Diamond Tetra | A to Z Guide – Care, Tank Mates, Size, and Diet


Diamond Tetras have derived their name from the exquisite shine their bodies look. Like a diamond, these fishes are a real gem for both new and experienced fish owners.

With the scientific name of Moenkhausia pittieri, the diamond tetra is a freshwater fish coming from the characin family (Characidae). They are known to have originated from the waters of Lake Valencia in Venezuela, South America.

Like any beautiful tetra fish, the diamonds are also small, and have a distinct appearance that makes them an instant favorite in any aesthetic aquarium!


The diamond tetras have a small frame like most of their notorious tetra families. Our main tetra fish has gained popularity because of the way its scales shine uniquely than their counterparts. If you like fishes that shine like jewelry in the waters, diamond tetras can play the part!

Of all the other types of tetras you can choose from, the diamond ones have more resplendent scales, and have got more of these glistening plates on silver. As their name calls for, the diamond tetra’s body can reflect all spectrum of colors that you know! Note that the magnificent look of the fish gets better as they get old, too. With such a physique, anyone could wonder if they are as expensive as the other delicate fishes for the tank when they are only tetras! 

 It is easy to determine the sexes of the tetra fish. You will see that the dorsal fins of females are a bit shorter than those of males.

All the fish’s fins are semi-transparent and complement their pearly look. The fin at their hinds is also long and very snappy for the fish’s graceful movement.

If the fins are not enough for you to decide which is which, you may look instead at the way the male’s body is proportioned. Compared to females, the males look more burly, even if not yet adults. 

Another beautiful detail about the fish is its eyes. The diamond tetra has a unique hue of red fixed on only half part of their eyes. This slight coloring makes them look more vibrant on a close look. 

If you are up for adding a fish species that is personable for the flair of elegance (without occupying much space in your tank!), then count the diamond tetras in.

With all these fish’s eye-pleasing facade, we rank the diamond tetra a 10/10 for all the ideal characteristics they can boast for any community tank fish! 

Behaviour & Temperament

Are Diamond Tetras aggressive?

No, they are not. These diamond tetras are real gems for a peaceful tank community! They live well along with most aquarium fishes of your choice and are seldom not boring to look at even on their own!

Typically, the tetra is a schooling fish and so keeping them in groups will be a full show all day in your tank. No matter if there are other aquatic creatures in the water, the tetras can surely blend in with no effort at all. 

A fun fact about the diamonds is their affinity for swimming in strangely uneven pairs. Meaning you can see them either in threes, fives, or sevens! They are not being strict on pairing, as you see.

During the day, their active behavior is quite fanciful to watch especially when light plays on their reflective scales. Even if they are fun-loving fishes, they neither get involved in fights nor even try to attack any fellow fishes around. Rather they would put more time roaming around the tank because they too are tiny explorers! 

The fish exudes a prism-like shine, so if you are looking far from the tank and see twinkling movements in the nooks of it, you will know that they are your diamond tetras! 

Note: Some male diamond tetras may try to express slight aggression as they can be a bit defensive of their areas. They are described to push away any possible rivals but never fight at all.


How long does Diamond Tetras live?

Diamond tetras are a good investment for the tank. Their lifespans run for almost six years! In the natural setting, some can only live for three years only. But with proper nurturance from the owner, the diamond tetras can live longer even in captivity! 

Tank maintenance is the number one reason why your tank fishes differ from where you get them. If your fishes are doing well with the provided tank essentials and water conditions, then chances are they will live longer than most fishes sold out there!

Health plays an important role in the fish’s longevity. And if you pay close attention to food nutrition, you would not fall for any marketed fish food out there. You must be able to feed the tetra fish with vitamin-rich foods alongside maintaining a clean biome for them to prevent fatal fish diseases.

Common Diseases

While owners had to be aware of the different possible ailments that may occur to their pet fish, know that the diamonds may tend to thrive better past any diseases! This is also what makes the diamond tetras the superb choice for new fish owners as they are strong enough against any water condition. 

The fish can survive in various water biomes. Yet, the owner must not dish out tank maintenance or healthy fish foods for feeding as these are all necessary for the tetra to live long and healthy. 

