Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 JJPhoto.dk
Pristella Tetra Comments
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.
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!
More Tetra Fish Profiles
Cochu's Blue Tetra
One of the less commonly available tetras that gets to be about 1.6 inches as adults.
As the name indicates the Congo tetra originates from the River Congo as well as Central African rivers. They are extremely beautiful African characins, growing slightly larger than most of its kind.
It's scales sparkle like diamonds under the right lighting. Gets to be about 2.3 inches (6 cm) as adults.