Buenos Aires Tetra: Essential Care Tips And Insights

Scientifically known as Hyphessobrycon anisitsi
Dr. Mollie Newton
Published by Dr. Mollie Newton PHD| Senior Editor
Last updated: July 15, 2024
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Having a tough time with your Buenos Aires Tetra? Here are some valuable tips to keep a balanced underwater habitat. Dive into the world of Buenos Aires Tetras and discover the essential aspects of proper care and peaceful living in your fish tank. **Keep reading** to learn more.

Article Summary

  • Buenos Aires Tetra, also known as Red and Silver Tetra, is a captivating freshwater fish species native to the Paraná River basin in South America.
  • They are adaptable and can thrive in various aquatic habitats, making them popular among fishkeepers worldwide.
  • A tank size of at least 30 gallons is recommended, and rocks are preferred as decoration to prevent them from nibbling on plants.

General Information

The Buenos Aires tetra hails from its namesake, South America, specifically inhabiting the La Plata region of Argentina, Paraguay, and southeastern Brazil. Some records from Buenos Aires province, Argentina, are now considered to refer to similar-looking fish. So the common vernacular name, “Buenos Aires tetra,” may be somewhat misleading.

Buenos Aires Tetra (Hyphessobrycon anisitsi) is a freshwater species and one of the larger tetras. They are also known as the Red and Silver Tetra, a captivating tetra fish species from the Paraná River basin in South America. These unique fish are native to this region and have adapted to thrive in the diverse aquatic habitats found in the basin.

Their vibrant red and silver coloration sets them apart from other tetras. The male Buenos Aires tetra will develop bright red dorsal and anal fins. The female will be slightly more faint and transparent in coloration. Despite the hardy build and tame nature of the Buenos Aires tetra, it is not a beginner fish.

On average, Buenos Aires Tetra typically reaches a size of around 2.5 inches but can grow up to 3 inches. Their diet and tank conditions can influence their growth potential.

A Live Specimen of Buenos Aires Tetra in The Wild

Buenos Aires Tetras are known for adapting to various conditions and habitats, allowing them to establish a widely-distributed range. These fish can be found in multiple regions, from the rivers and streams of South America to aquariums and fish tanks worldwide.

Buenos Aires Tetra adaptability enables them to thrive in different habitats, whether in clear or murky waters, warm or cool temperatures, or densely populated or more isolated areas. Their resilience and ability to survive in diverse environments make them a popular choice for fishkeepers and an interesting subject for researchers studying their ecological impact.

Behavior and Interaction

These tetras are known for their active nature, often darting around and displaying excitement during daytime activity. In addition, they are not picky eaters.

They can be stimulated by changing scenery in the tank and tolerating colder night temperatures. Keeping them in groups is recommended to ensure their social well-being.

Buenos Aires Tetra can coexist well with other tetras like Black Neon, Congo, and Neon. However, it is important to note that Buenos Aires tetras can be slightly more aggressive than the others, so keeping them in larger tanks with plenty of hiding spots is recommended.

Suitability for Aquarists

Is the Buenos Aires tetra a good fish for your aquarium? While they are considered hardy fish, they may not be suitable for beginners due to their specific care requirements.

Despite their resilience, these fish pose challenges for inexperienced aquarists. Their unique care needs demand expertise and understanding. They are non-picky omnivores but sometimes don’t play well with rival cichlids.

Although they are known to withstand various conditions in captivity, their specific care requirements, such as water temperature, pH levels, and diet, can be more complex and demanding than what a beginner aquarist might be prepared for.

Therefore, it is advisable for those new to aquarium keeping to gain experience and knowledge with more beginner-friendly fish species before considering the care of these hardy yet challenging fish.

Buenos Aires Tetra Health

The health of Buenos Aires Tetras is crucial to ensure their longevity and well-being. This section will cover the average lifespan, common possible diseases, the importance of maintaining good water conditions, treatment options, and suitable foods for these vibrant fish.

Buenos Aires Tetra can sometimes live up to 6 years in optimal conditions (when provided with proper care and a suitable environment). But they have an average lifespan ranging from 3 to 5 years.

Buenos Aires Tetra can sometimes live up to 6 years in optimal conditions…

Common Possible Diseases

To keep your fish healthy, you must be aware of potential health issues and diseases they may encounter. Some common ailments include:

Ich is a disease caused by a parasite (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis), which manifests as small white spots on the fish’s body and fins. These spots may cause itching and discomfort for the fish, leading to scratching against objects in the tank.