Watching out for signs of ich, bacterial or parasitic infections is one of the least— but essential tasks an owner must never skip for the tetras! 

Most diseases usually occur due to unreplaced tank water. Donning 25 to 50 percent of the water every other week ensures that your fishes stay comfortable even if they are in captivity. 

The waters must also be in tiptop shape. Of course, to do so, the owner must closely follow the water parameters that suit the diamond tetra. 

But if in the case that you suspect any of your fish getting an infection, it is best to isolate them to a different tank. Remember that any onset of disease in the tank can mean fatality for a whole tank of fish!


How big do Diamond Tetras get?

Diamond tetras appear to be a bit smaller than the common-sized tetras you usually see. But you will observe that they do own a perfect size and body structure for their distinct shimmering feature. They are like sparkly ornaments from afar! 

With a size of 2 to 2.5 inches, the tetras can be considered as one of the bigger-sized amongst tetra species. Their bodies are compact and seem bulkier in the middle. 

How many Diamond Tetras can be kept together?

You can have a minimum of 3 to 5 diamond tetras mingling in the tank. The owner does not have to limit their number per containment as long as the tank can manage additional gallons. The key to having larger fish communities is ensuring that for every inch of the fish body, there is an equivalent of 1 gallon of water to be added.

Diamond Tetra Care

Tank Size

You may opt for a tank with a 60cm x 37.5cm x 30cm measurement. Yet choosing a bigger tank is still a great treat for your fish as a larger home means more swimming space for their activities! 

A typical tank for the tetra must be able to contain almost 70 liters of water. With that much, you can place a group of three diamond tetras in this tank, but still, be able to put other fish species on it.

Tank Setup

Decorating the fish tank may inspire you to recreate a themed water scenery for your fish! Like most tetras, the diamonds love to dwell on leafy areas and go to roam in shady corners, too. Allow the tank to have plenty of plants so that your fish would live as if close to the wild!

The tank substrate that is most recommended for any tetra is the sand. The tetra’s original home had the humid temperatures of the Amazon river, and sand has always been a part of that biome.  Using sand for the tank’s bottom never fails to embody the view of a simple but cozy-looking underwater sight!

Aquatic plants that you should include may vary per your interest. But remember that aiming a forest-like style for the plants would be very suitable for the fish! Also, do not forget to allow enough space in the middle of the tank for that ample swimming space. 

Other tank essentials that never must be left out are the lighting and filtration systems. The tetras do not prefer much light, and adjusting mild brightness for the tank must be enough. Canister filters can be your choice for filtration. Always check out the filter that is excellent in reducing toxic substances such as ammonia from the water in no time.

Water conditions

As diamond tetras are adaptable to many common tank setups, their waters can be adjusted to almost the same as the other tetra fishes. Still, doing their waters in the following standards is best to be kept at all times:

Water temperature: Ideal ranges must be between 72° to 82° Fahrenheit. Levels are determined from their natural habitats where diamond tetras are mostly found.

Acidity: Take pH levels not exceeding 6.0 to 7.5. The diamond tetras are comfier with slightly neutral waters and mid-range levels of 7.0 and up can always be maintained.

Water Hardness: Water must also be adjusted to 4 to 8 kH. Such water state is more observed in the diamond tetras that lived in the wild and can be imitated by owners for the fish tank too.

Diet & Feeding

What do Diamond Tetras eat?

The diamond tetras are omnivores. Being so, they are not picky eaters, too! You may choose to lavish their feeding schedules with quality dry flakes or pellets while giving them sorts of healthy treats from time to time.

Their well-balanced diet must include leafy options and live or frozen foods. You will never go wrong with the usual, such as bloodworms, daphnias, and brine shrimp.

The size of the food you feed the fish also matters. Remember to break or give shrunk amounts of food to the fish, so it can nibble or chew on it fast.

How often should I feed my Diamond Tetras?

Feeding the tetras with minimal servings every 2 to 3 times a day is enough for their daily appetite. With the diamond tetras size, it might be tempting to give them more food. But of course, it should matter to you that overfeeding may result contrary to the fish’s health.  

