Diamond tetra is one of the best beginner fish for new fish keepers. It is also a beautiful fish. So we can say it as a peaceful fish. Therefore well suit for a Community tank.
Even though a beautiful fish, many fish keepers don’t know much about diamond tetra.
It has a hardy character but easy to care for and raise. This article will guide you with all the necessary information that every fish keeper should know. So keep reading!
Diamond Tetra Description
They are freshwater fish that belongs to the family Characidae. First, it was described by Eigenmann in 1920. Unlike other fish, you can distinguish male and female fish easily ( I will discuss more under the breeding).
Generally, these fish has a very bright color body, therefore look very pretty and eye-catching.
The scientific name is Moenkhausia pittieri, they got the name diamond because these fish sparkle like diamonds in the fish tank. Also, it can recommend for a community fish tank.
Scientific classification as follows,
- Kingdom – Animalia
- Phylum – Chordata
- Order – Characiformes
- Family – Characidae
- Genus – Moenkhausia
This fish has several names as Brillantsalmler, Diamond characin, Pitter’s tetra, and Timanttitetra. Therefore you can call it by any name. But most of the fish keepers know only the name Diamond Tetra.
So now you know that some fish can have more than one name, it varies with the geographical variation.
When it comes to the Diamond Tetra distribution and Origin.
It can be found in the coastal area of Lake Valencia in Venezuela, South America.
Some have even found them around the Tiquirito river and Guacara rivers in the Aragua state. Also distributed around Rio bue and Rio Tiquiriti.
Lake Valencia is the second largest lake in Venezuela, it surrounds by chains of mountains. Therefore no rivers, streams, or oceans connected to this lake, it gets the water from the streams around the mountains.
Therefore we can say no outlet rivers and streams attached to this lake too. Its water level completely depends on the evaporation and rainfall.
Unfortunately, at present streams connect to the lake have been contaminated with untreated wastewater from various industries.
Another way is from agricultural wastewater which contains lots of phosphorous and nitrogen, results in a large number of algal blooms caused by Eutrophication.
It has a huge impact on aquatic life within the lake. At present 60% of the aquatic fish population reduced as a result of these improper human activities.
Diamond Tetra Appearance
They are more likely to be in groups, therefore it is a good stocking fish.
Its body has silver color scales, result in the body stunning like a diamond. Males have bright colors compared to the females, its male has a violet sheen on its dorsal fin.
Most of the time females have transparent fins. But both males and females have a transparent pectoral fin.
if you observe you can only see a lengthy dorsal fin in the male fish. Females are with a shorter dorsal fin. It also has a red-orange color on the top of the iris.
These colors are absent in the juveniles, they are colorless at this stage.
Once my friend brought some group of diamond tetra a long time ago, there he has only selected the fish having long fins due to its nice impression.
With the time he understood that all the fish he brought are males, spend another cost to buy some females for the tank.
Therefore it is a good experience for him and you also do not confuse with the impression.
If you are lack experience ask from an experience fish keeper around you. If not do online research on the internet.
Note: That time my friend was a beginner fish keeper.
How big do Diamond Tetras get?
It is said that these fish get bigger than most of the other tetras; In the wild, it grows up to about 2.4 inches (6.4cm), but in the aquaria, Diamond Tetra size is about 2 inches (roughly 4.5cm- 5cm).
If you are going to buy it recommends 1/4-1 inches as purchasing diamond tetra size.
Therefore giving good care can help them to grow bigger, be aware of that!
when it comes to the diamond tetra life span
It has an average life span of 3-5 years. If you care well it will gain its full potential to live longer.
Diamond Tetra care and Aquarium setup
They are easy to care for, even a beginner fish keeper can rear. But well management is essential. (it is common to all fish species). Because with the time tank gets pollutes with nitrate, organic matter can accumulate at the bottom, etc.
If you keeping a large stock rate of getting pollution also high. Therefore need to change 20-30% of water weakly on a regular basis in order to give them clean water.
Diamond Tetra Aquarium setup
You need a minimum of 15 gallons tank to keep them.
