web analytics

Glowlight Tetra Care FAQs: Tank Mates, Diet, and Setup Guide

Hemigrammus erythrozonus
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tetra_Glowlight_cropped.jpg">Tetra_Glowlight.jpg: gonzalovalenzueladerivative work: Kyknos</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons

Get ready to dive into the mesmerizing world of the Glowlight Tetra, a stunning freshwater fish that’s sure to captivate any aquarium enthusiast. With its shimmering scales and peaceful demeanor, this little gem is a must-have for any community tank. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the fascinating history, unique characteristics, and essential care tips for the Glowlight Tetra.

The Glowlight Tetra, scientifically known as Hemigrammus erythrozonus, belongs to the Characidae family. This South American native is closely related to other popular tetras like the Neon Tetra and the Black Neon Tetra. What sets the Glowlight apart is its iridescent golden-orange stripe that runs along its body, creating a breathtaking display under aquarium lighting.

What makes the Glowlight Tetra so captivating? For starters, its stunning appearance is sure to draw attention in any aquarium. But beyond its beauty, this fish is also known for its peaceful temperament, making it an ideal addition to a community tank. Plus, watching a school of Glowlights gracefully swimming together is a sight that never gets old.

While there are no notable variants of the Glowlight Tetra, its natural habitat is equally fascinating. Hailing from the slow-moving waters of Guyana, this mid-dwelling fish thrives in densely planted environments. In the aquarium, they prefer subdued lighting and plenty of hiding spots provided by plants and driftwood.

Glowlight Tetras are relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginner aquarists. These omnivores have a diverse diet, accepting a variety of flake foods, frozen foods, and live foods like brine shrimp and daphnia. Keep your Glowlights in schools of at least six to ensure their comfort and bring out their natural behaviors.

On average, Glowlight Tetras grow to about 1.5 inches in length and have a lifespan of 3-5 years with proper care. Did you know that these fish are known to be jumpers? Make sure your aquarium has a tight-fitting lid to prevent any accidental escapes. Another fun fact: Glowlight Tetras are sometimes referred to as “Fireglow Tetras” due to their vibrant coloration.

The Glowlight Tetra was first introduced to the aquarium trade in the 1930s and has been a popular choice among hobbyists ever since. Its discovery in the wild is credited to Dr. William T. Innes, a renowned American ichthyologist who dedicated his life to the study of freshwater fishes.

Key Information

The Glowlight Tetra (Hemigrammus erythrozonus) is a stunning freshwater fish that captivates aquarium enthusiasts with its vibrant colors. Its body is primarily silver, but what sets this fish apart is the iridescent golden-orange stripe that runs laterally from its eyes to the base of its caudal fin. This striking coloration is most intense under aquarium lighting, giving the fish an almost glowing appearance. The fins are transparent, with the exception of the caudal fin, which may have a slight reddish tint.

Price$2 to $5 per fish
Common NamesGlowlight Tetra, Fire Neon Tetra, Fireglow Tetra
VariantsNo notable variants
Ideal Tank SizeMinimum 10 gallons
Water ParametersTemperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C), pH: 5.5-7.5, Hardness: 4-8 dGH
Lifespan3 to 5 years
Full Size1.5 inches (4 cm)
Natural EnvironmentSlow-moving, shallow, and densely vegetated coastal rivers and streams in Guyana
BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish; known to form hierarchies within the group
Habitat PreferenceMid-level dweller, prefers well-planted aquariums with subdued lighting and hiding spots
Aquarium DecorationDense vegetation, driftwood, and dark substrate to mimic natural habitat and enhance coloration
Ideal Tank MatesOther peaceful, small fish like Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, Ember Tetras, Corydoras Catfish, and small Rasboras
Fish to AvoidLarge, aggressive fish that may prey on Glowlight Tetras, such as Cichlids and Oscars
Best Foods/DietOmnivorous; in the wild, feeds on small invertebrates, insects, and plant matter; in captivity, accepts a variety of high-quality flake foods, frozen foods, and live foods like brine shrimp and daphnia; color-enhancing foods can help maintain vibrant coloration
DiseaseSusceptible to common freshwater fish diseases like Ich and fin rot if water quality is poor; maintaining optimal water conditions and quarantining new fish can help prevent disease outbreaks
Sex-SwitchDoes not change sex
Gender DifferencesDifficult to distinguish; females may be slightly larger and plumper when carrying eggs
Care LevelEasy; suitable for beginner aquarists
Breeding LevelModerate; spawns readily in home aquariums but requires specific water conditions and a separate breeding tank; eggs are sensitive to light and may be eaten by parents; fry should be fed small live foods like infusoria and newly hatched brine shrimp until they can accept larger foods

