Are Neon Tetras Hardy Fish?

Serpae Tetra

Looking for an interesting fish to add to your tank? Check out the Serpae Tetra!

These fish are beautiful and great choices for any tank, but they do require a bit of care.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Serpae Tetras, including their diet, behavior, and Tank size.


Scientific NameHyphessobrycon eques
OriginBrazil, Paraguay
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons
Length1.75 inches
Ease of CareEasy
pH5.0 to 7.8
Temperature72 to 79 F (22 to 26 C)
BreedingEgg Layer
Serpae Tetra Characteristics

Serpae Tetra Origins

The Serpae Tetra is a species of freshwater fish from Brazil’s Amazon basin.

They may be found in the Guaporé and Paraguay River basins in Argentina, Brazil, and upper Paraguay.

Captive-bred rather than wild-caught specimens are the majority presently sold in the aquarium market.

Serpae tetras like ponds, lakes, and streams with slower-moving water.

These waters are darker and have plenty of vegetation. Serpae tetras prefer to stay near submerged roots and vegetation in order to find both shelter and food.

What Are the Features of Serpae Tetra?

1. Appearance

Most of the Serpae Tetra species are bright red-brown, with glistening scales that reflect light.

The black spot behind the gills of a Serpae tetra is visible. Their square-shaped dorsal fin is dark black with a barely perceptible white border.

The tail is forked, the anal fin is a triangle with short, red sides, and the fins are crimson with black tips and have striking markings.

2. Color

The serpae tetra’s beautiful crimson hue is one of its most distinctive characteristics.

The fish’s body is long and flat, with a black comma-shaped mark positioned just behind the gills.

The fish’s dorsal fin is bordered in white and black, while the other fins are red.

The leading tip of the black-edged anal fin has a touch of white.

As the fish matures, these hues might fade somewhat, yet they remain quite vivid.

Females are generally not as brightly colored as males, but they are often fatter in form.

3. Length

The average Serpae tetra is 1.75 inches long, with some specimens growing up to 2 inches in length under ideal conditions.

These fish are tiny and may not reach their full potential in poor living circumstances.

Under suitable conditions, on the other hand, Serpae tetras can attain their maximum size.

4. Lifespan

While five years is the average lifespan for these fish, some have been known to live up to seven years.

In general, their lifespan can be impacted by various factors, including water temperature and diet. You can help your Serpae Tetras live a long and healthy life by providing optimal care.

Is Serpae Tetra Hardy?

Some hobbyists wonder if Serpae Tetras are hardy fish. The good news is that serpae tetras are indeed hardy fish.

They can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and temperature changes.

This makes them a good choice for beginner aquarists who are still getting the hang of things.

Serpae Tetra Availability

Serpae Tetras are widely available in different regions of South America, including Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

They are also commonly bred in captivity, making them widely available in pet stores and online.

Serpae Tetras are not on the red list, so they can also be found in the wild.

How to Care for Serpae Tetra?

1. Tank Size

They are small fish and don’t need a lot of space to swim around. As long as you have a tank of at least 10 gallons, you should be able to keep Serpae Tetras successfully.

Remember that a larger tank will always be easier to care for and will provide your fish with more stability.

2. Temperature

The Serpae Tetra prefers warm water, with an ideal temperature range of 72 to 79 F (22 to 26 C).

If you live in cold weather climates, you may need to use a heater to maintain the correct water temperature because if the water temperature drops too low, they can become sick and even die.

So, it’s essential to make sure their aquarium is adequately heated. You can use a standard aquarium heater or an adjustable aquarium heater to maintain the proper water temperature for your Serpae Tetra.

3. PH Level

One of the things you need to take into account when keeping Serpae Tetras is the pH level of your water.

These fish prefer slightly acidic water, with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.8.

If your water is too alkaline, it can cause stress and potentially lead to health problems for your fish.

Therefore, it’s important to test your water regularly and ensure that the pH level is within the ideal range for Serpae Tetras.

If you need to adjust the pH level, many products are available that can help you do so.

For example, you can use a pH test kit to test your water and then add an appropriate amount of pH adjuster to raise or lower the level as needed.

4. Lighting

It is best to keep it on the dimmer side when it comes to lighting for your Serpae Tetra tank.

This replicates their natural environment of being in dark and murky waters surrounded by forests.

Having a brighter light can actually be detrimental to their comfort level. So, aim for minimal lighting within the tank to give them the best environment possible.

5. Filters

A few different types of filters can be used for Serpae Tetras, but the most important thing is to make sure that the filter provides gentle filtration since they are such small fish.

A standard canister filter, an air-driven sponge filter, or even a hang-on-back unit will work fine as long as it meets this criterion.

6. Tank Decoration

These fish are perfect for hiding among plants and other decorations in your tank.

They love to play hide and seek, so adding some plants or rocks to explore will keep them happy and engaged.

Serpae Tetra Diet

As omnivores, Serpae Tetras will gladly eat both plants and protein-rich foods.

In the wild, they typically chow down on plant matter and insect larvae floating on the water surface.

In captivity, they’re happy with just about anything you provide.

A regular diet of high-quality flakes or pellets can serve as the foundation of their diet. It’s also a good idea to supplement some protein-rich foods (this will help balance things out).

The occasional snack of bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other live or frozen proteins will all work great.

So there you have it! Give them a varied diet full of both plants and protein, and they’ll be happy and healthy fish.

Serpae Tetra Compatibility

As long as you keep a group of at least 5 Serpae Tetras together, they should get along fine.

They may fight amongst themselves from time to time, but this is usually nothing to worry about.

They also will establish a pecking order within the group and may show some aggression towards weaker fish.

So, it is essential to keep an eye on the group and remove any fish causing harm or making it difficult for others to eat.

In addition to other Serpae Tetras, these fish are compatible with other fast-moving, peaceful fish. It is best to avoid slow fish that could be targeted for fin nipping.

Serpae Tetra can be kept with the following fish:

  • Danios 
  • Pictus Catfish
  • Bolivian Ram Cichlid
  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Cardinal Tetra
  • Cory Catfish
  • Black Skirt Tetra
  • Twig Catfish
  • Bloodfin Tetra
  • Swordtail Fish

Serpae Tetra Predators:

  • Larger Fish
  • Aggressive Fish

Is Serpae Tetra Reef Safe?

The answer is yes and no.

Serpae tetras are not aggressive fish, but they are known to nip at soft coral and invertebrates. While they may not eat your coral, they can damage it.

In general, serpae tetras are good community fish. They are peaceful and get along well with other fish.

Keep an eye on them if you have any invertebrates or soft coral in your tank.

Serpae Tetra Gender Difference

The main difference between male and female serpae tetras is their coloration.

Males are generally more brightly colored than females, with more intense hues on their fins and bodies.

In addition, males are usually slimmer than females and have longer fins. These physical differences are most apparent when the fish are ready to spawn.

Serpae Tetra Breeding

Serpae tetras are one of the easiest fish to breed. However, you need to do some things to encourage the breeding process.

1. You’ll need to keep them in pairs or groups with an equal number of males and females.

2. The water should have no more than 8 dGH for optimum breeding conditions.

3. Keep the temperature at 80°F.

4. Feed the tetras a balanced diet that includes all the nutrition they need.

5. When they are ready to breed, set up a separate breeding tank. The tank should be at least 10 gallons and have similar water conditions to the tetras’ main tank.

6. Add some plants to the breeding tank. Java moss is a good option as it provides shelter for the fry (baby fish).

7. To induce breeding, you can do a water change of 50% and then raise the temperature by a few degrees. The extra warmth will stimulate the fish to breed.

Once the female is ready to lay her eggs, she will release them into the plants and the male will then fertilize them.

It is essential to remove the adults from the breeding tank at this point as they will eat the eggs.

The eggs will hatch in 24-48 hours. You can feed the fry (baby fish) live brine shrimp or micro worms.

Once they are big enough, you can feed them the same diet as the adults.

It is essential to keep the fry well-fed as they are very susceptible to starvation.

If you take good care of them and provide the ideal environment, they will continue to breed for many years to come.

Possible Diseases and Prevention

Serpae Tetras are relatively hardy fish and don’t often succumb to diseases. However, there are a few common ailments that they can contract.

The most common diseases include Ich, fungal infections, and skin flukes.

Ich is a protozoan disease that can cause white spots to form on the fish.

Fungal infections often occur in stressed fish, or those that have poor water conditions.

Skin flukes are parasites that attach themselves to the fish’s skin and can cause irritation.

If you notice any of these diseases developing, it’s essential to take action immediately.

Isolate the affected fish, treat it with a medicated food or salt bath, and thoroughly clean the tank.

By taking these steps, you can help prevent the disease from spreading and keep your Serpae Tetras healthy.

Last Words

These fish are relatively easy to care for, but they have some specific needs that must be met to thrive.

With proper care, serpae tetras can be a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.

We hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did.

If you have any questions please share them with us in the comment section below.