Glowlight Tetra Care Basics: Tankmates, Feeding, and Water Parameters

glowlight tetra
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Last Updated: March 27, 2023 by Flora Gibbins

Did you know that there’s a fish that glows in the dark? Meet the Glowlight Tetra! These dazzling little fish are not only a stunning addition to any aquarium, but they’re also fun to watch as they dart around and play. In this article, we’ll share with you all the need-to-know details about keeping Glowlight Tetras happy and healthy in your tank. Get ready to add some serious glow to your underwater world!

Glowlight Tetra Facts and Overview

    • Common names: Glowlight Tetra, Fire Neon Tetra, Beacon Tetra
    • Scientific name: Hemigrammus erythrozonus
    • Adult size: Up to 1.5 inches in length
    • Lifespan: Up to 5 years with proper care
    • Appearance: Bright neon-orange body with a black stripe running horizontally down their sides
    • Origin: Slow-moving waters of the Amazon River Basin in South America.

Origin and Distribution

These vibrant fish are actually native to the Amazon River Basin in South America, specifically in the countries of Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia. They are found in slow-moving streams and tributaries of the Amazon River, where the water is typically clear and shaded by overhanging vegetation.

In the wild, Glowlight Tetras live in big groups, known as shoals or schools, and they feed on small insects, worms, and other tiny creatures that live in the water. These days, you can find Glowlight Tetras in aquariums all around the world because they’re bred in captivity. Just be sure to buy them from a reputable source so you can be sure they’ve been raised in healthy conditions!


Glowlight Tetras are small fish that can add a big pop of color to your aquarium. They’re called “glowlight” because of their bright, almost fluorescent orange color. It’s really hard to miss them when they’re swimming around! If you look closely, you’ll also notice a contrasting black stripe that runs horizontally down their sides, which is what sets them apart from other tetra species.

Their fins are just as delicate and stunning as their body. The dorsal fin, located on their back, is tall and triangular in shape. It’s transparent, and if you look closely, you’ll see tiny little bones that give it structure. The anal fin, located on their belly, is long and pointed, and it also has a translucent quality that makes it look almost ethereal. Finally, the adipose fin, located on their back between the dorsal and tail fins, is small and rounded, and it doesn’t really serve any purpose other than to look cute.

Overall, the combination of their vibrant orange body and their delicate, translucent fins make Glowlight Tetras a great addition to any aquarium. When they swim around, their fins move gracefully through the water, making them a pleasure to watch.

Behavior and Temperament

Glowlight Tetras are known for their peaceful and social nature. They’re very active fish and love to swim around, exploring their environment. They can usually be found darting back and forth through the plants, or playing tag with their tank mates.

One thing to keep in mind about Glowlight Tetras is that they can be a bit skittish. They may get startled by sudden movements or loud noises, causing them to swim frantically around the tank. However, they quickly settle back down once they feel safe.

Glowlight Tetras are schooling fish, meaning they should be kept in groups of six or more. When they’re in a group, they’re more confident and less stressed. They tend to be more active and display their natural behaviors when they feel secure in their environment.

They’re also are easy-going fish that make great additions to any peaceful community aquarium. They get along with most other non-aggressive fish and enjoy having plenty of space to swim and play.

Tank Mates

Glowlight Tetras are peaceful fish that get along well with most other non-aggressive species. When choosing tank mates for your Glowlight Tetras, it’s important to make sure that the other fish have similar temperaments and water requirements.

Some good tank mates for Glowlight Tetras include:

  • Other peaceful tetra species, such as Neon Tetras, Green Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and Ember Tetras
  • Small catfish, such as Corydoras or Otocinclus
  • Guppies, Platies, and other livebearers
  • Shrimp, such as Cherry Shrimp or Ghost Shrimp

Avoid keeping Glowlight Tetras with aggressive or fin-nipping fish, such as Cichlids, Bettas, or Barbs. These types of fish may see the Glowlight Tetras as prey or competition, leading to stress and potential injury.

It’s important to note that even though Glowlight Tetras are peaceful, they still need plenty of space to swim and hide. Overcrowding can lead to stress and disease, so be sure to provide enough room for all of your fish to swim comfortably.

Glowlight Tetra Care

Tank Setup

If you’re thinking about adding Glowlight Tetras to your aquarium, it’s important to create a suitable environment for them to thrive in. Here are some key factors to consider when setting up your tank:

Tank Size

Glowlight Tetras are small fish, but they still need plenty of space to swim and play. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 10 gallons of water for a school of 6 to 8 Glowlight Tetras. This gives them enough room to swim around and establish their territory without feeling cramped.

What to Put in the Tank

Glowlight Tetras are natural explorers and love having plenty of hiding places and things to swim around. A well-planted tank with plenty of hiding spots, such as caves, rocks, and driftwood, will make them feel more secure and less stressed. When choosing plants for your tank, be sure to select varieties that are compatible with your water parameters.

Water Parameters

Glowlight Tetras are generally hardy fish that can adapt to a range of water conditions, but they still have specific requirements for optimal health and well-being. Maintaining good water quality is crucial for the health of your Glowlight Tetras, as they can be sensitive to changes in their environment. Here are some key parameters to consider:

    • pH: 6.0-7.5
    • Temperature: 75-80°F (24-27°C)
    • Hardness: 5-12 dKH
    • Ammonia and Nitrites: 0 ppm
    • Nitrates: Less than 20 ppm
    • Filtration: A good filtration system is essential for keeping the water clean and free from harmful toxins.

