tetra

sexing this species can be difficult while they are still juveniles, but it is considerably easy to determine the sex of adult fish.

The male's edge of his anal fin is quite extensive, when ready to breed it can take almost a third of the fin whereas females only have a fine black line on the edge of their anal fin.

The males also generally have more vibrant colours than the females.

Breeding the Lemon Tetra

For the best chance to breed the Lemon Tetras, they should have a separate breeding tank that is well planted, with soft acidic water with the temperature raised by a couple of degrees.

The fish should be fed live foods to condition them ready for spawning.

When a male is ready to reproduce, he will stake out a particular spot in the aquarium and put on a display for competing males.

Don't worry even though it looks like they are fighting they are not hurting one another its just for show.

The females will watch these displays, and decide what males seem best suited for their babies to thrive.

Once the females are set to breed, they will find the more hidden areas or dense vegetation and mate; she will then scatter her eggs over the plants.

Once the eggs have successfully been laid, it is advisable to remove the parents for eggs to survive, otherwise given a chance they will consume the eggs.

The eggs will generally hatch after 3-4 days, and the fry will become free swimming around 24-48 hours after that.

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Date Added: 8/13/2020 - Updated: 8/13/2020 2:34:18 PM