The Lemon Tetra, Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis, is an attractive and lively fish reaching a maximum length of about one and a half inches (four cm). This South American Tetra is found in the Tapajós River in Brazil in large numbers.
The Lemon Tetra is a tropical fish. In its natural habitat the water temperature stays between 23̊ and 28° C (74° F - 82° F). I suggest a temperature of about 24̊ C or 75̊ F for a community tank including Lemon Tetras. The Lemon Tetra is more flexible in its pH and hardness requirements than most tetras, being able to survive a pH range of from 5.5 to 8, and can take quite hard water. I suggest neutral pH (7) for a mixed community.
Tetras are very much a schooling fish and I suggest that at least five and
preferably more be kept together. In a large group, Lemon Tetras are less
likely to shyly hide and more likely to boldly swim in the open near the
surface of the tank, creating a stunning display. The Lemon Tetra will
certainly be less stressed in a large school and more likely to stay healthy.
Common companions for Lemon Tetras include Neon Tetras, Black Widow Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Neon Tetras, Peppered Catfish, White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Zebra Danios. Not all these common companions are compatible with each other.
Fish I would not suggest as companions for Lemon Tetras are the larger and more aggressive fish and the ones that need different conditions. These includes many of the Cichlids as well as such fish as the Whale Shark which requires completely different conditions as well as being on the large size for a community tank of small fish.
wild the Lemon Tetra breeds with huge numbers of fish at a time. During
and after spawning, many fish, including the Lemon Tetras themselves eat some
of the eggs. In captivity, the Lemon Tetra is considered by many people
to be a moderately difficult fish to breed.
The Lemon Tetra is an egg scatterer like most of the tetras and tends to release its eggs over fine leaved plants. Like most tetras, the Lemon Tetra does not look after its babies and will eat both the eggs and the young fish. A group of Lemon Tetras is more likely to breed successfully than a single pair, but if you want to save most of the fry you need to remove the parents.
The fry are difficult to raise for the first few days, but if you can get them past the first critical stage they start getting the hardiness that characterizes the adults.
To feed the babies, you can start with a very fine food like Sera micron or hardboiled egg yolk suspended in the water. They can progress to slightly bigger fry food like Sera Micropan or HBH Fry Bites quite soon. They benefit from suitable sized live food at all ages.
Sources and Picture Credits
The picture above the companions section is from