Profile Photo

Maximum size : 5 cm

Lemon Tetra - Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The Lemon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis) is a peaceful, low-maintenance fish that thrives in a variety of water conditions, making it an ideal choice for community aquariums. This beautiful species is one of the larger and more robust torpedo-shaped tetras, featuring a transparent yellow body adorned with a pearlescent glow from its scales. The Lemon Tetra's anal and dorsal fins display striking yellow and black markings, with the first three or four rays boasting a vibrant lemon-yellow hue. The dorsal fin showcases a predominantly black color with a contrasting yellow patch in the middle. A standout feature of this fish is its eye, where the upper half of the iris exhibits an intense red color—sometimes appearing almost like a radiant, gemstone-quality ruby in certain individuals. The Lemon Tetra truly shines when kept in groups of six or more. While their vibrant colors may not be immediately evident in store display tanks, once these captivating fish settle into a well-planted home aquarium, their stunning lemon yellow hues intensify, creating a mesmerizing display. Additionally, an exquisite albino variety of the Lemon Tetra is available for those seeking a unique addition to their aquatic community. To showcase this species' full splendor, design an aquarium with dense plant thickets and open swimming spaces for fish to interact and display their vibrant hues. Ideal tankmates include other Tetra species, small Barbs, small Danios, small Rasboras and Corydoras and Otocinclus Catfish. For larger aquariums, consider introducing Dwarf Cichlids, such as smaller Apistogramma species. When selecting tankmates, opt for peaceful, non-aggressive, and similarly sized South American species to create a harmonious and visually stunning aquatic environment.

1 other variant of the Lemon Tetra

Below is a list of Variant/Colour Morphs of the Lemon Tetra

Lemon Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Determining the sex of Lemon Tetras can be challenging during their juvenile stage, but identifying the gender of adult fish is considerably easier. The male's anal fin edge is rather extensive, and during breeding readiness, it can occupy nearly a third of the fin. In contrast, females only exhibit a thin black line on their anal fin's edge. Furthermore, males typically display more vibrant colors than females.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon pulchripinnis
Year Described1937
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 6 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH3 - 8
70 - 80
21 - 26

Natural Habitat

The Lemon Tetra inhabits the crystal-clear waters of the Tapajós River basin, a warm and muggy part of Brazil. These stunning fish are often found in the shallows near the shorelines, where the water has a moderate current and is surrounded by dense vegetation. Their preferred environment is in narrow, overgrown streams that offer ample hiding places among the aquatic vegetation. The Tapajós River, which is home to these captivating fish, is an important tributary of the legendary Amazon River, flowing for approximately 500 miles before joining the Amazon at Para. Whether you are a seasoned aquarist or a newcomer to the world of fishkeeping, these charming fish are sure to delight and captivate your imagination.

 Tapajós - Brazil
Brazil Flag


To maximize the chances of breeding Lemon Tetras, it is recommended to set up a separate, well-planted breeding tank with soft acidic water and an increased temperature by a couple of degrees. Feed the fish live foods to condition them for spawning. When a male is ready to reproduce, he will claim a specific area in the aquarium and display for competing males. Although it may appear as though they are fighting, they are not harming one another; it is merely a show. The females will observe these displays and select the males they deem best suited for their offspring's success. When the females are ready to breed, they will seek concealed areas or dense vegetation to mate, scattering their eggs over the plants. After the eggs have been laid, it is advisable to remove the parents to ensure the eggs' survival, as they may eat the eggs if given the opportunity. The eggs will generally hatch within 3-4 days, and the fry will become free-swimming approximately 24-48 hours after that.

Diet & feeding

Lemon Tetras thrive on a diverse diet, and these adaptable fish readily accept a wide range of food types. A high-quality tropical granule or flake food should serve as the staple of their diet. In addition to this, they will consume live, freeze-dried, or frozen meaty foods, such as Daphnia, blackworms, and brine shrimp. Lemon Tetras also appreciate blanched vegetables as part of their balanced diet.

Other Tetras you maybe interested in