Are Tetras Livebearers?

Are Tetras Livebearers?

Are you considering tetra as livebearers?

If so, you need to read this article first.

There’s a lot of misinformation about Tetra Livebearers, and we are here to set the record straight.

In this article, we will discuss the truth about Tetra Livebearers and dispel some myths floating around.

What is Tetra Fish?

Tetra fish are a group of freshwater fish belonging to the family Characidae. 

They are native to South America, and their name comes from the Greek word “tetras,” meaning “four.”

Tetra fish are some of the most popular aquarium fish globally and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. 

There are over 150 different species of tetra fish, and they can range in size from less than an inch to over a foot long.

Most tetra fish are peaceful, making good tank mates for other peaceful fish. Tetras are active swimmers, and they prefer to live in groups.

What is a Livebearer Fish?

Livebearer fish reproduce by giving birth to live young, making them a popular choice for beginner aquarium owners. 

Some common varieties of livebearer fish include :


Guppies are small, colorful fish that originate from South America. 

They get their name from their large tails, which resemble the tails of guinea pigs.

They are prevalent aquarium fish because they are easy to care for and have various color patterns. 

They are not aggressive and get along well with other peaceful fish.


The common molly (Poecilia sphenops) is a fish found in many parts of the world.

This hardy fish can thrive in salt and fresh water, making it ideal for many aquariums.

Mollies are generally peaceful fish and can be kept with other community fish.

However, they can be somewhat aggressive towards other mollies, so keeping only one male molly per tank is best.


Platies (Xiphophorus maculatus) are small, colorful freshwater fish that make a great addition to any home aquarium. 

These lively little fish are relatively easy to care for and can brighten up any tank with their vibrant colors. 

Platies are also very peaceful fish, getting along well with other calm tank mates. 

Add some platies if you are looking for a fun and colorful addition to your aquarium.

Green Swordtail

Green Swordtails are a popular aquarium fish because they are easy to care for and come in various colors. 

Some people keep them as pets, while others use them in their tanks to help control algae growth.

Are Tetra Livebearers? Do They Give Birth or Lay Eggs?

While some believe that tetras produce young, this is not true, and tetra fish are not livebearers. 

Instead, they lay eggs that a male must fertilize before hatching.

Are There Any Major Differences Between Livebearers and Non-livebearer Fish?

Livebearer fish give birth to live young, while non-livebearer fish lay eggs. 

Other than that, there are not many significant differences between the two groups of fish.

The percentage of fish fry that survives if they are internally fertilized is more remarkable than those produced by eggs. 

Livebearer young are typically healthier and more straightforward to look after than their egg-hatching counterparts.

Why Do People Confuse Some Tetra Fish as Livebearer Fish?

The pregnant tetras can develop a substantial distended belly due to the eggs within it.

Some novice aquarists with no prior experience breeding tetras mistakenly believe this is due to pregnancy.

However, it’s typically your fish carrying its eggs!

Some aquarists confuse some species of tetras with livebearer fish because of guppies and mollies.

These fish have a similar body shape and color to some tetras and can lead to confusion.

List of Tetra Fish Which People Get Confuse as a Livebearer Fish

Neon tetra

The neon tetra is a freshwater fish belonging to the Characidae family.

It is a popular aquarium fish, sold under several names, including the cardinal tetra, Minor red tetra, and glowing neon tetra.

Neon tetras are typically confused with livebearer fish because they are small and have a similar body shape.


Some people mistakenly believe that Glofish are livebearers, but this is not the case.

Glofish are born from eggs that are laid by the female fish. 

The eggs hatch and the fry (baby fish) develop inside the egg until they are ready to be born. 

Black Skirt Tetra

The black skirt tetra is not a livebearer, meaning it does not give birth to live babies. Instead, it lays eggs. 

This makes the black skirt tetra an exciting choice for those interested in breeding fish, as it can be easily induced to lay eggs.

Last Words

In conclusion, livebearer fish are those that give birth to live young.

On the other hand, non-livebearer fish lay eggs that a male must fertilize before hatching.

Tetra fish are not livebearers and instead lay eggs.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and found it informative.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave us a comment.