Ruby Tetra (Axelrodia Riesei) Fish Species Profile

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The Ruby Tetra is a beautiful, small fish that has a Peaceful disposition with other fish and invertebrates. They are very active and are an excellent addition to both nano and planted aquariums. However, they are not suitable for the community aquarium because of their small size and may feel intimidated and be outcompeted for food. Also, this Tetra is a delicate species and requires specific conditions to live in and is quite needy. It is comparatively more challenging to look after than most Tetras.

The Ruby Tetra has an all-over intense red body colouration, transparent fins and a black splotch at the end of its tail.

Scientific NameAxelrodia Riesei
Other NamesNone
OriginsSouth America
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan5 - 10 years
Maximum Sizeup to 2.5 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature68 - 82 ℉ (20 - 27.8 ℃)
PH4.5 - 6.5
GH3 - 12
TDS18 - 90

Origins of the Ruby Tetra

You will only find Ruby Tetras in the Upper Rio Meta basin, east of Villavicencio a significant tributary of the Rio Orinoco in Colombia in South America.

There are very few details about their natural habitat, but it is presumed that they inhabit small forested tributaries rather than larger river channels in blackwater environments.

They stay in sluggish or almost still water packed with dense vegetation and an abundance of leaf litter. The water is very soft and acidic and stained a tea colour from the tannins in the decaying leaves and wood.


In the home aquarium, these tetras are not fussy and will usually accept most foods. Feed them dried foods such as high-quality flake, granules and pellets of suitably small size, and you should also offer them daily meals of little live, freeze-dried and frozen fares such as nauplii, artemia, moina, grindal worm and daphnia. Providing this will help maintain their best health and colours.

Sexing the Ruby Tetra

It is relatively easy to differentiate the males from the females. Adult males are more intensely-coloured and slightly smaller than females. Whereas sexually mature females develop rounder-bodied than males, especially when gravid.

Breeding the Ruby Tetra

This species of Tetra has been bred in the home aquarium, and in a heavily planted tank, small numbers of fry may appear from time to time. However, suppose you wish to raise larger numbers. In that case, a separate spawning aquarium should be set up with matching water parameters with lots of fine-leaved plants such as Java Moss for the fish to scatter their eggs upon.

When conditioned, these fish spawn daily, so leave the adults in the spawning aquarium for a few days before acclimatising them back to the main aquarium this way they will not get much of a chance to consume the eggs and young.

The fry will hatch after 24-48 hours, and once the fry is free-swimming, they will require miniature food, such as infusoria.

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Date Added: 9/21/2020 - Updated: 9/21/2020 7:15:22 PM