Lemon tetra

The lemon t etra is a very colourful and peaceful schooling fish, which is suitable for both species tanks and community tanks. It makes no special demands on its environment.

What distinguishes the lemon tetra?

The lemon tetra got its name from its lemon yellow colouring. However, this only remains if the fish is kept in soft and acidic water. It can also be promoted by feeding special small crabs, such as ArtemiaCyclops and Daphnia. It is important that the latter have a sufficient carotene content. If the lemon tetra is kept in rather hard and neutral water, its colours can quickly fade.

The appearance of the lemon tetra

Lemon tetra © Peggy Furhmann

The anal fin of the fish is coloured black and has a light yellow and shiny leading edge. The fish grow up to five centimetres long and are therefore also suitable for medium-sized tanks. Like many other characins, they have a so-called adipose fin.

Housing conditions

The lemon tetra is a peaceful and lively schooling fish. It only feels comfortable when it is kept in a larger group. Because only then it comes into its own. The tank should be at least 80 centimetres long and hold 100 to 120 litres. This gives the fish enough space and also the possibility to hide from other lively animals. When the Lemon Butterfly is not swimming through the aquarium in its swarm, it often stays in the middle or even lower water area. There it stands still or swims against the current.


The sex differences are not particularly pronounced in the lemon tetra. It is therefore not easy for laymen to tell whether it is a male or female animal. The males get a wide seam on their anal fin when they get older. This does not form with the female animals or is only very subtly indicated. The sexes can best be recognised by the swim bladder. The swim bladder of males is slightly curved towards the anus and straight in females.

Water values for the lemon tetra

Even if the lemon tetra is not particularly demanding, it should be kept in water that has similar conditions to the water in its natural habitat. The temperature should be between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius, as the fish come from a tropical region. The pH value should preferably not exceed 7.5 and not fall below 6. Otherwise the lemon tetra is very robust and can adapt very well to different conditions.

Feed and nutrition for the lemon tetra

The tetra is also very undemanding when it comes to food. In addition to normal dry food, it should also be regularly given frost food and live food. If the fish is fed correctly and balanced, it will show its full, light yellow colouring.

The ideal aquarium for the lemon tetra

As already mentioned, the basin should hold 80 to 100 litres. Dense planting is highly recommended. Because these use the fish as a hiding place. It is also important that a group of at least ten animals is kept. In this group there should be more females than males.

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