To know if you are giving only sufficient amounts to the fish, observe a feeding time of only 2 to 3 minutes every meal.

Note: If you are keeping younger tetras, feeding up to 4 times a day is not unusual. This is especially true not only for their growth but also for their nutrition and immunity.

How long can Diamond Tetras go without food?

There is no better way of feeding the tetras than supplying them with food every single day. But in the case of leaving them for days, the owner must prepare the fish to adapt to those no-food schedules.

Tetras must not be left with empty stomachs for two days. But owners who will not be able to feed them on time can still prepare. If in case you are that owner that is to go on a vacay in a few days, remember the following:

First, make sure that you give more nutritious and healthy foods to the fish, days leading to your leave. The diamond tetras like most other tetras can survive for almost a week with least to no food if they are well-stuffed for days.

Edible plants can also help them while you are out. In case, you will not be able to buy an automatic fish feeder, or if you do not like the idea of having one, look for plants that are still excellent for their appetite. 

Tank Mates

What fish can live with Diamond Tetras?

You will love diamond tetras for their being superb on any large community tank! But whether you blend them with diverse species, mind that there are fishes that can mingle well with the diamond tetras— and there are those that do not! The diamond tetras find better tankmates in:

  • Danios
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Cory Catfish
  • Other peaceful tetra fishes

What fish don’t do well with Diamond Tetras?

Of course, tank fishes with tendencies to be aggressive or nip other fish fins are a no-no around the diamond tetras! For your peaceful tetra species, the following are the fishes that are risky to have in the same waters as them:

  • Bettas
  • Flowerhorn Fish
  • Barbs
  • Goldfish

Some experienced fish owners would include cichlids with the tetras, but having them both in the tank has not proved much success in the long run. It is better to cancel out cichlids, too.


You finally might have decided to populate your tank with more diamond tetras. Well, the good thing is that they are breedable even in tank premises! But unlike their cousin tetras, the diamonds are a bit challenging in the process. Yet through gradual experience, you will also gain success, even as a beginner in fishkeeping!

To start breeding, You must be able to prepare the adult mating fishes to a different tank. The tank water has a bit more acidic pH level content, with adjusted breeding temperatures of a warmer range. 

This separate breeding tank must also have a part of its water derived from the main fish tank. If not, both the adult pair and the offspring (to be spawned) may find it difficult to adjust to their new environment. 

For the bottom of the tank, try filling the area with a good amount of java moss. With such a ground surface, the female diamond tetra will get its baby fishes secured, no matter how dispersed the spawned eggs will be in the first place.

Do not forget to set the lights in a dimmer mode to make the tank atmosphere more conducive to the tetra pair. For the actual breeding, you can also get two or more adult pairs to the breeding tank, as you wish.

The spawning stage occurs when the pairs you have relocated to the new tank are in there for six to eight days. The eggs will hatch within a day or two after the male adult fertilizes them. 

It is also crucial that the owner hastens to separate the adult pair from the newly hatched to avoid other breeding failures.  Returning the parents to the main tank ensures that the eggs will not be eaten all at once. 

Observe that the fry will immediately be swimming after getting out of their shells. And so, providing them with enough infusoria or mouth size foods must already be handy. Brine shrimps and other live foods are very satisfying for this new hatch’s appetite, too!

You will see that these baby tetra fishes have no distinct characteristics compared to other tetra species. The familiar glimmer in the fish body may only be seen by the owner when it reaches about eight to nine months. 

You should expect that not all offspring will be able to reach the growing stage, too. As the young fishes grow, a sustained supply of healthy foods and constant tank maintenance must be closely paid attention to by the owner. Doing this also helps create a difference in the number of fish that can reach maturity, too!


Are Diamond Tetras easy to care for?

Taking care of the diamond tetras is as easy as their other tetra relatives. They are an excellent choice for beginners because it does not require much effort on maintaining them. Plus, unlike most other tank fishes, you can easily tell their sexes in a glance! 

If you are looking for more glimmering fish for your tank, then put these splendid tetras at the top of your list!