Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Glowlight Tetra

Data Sheet

Scientific Name: Hemigrammus erythrozonus
Other Name:GlowLight Tetra
Family: Characidae
Adult Size:1.5" (4cm)
Social:Peaceful community fish
Lifespan:up to 5 years
Tank Level: mid- bottom dweller.

Minimum Tank Size:10 gallons for 1-2 tetra.
Breeding:Egg Layer
Ideal pH: 6.0-7.5
Temperature: 22-26oC (72-79oF)
Tank setup: Planted tank of 2ft/60cm or larger, dark substrates and/or backgrounds will show the colour to best effect.
Sexing: Males are noticeably slimmer.


This fish tends to be clear/silver/semi-transparent fish with a large stripe running down the body from the front of the eye, over the top of the eye, down the body, and ending at the beginning of the caudal fin (tail). The stripe tends to be neon orange color.

There are a few variants including the albino glowlight tetra which has an orange body and a duller stripe. Its eyes are also orange appearing.


Glowlight tetra are happiest and show off their colors best in a tank with subdued lighting and a dark substrate. The water should have a pH of 7.0 and the temperature maintained between 72ºF and 82ºF, hardness to 20º. The tank can be small and decorated with live plants and some driftwood. Stock the aquarium with equally peaceful species and keep them in as large a school as possible. Once established they are easily fed and cared for with flake and frozen food.

These fishes may not seem to school together like rummy nose or neon tetra, but they tend to do better in groups of at least 5 tetra.

Mixing with other fishes:

Glowlight tetra do well in community tanks and can be safely mixed with Neon tetras, Cadinal Tetra, Rummynose Tetra and Congo Tetra.

Because of their small size, they should never be kept in a community tank with bigger fish that may have them for dinner, such as arowana, bigger discus.


Since they are omnivorous the Glowlight Tetra will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.


The female is larger and stronger than the male and has a round ventral section. The male is slenderer and has more color. The Glowlight Tetra are egg layers. When they spawn they lock fins, then while clasped they perform a type of roll-over process in the vegetation. Thus the female releases about a dozen eggs at time and the male fertilizes them.

To breed them, use a 10 gallon (38 L) breeding tank furnished with Java Moss and other plants. The tank should have dim or no lighting and a water temperature from 79-82°F (26-28°C). Peat filtered water makes for the best results. After conditioning a pair on live foods for a few weeks, introduce the pair into the breeding tank during the evening. The pair should spawn within two or three days. If the pair does not spawn within three days, try the process over again. 120-150 eggs are dropped in plants and on the bottom. The fry hatch in 20 to 25 hours. Feed the young crushed flakes and paramecia and Rotifers. After about 15 days, the young develop the characteristic orange stripe.

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References Cited:

1. Glowlight Tetra [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006, http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/Fishindx/tet-glow.htm
2. Robyn's Glowlight Tetra [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006, http://www.fishpondinfo.com/glow.htm
3. Glowlight Tetra [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006, http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/characins/glowlight.php
4. Tropical Fish [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006, http://fish.mongabay.com/species/Hemigrammus_erythrozonus.html
5. Glowlight Tetra Information [Online], Accessed 28 Aug 2006, http://www.timstropicals.com/Inventory/TetraSmall/GlowlightInfo.asp

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