Emperor Tetra Care And Info

Discussion in 'Tetras' started by JLeeM, May 29, 2018.

  1. JLeeM

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember


    So, I recently stumbled upon some pictures of emperor tetras and I really like their appearance.

    What all can you tell me about them? It's pretty hard to find information about them it seems.

    So far I've learned that they reach about 1.5 inches, males are brighter, schools of at least 6 but prefer 10+. Apparently, the males can be a little aggressive too? Is this aggression directed at same species, or anything nearby?

    Wondering if I might be able to pull off a small school in my 40B. Stats on that are,

    40 Gallon Breeder
    Penn Plax Cascade 700 Canister Filter
    74 degrees Fahrenheit
    Plan to try to get it planted

    Stocking so far,
    8 Black Skirt Tetras

    Planning on,
    8 Panda Corys
    1-2 Bolivian Rams
    1 BN Pleco
    1-3 Mystery Snails
    1 Electric Blue Acara (maybe)

    Can it be done? Don't want too much nipping going on, and don't want them to become EBA snacks. Looks like they may be a little broader bodied than some though though.
  2. chromedome52

    chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    Emperor Tetras can reach 2.5 inches easily, females stay slightly smaller. They are not really schoolers. Males are territorial, kind of like Cichlids. They patrol an area of plants that are bushy enough for spawning, and try to entice females to come in and breed. They really don't pay a lot of attention to other species, but males can get very nasty toward one another. If there aren't enough females, an overly amorous male can harass them badly.

    In your size of tank I think a couple of males and 5-6 females would do well. I'd say your real problem with the EBA would be territorial disputes with the Bolivians. The Bolivians would suffer.
  3. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    So they're not little bitty fish like I thought. That's nice to know. Lol. Wonder why so many sources say 1.5 inches? Possibly because they're newer to the hobby, and weren't full grown you think?

    Anyways, you think the black skirts won't take up too much room if the emperor's get that big? Not trying to second guess you, just trying to learn.

    Oh, and I read something about the two genders having a different color fin? Any truth?
  4. chromedome52

    chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't worry about them and the Black Skirts getting crowded. The tank is plenty big enough.

    The inquiry about Emperor genders having different color fin makes me wonder if you have the right species. Emperor Tetra is Nematobrycon palmeri, and the sexual differences are length of the dorsal, male with extension at center of caudal, and eye color (males blue, females green). However, a relative of theirs, often called the King Tetra, Inpaichthys kerri, does have a difference in the color of the adipose fin, a small fin between the dorsal and the tail. They are also smaller, and could easily be the 1.5 inch fish you were told about. These are schooling fish, and not territorial like their Emperor cousins.

    Might want to verify which fish you are thinking of getting.
  5. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    I think my Google search was pulling up info on both getting me confused. Okay, one more question. Do they keep their color pretty well under good conditions? I read something about bright light washing them out, but that might have been the other one.

    I also assume these little king tetras would be a no go with rams and/or EBA right?
  6. chromedome52

    chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    The King Tetras are a very active swimmer, much like Danios, but they don't stay at the surface all the time. They're pretty fast, and I've kept them with some larger but gentle Cichlids. I don't think the EBA would be a worry with them.

    I've never had an issue with either species losing color under bright lights. Emperors get a bit more shy with too much light, but still look good.
  7. OP

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    Do you prefer one over the other? Also, do Kings come in different colors? Some pictures look more like the emperor while others are blue.
  8. nickb2000

    nickb2000Valued MemberMember

    I have had emperors for 5 months now, 3 males and 3 females. I can see that males can be very aggresive with one another if there isnt enought swimming room. Females can be equally aggresive tho also. I had them in a 10g tank for a few months but 2 weeks ago i moved them into a 20g long and the males get along better and are much less aggresive to other males or even the females. Im planning on getting 3 more females so each male has 2 females to himself so there will be less fighting over females. I have also noticed that in a larger tank they are alot more active and less skittish when i come up to the tank. I have even goten them to eat from my fingers recently. So they do make great community fish as long as the male:female ratio is right and there is enough room

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice