Glofish Tetra Care Guide

Last updated on July 17th, 2022 at 08:41 am

Glofish tetra are freshwater aquarium fish that can be easily kept by novice and experienced aquarists alike, thanks to their hardiness and ease of care. These fish are also quite striking when seen in the water, with their unique bodies and fins that make them stand out from other species in an aquarium display tank.

It’s no secret that fish make great pets, but many people don’t know how to properly care for them once they get them home. Fish are delicate creatures and they require some special considerations if you want them to live long, healthy lives in your home aquarium.

Luckily, with the right supplies and an understanding of basic Glofish tetra care, your new pet will soon be thriving!

Keeping Glofish in your home aquarium can be both beautiful and challenging, and it’s important to take the time to do it right if you want your fish to be healthy and happy.

This guide will help you choose the best tank for your fish as well as give tips on setting it up and maintaining it, so you can rest easy knowing that your little buddies are safe and happy!

Origin and descriptions

The Glofish tetra is a patented, trademarked aquarium fish created by New York Aquarium company, Tetra. The name for Tetra is derived from a combination of tetras and glofish, referring to neon tetras and zebrafish. The fish were created with both engineering and breeding techniques by breeding selective strains of zebrafish that contained fluorescence proteins to their offspring and then selectively breeding those offspring to acquire more of these proteins.

The end result was an entirely new species of fluorescent fish, which was patented in 2003.

The first Glofish tetra (the red variety) was released in 2003, followed by blue and green varieties in 2004. In 2005, two additional colors were added: yellow and orange. In 2006 two new colors were added: pink and purple.

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Species profile

Glofish tetra

Glofish tetra belongs to the family of characins, a group of fish that are also commonly referred to as tetras. These freshwater fish are native to South America and primarily inhabit rivers and streams in Brazil.  They have been popular among aquarium hobbyists for decades because they’re inexpensive, easy to care for, and come in a variety of colors.

Though some might consider them boring compared with other species, they’re ideal starter fish for new aquarists looking to build their skills or keepers who want an easy-to-maintain pet without too much work involved.


Tetras are tropical fish, and thus they should be kept in a warm aquarium. The ideal temperature is around 78-80 degrees F. If you keep your tank at room temperature, you’ll need to add an aquarium heater to keep your water at a proper level. If you have cold water coming into your tank, you can use an aquarium chiller to bring down its temperature before it enters your tank.

A good rule of thumb is that if your tap water is over 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees C), then it will be fine for your fish; otherwise, use a chiller or heater to adjust it accordingly.


Glofish tetra can grow up to 3 inches (8 cm) in length.

Glofish tetra tank size

Due to their small size, they can be housed in an aquarium as small as 5 gallons, but 10 gallons are recommended as the minimum tank size.

Tank requirements

Glofish tetra

The most important thing to consider when setting up a tank for Glofish tetra is filtration. Without proper filtration, these fish will die quickly and painfully.  It’s also vital that you have enough surface area in your tank—these fish need room to swim! An aquarium of at least 10 gallons should be considered if you plan on keeping just one or two glofish; 20 gallons or more would be preferable if you want to keep multiple glofish in your tank. Finally, remember that tetras are schooling fish; they’re happiest in groups of five or more.

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These fish need a pH of 6.5 to 7.5, a water hardness of 3-8 dH, and an aquarium temperature of 65-75 degrees F (18-24 degrees C). The tank should be covered to protect them from jumping. They can be kept in groups as long as there is plenty of room for each fish to have its own territory. They are best kept with other peaceful species that are not large enough to eat them or compete for food with them.

Glofish tetra tank mates

Avoid tank mates that will harass or eat your fish. Barbs, cichlids, large Oscars, and Loricariid catfish are all too large to comfortably coexist with a Glofish tetra. Cichlids are also known to nip at their scales. Additionally, fish with long fins like gouramis, bettas, and angelfish should be avoided because they can potentially bully your new tetras.

Some good tank mates are other tetras, rasboras, danios, small barbs, and other glofish.

Glofish tetra behavior

As far as their behavior is concerned, the Glofish tetra is a very peaceful fish. In fact, these fish can be kept with just about any type of community tank mate. That being said, you will want to avoid putting them in with extremely aggressive species such as large cichlids and lionfish or any others that are known to be fin nippers.

Glofish tetra care

Glofish tetra

In general, most tetras are very hardy and forgiving in terms of aquarium care. However, there are still some basic guidelines to follow when it comes to keeping tetras in your tank. Tetras prefer a water temperature between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit (22-28 Celsius).

They also need relatively clean water with good water movement and low levels of nitrates. As always, you should do regular water changes and keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite levels at all times. If they start to get too high, perform a large (50%+) water change immediately.

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You should also avoid overfeeding your fish; try not to feed them more than they can eat within 2 minutes or so. Overfeeding is one of the leading causes of death for many fish species, including tetras!

What they eat

Tetras are fairly picky eaters. Ideally, you’ll need to feed them a varied diet of both frozen and live foods in order to keep them healthy. They’re particularly fond of bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. In addition to these staples, make sure you give your fish some greens as well; they love veggies like spirulina or spinach. You may also want to add calcium supplements or cuttlebone for added minerals.

Glofish tetra lifespan

In captivity, the Glofish tetra has an average lifespan of 3-5 years with good care and perfect water parameters.

Parasites and diseases

Tetras are susceptible to a number of parasites and diseases, including ich, flukes, flatworms, and other parasitic worms. Fortunately, there are several excellent treatments available to combat these common diseases; one example is Praziquantel. You should also do your best to prevent disease by practicing proper hygiene and quarantine protocols when adding new fish to your aquarium.


While they might look like they can survive in any body of water, Tetras actually have their own natural predators. Pikes and catfish are both a danger to these small fish. Goldfish are also known to eat them. It’s important to keep an eye on your tetras if you have any large species in your aquarium tank.

In order to protect them from being eaten by these predators, make sure you add plenty of hiding places for them that are secure and safe.

Do they make good pets?

If you are thinking about getting a Glofish tetra for a pet, we can safely say that it is not a good idea. While they are some of the prettiest fish around, they have very specific needs in terms of water and environment.

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