Ideal Tank Mates

When selecting tank mates for Glowlight Tetras (Hemigrammus erythrozonus), it’s essential to choose species that share similar water requirements, temperament, and size. Glowlight Tetras are peaceful, schooling fish that thrive in the company of their own kind and other non-aggressive species. They prefer well-planted aquariums with subdued lighting and plenty of hiding spots.

Ideal tank mates for Glowlight Tetras should be small, peaceful fish that won’t outcompete them for food or space. It’s also important to avoid larger, more aggressive species that may view the diminutive Glowlight Tetras as prey. By carefully selecting compatible tank mates, you can create a harmonious and visually appealing community aquarium that showcases the beauty of these iridescent fish.

Here are 15 ideal tank mates for Glowlight Tetras, along with explanations of why they are compatible:

Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)

Neon Tetras are small, colorful fish that share similar water requirements and behavior patterns with Glowlight Tetras. They school together and add visual interest to the aquarium without competing for resources.

Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

Like Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras are peaceful schooling fish that make excellent companions for Glowlight Tetras. Their striking red and blue coloration complements the golden hues of the Glowlights.

Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon amandae)

Ember Tetras are another small, peaceful species that thrive in the same water conditions as Glowlight Tetras. Their warm, reddish-orange coloration adds a beautiful contrast to the aquarium.

Rummy Nose Tetras (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)

Rummy Nose Tetras are active, schooling fish that prefer similar water parameters to Glowlight Tetras. Their unique appearance, with bright red heads and silver bodies, makes them an attractive addition to the community tank.

Green Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon simulans)

Green Neon Tetras are close relatives of the Neon Tetra, sharing similar size, behavior, and water requirements. Their iridescent green stripe complements the colors of the Glowlight Tetras.

Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

Harlequin Rasboras are small, peaceful fish that adapt well to the same water conditions as Glowlight Tetras. Their unique triangular shape and vibrant colors add visual interest to the aquarium.

Lambchop Rasboras (Trigonostigma espei)

Lambchop Rasboras, also known as False Harlequin Rasboras, are another compatible species for Glowlight Tetras. They are peaceful, schooling fish with an attractive copper and black coloration.

Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus)

Celestial Pearl Danios, or Galaxy Rasboras, are tiny, peaceful fish that thrive in similar water conditions to Glowlight Tetras. Their spotted appearance and iridescent colors make them a stunning addition to the community tank.

Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras pygmaeus)

Pygmy Corydoras are small, peaceful bottom-dwellers that help keep the aquarium clean by scavenging for leftover food. They are compatible with Glowlight Tetras and add interest to the lower levels of the tank.

Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus spp.)

Otocinclus Catfish are small, algae-eating fish that are peaceful and compatible with Glowlight Tetras. They help maintain water quality by grazing on algae and are unobtrusive tank mates.

Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

Cherry Shrimp are small, colorful invertebrates that can safely coexist with Glowlight Tetras. They help keep the aquarium clean by feeding on algae and detritus, and their bright red coloration adds visual appeal.

Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata)

Amano Shrimp are larger than Cherry Shrimp but are still peaceful and compatible with Glowlight Tetras. They are excellent algae eaters and help maintain a clean, healthy aquarium environment.