Fin rot is usually caused by poor water quality and can be identified by the gradual deterioration of the fish’s fins. Initially, the fins may appear frayed or ragged, but if left untreated, the rot can progress, causing the fins to become shorter or even leading to complete fin loss.

Fungal infections are another concern for Buenos Aires Tetra. Fungi can attack the fish’s skin, fins, or even internal organs, leading to symptoms such as white or gray patches, cotton-like growths, or ulcers.

Bacterial infections can be caused by various bacteria, such as Aeromonas or Pseudomonas, and may result in symptoms like open sores, redness, swelling, or lethargy.

Preventive Measure And Treatment

Clean water helps reduce stress levels and minimizes the risk of diseases. Regularly monitor water parameters such as temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels to ensure they remain within appropriate ranges.

If your Buenos Aires Tetra falls ill, you’ll need immediate treatment. Consult a veterinarian or aquatic specialist for accurate diagnosis and guidance on the best treatments.

Buenos Aires Tetra: Algae, Bloodworms, And Brine Shrimp

The Buenos Aires Tetras can feed on worms, insects, plants, and even small crustaceans in the wild. Buenos Aires Tetras are omnivorous fish that require a balanced diet for optimal health.

Offering Buenos Aires Tetras frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, algae, or brine shrimp is beneficial. These options give them a more natural and varied diet, mimicking their diet in the wild. Bloodworms and brine shrimp are protein-rich, crucial for muscle development and energy levels.

Fresh vegetables can be included occasionally. Blanched spinach or peas can be offered as a supplement to their primary diet. These vegetables provide additional vitamins and minerals that contribute to their overall health.

Occasional treats such as daphnia or mosquito larvae can be offered as a source of variety and enrichment. Spirulina-based foods can also benefit Buenos Aires Tetras, as they enhance their vibrant blueback coloration.

Aquarium Requirements

Buenos Aires Tetras in a Tank

Buenos Aires Tetras have specific requirements to thrive in a tank. Here are some essential factors to consider when setting up an aquarium for these lively fish:

Tank Setup

Buenos Aires tetra is adaptable to a range of aquarium conditions.

Tank size: A minimum of 30 gallons is recommended, but a larger tank of 40+ gallons is better for Buenos Aires Tetras.

Avoid plants: These tetras tend to nibble on plants, so it’s best to opt for rocks as decoration and substrate. But tank flora can be an exciting toy for a Buenos Aires tetra if you are okay with losing a few of the plants occasionally.


Provide a secure cover for the tank to prevent these active swimmers from jumping out.

Water Parameters: A Highly Adaptable Freshwater Fish

Buenos Aires Tetras are highly adaptable to various water conditions. These fish can tolerate a flexible temperature range but keep them away from extended periods of high temperatures. They are freshwater fish and do not do well in conditions that may offer too salty or too filthy water.

Buenos Aires Tetras are highly adaptable to various water conditions…

Managing the aquarium’s phosphates, nitrates, and nitrites is essential to maintain optimal water conditions. Regular testing and appropriate filtration systems can help control these levels effectively.

Buenos Aires Tetra thrives in a pH range of 6.0-8.0 and have been known to breed successfully even in alkaline water. This adaptability to different water chemistries makes them suitable for many aquarium setups. These tetras will likely thrive if you have slightly acidic or alkaline water.

It is important to make sure that you monitor their water parameters and perform regular water changes to help keep these fish healthy and happy.

Tank Mates

Buenos Aires Tetra in a Fish ank

Due to their semi-aggressive nature, choose tank mates carefully. However, avoid large fish (in example a catfish like H. fossilis, also called Liver catfish) that will see these tetras as prey due to its size. Consider creating a multi-species community tank with compatible fish species with similar sizes and temperaments. Here are some suitable tank mates for your Buenos Aires tetra:

Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish and Buenos Aires tetra are good tank mates due to their peaceful nature and similar water temperature requirements. Cory catfish are bottom-dwelling fish, while these tetras are active mid-level swimmers. They are relatively peaceful but can be slightly nippy, so it’s essential to provide ample hiding spots and space for all the fish in the tank.


Loaches and Buenos Aires tetras can be suitable tank mates if certain conditions are met. Both species prefer similar water parameters, including a pH range of 6.5-7.5 and a temperature range of 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit. However, these tetras can be pretty active and may nip at the long fins of loaches. Plenty of hiding spots and visual barriers in the tank are recommended.


