Pristella Tetra (X-Ray): Care, Diet, Tank Mates & More!

Pristella tetra is a peaceful and hardy fish ideal for community tanks. They require a diet rich in protein and should be kept with small and peaceful tank mates to ensure their well-being.

Pristella tetra is a freshwater fish that grows up to 2 inches in length and has a lifespan of up to 5 years. These peaceful fish are perfect for community tanks other than being easy to care for, and are ideal for beginner aquarists. The fish requires a consistent water temperature between 72°f-78°f, ph range of 5. 5-7. 5, a moderate water flow, and a well-planted tank to thrive. An omnivorous diet consisting of high protein flakes, frozen or live food like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia is ideal for their nutrition. They should be kept with small and peaceful tank mates and never be kept with aggressive or semi-aggressive fish. Furthermore, given their schooling nature, they should be kept in groups of at least 6-8 individuals. With this care, pristella tetra can add color and life to any aquarium.

Tank Setup

Pristella tetras, commonly known as x-ray tetras, are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. These peaceful and active fish are easy to care for and make great tank mates for other peaceful species. However, before setting up a tank for pristella tetras, it’s essential to consider their specific needs.

In this section, we’ll discuss the ideal tank size, filtration, lighting, substrate, decorations, and plants for these beautiful tetras.

Tank Size – What Size Of Tank Is Suitable For Pristella Tetras?

Pristella tetras are small fish and do not require a large aquarium. However, despite their small size, they are active swimmers and need plenty of space to live happily. The recommended tank size for a small school of pristella tetras is 20 gallons or more.

It’s essential to provide sufficient swimming space to reduce stress and promote their natural behavior.

Filtration – What Type Of Filtration Do They Require?

Good water quality is essential for any aquarium, and pristella tetras are no exception. Efficient filtration is key to maintaining a healthy environment for these fish. A hang-on-back filter or a canister filter is ideal for their tank. The filter should be capable of cycling the tank water at least four times per hour to maintain excellent water quality.

Lighting – What Lighting Conditions Do They Prefer?

Pristella tetras are not sensitive to light and don’t require high light intensity in their tank. Low to moderate lighting will suffice, and it’s essential to maintain a regular light/dark cycle of 10-12 hours per day.

Substrate, Decorations, And Plants – What Kind Of Substrate, Decorations, And Plants Are Best For Them?

Pristella tetras are accustomed to living in planted environments in the wild, and live plants can provide hiding places and serve as a source of food and shelter. An ideal substrate for these tetras is either sand or fine gravel.

Fine-grained substrate will make it easier for them to dig through and sift food comfortably, without injuring their delicate barbels.

Add some natural decorations like driftwood or rocks to create hiding spaces for them. These can help reduce stress levels by providing a place for the fish to retreat when they feel threatened. Furthermore, live aquarium plants such as java fern, amazon sword, or hornwort not only offer hiding places, but can also aid in water filtration by consuming excess nutrients and reducing nitrate levels.

Creating a suitable tank for pristella tetras requires a balanced approach that considers their specific needs. A 20-gallon tank with proper filtration and moderate lighting, along with fine-grained substrate, natural decorations and live plants, is an ideal setup to keep these beautiful and active fish healthy and thriving.


Pristella Tetra (X-Ray): Care, Diet, Tank Mates & More!

Pristella tetras are adorable, hardy, and easy-to-care fish that make for great beginners’ pets. They have a clear body with a striking black-and-silver color pattern, making them stand out in any aquarium. These small and active fish require very little maintenance, and with proper care, they can thrive for a long time.

Let’s dive deep into the critical aspect of caring for pristella tetras.

Water Parameters – What Are The Ideal Water Parameters For Pristella Tetras?

In the wild, pristella tetras usually inhabit blackwater streams with a ph range of around 6. 0-7. 0. However, pristella tetras are adaptable, and they can survive in a broad range of water conditions.

