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Glowlight Tetra Care

Updated: Apr 19, 2021


Originating from South America, the glowlight tetra (hemigrammus erythrozonus) is a small peaceful schooling fish that only gets to be about 1.5 to 2 inches in size. These fish are known for having a semi-transparent body with an orange-red stripe that runs across it and on average live around 4 years.

The glowlight tetra can survive in a wide variety of tank conditions, making this one of the more popular fish in the hobby.

Tank Set Up

Because these tetras are a schooling fish, they will require a minimum of a 10-gallon tank. (Although, because they are more active a 20 gallon would be more suitable.)

They can handle a wide range of temperatures of between 72°-80° and prefer soft water with a pH between 5.5 and 7.

Glowlight tetras do best in more dimly lit planted tanks and prefer a darker substrate. Floating plants can be a great addition to their aquarium as it can help to diffuse some of the lighting, making the aquarium feel more like their natural habitat.

Tank Mates

As these fish are schooling fish, you will want to keep a minimum of 5 in the tank, but keeping more than 15 can really get the fish to group more tightly together as a true school.

When it comes to tank mates glowlight tetras are considered to be peaceful community fish, and typically do well with fish of similar size. Always remember, if it fits in a fish’s mouth, it’s food.

Examples of good tank mates are other small tetras, barbs, platies, danios, and corydoras.


When it comes to diet, glowlight tetras are omnivores and will readily accept most foods. They do best on a diet consisting of a high-quality flake or small pellet food, along with frozen or live foods such as daphnia, blood worms, or brine shrimp.

These fish also do best when given smaller portions a few times a day versus 1 larger feeding per day.


If you are hoping to breed glowlight tetras, it can be somewhat of a challenge, and ideally you will want to set up a separate breeding tank, so it is not recommended for beginners.

These are an egg scattering species and the eggs are quite sensitive to light, so your breeding tank will need to be kept dim.

When choosing tetras for the breeding tank telling the males and females apart is easiest once the fish have reached maturity. Females will be slightly larger than males, and males are more slender and their stripe tends to be more colorful than the females.

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