Betta Trading

Flame Tetra

A Peaceful Little Fish

The "Flame Tetra", "Hyphessobrycon flammeus", is an attractive, peaceful little fish. It grows to about 4 cm (one and a half inches) long although most are smaller than this.  Other common names for this fish are the "Red Tetra" The "Fire Tetra" and the "Von Rio Tetra". The Flame Tetra comes from coastal rivers near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  The Brazilian Government regards this fish as being in some danger although there is dispute about this. The Flame Tetras sold in aquarium shops are bred in captivity so buying this fish is not endangering wild stocks. Having a substantial population of Flame Tetras in captivity could even save this species from total extinction if it ever becomes extinct in the wild.

Water Conditions

The Flame Tetra is a tropical fish and needs to be kept in a heated tank unless it is kept in a place that never gets cold. A suitable temperature for this fish is 24̊ C (75̊ F). Ph should be about neutral. A moderate amount of hardness does not seem to bother the Flame Tetra, so it is an excellent fish for a mixed community tank of small fish.

Once, at our shop, a Flame Tetra was accidentally put outside in the early winter in a container we were growing Daphnia in. When I discovered it, there was not much Daphnia, but there was an extremely well fed Flame Tetra. It had been exposed to much colder conditions than this fish is supposed to be able to take, but had apparently thrived.


Like many fish, the Flame Tetra is an omnivore.  In an aquarium, it will happily eat all normal dried and frozen foods.  The Flame Tetra benefits by having the occasional feed of live food like mosquito larvae (wrigglers) or Daphnia. Live food is especially good for conditioning the fish for breeding.


The Flame Tetra is a schooling fish and at least four and preferably more should be kept together. The Flame Tetra can go with any small, peaceful fish. A few of the many suitable companions for this fish are Rummynose Tetras , Harlequin Rasboras, Lemon Tetras , Neon Tetras,  Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras,  Guppies, Endlers Guppies, Neon Tetras, Peppered Catfish,  White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Danios. Not all these common companions are compatible with each other.


The Flame Tetra is one of the easier tetras to breed. Like most of the tetras it is an egg scatterer that tends to eat its own eggs as well as those of other species. Some plants should be present. Water conditions for breeding do not seem to be critical. The female Flame Tetra can lay 200-300 eggs over fine leaved plants.

The eggs hatch in one or two days and are free swimming about three days after hatching. The eggs of the Flame Tetra need darkness for hatching..
Raising the babies
Flame Tetra fry need clean water, so attention must be paid to this. Suitable size live food is best for raising them. This can be supplemented with commercial fry food.



I am indebted to information from Animal World and Tropical Fish Forum.