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  • Water temperature: 72-82°f (22-28°c)
  • Ph level: 6. 0-8.
  • Water hardness (dgh): 6-12°
  • Ammonia level: 0ppm
  • Nitrite level: 0ppm
  • Nitrate level: below 20ppm

Take note that these water parameters are only a guideline, and the ideal conditions may vary depending on the number of fish, tank size, and decoration. Always closely monitor the water conditions with an appropriate test kit to keep them healthy.

Feeding – What Is The Best Diet For Pristella Tetras?

Pristella tetras are omnivores and eat both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they feed on small aquatic insects, crustaceans, and algae. In captivity, they require a well-balanced diet to maintain their health and vitality.

  • High-quality flake food
  • Frozen or freeze-dried food like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia
  • Live food like mosquito larvae and brine shrimp

Make sure to feed them 2-3 times a day, based on the number of fish in the tank, and avoid overfeeding.

Disease Prevention – What Are Some Common Diseases Among Pristella Tetras, And How Can They Be Prevented?

Pristella tetras are relatively hardy fish, but they are prone to some common diseases. The most typical disorders include ich, fin rot, velvet disease, and swim bladder disorder.

  • Keep the water clean and well-filtered
  • Avoid overfeeding and change the water regularly
  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to the tank
  • Monitor the fish’s behavior and appearance regularly

By following these simple steps, you can help prevent the occurrence of common diseases in pristella tetras and ensure they live a long, healthy life.

Overall, caring for pristella tetras is relatively straightforward and requires minimal effort. By maintaining the optimal water conditions, feeding them a balanced diet, and preventing common diseases, you can enjoy these pretty fish for a long time.

Tank Mates

Peaceful Fish – What Kinds Of Peaceful Fish Make Ideal Tank Mates For Pristella Tetras?

Pristella tetras are peaceful fish that require a tranquil environment to thrive. It is important to select the right tank mates to prevent any conflicts and ensure a happy and healthy community of fish.

  • Neon tetras: these small, brightly colored fish are peaceful and make great companions for pristella tetras.
  • Guppies: another colorful and docile species, guppies are easy to care for and can add a vibrant touch to your tank.
  • Corydoras catfish: these gentle bottom-dwellers are sociable and can help keep your tank clean by looking for food scraps.
  • Otocinclus catfish: these tiny, non-aggressive fish can help keep your tank clean by eating algae and other debris.

Avoid Aggressive Fish – What Types Of Aggressive Fish Should Not Be Housed With Pristella Tetras?

Pristella tetras should not be housed with aggressive fish that may prey on them or cause undue stress.

  • Betta fish: these fish can be very aggressive and territorial, making them a poor choice for tank mates with pristella tetras.
  • Cichlids: these larger and more aggressive fish can become bullies towards smaller and more peaceful species like pristella tetras.
  • Goldfish: despite being a peaceful species, goldfish can grow quite large and produce a lot of waste, creating an unsuitable environment for pristella tetras.
  • Barbs: these fish can be extremely aggressive towards other species, including pristella tetras. It is best to avoid housing them together.

By selecting peaceful fish and avoiding aggressive species, you can create a harmonious and thriving aquarium community for your pristella tetras. Remember to provide adequate space, food, and a suitable environment to ensure the health and happiness of all your tank mates.


Pristella tetras are a popular freshwater fish species known for their beautiful silver coloration and peaceful temperament. Pristella tetras requires patience and care, but is a rewarding experience for any fish keeper. In this section, we will discuss how to breed pristella tetras and raise their fry.

How To Breed Pristella Tetras

Breeding pristella tetras is a relatively easy process, but it requires some preparation.