It’s important to monitor the water conditions in your tank regularly, using a test kit to measure the levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. If any levels are outside the recommended range, it’s important to take action to correct them, such as performing a water change or adjusting the pH level with appropriate chemicals.

Diet and Feeding

Glowlight Tetras are omnivorous fish that will eat a variety of foods in the wild. In captivity, it’s important to provide them with a balanced and varied diet to ensure optimal health and growth.

A good diet for Glowlight Tetras should include a combination of:

    • High-quality flake or pellet food: This should be the main staple of their diet and should be made from high-quality ingredients.
    • Frozen or live foods: Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia are good options for providing additional nutrition and variety.
    • Vegetables: Fresh or blanched vegetables, such as zucchini or spinach, can also be added to their diet for added nutrition.

It’s important not to overfeed your Glowlight Tetras, as they have a small stomach and can easily become overweight. A good rule of thumb is to feed them small amounts 2-3 times a day, only giving them what they can eat in a few minutes.

In addition to providing a balanced diet, it’s also important to make sure your Glowlight Tetras have a suitable feeding environment. They should have plenty of hiding places to feel secure while they eat, and any uneaten food should be removed from the tank promptly to maintain good water quality.

Common Diseases

Like all fish, Glowlight Tetras are susceptible to a range of diseases and health issues. While they are generally hardy and easy to care for, it’s important to monitor them regularly for signs of illness or distress. Here are some common diseases and health issues that can affect Glowlight Tetras:

    • Ich (White Spot Disease): This is a common parasitic disease that causes white spots to appear on the fish’s body. It can be treated with medication, but it’s important to catch it early to prevent further spread.
    • Fin Rot: This is a bacterial infection that causes the fins to deteriorate and fall off. It can be caused by poor water quality or stress. Treatment includes antibiotics and improving water quality.
    • Swim Bladder Disease: This is a condition that affects the fish’s ability to swim properly. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including overfeeding or poor water quality. Treatment includes improving water quality and adjusting the fish’s diet.
    • Dropsy: This is a serious bacterial infection that causes the fish’s body to become swollen and bloated. It can be caused by poor water quality or a weakened immune system. Treatment includes antibiotics and improving water quality.

Preventing diseases in Glowlight Tetras is best accomplished by maintaining good water quality, providing a balanced diet, and ensuring that the tank is not overcrowded. If you notice any signs of illness or distress in your fish, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent further spread and improve their chances of recovery.

Breeding Glowlight Tetras

Breeding Glowlight Tetras is a relatively easy process that can be accomplished in a well-maintained aquarium. Here are some key factors to consider when breeding Glowlight Tetras:

Gender Differences

It can be hard to tell the difference between a male and female Glowlight Tetra. The females tend to be slightly larger and rounder, while the males may have brighter colors during mating season.

The Breeding Process

In their natural habitat, Glowlight Tetras breed during the rainy season when water levels are higher. The male will display to the female, showing off his vibrant colors and trying to entice her to spawn. Once the female is ready, she will lay her eggs on plants or other surfaces, and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch in a few days, and the fry will become free-swimming after a few more days.

Breeding Tips

Breeding Glowlight Tetras is a relatively easy process that can be accomplished in a well-maintained aquarium. To encourage breeding, it’s important to provide the right environment and conditions. Here are some key factors to consider:

    • Separating the males and females for a period of time, then re-introducing them into the tank together.
    • Maintaining good water quality and providing plenty of hiding places and vegetation for the females to lay their eggs.
    • Keeping the water temperature slightly warmer than usual, around 80-82°F (26-28°C).
    • Providing a nutritious diet to encourage the breeding process
    • Use a separate breeding tank to increase the chances of success and protect the eggs and fry.
    • Use a sponge filter to prevent the fry from getting sucked into the filter.
    • Feed the fry small amounts of crushed flake food or baby brine shrimp.

Breeding Glowlight Tetras can be a fun and rewarding experience for aquarium enthusiasts. With the right environment and conditions, you can successfully breed these colorful and active fish in your own home aquarium.


How many eggs does a female Glowlight Tetra lay?

A female Glowlight Tetra can lay between 100 and 300 eggs at a time.

How long does it take for Glowlight Tetras to mature?

Glowlight Tetras can mature and reach sexual maturity at around 6 months of age.

Do Glowlight Tetras need a heater in their tank?

Yes, Glowlight Tetras require a stable temperature between 75-80°F (24-27°C) in their aquarium. A heater may be essential to maintain the appropriate temperature.

Can Glowlight Tetras jump out of their tank?

Yes, like many fish, Glowlight Tetras are capable of jumping out of their tank if they feel stressed or frightened. It’s important to provide a securely covered tank to prevent this.

Should You Get Glowlight Tetras in Your Aquarium?

Yes. Glowlight Tetras are a beautiful and colorful addition to any aquarium, and they’re relatively easy to care for. They’re active and peaceful fish that can live with a variety of other community fish, making them a popular choice for beginner aquarists.

Remember, keeping fish is a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, but it also comes with a responsibility to provide proper care and attention to your pets. Be sure to do your research, consult with experts, and always prioritize the health and well-being of your fish. Happy fishkeeping!

Cover image: gonzalovalenzuela, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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