Lemon Tetra

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Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis - Ahl, 1937
Lemon Tetra

Not gaudy, but a great schooling tetra with subtle and unusual beauty. Aaron Norman


The Lemon Tetra is a subtle beauty, with a translucent body with a faint yellowish tinge. But it is the intense yellow coloration of this fish’s anal fin that makes it so popular among tetra enthusiasts and gives it its species name—pulchripinnis means “pretty fin.” An albino form is also available.

Family: Characidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: An aquarium for the Lemon Tetra should be heavily planted on the sides and back with lots of open areas for the fish to swim in. Dark colors are best for the substrate and background. Susceptible to poor water quality, so regular water changes are a must.

Maximum length: 3.8 cm (1 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to top.


Omnivore. The Lemon Tetra really benefits from color-enhancing foods rich in carotenoids that bring out red and yellow pigments. They are not particularly picky and will devour just about anything offered to them. Provide a varied diet that includes all types of prepared foods like good-quality flakes, as well as freeze-dried, frozen and live foods like Daphnia and bloodworms.

Aquarium Compatibility

Lemon Tetras are a peaceful, schooling fish that are easily maintained in a community tank with other schooling characins of a similar size, as well as other mild-mannered community tankmates.


Lemon Tetras are egg scatterers but are moderately difficult to spawn.


Acquire at least three to make them feel comfortable and allow them to exhibit their natural behaviors.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW