Freshwater Fish

Ruby Tetra Care: Ideal Tank Conditions and Diet

Imagine a vibrant fish that dazzles with its fiery red-orange scales, gliding gracefully through the crystal-clear waters of an aquarium. Meet the mesmerizing Ruby Tetra. With its eye-catching coloration and peaceful demeanor, this small tropical fish is a delightful addition to any aquarium enthusiast’s collection. Whether you are a seasoned fish owner or just starting your aquatic journey, the Ruby Tetra promises to mesmerize you with its beauty and bring a touch of elegance to your underwater paradise.

Ruby Tetra

The Ruby Tetra, also known as the Jewel Tetra or Red-finned Tetra, is a stunning freshwater fish that is highly sought after by aquarium enthusiasts. With its vibrant red coloration and elegant fins, it adds a touch of beauty to any aquarium. In this article, we will explore various aspects of the Ruby Tetra, including its appearance, habitat, feeding habits, breeding, tank setup, water parameters, tank mates, care and maintenance, as well as common diseases.


As the name suggests, the Ruby Tetra is known for its mesmerizing red coloration. Its body is slender and elongated, with a combination of bright red and silver scales that shimmer when the light hits them. The fins of the Ruby Tetra are also vibrant red, which adds to its overall striking appearance. Additionally, the Ruby Tetra has a small, black spot located near its tail, known as the humeral spot, which is a distinctive characteristic of this species.


The Ruby Tetra is native to the rivers and streams of South America, specifically in the Amazon basin. In the wild, these fish prefer slow-moving, heavily vegetated waters with plenty of hiding spots such as submerged roots, fallen branches, and dense aquatic plants. To replicate their natural habitat in an aquarium setting, it is important to provide them with similar conditions. This includes the use of live plants, driftwood, and other decorations to create hiding spots and mimic the riverbed environment.


Ruby Tetras are omnivorous fish and have a relatively easy diet to accommodate. In their natural habitat, they primarily feed on small insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. In an aquarium, they can be fed a variety of high-quality flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods. These include brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and even small pieces of vegetables like spinach or lettuce. It is important to vary their diet and provide a balanced feeding routine to ensure their optimal health and coloration.


Breeding Ruby Tetras can be a rewarding experience for aquarium hobbyists. To encourage breeding, it is important to create the right conditions in the aquarium. This includes providing a separate breeding tank with plenty of plants and hiding spots. The water temperature should be slightly higher, around 78-82°F, and the pH level should be slightly acidic to neutral. The females will scatter their eggs among the plants, and the males will fertilize them. Once the eggs are laid, it is advisable to remove the adults from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs will hatch in about 24-48 hours, and the fry can be fed finely crushed flakes or specialized fry food.

Tank Setup

When setting up a tank for Ruby Tetras, it is important to create an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. This can be achieved by using a fine gravel substrate, plenty of live plants, and driftwood or other decorations to create hiding spots. The tank should have moderate lighting and a filtration system to maintain water quality. It is recommended to have a minimum tank size of 20 gallons to provide enough swimming space for a small school of Ruby Tetras.

Water Parameters

Ruby Tetras prefer slightly acidic to neutral water conditions. The ideal water temperature for them ranges from 75-82°F, with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. It is important to regularly test the water parameters using a reliable test kit and make any necessary adjustments to maintain stable and suitable conditions for the fish. Additionally, performing regular water changes is crucial to remove any accumulated waste or toxins from the tank.

Tank Mates

Ruby Tetras are peaceful and sociable fish that can be kept with various tank mates. However, it is important to choose compatible species that share similar water parameters and temperaments. Suitable tank mates for Ruby Tetras include other peaceful community fish such as other tetras, danios, rasboras, gouramis, and small catfish species. Avoid housing them with aggressive or fin-nipping fish as this can result in stress and injury for the Ruby Tetras.

Care and Maintenance

Taking care of Ruby Tetras involves maintaining a suitable tank environment and providing them with a balanced diet. Regular water changes of around 20% every two weeks will help maintain water quality and prevent the accumulation of harmful substances. It is also important to keep an eye on the fish for any signs of stress, disease, or abnormal behavior. In case of any issues, prompt action should be taken, such as quarantining affected fish and seeking appropriate treatment.

Common Diseases

Like any other fish, Ruby Tetras are susceptible to certain diseases. One common ailment is Ich, a parasitic infection that causes white spots on the fish’s body and fins. This can be treated using medication specifically designed for Ich. Another common disease is fin rot, which is typically caused by poor water quality. Ensuring clean water and a healthy environment will help prevent such diseases. It is always advisable to observe the fish closely and consult with a veterinarian or aquatic specialist if any health concerns arise.


The Ruby Tetra is undeniably a captivating fish that adds a touch of elegance to any aquarium. Its vibrant red coloration, graceful fins, and peaceful nature make it a popular choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. By providing them with suitable habitat conditions, a balanced diet, and proper care, you can enjoy the beauty and companionship of these fascinating fish. With their striking appearance and peaceful demeanor, Ruby Tetras are truly a treasure to behold in any aquatic setting.


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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