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Tetra Aquarium Fish

Pristella Tetra

Pristella Tetra - Coloring

Pristella Tetra, Pristella maxillaris
Pristella Tetra

The Pristella Tetra originates from the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers of South America.  It is also known by the common name X-Ray Tetra. It is known by the scientific names Pristella maxillaris and Pristella Riddlei. The Pristella Tetra has a distinctive black band on its dorsal fin with white above the band and yellow/white below it. The tail can have a hint of orange/red. The body is translucent, giving rise to the name X-Ray, but many sold today appear more solid bodied. There is also an albino version, which is sometimes referred to as the Golden X-Ray.

Pristella Tetra, Pristella maxillaris
Pristella Tetra

Pristella Tetra - Aquarium Setup

Pristella Tetras are good beginner fish. They are hardy and resistant to temperature change and fluctuating water quality. They do not require the soft acidic water typical of many other tetras. Pristella Tertras are shy and will be quite nervous among larger fish. The Pristella Tetra should be kept in groups of 6 or more. They will school loosely when they feel safe and tightly when they feel threatened. Low light levels with plants and driftwood to hide among are recommended. Pristella Tetras eat small flake foods, spirulina flakes, freeze dried bloodworms and live foods, such as brine shrimp.

Pristella Tetra - Compatibility

The Pristella Tetra is compatible with the Black Neon Tetra, Black Phantom Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, Corydoras Catfish, Dwarf Gourami, Dwarf Neon Rainbow, Flame Tetra, Flying Fox, GloFish, Glowlight Tetra, Guppy, Harlequin Rasbora, Head-and-Tail-Light Tetra, Kuhli Loach, Lemon Tetra, Molly, Neon Tetra, Otto Catfish, Platy, Pleco (Common), Ram Cichlid, Red Eye Tetra, Sailfin Molly, Silver Hatchetfish, Sparkling Gourami, Swordtail, Upsidedown Catfish, White Cloud, Zebra Danio

Pristella Tetra - Breeding

Males will tend to be slimmer than females. A pair should be separated and fed live foods prior to spawning. Pristella Tetras will scatter hundreds of eggs among plants. The parents should be removed after spawning. The fry are very small and will require live artemia brine shrimp.

Pristella Tetra - Profile

  • Scientific Name: Pristella maxillaris

  • Family: Characin

  • Temperature: 23 - 28 C; 73 - 80 F

  • pH: 6.0 - 8.0

  • Size: 4 cm; 1.5 inches

  • Life Span: 5 years

  • Breeding: Difficult, Egg Layer

The X-Ray Tetra by Mike

The X-Ray Pristella Tetra is an unusual member of the Characidae Family that has a near transparent body. This novel characteristic gives this tetra the appearance of a living x-ray photograph. However, unlike true clear or glass-like fish, the X-Ray Pristella Tetra has a an interesting color pattern. The dorsal and anal fins have stylish bands of yellow, black, and white. In addition to these bands, the caudal fin has a beautiful pale red or pink color.

X-Ray Tetra Origins by Mike

In the wild, the X-Ray Pristella Tetra is found in coastal rivers of South America of varying water chemistry. This natural tolerance to a wide range of water parameters makes the X-Ray Pristella Tetra well suited for the community aquarium. Unlike sensitive tetra species that need to be kept in soft water conditions, the hardy X-Ray Pristella Tetra is an excellent choice for new aquarists. Also, it's, very peaceful and is compatible with other non-aggressive fish.

X-Ray Tetra Aquarium Setup by Mike

The ideal aquarium setup for the X-Ray Pristella Tetra will include live plants, rocks and driftwood to recreate natural habitat and provide hiding spaces. The X-Ray Pristella Tetra is a schooling fish and should be ideally kept in groups of six or more. Similar to other tetra species, the male X-Ray Pristella Tetra will tend to be smaller and thinner than the female.