freshwater community4


Lemon Tetra

lemon tetra

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Scientific Name:   Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis      
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   5.5-7.5/0-15°dGH      
Size:   1.5"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in shoals with 6 or more of their own species; can be kept with other Tetras, Livebearers, Rasboras, Danios, Pencilfish, Corydoras, Gouramis and Dwarf Cichlids.

Lemon Tetra

This Lemon Tetra is named for the bright lemon-colored splashes of color on the dorsal and anal fins. Lemon Tetras are one of the deep-bodied species of Tetra and typically exhibit an overall translucent yellow coloring on the body. The dorsal and anal fins may be tipped in black and the upper half of the eye is red in healthy specimens. Lemon Tetras are native to the Rio Tapajos basin in Brazil where they can be found in creeks, tributaries and areas of flooded forest. These fish tend to inhabit clear waters where the mineral content is high. The male and female can be determined by looking at the black outer border on the anal fin. The females will have a thin black line on the anal fin, while the males will exhibit a noticably wider black line. Breeding males will even exhibit a black area that can cover up to one-third of the anal fin.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, Lemon Tetras are fairly easy to keep. These fish are commercially bred in large numbers and, thus, are highly adaptable to a variety of tank conditions. The Lemon Tetra shows best in densely planted tanks and the colors of these beautiful fish may appear washed out in setups that are sparsely decorated. Because these fish are peaceful, they make excellent additions to the general community tank and can be kept with a wide variety of peaceful community-type species. Lemon Tetras are good tank mates for Rasboras, Livebearers and other Tetras as well as Gouramis and Dwarf Cichlids. The Lemon Tetra is a shoaling species and should be purchased in groups of at least 6 or more. For the best display, a group of 10 - 12 would be ideal. Choosing a dark substrate will also be beneficial to provide a nice contrast to these brightly colored fish. Although the Lemon Tetra is highly adaptable to a variety of tank conditions, avoid pH that is too alkaline - 7.5 should really be the maximum.


Lemon Tetras are not picky eaters and will readily accept most aquarium foods given. For optimum health and coloration, feed a varied diet of live/frozen foods such as brine shrimp, Daphnia, and bloodworms along with a high quality flake. Choose a high quality color enhancing flake (which will usually contain a high content of carotene) to promote the yellow pigmentation of these beautiful fish.


Breeding this species is thought to be fairly easy. The breeding tank should be equipped with a sponge filter and decorated with plenty of fine-leaved plants. The water in the breeding tank should be kept at a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH between 6.5 and 7.2. Once the breeding pair has spawned it is best to remove the adult fish from the tank because they are likely to eat their own eggs and fry.

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