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.

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.


Pretty Tetra
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℃


In the home aquarium, the Pretty 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

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.

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: 16/09/2021 12:44:49 - Updated: 10/08/2022 15:28:12