They much likely to live in an aquarium with similar conditions to their natural habitat, it is better if you can prepare an Amazonian bio-type setup.
Under that you can give them a pack of live aquarium plants, it provides more hiding places to hide and it will help to enhance its body coloration.
You can add river sand as tank substrate and can decor with driftwoods and twisted roots.
I have seen my friend using a special trick to give his fish a natural feel. There he put some dried leaves to the bottom of the tank( natural lakes and streams, especially Amazon river, has lots of dried leaves retain at the basin).
He says that has observed fish living happily after adding those leaves.
Note: You need to change the leaves once every 2 weeks and add new leaves to the tank.
These fish also no need to give a bright light( moderate lightning is enough).
Diamond Tetra tank size
As mentioned earlier they require a minimum tank size of 10-15 gallons (57L). Even they well suit for a Nano tank. Since they are keeping in groups, better if you can provide them with enough swimming space.
Water quality parameters
Since these fish are from shallow water bodies in South America, they require moderate water flow. The optimum temperature for Diamond tetra is between 75-82F(22-28c).
And need a pH of 5.5-7, best body coloration can be observed at slightly neutral pH. Water hardness needs to between 5-12 dGH and KH should be 48.
Note: It is better if you can use a water test kit to measure the water conditions correctly.
Diamond Tetra behavior
When it comes to behavior unlike other fish these fish showing very peaceful behavior. Therefore it can keep in a community tank with other fish species.
As I told you earlier they prefer living as groups, better if you can keep 6-8 groups within a tank. Higher the stock, higher the stress too.
When fish suffer from stress there is a high chance of getting various diseases due to suppress immunity.
Are diamond tetras aggressive?
Generally, we say it is a very peaceful fish compare with other fish species. But there are some occasions where it can get aggressive if you are keeping fish more than the schooling number it may lead to aggressive.
So always try to keep around 6-8 fish in a group.
Even within the schooling male to a female ratio higher, having many males can tend to dominate over others. This can make diamond tetra aggressive.
So, Try to keep male to female ratio lower much as possible by adding more female fish. Sometimes if your fish lack enough swimming space there it can have a chance to stress and aggression.
Therefore providing sufficient tank space and wise decoration is essential. I hope you may get the point, as many fish keepers having this problem.
Are Diamond Tetras fin nippers?
No, not all the diamond tetras are fin nippers. There may be one or two in a group who can behave crazy. This also takes place as a result of aggression.
There even peaceful fish can get to chase other long fin species of on kind or different species can nipper. Better to keep them in proper schooling, that can helps to change this behavior.
Since these fish showing good social behavior they always need to interact with each other. But be aware! if the tank gets overcrowded your fish can get stress, this can start chasing other fish mates and nipping.
Another thing if the tank water conditions are poor, and selecting the wrong tankmates also leads to a fin nipper, so maintain tank conditions properly and select correct tankmates while giving suitable schooling.
It can help to avoid fin nipping.
Is Fin nippering dangerous?
Yes, it is dangerous because fish that subject to the fin nippering can live with scare even after the nippy fish is removed from the tank.
It can cause even wounds, the result can susceptible to various bacterial diseases because it opens a channel to an entire fish body. So fish wounds need to be properly treated with fin rot solution.
It is advisable to rehome this nippy fish, you can give it to another fish keeper around you or can return it to the pet store where you buy these and take your money back. It is better rather than losing all your fish.
So be aware of that!
Diamond Tetra Tankmates
Since they are peaceful and able to keep in a community tank, you might get misunderstand thinking any fish can keep with them.
You need to pay much attention when selecting diamond tetra tankmates because they can’t be kept with larger fish. They can eat these small tetras.
So the best way is to keep with tankmates that suits the diamond tetras size. even you can try medium size cichlids, but not recommends if you haven’t any prior knowledge regarding the cichlid’s behavior.
Therefore the best diamond tetra tankmates are as follows, Danios, Rasbora, Corydoras, small loricarrides, dwarf cichlids, other tetras like neon tetra, Lampeyes, Small albino frogs, Platies, Bamboo shrimp, Guppies, Molly fish, Cory catfish, and praecox rainbows, etc.
