How Many Ember Tetras In A 5 Gallon Tank? A Full Answer

Ember tetras are among the tiniest aquarium fish, typically reaching a maximum length of 0.8 inches. Their vivid red coloring is undoubtedly appealing to us.

This species is a skilled swimmer. As a result, the number of fish in a specific tank size is one of the must-considered factors.

How many ember tetras in a 5-gallon tank is the best? Keep scrolling down for the ultimate answer and valuable tips to take care of them.

How Many Ember Tetras In A 5 Gallon Tank?

A 5-gallon tank can keep around 4 tetras. Although these fish are tiny (about 0.8 inches), ember tetras are active swimmers. As a result, each of them needs about 1 to 1.2 gallons of tank space to swim freely.

In addition, the behavior of this fish is to live in groups. So, is a school of 4 fish reasonable? To be honest, they love a bigger school to interact eagerly with others.

Ideal Tank Size For Ember Tetra

As mentioned before, this type of fish is dynamic and needs at least a 1-gallon tank space to enjoy swimming. Yet, you should not have a school of ember tetras with less than 8 fish. Indeed, experts recommend keeping them in a school of 8 – 15 fish.

Moreover, although you may maintain them in a tank with only one species, they like social contact and will flourish in a mixed-species neighborhood.

They engage in enthusiastic interaction not just with the other mates in their school but also with fish of different species.

The 5-gallon tank is pretty small to do that. Instead, a 10- or 20- gallon one can be ideal. Please ensure the tank has enough space for them to play and swim.

Ember Tetra Tank Requirements

Water Temperature

Ember tetras are quite resilient and can endure a broad variety of temperatures. Yet, the water must be between 70 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit for them.

Accordingly, depending on your place, you might not need an aquarium heater to keep that temperature.

However, if your country does not have a stable temperature due to different seasons, you might want to buy an aquarium heater to maintain the favorable temperature.

Water pH

Water must have a specific pH level for fish, other aquatic animals, and plants to thrive. Fish might become unwell or even die if the pH level is too low or high. Water with a low pH is considered acidic, and water with a high pH level is considered alkaline.

An ideal water pH for ember tetras is between 5.5 and 7.0. Yet, the optimal level is about 6.2, and they cannot survive in alkaline water.

You could need water treatment solutions or decorations like driftwood that might raise the water’s acidity to maintain this parameter.

In any case, it is advised that you get an aquarium pH meter to precisely gauge the water’s acidity.

Filtration & Aeration

Ember tetras typically live in waters that are relatively clean and have little to no current. As a result, you might need a filter that can maintain water cleanliness without creating strong waves.

An option allowing users to adjust the flow is ideal. Moreover, you can choose a little hang-on-the-back trickling or waterfall filter.

Additionally, a filter that can handle 30 gallons of water per hour is appropriate for a 10-gallon tank, and it must include 3 main types: biological, mechanical, and chemical filtering.

You don’t need to add oxygenation or aeration if you have a decent filter and a few healthy plants. This is because the filter will do a full process!


Another factor you might pay attention to is lighting. Lighting will bring oxygen and positive energy to ensure your fish’s general health and promote photosynthesis in plants and other phototrophic creatures.

All life in your aquarium requires light to thrive, including bacteria, plants, corals, and fish.

Ember tetras do not call for a special lighting system. Thus, moderate and normal aquarium light will be their favored environment.

You shouldn’t let your tank stay in the dark or use extremely dim lights because it cannot imitate natural sunshine.

Tank Mate

Although ember tetras are dynamic swimmers, they are docile and don’t have enough power to fight due to their small size. This way, you can put them in danger if some bigger and more aggressive fish are in the same tank.

Some suited tank mates for them include danios, small Corydoras, other tetras,  and other such fish.

Can ember tetras live with guppies? Yes, these two types can live peacefully together because both guppies and ember tetras are friendly fish.

However, not all types of tetras can be in the same tank as guppies. This is because guppies have long and beautiful nips, but some tetras are fin-nippers. Some examples are red minor and Buenos Aires tetras.

So can ember tetras live with bettas?

Yes, they can. Both fish species will consume the same food and require tanks with the same setups and water requirements. They are pretty small to interrupt the betta but big enough not to become Bettas’ meals.

Compared to other tetras that are fin nippers, ember is more friendly. Thus, they won’t bite bettas’ beautiful fins.

However, if you don’t have much aquarium experience, you should not let these two types stay in the same tank. It requires skills and experience to prevent a tank war between these two. Moreover, you might confuse ember with other fin-nip tetras.


After this article, you have the answer to how many ember tetras in a 5-gallon tank. Although you can keep 4 fish in this tank size, we don’t recommend doing so. This species is happy to live in a school of 8-10 individuals. Thus, remember to utilize at least the 10-gallon tank.

A colorful tank can help your house be more lively and aesthetic. However, please pay attention to the tank requirements if you want your fish to be happy and have a long life span.