Max Size: 4.5cm

Pretty Tetra (Hemigrammus pulcher)

Pretty Tetras are lively, quite colourful and peaceful and will do fine in most community aquariums. These Tetras are a hardy species that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions as long as the water is kept clean.

The aquarium should be well-planted at the back and sides, allowing plenty of open swimming space in the centre. Occasionally males may try to hassle gravid females, so make sure you provide plenty of hiding places for the females to gain shelter if need be.

A biotope setup for your aquarium would be beneficial as it will mimic these Tetras natural habitats. To achieve this, use a substrate of river sand and add a few bogwoods or driftwood branches and twisted roots. Adding a few handfuls of dried leaves will stain the water a brown colour and complete the natural feel. However, you should remove and replace the leaves every few weeks, so they do not foul and rot the water.

Good tankmates for Pretty Tetras could include most livebearers, Danios, Rasboras, other tetras and peaceful bottom dwellers such as Corydoras Catfish and smaller Loaches. You can also keep these fish with the most commonly available Gouramis, Dwarf Cichlids and Pencil Fish. However, these fish are quite shy, so it would be better if you did not keep them with much larger or more boisterous species.

It would be best if you kept these Tetras in a group of at least six individuals, preferably ten or more, as they are a shoaling species by nature and will fare much better with their own kind.

You can characterise Pretty Tetras by their beautifully coloured silver body and a rich garnet coloured arc over their eyes. These fish also display a couple of red patches, one behind their gill plate and the other between the dorsal and adipose fins along their spine. In addition, they have a black patch just between the gill plate, and the lower half of the caudal peduncle is also black.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameHemigrammus pulcher
Other NamesGarnet Tetra, Black Wedge Tetra
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan2 - 3 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.0
GH1 - 12
74 - 80℉
23.3 - 26.7℃

Photos of the Pretty Tetra

Pretty Tetra

Natural Habitat

The Pretty Tetra can be found near Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon in South America. They inhabit the slow-moving tributaries of the main river channels surrounded by dense vegetation and typically under forest cover.

What to feed the Pretty Tetra

In the home aquarium, Pretty Tetras are not picky and will eat anything you offer them. However, the ideal diet should be varied to provide them with their best colours and optimum health. The diet should include high-quality dried food such as flakes and granules alongside live, frozen or freeze-dried foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, Moina and brine shrimp. It would be best to feed your Tetras a few times a day but only provide them with an amount they can consume within 3 minutes or less.

How to sex the Pretty Tetra

You can sex Pretty Tetras by examining their swim bladder, which is fairly visible through the translucent skin of the fish. The males taper to a point, whereas the females are much rounder. Adult females also tend to be slightly larger than males and are more heavy-bodied.

How to breed the Pretty Tetra

You can breed Pretty Tetras relatively easy if the water quality is right. However, it would be best to condition a breeding pair before spawning with live foods such as mosquito larvae or brine shrimp. It would be best if you then chose the best-coloured male and the biggest healthiest female.

You will require a separate breeding tank to produce the highest yield of fry. The tank will need to contain soft acidic water with a dark substrate and dim lighting, and the temperature should be increased by a few degrees. Ensure you have plenty of fine-leaved plants as a spawning medium and floating plants to help keep the light subdued.

Spawning usually occurs in the morning. The female will scatter several hundred sticky eggs onto the plants and substrate. After spawning has occurred, remove the parents; otherwise, they will eat the eggs and fry.

The eggs will hatch somewhere between 22 and 26 hours later, and the fry will become free swimming three to four days after that. The fry is relatively easy to raise, and you may feed them commercially prepared foods, finely crushed flake foods or newly hatched brine shrimp.

It would be best to keep the young fish isolated until they are big enough not to get eaten by the adults. You can then place them back into their usual aquarium.

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: 16/09/2021 12:44:49 - Updated: 02/12/2021 17:31:49