Max Size: 5cm

X Ray Tetra (Pristella maxillaris)

The X-Ray Tetra is a peaceful species of tetra that can adapt to a wide range of water parameters, making them a hardy candidate for any community aquarium and a good choice for beginner aquarists. In addition, they are readily available in the hobby and are a relatively popular species of fish.

These Tetras have a small translucent body, and you can see their backbone. The scales of the X-Ray Tetra are a yellowish-silver colour that is very faint, resembling nearly golden in some lights. The X-Ray Tetra also displays a re-tipped tail and strikingly lined anal and dorsal fins that are black, yellow, and white. This species has a bony internal structure known as the Weberian apparatus, which is used while picking up sound waves and adds to their sharp sense of hearing.


X-Ray Tetra
X-Ray Tetra
X-Ray Tetras
X-Ray Tetra
X-Ray Tetra
X-Ray Tetra
X-Ray Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePristella maxillaris
Other NamesX-Ray fish, Golden Pristella Tetra, Water Goldfinch
OriginsGuyana, Suriname, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 5 year
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH4 -18
75 - 82℉
23.9 - 27.8℃

Natural Habitat



In the home aquarium, the X Ray 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

The X-Ray tetras are very similar in appearance. Females are usually bigger and noticeably stockier than males, and when a female is pregnant, you should notice the eggs inside her. In contrast, the males will have a more slender body shape than the females.

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: 11/09/2020 - Updated: 02/12/2021 17:51:46