Menu Close

Silvertip Tetra (Hasemania nana)

The Silvertip Tetra, a shimmering jewel of the aquatic world, is a popular choice among freshwater aquarium enthusiasts. Known scientifically as Hasemania nana, this small, lively fish is renowned for its vibrant coloration and dynamic behavior.

Silvertip Tetra Facts

Scientific Name Hasemania nana
Common Name Silvertip Tetra
Family Characidae
Size Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
Lifespan 3 to 5 years
Coloration Golden body with silver-white tips on fins
Behavior Peaceful and active
Preferred Habitat Freshwater; clear rivers and streams
Origin South America, primarily Brazil
Diet Omnivorous – flake food, brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms
Water Conditions pH 6.0 – 7.5; Temperature 72°F – 82°F (22°C – 28°C)
Aquarium Setup Minimum 20 gallons, planted with hiding spaces
Breeding Egg scatterer; requires separate breeding tank
Compatibility Good in community tanks with similarly sized peaceful fish

Silvertip Tetra Profile

Belonging to the Characidae family, the Silvertip Tetra is a small species, typically growing up to 2 inches in length. It has a lifespan of around 3 to 5 years, which can extend with proper care. The species is known for its hardiness, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists. Their peaceful nature allows them to blend seamlessly into a community aquarium.

Silvertip Tetra Coloring

The most striking feature of the Silvertip Tetra is its distinctive coloration. The body is predominantly a translucent golden hue, with hints of olive green. The fins, especially the dorsal and anal fins, exhibit a bright silver-white tip, which is more pronounced in males. This iridescent feature intensifies during mating displays or when the fish is excited.

Silver Tetra Fish Habitat

The Silver Tetra, native to South America’s clear, slow-moving rivers and streams, thrives in a habitat characterized by soft, slightly acidic water. These environments are typically rich in vegetation, offering ample hiding spots and a natural diet. Their preference for warm waters with a temperature range of 72°F to 82°F mirrors their tropical origins, making them a fascinating species for home aquariums.

Silvertip Tetra Aquarium Setup

Creating an ideal aquarium environment for Silver tip Tetra is crucial for their health and happiness. This involves considering tank size, water conditions, and the overall habitat design.

  • Tank Size and Conditions

The minimum recommended tank size for Silvertip Tetras is 20 gallons. This provides sufficient space for a small school of these active swimmers. The water temperature should be maintained between 72°F and 82°F (22°C – 28°C), with a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. Soft to moderately hard water is ideal for these fish.

  • Filtration and Water Movement

A good filtration system is key to maintaining a clean and healthy aquarium. Silver tipped Tetras prefer a moderate water flow, which mimics their natural riverine habitat. The filter should be efficient enough to keep the water clear but not so powerful that it creates strong currents, as this can stress the fish.

  • Lighting and Decoration

Subdued lighting is preferred for a Silver Tetra tank, as it closely resembles their natural environment under the canopy of rainforests. Decorate the aquarium with live plants like Java Fern or Anubias, which provide shelter and mimic their natural habitat. Driftwood and rocks can also be added to create hiding spots and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the tank.

  • Schooling and Social Environment

Silvertip Tetras are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 5-6 individuals. A well-maintained school encourages natural behavior and reduces stress, leading to healthier fish. This social setup also allows the fish’s natural hierarchy to form, which is fascinating to observe.

  • Maintenance and Water Quality

Regular maintenance is crucial. This includes weekly water changes of about 20-25% and monitoring water parameters to ensure they remain within the ideal range. Regular checks for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are important to prevent health issues.

Silvertip Tetra Breeding

Breeding Silvertip Tetras can be an enriching experience for aquarium enthusiasts. To encourage breeding and ensure the health of the offspring, specific conditions and care are necessary.

Creating the Breeding Environment

For successful breeding, it’s recommended to set up a separate breeding tank. This tank should be around 10-15 gallons, with a sponge filter to keep water clean without creating a strong current. The water should be soft with a slightly acidic pH (around 6.0-6.5), and the temperature should be slightly higher than the main tank, ideally around 78°F (26°C). Dim lighting and the presence of fine-leaved plants like Java Moss or spawning mops provide ideal places for egg laying.

Conditioning the Breeders

Before introducing them to the breeding tank, it’s important to condition the breeding pair with high-quality foods. Live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms are excellent for this purpose. Healthy, well-fed fish are more likely to spawn successfully.

Spawning Process

Once the breeding pair is introduced into the prepared tank, spawning usually occurs during the early morning. The female scatters her eggs among the plants, and the male fertilizes them. Silvertip Tetras can lay up to a few hundred eggs per spawning. After spawning, it’s crucial to remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.

Egg and Fry Care

The eggs of Silvertip Tetras typically hatch within 24-36 hours. The fry are initially very small and should be fed with infusoria or commercially available fry food. As they grow, they can be gradually introduced to micro worms and eventually crushed flake food. Consistent water quality is crucial during this stage, and careful monitoring is required to ensure the health and growth of the fry.

Silvertip Tetra Diet & Feeding

Silvertip Tetras are omnivores and thrive on a varied diet. High-quality flake food can serve as a staple, but it’s important to supplement this with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. Feeding small amounts two to three times a day is recommended to maintain their health and vibrant coloration.

Silvertip Tetra Compatibility

When it comes to tank mates, Silver tetra fish are quite adaptable. They do well in a community tank with other peaceful, similarly sized fish. Good companions include other tetra species, dwarf corydoras, small rasboras, platies, zebra danios, mollies, and peaceful barbs. Avoid housing them with large or aggressive species, as they can become stressed or preyed upon.

Silvertip Tetra Common Diseases

Silver tip Tetras, like many aquarium fish, are susceptible to common diseases such as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich), fin rot, and fungal infections. Ich presents as white spots on the body and fins, while fin rot causes the fins to fray and deteriorate. Fungal infections appear as cotton-like growths. Maintaining clean, stable water conditions and a stress-free environment is crucial in preventing these ailments in Silvertip Tetras.


In conclusion, the Silvertip Tetra is a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. Its striking coloration, playful demeanor, and ease of care make it a favorite among aquarists. With the right setup, diet, and compatible tank mates, these charming fish can thrive and bring life and beauty to your underwater world.