Emperor Tetra

Emperor Tetra “Nematobrycon palmeri”

Male Emperor Tetra

Male Emperor Tetra


  • Maximum size 4.2 centimetres
  • Temperature range 23–27 °C
  • Prefers softer slightly acidic water.
  • Lifespan up to 6 years


These fish originate from the rivers of Western Colombia in South America.

They tend to be silver in colour with a black stripe that runs all the way through their caudal fin and typically extended beyond the caudal fin in males. Their fins are translucent with males commonly having yellow tinge to them. Males are more colourful with a purple hue above their black stripe. They are slightly larger in size than their Neon relatives.

They are placid in nature and best kept in groups of five or more with other Tetras and small fish as larger fish will prey on them.

They are omnivores enjoying a wide range of foods such as flake food, bloodworms, daphnia and brine shrimp.

They like subdued lighting, dark gravel or substrate, floating plants and bogwood helps darken the water and simulate their natural habitat.

Males have metallic blue eyes whereas females have green, so they are fairly easy to sex early on.

Breeding is known to be easier than other types of Tetra in the home aquarium. They are egg layers and will spawn between 50 and 100 tiny clear eggs on fine leaved plants for up to five hours. They especially like to lay eggs on Java Moss. The eggs will hatch around 30 hours later and fry can take up to around five days to become free swimming.

The fry should be fed infusoria for around ten days and can later be fed crushed flake food or brine shrimp. They will mature around six months later.



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