The ember tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) is a freshwater tropical fish native to the Araguaia River basin of Brazil. This species is of typical tetra shape, but grows to a maximum overall length of about 2 cm (0.7 in). Most exhibit striking orange and reddish coloration with mild translucency near their pelvic fins. Their eyes frequently mirror the color of the fish and are outlined in black. The fish's natural diet consist of small invertebrates and plants. Although somewhat hard to find in fish stores, H. amandae is commonly kept as an aquarium fish by hobbyists.
In the aquarium[edit | edit source]
Ember tetras should be kept in acidic water with a pH near 6.6, and although their native habitat has very soft water, they have adapted quite well to a wide range of hardness (5-17 dGH). The recommended temperature range is between 23 and 29°C (73 and 84°F). Ideally, their tank should contain live plants, a darker substrate, and open water for swimming. Ember tetras should be kept in groups of at least five, to promote schooling. They appreciate a heavily planted aquarium, ideally with a small area shaded from direct light, and spend time swimming through planted areas, which also offer some protection for their fry.
Ember tetras will school with other tetras, such as the neon tetra, but may become stressed by the presence of significantly larger fish. These fish swim at the middle level of the aquarium, and do not feed from the bottom of the tank. Therefore, they should be kept with other bottom-dwelling fish (such as pygmy corydoras), so leftover food is then eaten from the substrate and not left to spoil. Ember tetras can be fed a variety of foods, including flake, frozen, and freeze-dried food. Small live foods, worms and brine shrimp, are also recommended as they bring out the fish's colors.
In a well-maintained, heavily planted aquarium, ember tetras have been known to live ten years or more.