Keeping Long-Finned Tetras: Tips for a Happy Schooling Fish

Are you fascinated by the colorful and graceful long-finned tetras? These schooling fish are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts, but keeping them happy and healthy requires proper care and maintenance. In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about long-finned tetras, from their physical appearance to their habitat and distribution, behavior, and compatibility with other fish.

We will also guide you through setting up an ideal tank environment for your long-finned tetras by discussing water conditions and maintenance, feeding habits, breeding, common diseases, and prevention.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hobbyist, our tips will help ensure that your long-finned tetras thrive in their new home.

Long-Finned Tetra Overview

Long-Finned Tetra Overview

Long-Finned Tetras are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. These peaceful and social fish thrive in groups and prefer soft, acidic water with plenty of plants and hiding places. They are omnivores and can be fed a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods. Keeping them with other peaceful fish that won’t nip at their long fins is crucial for their well-being. Proper filtration and regular water changes are also important to maintain the health of your Long-Finned Tetra school.

Physical Appearance

Long-Finned Tetras are a striking addition to any aquarium with their elongated, slender bodies and flowing fins that come in vibrant hues of red, blue, and green. However, it’s essential to keep their delicate fins safe from damage as they’re prone to injury from rough or aggressive tank mates. As schooling fish, Long-Finned Tetras should be kept in groups of at least six and prefer a planted tank with plenty of hiding spots and moderate water flow for optimal health and happiness.

Habitat and Distribution

Long-Finned Tetras are native to South America, where they are commonly found in slow-moving streams and rivers. They prefer soft, acidic water with plenty of hiding places like plants and driftwood. In the wild, they live in large schools, which should be replicated in an aquarium setting. A well-planted aquarium with moderate lighting is ideal for Long-Finned Tetras. Maintaining good water quality is essential for their health and happiness; thus, regular water changes and proper filtration are necessary to ensure a healthy environment for these social fish.

Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑

Long-finned tetras are peaceful and social creatures that thrive in groups of five or more. They get along well with other non-aggressive species such as corydoras and guppies. However, it’s crucial to avoid housing them with fin-nipping or aggressive fish to prevent stress and damage to their delicate fins. Providing ample hiding spots and plants will ensure the comfort and happiness of your long-finned tetra school. With proper care, these fish can live up to five years in a well-maintained aquarium.


A healthy Long-Finned Tetra can live up to 5 years in a well-maintained aquarium. Proper care, including a well-balanced diet, regular water changes, and preventing overfeeding can extend their lifespan. Conversely, stressful environments or improper water conditions can shorten it. So keep consistent water parameters and provide a clean environment to help your long-finned tetras live long and happy lives in your aquarium.

Setting up a Tank for Long-Finned Tetra

Setting up a Tank for Long-Finned Tetra

When setting up a tank for long-finned tetras, it’s essential to consider their specific needs. These peaceful schooling fish require a minimum tank size of 20 gallons and should be kept in groups of at least six. Providing hiding places such as plants, caves, and driftwood can help them feel secure in their environment. Additionally, maintaining proper water conditions with a temperature between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and pH level between 6.0 and 7.5 is crucial for their health and longevity.

Water Conditions and Maintenance

Maintaining ideal water conditions is crucial for the health and longevity of long-finned tetras. These fish prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5. It’s important to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated, as poor water quality can lead to stress and disease. Regular testing of water parameters and performing routine water changes are essential in keeping your long-finned tetras healthy and happy. Adding live plants not only improves water quality but also provides hiding places for the fish to reduce stress levels.

Feeding Long-Finned Tetra

Offer your long-finned tetra a balanced diet of both protein and vegetables. They can be fed flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms. Overfeeding must be avoided as it can lead to health problems and poor water quality. Feeding them small amounts multiple times per day is better than feeding one large meal. Observe their behaviour during feeding to determine if they are getting enough food.

Keeping Long-Finned Tetra with Other Fish

When it comes to keeping Long-Finned Tetra with other fish, it’s important to choose their tank mates carefully. These peaceful fish do well in community tanks with non-aggressive species such as small tetras, rasboras, and Corydoras catfish. Providing plenty of hiding places and plants in the tank will create a comfortable environment for both the Long-Finned Tetra and their tank mates. Avoid keeping them with larger or aggressive fish like cichlids or bettas to prevent any fin-nipping or stress.

Breeding Long-Finned Tetra

Breeding Long-Finned Tetras requires a separate breeding tank with live plants and plenty of hiding spots. Maintaining the water temperature between 76-82°F and pH level between 6.0 to 7.5 is ideal for breeding. It’s important to feed them high-quality food, such as brine shrimp or bloodworms, to encourage spawning. After spawning occurs, remove the parents from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating their own eggs or fry. A clean and stable environment is crucial in both the breeding and main tanks to ensure the health and happiness of Long-Finned Tetras.

Common Diseases and Prevention

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment is crucial for preventing common diseases in Long-Finned Tetras. These fish are susceptible to illnesses such as ich, fin rot, and velvet, which can be prevented by regular water changes and quarantine of new fish. A well-balanced diet and stress-free environment can also boost their immune system and reduce the likelihood of disease. If you notice any signs of illness, isolate the affected fish immediately and treat them promptly to prevent further spread of disease.

Maximum Standard Length

Long-finned tetras can grow up to 4 inches in length. This means that it’s essential to provide them with a spacious tank so they can move around freely. Aquarists recommend keeping a school of long-finned tetras in a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, making sure that the water is well-filtered and adequately heated between 72-82°F with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5. Additionally, maintaining an appropriate tank size and environment for long-finned tetras will help prevent aggression from other fish species and create a happy schooling community for these beautiful fish.