Diamond Tetra Male vs Female differences
Identification of gender very important when it comes to breeding. You can easily identify the male from the female fish by, the male is bigger than the female.
It also has refractive scales with bright colors compare to the female.
Male also has a long flowing dorsal fin whereas female diamond tetra has a shortfin and it is colorless. Therefore you can easily identify its gender.
Diamond Tetra breeding
How do diamond tetras breed?
It is not difficult to breed you can follow the same way as other fish breeds. If you need you can breed separately, in a breeder tank.
Since we can identify gender it is good to choose a female with well develop belly and a male with good intense coloration. It needs to have a minimum of 15-20 gallons of water tank for breeding if you wish to breed to have a larger number of fry.
But aquarists say 18′ times 12’times 12′ tank is enough for breeding.
As diamond tetras are egg breeders, you can use a net to cover the bottom of the breeder tank or can use dense aquarium planting within the tank. You can use Java moss, Spawning mops to decor the tank.
There, the female hide and it will lay eggs attach to the bottom of the tank or aquarium plants. It is also necessary to remove this breeding pair immediately after the egg-laying process complete. Otherwise, these adults can eat eggs.
The there spawning process can induce by increasing the temperature and pH slightly. You can use 80-84 F as optimum breeding temperature and pH need to be between 5.5-6.5, water hardness generally low, among GH 1-5. It needs to raise with time.
You no need to use a bright light, it is better if you can use natural lighting. Normally when spawning begins male starts to chase the female which makes her laying the eggs.
This process complete around 2-3 hours. If you see it delayed for 2-5 days it indicates that eggs are not still ready within the abdomen of the female.
If everything got correctly female lays about 300-400 eggs. There you can add a few drops of methylene blue solution to prevent these eggs from mold formation and even protect them from bacterial infections.
Diamond tetra eggs are usually hatched within around 30 hours. If it was fertilized by the male correctly. You can observe diamond tetra fry start swimming after around 3-4 days later.
After around, one-month juveniles start transforming into adults and get the colors and other characters as well. Here you need to increase the water hardness and other parameters gradually to its normal keeping conditions.
These juveniles are ready to breed again when it is about 6-7 months old.
- To achieve this you need to feed them with quality food. It will more discuss under the feeding
- It is also necessary to put breeding pair into separate breeder tanks 6-8 days before the spawning process begins.
Diet and feeding
Diamond tetras are easy to feed, they are omnivores and eat whatever give from plants to insects.
What do diamond tetra eat in home aquaria?
Yes, when it comes to home aquaria unlike in the wild habitat, you need to give them high quality diet. There you can feed dried, frozen or freeze-dried, or live foods.
There is a wide range of foods you can give as blood worms, Daphnia, Brine shrimps, dried flakes and granules, mosquito larvae, tubifex, micro pellet food, and blackworms, etc.
it is good to give vegetable foods such as spinach leaves and lettuce. It will help to increase the body coloration of your fish. When it comes to feeding diamond tetra fry,
Immediately after hatch, it contains a yolk sac. It can survive for a couple of days, thereafter you need to give baby brine shrimps, other fry food, micro food, and chopped tubifex.
You also can give juveniles adult food after 20 days. There it is 1cm long in size, you can decide when to give food to the juveniles.
Possible fish diseases
Generally, diamond tetras are considered hardy fish. That can be another reason to popular over many aquarists. Even a beginner fish keeper can easily keep it in their tank.
If you do not manage your tank properly it can stress your fish, results in immunity getting lower.
So can susceptible to various bacterial, fungal, and viral infections such as ich disease, skin fluke, fin rot, white spot disease so on. Therefore use a good filtration even sponge filter well suit.
Give them an appropriate temperature and other parameters. It will help your fish to live long.
Diamond tetra is a very pretty and peaceful fish that can be kept in your fish tank. So well manage tank can lead a long life span. Therefore I hope this article will help you even if you are a beginner fish keeper! Happy fish keeping life!
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