Nerite Snails (Neritina spp.)

Nerite Snails are small, peaceful invertebrates that help control algae growth in the aquarium. They are compatible with Glowlight Tetras and come in a variety of attractive shell patterns.

Mystery Snails (Pomacea bridgesii)

Mystery Snails are larger than Nerite Snails but are still peaceful and compatible with Glowlight Tetras. They help keep the aquarium clean by consuming algae, leftover food, and decaying plant matter.

Dwarf Gouramis (Trichogaster lalius)

Dwarf Gouramis are peaceful, colorful fish that can coexist with Glowlight Tetras in larger aquariums. They occupy the upper levels of the tank and have a unique, labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air from the surface.

By selecting a combination of these compatible tank mates, you can create a diverse, visually appealing, and harmonious community aquarium that showcases the beauty of Glowlight Tetras while ensuring the health and well-being of all inhabitants.


How many Glowlight Tetras should I keep together?

Glowlight Tetras are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least six individuals. Keeping them in larger numbers will help them feel more secure and exhibit their natural schooling behavior, which is both visually appealing and beneficial to their overall well-being.

Can Glowlight Tetras be kept with bettas?

While it is possible to keep Glowlight Tetras with bettas in larger aquariums, it is not always recommended. Bettas can be territorial and aggressive, especially towards smaller fish with flowing fins. If you decide to keep them together, ensure that the aquarium is spacious, well-planted, and has plenty of hiding spots to minimize potential conflicts.

Are Glowlight Tetras sensitive to water changes?

Like most tetras, Glowlight Tetras can be sensitive to sudden changes in water parameters. To minimize stress, perform regular, small water changes (about 10-15% of the tank volume) every week. This will help maintain stable water conditions and prevent the buildup of harmful toxins.

Can Glowlight Tetras be kept in a planted aquarium?

Absolutely! Glowlight Tetras are an excellent choice for planted aquariums. They thrive in environments with dense vegetation, as it mimics their natural habitat and provides them with hiding spots and a sense of security. Additionally, live plants help maintain good water quality by absorbing excess nutrients and providing oxygen.

How often should I feed my Glowlight Tetras?

Feed your Glowlight Tetras small amounts of food two to three times a day. Offer a variety of high-quality flake foods, frozen foods, and live foods to ensure a balanced diet. Be careful not to overfeed, as excess food can lead to poor water quality and health issues. Remove any uneaten food after a few minutes to maintain a clean aquarium.

Can Glowlight Tetras jump out of the aquarium?

Yes, Glowlight Tetras are known to be jumpers, especially when startled or stressed. To prevent them from jumping out of the aquarium, make sure to keep a secure, tight-fitting lid on your tank at all times. This will also help minimize water evaporation and maintain stable water parameters.

How can I enhance the colors of my Glowlight Tetras?

To bring out the vibrant colors of your Glowlight Tetras, provide them with a well-maintained aquarium, a balanced diet, and the right lighting conditions. Offer color-enhancing foods that contain carotenoids, such as high-quality flakes, spirulina, and shrimp. Ensure that the aquarium has proper lighting to showcase their iridescent golden-orange stripe, but avoid overly bright lights, as Glowlight Tetras prefer subdued lighting.

Can Glowlight Tetras be bred in captivity?

Yes, Glowlight Tetras can be bred in home aquariums with proper conditions and care. To encourage breeding, provide a separate breeding tank with slightly acidic, soft water and fine-leaved plants for egg scattering. Condition the breeding pair with high-quality, protein-rich foods, and remove the parents once the eggs are laid, as they may eat the eggs and fry. Raise the fry on small live foods like infusoria and newly hatched brine shrimp until they can accept larger foods.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.



Total posts created: 133
A long-time freshwater fish enthusiast with a passion for sharing knowledge about this fascinating hobby. Over the years, Michelle has dedicated countless hours to studying, learning, and experiencing firsthand the joys and challenges of fish-keeping.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *