Glowlight Tetra 101: Care, Lifespan, Facts & More!

Glowlight Tetra

The Glowlight Tetra is a beautiful fish that is sure to brighten up any aquarium. These fish are very active and love to swim around. They are also very social and like to group together in school. 

If you are looking for a beautiful and fun-to-watch fish, the Glowlight Tetra is perfect for you!

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Glowlight Tetras; including their care, diet, tank mates, and more.


Scientific NameHemigrammus Erythrozonus
Common NameGlowlight, Glolight, Fire neon
OriginThe Essequibo basin in Guyana; they are discovered in the Essequibo, Mazaruni, and Potaro Rivers.
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
LengthTypically measuring only 2 inches in length
DietThey are omnivorous fish
Ease of CareEasy
pH6.0 to 7.5.
TemperatureBetween 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 27 degrees Celsius)
BreedingEgg scatter
AggressionPeaceful schooling fish
Lifespan5 years

Glowlight Tetra Origins

The glowlight tetra is a freshwater fish species that live in the Essequibo River in Guyana, South America. This is Guyana’s longest river and runs through many biotopes, housing a diverse and massive number of species.

These fish are more common in the tributaries that branch off from the main river than in the river itself. The water is generally highly acidic, soft, and tinted with tannins from decaying plant matter and other organic particles.

What Are the Features of  Glowlight Tetra?

1. Appearance

The Glowlight Tetra is torpedo-shaped with a silver base color and a lateral reddish-orange stripe.

The most identifying feature of this species is its reddish-orange stripe! The stripe runs laterally along the entire length of the fish. It goes all the way from the front of the head to the tip of the tail.

Another way to identify Glowlight Tetras is by their eyes; they have a large eye with a dark pupil that takes up most of the eye.

2. Color

The Glowlight Tetra is easily identified by its silvery-peach body with an iridescent red-gold stripe running from the snout to the tail. This stripe resembles the glowing filament in a light bulb or lowlight.

The same iridescent red color is present on the leading edge of the dorsal fin, while the anal and pelvic fins are edged in white. 

3. Length

The average size of a glowlight tetra is 1.5 inches in length. Some fish may grow up to 2 inches, but this is not common.

Thanks to their small size, glowlight tetras are an excellent fish for beginner aquarists. 

4. Lifespan

The average lifespan of a glowlight tetra is between two and five years. This can vary depending on the quality of care they receive.

With proper care and attention, these fish can live a little longer. However, poor diets, dirty tanks, and substandard water conditions can all shorten their lifespan.

Is Glowlight Tetra  Hardy?

Glowlight tetra is a quite hardy fish. They can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making them great pets for first-time fish owners.

Still, it is essential to provide them with good quality water and plenty of hiding places.

Glowlight Tetra  Availability

Glowlight Tetras are widely available in the aquarium trade. They are commonly found in pet stores and online retailers.

Prices vary depending on the source, but they are generally affordable fish.

How to Care for  Glowlight Tetra?

1. Tank Size

Glowlight tetras are tiny fish that don’t require a huge tank.

A 10-gallon tank is adequate for a small group of fish, but we recommend increasing the size to 20 gallons or more if possible. This will provide more space for the fish to swim and play.

Also, glowlight tetras are most comfortable when living in large groups, so a bigger tank is always better.

2. Temperature

These tropical fish prefer a water temperature of 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit (22-27 degrees Celsius).

If the temperature of their tank drops below this range, they may become stressed and more susceptible to disease.

Make sure their tank is kept at a consistent temperature within their ideal range to keep your glowlight tetra healthy and happy.

3. PH Level

Although glowlight tetras can survive in a wide range of pH levels from 5.0 to 8.0, the optimum pH level is 5.5 to 7.5.

It is best to keep the pH level on the acidic side, as this will help prevent disease and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the tank.

4. Lighting

Glowlight tetras are known for their beautiful iridescent colors, and low lighting can help bring out these colors even more.

Lighting should be dimmed by adding some floating plants. This will help reduce stress and make the Glowlight Tetras feel more comfortable in their environment.

Aquarium lights should be turned off for 12-14 hours each day to give the fish a natural day/night cycle.

5. Filters

One of the most important things you can do to ensure the health and wellbeing of your Glowlight Tetras is to keep their water clean.

A good filter is an essential part of any aquarium setup, and there are a few different types to choose from.

Canister filters are an excellent option for larger tanks, as they are very efficient at removing debris and waste from the water.

Hang-on-back filters are a good choice for smaller tanks, as they are easy to install and maintain.

Whatever type of filter you choose, clean it regularly and replace the cartridges or media as needed. This will help keep your Glowlight Tetras healthy and happy for years to come!

6. Tank Decoration

When decorating a tank for glowlight tetras, the most straightforward and natural approach is usually best.

A thin layer of fine sand on the bottom of the tank can help to mimic the riverbeds of their wild habitat, while driftwood and small rocks can provide some enrichment and hiding places.

Plants are also an essential part of the equation, and you should aim to make the tank as lush and green as possible.

Fine-leafed plants of varying heights are an excellent option, and floating aquarium plants can also be beneficial.

Whatever you do, just make sure that there is plenty of vegetation for these fish to enjoy.

If you want to go above and beyond, add some leaf litter to the bottom of the tank. As time passes, the litter will release tannins.

Glowlight Tetra  Diet

The Glowlight tetra is an omnivorous fish, which means that it will eat all types of food. However, it is crucial to feed them small-sized food and to vary the diet.

The Glowlight tetra readily accepts flakes, freeze-dried, and frozen foods in addition to live foods.

Micro-pellet foods are suitable as well as any good quality flake that has been crumbled into fine pieces. Frozen or fresh brine shrimp is readily accepted too.

The Glowlight tetra will rarely eat food that has fallen to the bottom, so it is best to feed small quantities frequently instead of less frequent large feedings.

Glowlight Tetra Compatibility

These little fish are relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for beginner aquarium hobbyists.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing tank mates for your Glowlight Tetra.

These fish prefer to live in groups of at least 6-8 individuals. So, if you are planning on keeping Glowlight Tetras in your aquarium, be sure to purchase them in groups.

Also, they are relatively peaceful fish. As such, they should be kept with other peaceful fish similar in size.

Glowlight Tetra can be kept with the following fish:

  • Most Livebearers
  • Danios
  • Rasboras
  • Corydoras
  • Smaller Loricariids
  • Gouramis
  • Dwarf cichlids

Glowlight Tetra  Predators:

Larger species that may see it as food, such as Angelfish. 

Glowlight Tetra  Gender Difference

The difference in size and body shape between male and female glowlight tetras is quite pronounced.

The females are typically much larger and more robust, with rounder bellies, while the males tend to be smaller and more slender.

This difference is most noticeable in the abdomen, where the males are noticeably narrower than the females.

The larger size and more robust body of the female glowlight tetra are thought to be an adaptation for carrying and protecting eggs.

The male’s smaller size and more streamlined body are thought to be an adaptation for swimming faster and avoiding predators.

The difference in coloration between male and female glowlight tetras is also quite pronounced.

The males are typically brighter and more colorful, with redder fins and brighter stripes. The females are usually duller in color, with less vivid fins and stripes.

This difference is thought to be related to mating behavior, as the bright colors of the males are thought to be attractive to females.

The dull colors of the females are thought to provide camouflage from predators.

Glowlight Tetra Breeding

To successfully breed glowlight tetras, you need to set up a separate breeding tank with very soft water.

The water should have a hardness of no more than 6 dGH and a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. You can use peat to soften and darken the water if needed.

The breeding tank should also be kept at a warm temperature, in the range of 78–82 degrees Fahrenheit (26–28 degrees Celsius).

Low lighting is necessary for the breeding tank; ambient light from the room is usually sufficient.

You will need to plant the breeding tank with fine-leafed plants, such as java moss. A spawning mop is also suitable instead of moss.

Once your breeding tank is set up, you can introduce a pair of glowlight tetras.

The male glowlight tetra will build a bubble nest near the water’s surface. Once the female is ready to lay her eggs, the male will guide her into his bubble nest. The female will then release her eggs, which the male will fertilize.

The female should then be removed from the breeding tank, as she may eat her own eggs or the fry (baby fish).

The male will continue to care for the eggs until they hatch, usually taking about 24-48 hours.

He will then keep an eye on the fry and protect them until they are large enough to fend for themselves.

If you want to raise the fry yourself, you will need to set up a separate tank for them. The fry tank should have similar water conditions to the breeding tank.

You can start feeding the fry live baby brine shrimp or other small live foods once they are large enough to eat.

Possible Diseases and Prevention

Glowlight tetras are at no higher risk of experiencing disease than any other species, and they don’t have any species-specific ailments that you need to watch out for.

However, they can suffer from all of the common health issues that impact freshwater fish.

The most common ones include parasitic infections, bacterial infections, fungal diseases, and fin rot.

The most widespread fish disease is ich.

Ich is caused by a protozoan parasite that attaches to the fish’s skin and gills, causing irritation and heavy respiration. If left untreated, ich can be fatal.

The good news is that ich is relatively easy to treat with medication available at most pet stores.

Another common disease is fin rot.

Fin rot is caused by a bacterial infection and results in the deterioration of the fins.

Fin rot also can be treated with medication available at most pet stores.

If you suspect your fish are sick, the best course is to take them to a vet specializing in fish. They will be able to diagnose and treat the disease properly.

To prevent disease, make regular water changes, clean the tank thoroughly, and quarantine new fish before adding them to the main tank.

By following these simple steps, you can help ensure your fish stay healthy and happy.

Last Words

Glowlight tetras are peaceful fish that make a great addition to any community tank.

They are named for their distinctive bright red or orange coloration, and they are one of the most popular tetra species kept by aquarium hobbyists.

Glowlight tetras are relatively easy to care for, and they are a good choice for beginner aquarists.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did. If you still have any questions, please share them with us in the comment section below.