Platies and Buenos Aires tetras can be suitable tank mates. Platies are peaceful fish, while Buenos Aires tetras are highly active fish. While these tetras may occasionally nip at the fins of slower-moving fish, they generally get along well with platies. It is important to provide ample space and hiding spots in the tank to ensure the comfort and well-being of both species.


Plecostomus and Buenos Aires tetras can be suitable tank mates. Plecos are peaceful bottom-dwelling fish, while these tetras are active mid-level swimmers.

Plecos and Buenos Aires Tetra can coexist peacefully as long as the tank is large enough to accommodate their size, as plecos can grow quite large…

Both species can coexist peacefully as long as the tank is large enough to accommodate their size, as plecos can grow quite large and may outgrow smaller tanks, so it is crucial to consider the long-term needs of the fish when planning their tank setup.

Barb Fish

Barb fish and Buenos Aires tetras are generally not considered suitable tank mates. Barb fish are known to be nippy and can become aggressive towards other fish, especially those with long fins like the tetras. These tetras are also fin nippers, so having both species in a tank can lead to aggression and stress.

Long-finned Species

These fish may, unfortunately, become targets for fin-nipping by the tetras, which can cause stress and harm to the fish. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid keeping long-finned fish such as angelfish, bettas, or guppies in the same tank as Buenos Aires Tetra.


Mollies and Buenos Aires tetras are not suitable tank mates. Mollies are peaceful fish that prefer calm and peaceful environments, while these tetras are aggressive. The tetras may harass and nip at the mollies, causing stress and potential harm to the mollies.

By providing the correct tank setup, water conditions, and suitable tank mates, you can create a thriving environment for your Buenos Aires Tetra.

Breeding the Buenos Aires Tetra

Breeding these tetras is relatively easy compared to other tetra species. Most tetra fish are challenging to breed. But the Buenos Aires tetra is an exception.

Buenos Aires tetra males have a slimmer body shape and brighter coloration, while females are rounder and less vibrant.


To successfully produce these tetra fish, it’s important to distinguish between male and female tetras.

Maintaining slightly acidic water conditions and monitoring water parameters is crucial for successful breeding. These tetras prefer a pH level of around 6.5-7 and soft water. Regular testing of water quality ensures optimal conditions for spawning.

The process of spawning involves creating the right environment for the eggs. Artificial plants, or spawning mops, provide suitable surfaces for the female fish to spawn and deposit her eggs. Parents do not care for the eggs or fry, unlike other fish species.

After spawning, removing the eggs from the tank as soon as possible is essential. Leaving them in the main aquarium can lead to predation by adult fish or damage caused by filtration systems.

Once hatched, the fry requires specific care and dietary needs. Feeding them with newly hatched brine shrimp or commercially available fry food helps ensure their healthy development.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the water conditions for Buenos Aires Tetras?

Buenos Aires Tetras prefer slightly acidic to neutral water, with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. The water hardness should be moderate, ideally around 5 to 15 dGH (degrees of General Hardness). Maintaining a stable water temperature is crucial for their health and comfort.

What temperature should a Buenos Aires tetra tank be?

The recommended water temperature for a Buenos Aires Tetra tank should be between 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C). Keeping the water within this range ensures the tetras remain active and healthy and exhibit natural behaviors.

How long do Buenos Aires Tetras live?

On average, Buenos Aires Tetras have a lifespan of 5 to 7- years lifespan when kept in proper aquarium conditions. However, some individuals can live up to 10 years with excellent care, quality feed, and a healthy environment.

How do you breed Buenos Aires Tetras?

Increase the water temperature slightly and provide ample vegetation or spawning mops for the females to deposit their eggs. Once the eggs are laid, removing the adult tetras is best to prevent them from eating them. The eggs usually hatch within 24 to 36 hours, and the fry can be fed with finely crushed flake food or specialized fry food.

How do you take care of a Buenos Aires tetra?

Ensure they are kept in a group of at least six individuals to prevent stress and promote natural behaviors. Maintain a well-filtered aquarium with regular water changes. Mimic their natural habitat and omnivorous diet by providing a balanced diet. Also, incorporate aquarium plants and hiding spots in the tank to offer them security and comfort. Monitoring their behavior and appearance regularly will help identify any health issues promptly.

Is Buenos Aires Tetra aggressive?

The Buenos Aires Tetra is generally a community-oriented fish species. While they may exhibit some territorial behavior, especially during breeding, they are not regarded as aggressive. However, it’s essential to provide them with adequate space and hiding spots to reduce stress and potential conflicts. Proper tank conditions, appropriate tankmates, and a balanced diet can help ensure a harmonious environment for these tetras in a community aquarium setup.

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