Aquarium Size

Long-finned tetras require a minimum tank size of 20 gallons. However, it is recommended to provide a larger tank for a group of six or more tetras. A spacious tank allows the fish plenty of room to swim and reduces the likelihood of aggression among them. It’s essential to ensure that the tank is well-filtered and has hiding places such as plants and decorations for the tetras to retreat to when needed. To imitate their natural habitat, maintain stable water conditions with a temperature between 72-82°F and pH levels between 6.0 to 7.5. Regular water changes are also necessary to keep the tetra’s environment healthy and free from disease.


To keep your long-finned tetras healthy and happy, regular maintenance is vital. Make sure to perform partial water changes every week, remove any uneaten food or debris, and test the water parameters regularly. Keeping a keen eye on your fish’s behavior is also crucial; if you notice any signs of illness or stress, take action immediately. By maintaining a clean and healthy tank environment, you can ensure that your long-finned tetras will thrive for years to come.

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female long-finned tetras exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males having longer fins and brighter colors than females. It’s important to ensure that there are enough females in the tank to prevent males from fighting over them. Long-finned tetras are schooling fish, so it’s recommended to keep them in groups of at least six. The tank setup should include plants, hiding spots, and a filter to ensure a healthy environment for the fish. With proper care and maintenance, long-finned tetras can thrive in a community tank with other peaceful fish species.


Long-finned tetras are relatively easy to breed in a home aquarium. A separate breeding tank is recommended as the parents may eat their own eggs or fry. To encourage breeding, raise the water temperature to around 78-82°F and provide a spawning mop or plants for the female to lay her eggs. Once hatched, the fry can be fed on small live foods such as microworms or baby brine shrimp. It’s important to remove any adult fish from the breeding tank once the eggs have been laid to prevent them from eating the fry.

Colorings and Markings

Long-finned tetras come in a variety of colors and markings, ranging from red to blue, green, and black. These colorful fish are a beautiful addition to any aquarium. When selecting long-finned tetras for your tank, it’s important to choose fish with bright colors and clear markings. Creating a well-planted environment with plenty of hiding spots will help reduce stress and aggression among these peaceful fish. Maintaining proper water conditions and regular tank maintenance will ensure that your long-finned tetras remain healthy and vibrant.

Tank Mate Compatibility:

When selecting tank mates for your long-finned tetras, it’s important to consider the fish’s peaceful nature and vulnerability due to their long fins. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or fin-nipping fish that may harm them. Good tank mates include other peaceful schooling fish like rasboras, guppies, and neon tetras. Make sure the tank is large enough to provide adequate hiding places and maintain good water quality for their overall health and wellbeing.

Plants for Tetras:

Long-finned tetras thrive in well-planted tanks, and adding live plants not only enhances their natural environment but also provides hiding places and helps maintain water quality. Choosing the right plants is crucial. Amazon swords, Java ferns, and Anubias are great options that won’t overwhelm the aquarium or damage the delicate fins of the tetras. Regular pruning and maintenance of the plants will ensure a healthy and happy environment for your long-finned tetras.

Decorations for Tetras:

Creating a natural environment with suitable decorations is key to keeping long-finned tetras happy and healthy. Decorations such as plants, rocks, and driftwood provide hiding places for the fish while also contributing to water filtration and oxygenation. Live plants are an excellent choice for long-finned tetras since they not only provide hiding places but also create a natural environment. However, it’s important to avoid decorations with sharp edges that can tear the delicate fins of the long-finned tetras. Regular maintenance of suitable decorations will ensure a healthy and happy school of long-finned tetras.

Tank Size

Long-finned tetras are energetic swimmers and require ample space to thrive. A minimum of 20 gallons is recommended for a small school, but larger tanks will provide even more room for these active fish to explore. It’s important to create a well-planted environment with plenty of hiding places and natural decor to mimic their natural habitats. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or nippy fish, and maintain good water quality through regular water changes and filtration.

Water Parameters

Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial for long-finned health’s and well-being. These fish thrive in a pH range of 6.0-7.5 and prefer soft to moderately hard water. Consistent temperature between 72-82°F is essential, and regular water changes help keep the parameters stable. A good quality water conditioner can neutralize harmful chemicals and metals present in tap water, while a reliable test kit helps ensure that the parameters are within the acceptable range for long-finned tetras.

long finned tetra

What Are Some Tips for Keeping Long-Finned Tetras Happy and Healthy in an Aquarium?

Long-finned Tetras need proper care to stay happy in an aquarium. Maintain clean water by checking the pH level and using a good filter. Feed them a balanced diet of flakes and pellets to ensure their nutrition. Remember to provide hiding spots and plenty of swimming space for their well-being. Follow essential aquarium fish health tips to create a thriving environment for these beautiful fish.


Long-Finned are relatively easy to care for, beautiful, and interesting fish that can add a lot of life and personality to your aquarium.

As with any living creature, it is crucial to ensure that your Long-Finned Tetras are healthy and happy. This means providing them with a safe and comfortable environment, feeding them the right foods, and keeping their tank clean.

To learn more about setting up the perfect home for your Long-Finned, including information on water parameters, tank size, decoration ideas and more, read our comprehensive guide on long-finned tetra care tips.

Hi, I'm Millie a passionate fish enthusiast and blogger. I loves learning about all kinds of aquatic creatures, from tropical fish to stingrays.

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