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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Pretty Tetra - Hemigrammus pulcher : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Elegant and captivating, Pretty Tetras (Hemigrammus pulcher) grace the waters of community aquariums with their vibrant colours and peaceful nature. These hardy creatures are versatile, adapting to a wide range of water conditions as long as cleanliness is maintained. To create an ideal habitat, a well-planted aquarium awaits, with lush foliage adorning the backdrop and sides, providing serene hiding spots for gravid females seeking respite. Open swimming spaces in the centre offer a picturesque playground for these lively Tetras.

Emulating their natural habitats through a thoughtfully designed biotope setup enhances the beauty of your aquarium. First, embrace the essence of their origins by laying a bed of fine river sand as the substrate, and let the graceful presence of bogwood branches and intricately twisted roots become the centrepiece. Next, infuse the water with nature's touch by adding dried leaves, staining the liquid canvas with a mesmerizing brown hue. Regular upkeep is crucial, removing and replacing the leaves periodically to prevent water degradation.

The social nature of Pretty Tetras beckons for a harmonious gathering. Ensure a thriving shoal by keeping a group of at least six individuals, though a congregation of ten or more will truly evoke their natural splendour. These Tetras have silver bodies adorned with captivating garnet arcs over their eyes; they also have red patches gracefully positioned behind the gill plate and along the spine between the dorsal and adipose fins. A distinctive black patch nestled between the gill plate and the lower half of the caudal peduncle adds an intriguing allure to these captivating Tetras.

Pretty Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexing Pretty Tetras can be accomplished by observing the swim bladder, which is discernible through the translucent skin of these fish. Males exhibit a tapering shape, narrowing to a point, while females possess a fuller and rounder body. In addition, adult females typically surpass males in size, showcasing a more robust and substantial physique.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHemigrammus pulcher
Other NamesGarnet Tetra, Black Wedge Tetra
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.0
GH1 - 12
74 - 80
23 - 26

Natural Habitat

The captivating Pretty Tetra is indigenous to the alluring depths of the Peruvian Amazon, specifically near the enchanting city of Iquitos. Within this remarkable region, these Tetras gracefully navigate the languid tributaries that meander through the verdant expanse, adorned with lush vegetation and embraced by the canopy of the surrounding forest. It is in these secluded waters, amidst nature's embrace, that the Pretty Tetra reveals its vibrant presence and mesmerizing allure.


The breeding of Pretty Tetras can be achieved relatively easily, provided optimal water quality is maintained. To prepare a breeding pair for spawning, it is advisable to condition them with a diet rich in live foods such as mosquito larvae or brine shrimp. In addition, selecting the finest-coloured male and the healthiest, largest female will contribute to successful breeding outcomes. To maximize fry production, a separate breeding tank is essential. This dedicated environment should consist of soft, acidic water complemented by a dark substrate and subdued lighting. Elevating the temperature slightly above normal levels will encourage spawning behaviour.

Creating a conducive spawning medium involves incorporating an abundance of fine-leaved plants within the breeding tank, offering suitable surfaces for the female to scatter several hundred sticky eggs. Floating plants can also prove beneficial in maintaining subdued lighting conditions. Spawning typically occurs during the morning hours. Swiftly removing the parents after spawning is crucial, as they may consume both eggs and fry.

Within a span of 22 to 26 hours, the eggs will hatch, giving way to free-swimming fry approximately three to four days later. Rearing the fry is a relatively straightforward task. Their diet can consist of commercially prepared foods, finely crushed flake foods, or newly hatched brine shrimp. Ensuring the safety of the young fish is paramount, and thus they should be kept separate from their adult counterparts until they reach a size where predation risk is minimal. At that point, reintroducing them to their customary aquarium can be done with confidence.

Diet & feeding

In the domestic aquarium, Pretty Tetras exhibit a versatile appetite and readily consume a wide range of food options. Nevertheless, a diversified diet is recommended to enhance their vibrant colours and promote optimal health. This should consist of premium-grade dried food such as flakes and granules, supplemented with live, frozen, or freeze-dried fare like mosquito larvae, daphnia, Moina, and brine shrimp. In addition, feeding your Tetras multiple times throughout the day is advisable, ensuring that the portion offered can be entirely consumed within a brief timeframe of 3 minutes or less. This approach promotes their overall well-being while preventing overfeeding and potential water quality issues.

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