  • Set up a breeding tank: prepare a separate breeding tank with a sponge filter and a heater. The water should be slightly acidic with a ph range of 6. 0-6. 5. Add some plants or spawning mops to provide hiding places for the fish.
  • Select the breeding pairs: choose healthy pristella tetras for breeding, and make sure you have both male and female fish in the group. Male pristella tetras have a smaller and slimmer body, while females are rounder and larger.
  • Condition the fish: to encourage breeding, feed the fish high-quality live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. Increase the feeding frequency and amount gradually.
  • Observe the breeding behavior: once the pair has formed, they will typically swim close to each other and exhibit a courtship dance. The male will swim around the female and try to entice her to lay eggs.
  • Collect the eggs: after the female lays the eggs, the male will fertilize them. Use a suction tube to carefully transfer the eggs to a separate hatching tank.
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Raising Their Fry

Raising pristella tetra fry requires attention to detail and a commitment to providing the best care possible.

  • Feed the fry: the fry will initially feed on their yolk sacs, but will soon require high-quality liquid or powdered fry food. Feed them small amounts several times a day, and remove any uneaten food to maintain water quality.
  • Maintain water quality: fry are delicate and require clean and stable water conditions. Perform regular water changes and monitor the water parameters closely.
  • Provide hiding places: fry are vulnerable to predators and require shelter. Add floating plants, moss, or spawning mops to provide hiding places for the fry.
  • Gradual introduction to larger tank: as the fry grow, gradually introduce them to a larger tank with other compatible fish species. Make sure the water conditions are stable and monitor the fish carefully for any signs of aggression.

Breeding and raising fry can be a fascinating and rewarding experience for any fish keeper. With careful preparation and attention to detail, anyone can successfully breed and raise pristella tetras.

Frequently Asked Questions For Pristella Tetra (X-Ray): Care, Diet, Tank Mates & More!

What Is The Ideal Diet For Pristella Tetra (X-Ray) Fish And How Often Should They Be Fed?

The ideal diet for pristella tetra (x-ray) fish consists of high-quality flake food or small pellets. Offer them food in small amounts two to three times a day, enough to be consumed within a minute. Additionally, supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms once a week.

What Care Do Pristella Tetra (X-Ray) Fish Require In Terms Of Water Quality, Temperature, And Lighting?

Pristella tetra fish need a ph between 6. 5-7. 5, water temperature of 72-80°f and brightness less than 2 watts per gallon. Maintain water quality with regular cleaning and 25% water changes. Use live plants to improve water clarity.

Are There Any Recommended Tank Mates That Can Coexist Peacefully With Pristella Tetra (X-Ray) Fish?

Yes, pristella tetra (x-ray) fish are peaceful and social aquarium fish that can coexist well with other peaceful fish like cory catfish, ember tetra, and neon tetra. However, avoid any larger or aggressive fish species as they may harm or intimidate the pristella tetras.

How Large Do Pristella Tetra (X-Ray) Fish Grow And What Size Aquarium Is Suitable For Them?

Pristella tetra (x-ray) fish grow up to 2 inches long and need a minimum of a 10-gallon aquarium. However, they are social fish that thrive in groups of six or more and require a bigger tank of at least 20-gallons.

Keep the water ph level between 6. 5 to 7. 5 and the temperature between 74 to 82°f.

How Can You Identify The Gender Of Pristella Tetra (X-Ray) Fish And What Is Their Lifespan In Captivity?

To identify the gender of pristella tetra (x-ray) fish, examine their body shape. Males have a slimmer body and a pointier anal fin compared to females. Their lifespan in captivity ranges from 2 to 5 years depending on the care provided, including a balanced diet and a clean environment.


Setting up and maintaining a suitable environment for pristella tetras is not rocket science. You need to keep a check on the water quality, temperature, and lighting. Make sure to avoid overcrowding and choose compatible tank mates. Offer them a balanced diet including both dry food and live food.

Furthermore, regular water changes and filter cleaning are crucial to keep the fishes healthy and happy. By following these simple tips, you can ensure a long and thriving life for your pristella tetras. These beautiful and peaceful fishes are a perfect addition to any community tank, and with a little care, you can enjoy their company for years.

Don’t hesitate to get these stunning x-ray tetras and provide them with the care they deserve.

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