Home All About Serpae Tetra: Care, Tank Setup, Diet, and More

All About Serpae Tetra: Care, Tank Setup, Diet, and More

by Edward
serpae tetra

The Serpae Tetra is a well-loved freshwater fish famous for its bright colors and lively personality. It is a favorite among aquarium fans because of its eye-catching look and active nature.

The scientific name of the Serpae Tetra is Hyphessobrycon eques.

Origin and Habitat

Serpae Tetra come from South America, specifically the Amazon Basin. In the wild, they live in slow-moving rivers and streams with plenty of plants and hiding spots. The water in their natural habitat is warm and slightly acidic, making it ideal for these vibrant fish.


Serpae Tetra have a bright red or orange body with a black spot near their gills. Their fins are often edged in black, making them look even more striking. They usually grow to about 1.5 inches long.

Serpae Tetra male vs female

Male Serpae Tetras:

  • Display more intense colors, especially during breeding.
  • Generally smaller and slimmer in body shape.
  • Have brighter red or orange hues.

Female Serpae Tetras:

  • Larger and fuller-bodied compared to males.
  • Colors are typically less vibrant than males, especially outside of breeding periods.

Serpae Tetra Care

Tank Setup: Set up an aquarium with lots of plants and plenty of room for swimming. Serpae Tetras thrive in a tank of at least 20 gallons.

Water Conditions: Maintain stable water parameters with a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C) and a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 7.5.

·       Filtration: A reliable filtration system keeps the water clean and well-oxygenated.

·       Diet: Offer a varied diet consisting of high-quality flakes, pellets, and occasional treats like bloodworms or brine shrimp.

·       Social Environment: Keep them in groups of at least six individuals to reduce stress and promote natural schooling behavior.

·       Compatibility: Choose tank mates that are peaceful and similar in size to avoid aggression. Avoid housing them with fin-nipping species.

·       Maintenance: Perform regular water changes and monitor water parameters to ensure a healthy environment for your Serpae Tetras.

Serpae Tetra Tank mates

Choosing suitable Serpae Tetras tank mates is essential to maintaining a peaceful aquarium environment. Here are some compatible options:

  • Other Tetras: Such as Neon Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, and Ember Tetra.
  • Small Rasboras: Like Harlequin Rasboras and Chili Rasboras.
  • Bottom Dwellers: Such as Corydoras Catfish and Otocinclus Catfish.
  • Dwarf Cichlids: Such as German Blue Ram.
  • Livebearers: Such as Guppies and Endler’s Livebearers.
  • Peaceful Barbs: Such as Cherry Barbs and Rosy Barbs.

Serpae Tetra food:

Serpae Tetras are omnivores, meaning they eat plant and animal matter. Here’s what you should know about feeding them:

  • Omnivorous Diet: Serpae Tetras have an omnivorous diet, meaning they thrive by consuming both plant and animal matter.
  • Food Types: They primarily eat high-quality flake or pellet food designed for tropical fish. Additionally, they enjoy occasional treats such as live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia.
  • Feeding Schedule: It’s recommended that Serpae Tetras be fed small portions 2-3 times a day. This ensures they consume their food within 2-3 minutes, preventing overfeeding and maintaining good water quality in the aquarium.

Feeding Tips: Serpae Tetra thrive on a varied diet that includes flakes, pellets, bloodworms, and brine shrimp, fed in small portions multiple times daily.


Serpae Tetras are known for their social and active behavior within aquariums. They typically swim energetically in groups, exploring all levels of the tank. These fish are lively and often display schooling behavior, moving together in synchronized patterns. Their vibrant colors and energetic nature make them a lively addition to community tanks, where they interact peacefully with other fish species.

Breeding Serpae Tetras:

  • Breeding Behavior: Serpae Tetras scatter eggs among fine-leaved plants after males chase and nudge females.
  • Spawning: Eggs are typically laid in the early morning or at dawn, with males fertilizing them soon after.
  • Egg Care: Protect eggs using dense vegetation or a breeding mop to prevent them from being eaten.
  • Fry Rearing: Remove adult fish to avoid egg consumption. Fry hatch within 24-36 hours and can be fed initially with infusoria or liquid fry food. As they grow, transition them to baby brine shrimp or finely crushed flakes.

Health and Disease Prevention

  • Common Diseases: Look out for aquarium ailments like ich (white spot disease), fin rot, and fungal infections.
  • Symptoms: Look for signs such as white spots, frayed fins, or unusual growths on their bodies.
  • Prevention: Maintain clean water conditions through regular water changes and monitor water parameters. Quarantine new fish before introducing them to the main tank to prevent disease transmission.
  • Treatment: If signs of illness appear, promptly isolate affected fish and treat them with appropriate medications under veterinary guidance.

Final Words

Serpae Tetra is a colorful freshwater fish loved for their vibrant appearance and lively nature. They thrive in well-maintained aquariums with suitable tank mates and proper care. Monitoring their health and preventing common diseases is essential for their well-being. Whether you’re new to fishkeeping or experienced, Serpae Tetras bring beauty and energy to any aquarium, making them a popular choice among hobbyists. Enjoy their dynamic presence and vibrant colors in your aquatic setup.

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