Pristella Tetra

Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Pristella Tetra can be a really good fish for the freshwater fish beginner. These tetras are fairly hardy and should do well in a somewhat broader range of water parameters than other tetras. The Pristella is very peaceful when kept in small schools of 6 or more. However, they may become skittish if kept with larger tank mates.

Pristella maxillaris Pristella maxillaris

Physically, these tetras get to be about 2 inches (5 cm) and they are sometimes called the X-Ray tetra because of its almost transparent body. Look for the signature black stripe across the middle of the dorsal fin.

There is an albino variety (golden x-ray tetra) that will sometimes be available, but it is not as common as the regular Pristellas.

X-ray Tetra Pristella maxillaris

It's always a good idea to keep any new fish in a quarantine tank for a few weeks for monitoring before introducing them into your main tank.

This tetra is a decent eater and will accept smaller fish food including flakes, frozen, freeze dried and live foods.

Red Eye Pristella tetra Yellow REd Eye Pristella tetra


Pristella Tetra Care

Scientific Name : Pristella maxillaris

Common Names : X-Ray Tetra, Pristella Tetra, Albino Pristella

Care Level : Easy, good for the freshwater fish beginner

Size : 2 inches (5 cm)

pH : 6 - 8

Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (24°C - 28°C)

Lifespan : 5 years or longer

Origin / Habitat : Amazon River, South America

Temperament / Behavior : This is a schooling fish that is usually very peaceful. It is listed as a non-invasive species.

Breeding : They have been bred in captivity and are egg layers. They will scatter eggs in plants and they should hatch in 24 hours.

Aquarium Size : 10 gallon minimum (schooling fish)

Tank Mates : They are generally peaceful but may be skittish around larger tank mates. Best kept in a small school of 6 or more.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease, be smart and use a Quarantine Tank

Diet / Foods : An omnivore - provide a varied diet with live food, frozen food and they should accept flake food. They will eat live plants too.

Tank Region : Middle to bottom

Gender : Can be difficult to determine, female may be more full bodied

Fish Lore Forum : Pristella Tetra Forum

Photo Credit : Photos copyright

Site References :

Pristella Tetra Comments

From: Chris
Great little fish, all 5 survived our water problems and they are great to watch with their bright striped fins and rather round bodies. In our small shoal there is a quite a size range from a little one to two quite chunky ones but they all seem to get along really well.

From: Jack
The X-ray Tetra I have is the Hardiest fish I have ever seen! I lost power for about 5 days and he survived without a heater!

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